Thursday, October 1, 2009


Egina’s geographical position at the mouth of the Saronic Gulf, made it an important maritime power in classical times. The island is emerged as Greece’s leading pistachio producer, and a weekend beach resort for Athenians. Egina Town is an energetic, attractive place, with coloured fishing boat and yachts in a harbour that is lined with handsome buildings, cafes and restaurants. A single column marks the site of the Temple of Apollo, and there is a well-presented archeological museum.

The island’s major resort, busy Ayia Marina, lies, with several smaller resorts, on the east coast. Inland, the pleasant countryside is mountainous. There are several isolated monasteries and churches, featuring the enormous church dedicated to the first Greek Orthodox saint of the 20th century, Saint Sophia. Central and western Egina is green and rolling, carpeted with pistachio orchards. Along the west coast lie further beaches, including the pretty harbour village ofPerdhika. From here it is a short boat trip to the uninhabited islet of with its lovely beach and excellent swimming.

When to go: May and June, September and October. Population: 13, 552. Getting there: Ferry from Piraeus. You should know: Minted on the island in its heyday, the silver ‘turtle’ coins were the first in Greece.

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