14 Best Sights in Aegina, The Saronic Gulf Islands

Moni Beach

Fodor's choice

In summer, caïques make frequent 10-minute trips from the fishing port of Perdika to the little island of Moni, a real heaven-on-earth inhabited only by peacocks, wild deer, relocated kri-kri (Cretan goats), and some remains of a 1960s campground. Shadowed by pine trees, hiking trails wind their way through the island's pristine landscape. Once the property of the Monastery of Chrysoleontissa, it is now a nature preserve. After your hike, take a most refreshing swim off the little sandy beach in the marvelously clear green waters by the quay. Note that the boatmen come back every hour, allowing you to leave whenever you wish (the round-trip ticket costs €5). A small beach bar operates in summer, offering cool drinks and toasted sandwiches, but if you plan to spend the day here, you would be better off bringing a full picnic lunch. In crowded peak season, Moni is a lovely way to escape the madding crowds. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: swimming; walking.

Temple of Aphaia

Fodor's choice

One of the great glories of ancient Greek art, the Temple of Aphaia is among the most extant examples of classical Doric architecture. Once adorned with an exquisite group of pedimental sculptures (now in the Munich Glyptothek) it still proudly bears 25 of its original 32 columns, which were either left standing or have been reconstructed. The structure is perched on a pine-clad promontory, offering superb views of Athens and Piraeus across the water—with binoculars you can see both the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. The saying goes that the Ancient Greeks built the Temple of Aphaia in Aegina, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion as the tips of a perfect equidistant triangle (called Antiquity's Perfect Triangle). This site has been occupied by many sanctuaries to Aphaia; the ruins visible today are those of the temple built in the early 5th century BC. Aphaia was apparently a pre-Hellenic deity, whose worship eventually converged with that of Athena.

You can visit the museum for no extra fee. The exhibit has a reconstructed section of the pediment of the temple, many fragments from the once brilliantly colored temple interior, and the votive tablet (560 BC) on which is written that the temple is dedicated to the goddess Aphaia. From Aegina Town, catch the KTEL bus for Ayia Marina on Ethneyersias Square, the main Aegina Town bus station; ask the driver to let you off at the temple. A gift and snack bar across the road is a comfortable place to have a drink and wait for the return bus to Aegina Town or for the bus bound for Ayia Marina and its pebbled beach.

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Aegina Archaeological Museum

This small but choice collection of archaeological artifacts was the first ever to be established in Greece (1829). Finds from the famed Temple of Aphaia and excavations throughout the island, including early and middle Bronze Age pottery, are on display. Among the Archaic and classical works of art is the distinctive Ram Jug, which depicts Odysseus and his crew fleeing the Cyclops, and a 5th-century BC sphinx, a votive monument with the head of a woman and a body that is half-eagle, half-lion.

Aegina was one of the best schools of pottery and sculpture in antiquity and the exhibits here prove it. Just above the Archaeological Museum is the ancient site of the Acropolis of Aegina, the island's religious and political center. The settlement was first established in the Copper Age (early Bronze Age), and was renamed Kolona, or "column," in the Venetian era, after the only remaining pillar of the Temple of Apollo that once stood there. While in great disarray—11 successive cities once stood here—it remains a true treat for those into archaeology. Examine ruins and walls dating back to 1600–1300 BC, as well as Byzantine-era buildings.

Harbor front, 350 feet from ferry dock, Aegina Town, Aegina, 18010, Greece
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Rate Includes: €4, Reduced: €2, Closed Tues., Tues.–Sun. 8:30–3

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Aegina Museum of History and Folklore

Within an 1828 neoclassical house endowed to the municipality of Aegina, this museum colorfully allows you to experience home and working life in a traditional Aegina house. On the second floor discover exhibits of authentic old furniture, paintings, costumes, and lace in a typical island setting. On the first floor, the Fisherman's house features fishery and sponge-fishing equipment, while the Cottage house displays farm tools of the old days. The first-floor hall regularly hosts temporary exhibitions.

