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One can go to a variety of islands in this group for a few hours, a day or an all-out holiday.
The nearest island is Salamina where people live and commute via the two ferry routes to Piraeus or Nea Perama.
Ferries leave for Salamina every 15 minutes and smaller cruisers leave for the island every 40 minutes.
The island is known for its historical battle against the Persians in 480 B.C.
It is interesting to explore on foot or by car or bus.
If you are inclined, some places to visit are; the Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Museum, the Faneromeni Church and the Salamis Euripid Theatre. Euripides was born on Salamina.
There is a pine forest to the south of the island which is a breath of fresh air for escaping Athenians.
Agistri is a small, pine covered island that can be reached
by catamaran from Piraeus in one hour.
The island hosts beautiful beaches, little villages and tiny churches are to be found scattered all around the island. If you don’t feel like walking, you can hire a motorbike or bicycle to get around.
Aegina is a very popular island with Greeks and foreigners alike. Again, it is really close to Piraeus, an hour by ferry or half and hour by hydrofoil or catamaran. It is a verdant island with pines forests and beaches. If you are not using a car there is a bus service or taxis to take you around.
If you just want to hang out, get off the ferry and walk into town, have coffee and lunch and go home again. If you want more, you will certainly find it and feel amazed that you are so near to Athens but on a picturesque island.
Apart from reasons of tourism, Aegina is visited daily by pilgrims and religious tourist. Some visit at a tama. If people have prayed to a saint and their prayer has been granted, they visit the patron’s church as thanks.
The object of people’s pilgrimages is the church of Agios Nektarios (Saint Nektarios) and the Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) Monastery next door.
Nektarios was recognised as a saint in 1961 although having died in 1920
The Saint’s name day is on 9th November. Services are held in the church on his name day and a procession in Aegina town where his remains are carried though Aegina town.
This modern saint was known as a miracle worker and healer of diseases. He also wrote a great many works, was a theologian, philosopher, moralist educator, poet, ascetic and mystic. He believed in prayer and hard work and worked as hard as those around him as no work was dishonourable to him.
He was despised by many who mistook his popularity amongst the people as an attempt to become patriarch. As such he was relegated.
In 1904 at the request of several nuns, he established a nunnery on Aegina named The Holy Trinity, where he lived for the rest of his life as a monk. He wrote, published, preached, and heard confessions from those who came from near and far to seek out his spiritual insights. In 1920 he died at the age of 74.
The church can easily be reached by car, taxi or bus. The area is called Kondos and is located 6 km (10 minutes by car) from Aegina town or Agia Marina. The bus stop is in front of the church. The church and monastery are open daily. Make sure your arms and legs are covered when you enter the buildings. Skirts are available at the entrance of the monastery and church. Entry free of charge.
Up the road from the church, using the same bus stop, and uphill for 30 to 40 minutes by foot, is Palea Chora. It is an old settlement with houses and mostly churches. Some churches have wall paintings. It is a fascinating place to visit and is immensely peaceful. As it is on a hill, make sure you have trainers or strong shoes as it has only tracks and stone paths.
The Afaia temple on the island is the oldest surviving classical temple in Greece and is located on a pine covered hill near Agia Marina.
Some beaches include sandy Agia Marina where there are water sports available, Souvala, which is both sandy and pebbled and has therapeutic hot and cold springs. Perdika beach is sandy and rocky and has a view of Moni Island.