As the most part of the Greek islands, the capital takes the name from the island. The main town of Aegina is located on the western side of the island and nowadays its population is 6000 inhabitants. It was once the first capital of the New Greek state for 630 days.
If you arrive by sea the first thing you see is the small and picturesque church of Aghios Nikolaos of the 14th century, which is in the middle of the harbor surrounded by ships. This characteristic post card is completed by the classical mansions of the port mainly with colorful facades. Behind this main street of the port there are a lot of small ones that invite you to loose there your time … taverns, shops, beautiful yards… are waiting for you. Inside them you will find the tower of Markellos, which was occupied by the Governing Committee of Greece when Aegina was the State Capital.
On the left of the port is located the hill of Kolona. Behind the temple of Aphaea it is the most important archaeological place in the island. This small hill was occupied from the Mycenae period, when it was built the first fortification during the 16th -12th century BC. But its name came from the only surviving column of an antique sanctuary of Apollo. The first sanctuary was dated in 7th century but this column came from a more recent one of the 500 B.C. This historical visit can be completed with a visit to the Archaeological Museum.
Only 3 Km. away from the town we can visit the "House of Kazantzakis" in the village of Livali. Kazantzakis was the famous author of "Zorba the Greek" and he lived in this house during the period between the two World Wars and it was here where he wrote that famous novel.
Aegina is best known for its ceramics, but you can also find many shops with jewellery, clothes and textiles. Aegina used to be a commercial passage between the islands of the Saronic gulf and Piraeus. In the promenade of the town many commercial boats (Kaiques) used to dock sailing fruits and several products. Even today you can see some of them among the fishing boats along the dock.
In Aegina Town you will find many little bars and clubs. The menues are both Greek and foreign, and you can choose between quiet, atmospheric places or more lively ones.
For getting around there you can take a local bus that which drives you across the island, as well as taxis and vehicles for rent. Small boats go to some of the beaches as well. In the town you can go around the small streets and explore the hidden attractions like the market place and the small shops all the way along the pedestrian market street. Near by the fish market you will find many taverns, restaurants and cafeterias.
Aegina is only an hour boat trip from Piraeus, and 30 minutes with the hydrofoil. Therefore, its best to get a flight to Athens. Aegina is also connected to the other Saronic islands, as well as to the Cyclades, since many of the ferryboats Catamarans and hydrofoils continue there. Daily ferry connection to Aegina is from the port of Piraeus at Akti Tzelepi.
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