Aegina Greece

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Getting to Aegina

Saronic map

Where is Aegina? It sits in the Saronic Gulf, almost within sight of the Greek capital of Athens, so Aegina relatively easy for the independent traveller to reach.

Regular daily ferries, to and from the Athens port of Piraeus, also make this a good island base for those planning to tour the cultural sites of Athens.

Regular ferries to other Saronic gulf islands also help to make Aegina a relatively good base for island hopping in this part of the world.

Roads are generally good, in the north of the island at least, and an island bus service operates to the main Aegina island resorts.

Taxis are plentiful and, as the island is not large, they can make for a reasonably priced alternative to hiring a car.

Walkers will find plenty of marked trails, especially to the more popular attractions. Walking guides are available in local bookshops.

Updated for 2016

Aegina flights: travel by air

Aegina has no airport so most holiday visitors fly into Athens International Airport (ATH) on the mainland and catch a bus to the port of Piraeus to board one of the daily ferries to Aegina.

Athens International, officially Elefterios Venizelos Airport, is about 27 kilometres east of Athens and has more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants and a good Archaeological and Antiquities Museum.

There is parking for 4,800 cars and the E96 shuttle bus service runs 24 hours to the ferry port at Piraeus. The bus stop is outside the arrivals hall and you must buy a ticket before boarding.

The E96 operates every 15 to 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes through the night. It stops several times on the way so it's not ultra-fast with a journey time of 45 to 60 minutes depending on traffic.

The taxi rank is next to Door 3 of the arrivals hall and there are always plenty of taxis. Journey times depend on traffic and can be 30 to 50 minutes.

Aegina ferries: travel by sea

Aegina lies in the middle of the Saronic Gulf near the main Athens port of Piraeus. Visitors usually fly to Athens International airport, catch the E96 shuttle bus or take a taxi to Piraeus.

Ferries depart for Aegina regularly during the summer, less often in the winter. Hydrofoils (Flying Dolphins) are plentiful(around 16-a-day) and take around 40 minutes, ferries about twice that time.

The main ferry companies are Hellenic Seaways (nine ferries daily from 7.30am; Nova (8am and 2pm); Agios Nektarios (10am, 2pm, 4pm) and the Aegean Flying Dolphins (hourly from 6am).

Anes Ferries operates a daily round-trip ferry from Piraues to Aegina.

There are ferry links to the three main ports on Aegina - Souvala, Agia Marina and Aegina Town with connections from Aegina port to the other Saronic islands of Angistri, Hydra, Poros and Spetses with further ferry links to the Peloponnese (Epidaurus, Hermioni, Porto Cheli, Tolo, Isthmia, Nafplion) and Attica. Some of the connections are seasonal.

Spetses, Hydra, Poros, and Methana have year-round ferry links but Piraeus can be a better bet for other islands out of season.

A comprehensive list of daily sailings is posted outside their Port Authority office on the harbour and officials, not unreasonably, get a little tetchy with tourists who press for information.

Aegina map: getting around

Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands and lies in the Saronic Gulf about 27 kilometres south of the Greek capital of Athens.

The island is roughly triangular in shape, about 15 kilometres from east to west and 10 kilometres north to south, with an area of about 87 sq km.

The northern and western areas consist of stony but very fertile plains, most of which is well cultivated to produce good crops of grain, vines, almonds, olives and figs and the island's most notable crop - pistachio nuts.

The southern part of the island is volcanic with a rugged and mountainous terrain. The landscape is rocky and largely barren, and with a high point at the extinct volcano of Mount Oros (531 metres). A ridge extends northwards from Mount Ornos with narrow fertile valleys on either side, many planted as vineyards.

Aegina climate and weather

Located in the sheltered Argo Saronic gulf, Aegina enjoys the much the same climate as Athens. Summers are hot, sunny and virtually cloudless from June to August. Spring and autumn are cooler and showers that fall in April and October are far less frequent in May and September. June sees temperatures rise from 21 to 25°C and they often hit 30°C in August. Winters on Aegina are relatively dry with most rain in November. Winters are mild at an average 8°C.

Aegina transport: travel on land

Car rental

Aegina has a good road network in the north of the island, less so in the south which is more mountainous and with fewer resorts. Aegina town has several car and bike rental offices directly opposite the port and more are based in Agia Marina.

Aegina buses and bus services

Aegina island has good bus services run by the Aegina Bus Company. The main bus terminus is located in Aegina Town in the square near the harbour.
Services in the north are Aegina Town - Kipseli - Vathi - Souvala - Nagia; to the south: Aegina Town - Marathonas - Perdika; and east are Aegina Town - Agios Nektarios - Agia Marina. Aegina bus timetables are available here.

Aegina taxis and car hire

Most taxis gather at the harbour in Aegina Town to meet the ferries as they come in. You can also dial for a taxi - Aegina - 022635; Agia Marina - 032107; Kipseli - 0328873; Megasos - 071313; Souvala - 343606.

Aegina walking and walking trails

This is a good island for walkers with a trails right across the island, some taking in the most interesting sights - notably the trail from Agia Marina to Souvala via Paleahora and a circular walk from Agia Marina to Aphaia, Mesagros, Agios Ioannis and back to Agia Marina. Many walks are detailed in 'A Walking Guide to Aegina' by Gerald Thompson available at island bookshops. There is also a good Road Editions map for those who want to trek further afield.

Aegina rooms: places to stay

Rooms

Aegina has a plentiful supply of good holiday accommodation, mostly catering for Athenians who arrive every weekend and for the package holiday visitors who usually head for the busy east coast resort of Agia Marina.

You should book ahead if you plan a weekend visit during high season when most hotels are booked solid with Athenians escaping the heat and smog of the capital. Room owners always gather at the quayside to snare ferry passengers as they disembark and you take pot luck over standards.

Many hotels are closed from November to March, especially in Agia Marina where accommodation is aimed squarely at the package holiday market . Some hotels in Aegina Town offer big discounts for mid-week visitors and for guests who plan to stay longer than a week so it is always worth haggling.

Budget travellers will find no camp sites or youth hostels on Aegina but there is a good choice of cheap and cheerful rooms to rent in Aegina Town and at the picturesque fishing village of Perdika to the south-west.

Agia Marina is awash with modern hotels and apartment complexes aimed at package tour guest and many have very good sports and leisure facilities.