Aeginitissa Beach

After Marathonas, Aeginitissa is a small, sandy bay with crystalline green waters surrounded by huge eucalyptus trees. The shallow water makes it accessible to novice swimmers. There's a bar, a beach volleyball court, and umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for rent. Amenities: food and drink; showers; water sports. Best for: sunset; swimming.

Ayia Marina Beach

The best sandy beach on the island, Ayia Marina is popular with the parenting set, as the shallow water is ideal for playing children. A more rocky beach lies to the north of the marina that is good for diving and snorkeling. There are plenty of tavernas and cafés along the bay, while Hotel Apollo is not too far away. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; toilets; water sports. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking.

Ayios Nikolaos

As you approach from the sea, your first view of Aegina Town takes in the sweep of the harbor, with quaint neoclassical buildings in the background, the lovely vista punctuated by the gleaming white chapel of Ayios Nikolaos Thalassinos (St. Nicholas the Seafarer).

Harbor front, Aegina Town, Aegina, 18010, Greece


A semisecluded sandy beach, Klima (aka Keithi), which is just south of Perdika, has a finely pebbled bay of crystal-clear waters that rarely kicks up any waves. To reach it, turn left at the intersection toward Sfentouri before entering Perdika, and then go right at the crossroads and continue until you reach Klima. It is also a popular destination for yachts. There's a beach bar that rents sun beds and umbrellas during the summer months. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: snorkeling; swimming.

Kolona Beach

Aegina Town's beaches, notably the pine-surrounded Kolona, are pleasant enough with their shallow waters—and crowds—for a refreshing dip after a hot day. This largely undeveloped beach is within easy walking distance to a few tavernas and the archaeological site of Kolona (hotel Rastoni is also not too far away); you can find some precious shade in the adjacent pine forest. Amenities: none. Best for: swimming.

Marathonas Beach

There's a good swimming spot at the sandy Marathonas A beach on the west side of the island. Beyond the village lies another nice beach, Marathonas B; both beaches get very busy during the summer months, and both have sun beds and umbrellas for rent, so be sure to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds (and pick the perfect spot!). Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards. Best for: sunset; swimming.

Marathon, Attica, 18010, Greece
22970-28160-Ammos Taverna


A trip to (not to mention a bite to eat at) the covered fish market is a must in Aegina Town. A small dish of grilled octopus or sea urchin salad at the World War II–era Tavernas Agora or To Steki is perfect with an ouzo—if you aren't averse to the smell of raw fish wafting over. Fishermen gather mid-afternoon and early evening on the pedestrian-only street, worrying their beads while seated beside glistening octopus hung up to dry—as close to a scene from the movie Zorba the Greek as you are likely to see in modern Greece.

Panayi Irioti, Aegina Town, Aegina, 18010, Greece


The sandy and pebbled beach of Souvala is one the nicest on the island and used to be famous for its therapeutic hot and cold springs (which dried up a while back). Close to the Souvala village, it offers umbrellas, sun beds, and the Banio Banio beach bar. Elsewhere along the coastline here are many other spots where you can sunbathe and swim off the rocks. Windsurfing is available near the hotel Irides. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; water sports. Best for: swimming; windsurfing.

Tower of Markellos

During the negotiations for Greece during the War of Independence, Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first president of the country, conducted meetings in the Markelon Tower, which dates back to the late 17th century. Today, the pink-and ocher-hued tower is being looked after by the municipality and occasionally houses cultural events and exhibitions.

Corner of Thomaidou and Pileos, Aegina Town, Aegina, 18010, Greece

Vagia Beach

This is a sandy beach next to a picturesque little harbor. There is a coffee shop next to the beach that rents sun beds and umbrellas, and serves coffee, drinks, and bites all day long. A few pine trees provide much-needed shade, and there's easy parking nearby. The taverna is also open during winter weekends, with lunch and dinner served by a fireplace. Look for an even quieter stretch of beach at the right side of the little harbor. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: solitude; swimming; walking.