The Saronic Islands are just a stone’s throw away from the mainland, so if you are short of time, yet, would love to visit a Greek island – I mean, how can you go back home and say you’ve visited Greece without having experienced the magic and simplicity seasoned with the charm and hospitality of the islanders?
Take a cab, metro or bus and go to the port of Piraeus. It’s a very short distance from the city centre. Go to the gate for the Argosaronic Islands and take the first ferry or hydrofoil going to Aegina; that’s the closest one of all and there are boats leaving every hour. Enjoy the 60-minute or so voyage and … there you are!!!
Believe me, you’ll need a few minutes just standing at the port, absorbing your surroundings before you actually adjust to a mesmerizing reality.
You can spend the whole day at the main port town of Aegina or hire a cab and arrange for a tour of the island. There are buses running too but they are a bit primitive – keeping to the simplicity of their surroundings.
If you’ve got the whole day at your disposal, make sure you visit Agia Marina and enjoy a swim at its long sandy beach lined with taverns and cafes. The water is crystal clear and shallow enough to make it really safe for kids as well. I would also recommend a visit to Perdika – a fish village too, but that is only if you’ve got the whole day to spend on the island.
Many people go to Aegina to visit the great Cathedral of St. Nectarios – the patron Saint of the island. He lived and died in the 20th Century and is loved and honoured by not only the locals, but Greeks all over. You will also notice that many locals are named after St. Nectarios.
Make sure you buy some pistachio nuts from either the many kiosks or stalls at the port or from any one of the many stores on the island. Pistachio ice-cream during the summer months is just … to die for!!!
I hope you’ve arranged to take the last boat leaving the island as I guarantee you won’t want to leave before nightfall. Catch your boat back to Piraeus and I bet you will remember this day-trip for a long time.