The beautiful island of Aegina is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, with a rich history and charming villages scattered along the coast and inland. It draws many visitors from all over Greece and from abroad. Aegina features many examples of 19th century neoclassical architecture, tempered by local touches, reminding visitors that it served as the capital of Greece for two years. It was here that the first government of Greece was sworn in after the 1821 War of Independence.
The Governor's House, where the ground floor once housed the first mint and the library of Aegina is on Mitropoleos Street. Two streets to the west is Markellos Tower, built in the early 19th century. Near the main port, to the left as you are disembarking is the archaeological site of "Kolona," marked by a lone column standing on top of the promontory. It is the only remaining column of the Doric Temple of Apollo Delphinios which once stood on the hill.
To the north-east of Aegina is the district of Kypseli, a well-populated area with traditional two-storey houses and an attractive central square Visitors to the area can have a swim at Kavouropetra, nearby. The same road leads to the agricultural village of Vathy and ends up in Souvala, a harbour town and up-and-coming resort with a lovely beach. A detour from the coastal road to Vagia leads to Agious, a village thick with pine trees known for the church of Apostolos Krispos, who was a student of Saint Paul.
The main road follows the coastline to Vagia, a tourist village with an inviting sandy beach. From Vagia, the road leads to the inland village of Messagros, built around the foot of the hill on which the Temple of Aphaea sits. Messagros is home to local potters, who make traditional pitchers and other items. From Messagros, the road eastward leads to the Temple of Aphaea and then on to the resort of Agia Marina. Turning westward, the road leads to the town of Aegina.
The Temple of Afea was built on a pine-covered hill with a magnificent view of the sea. It remains in good condition.
Of the 34 original columns, 24 are still in place at the temple. It was built in 480 BC, after the naval Battle of Salamis. When the atmosphere is clear, you can see the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio and the Acropolis in Athens.
The three temples form an isosceles triangle, the sacred triangle of antiquity.
At the south-west end of the island is the traditional fishing village of Perdika, where you can sample some fresh seafood or take a small boat across the water to the small, uninhabited island of Moni opposite. Moni has a quiet sandy beach and beautiful waters for a swim, and you can make friends with the resident deer, peacocks, wild goats and other creatures.