We depart in the morning from Athens catching the first ferry from the port of Pireaus. As the boat leaves the Port of Piraeus you can see the whole Attica Basin and the peaks of Parnitha, Penteli and Hymetus mountains. Within 10-15 minutes of departure you will be passing over the west coast of Salamina, where fleets of cargo and container ships lay in anchorage near and around the coast of Salamina waiting their turn to unload or load their goods from the commercial Port of Piraeus in Keratsini and Ikonio.
After only a further 5 minutes Salamina is left behind and, in the distance to the south, Aegina can already be seen across the glittering blue Saronic Gulf. When you enter the harbor, the small, white church of Saint Nikolas welcomes you ( This tiny church can be your first stop after the hydrofoil docks and we enter into its beautifully painted interior). Your first impression is the modern type classical buildings, which are located along the sea front of the island and have earth tone colors which make them look even more beautiful at sunset.
Near the port, on the left as we get off the ship is an archaeological place called “Kolonas”, known for its one and only pillar (kolona in Greek), that is the only remaining thing from the temple of Apollo Delfiniou, built in a Doric order and dominates the hill. The hill of Kolonas was the Acropolis and the religious center of the ancient city. In the same area besides the remains and the pillar of the Apollon temple, there are also quite a few buildings and the foundations of two smaller temples, the temple of Artemis and the temple of Dionysus. Today on the hill of Kolonas, there is the archaeological museum of Aegina, which many findings from the excavations are displayed.
However, the most famous and interesting ancient monument of Aegina is the Temple of Athena Aphaea– situated in the centre of the island- which used to be among the most important religious centers in ancient Greece. The Temple of Aphaea, the ancient Aeginetan deity related to the Cretan Britomartis (Artemis), was built about 490B.C. Its Doric peripheral construction (having columns surrounding the building) of local gray limestone has been partially restored.
One of the most visited sites on Aegina is the church of Agios Nektarios (Saint Nectarios) one of the largest in the Balkans. Agios Nektarios was known as a great miracle worker, as a healer of every sort of disease; he was also an educator, philosopher, theologist, poet and writer. Nowadays thousands of people visit the tomb of Agios Nektarios, to pray to him or ask for his blessings. He established the monastery and lived there for the rest of his life as a monk. It is said that 14 nuns still live in this place.
Time for lunch in the beautiful harbor of Aegina and a small pleasant walk around in the city, before we board the ferry to return back to Athens.
> Entrance fees to the Temple of Aphaia or Aphaea in Aegina are 4 Euro pp.
Free admission for:
- Persons under 18 (with current identification to prove age)
- University students from Greece and the E.U
Free admission for all on the following dates:
- 6 March
- 5 June
- 18 April
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
SUMMER PERIOD: 1 April – 31 October
WINTER PERIOD: 1 November – 31 March
Opening hours for the archaeological area of Marathon Tumulus:
Winter Period: 08:00-15:00
Summer Period: 08:00-19:00
All sites and museums are closed or have reduced opening hours, on the following holidays:
• 1 January: closed
• 6 January: closed
• Shrove Monday: 08.30-15.00
• 25 March: closed
• Good Friday: until 12:00 closed
• Holy Saturday: 08.30-15.00
• Easter Sunday : closed
• Easter Monday: 08.30-15.00
• 1 May: closed
• Holy Spirit Day: 08.30-15.00
• 15 August: 08.30-15.00
• 28 October: 08.30-15.00
• 25 December: closed
• 26 December: closed
- Please note that on this tour, your driver is not licensed to accompany you on your climb to the Temple of Aphaia. If you want a licensed guide to tour the sites with you, you can hire one at extra cost.
- Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are suggested.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
- Our prices are much better in comparison to those of the big Tour operators, because we are ourselves the tour operator and we do not use third party providers.
- It’s always a great idea to bring a swimming suit.
- A hat to protect your head and shade your face is also recommended when spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
- For your safety inside the vehicle, drivers provide commentary only when it is deemed safe to do so while driving. When your driver must concentrate during difficult driving conditions, please refrain from any distracting behavior as your safety during the tour is our top priority.
- Your Driver will drop you off as close to the sites as legally possible and in accordance to the Municipality and Traffic laws of Athens.
- Our service is solely confirmed when the potential customer has received and email confirming services along with the details of the tour. If the confirmation email is not received than please conclude that the service has not been confirmed. We suggest you contact us immediately for further clarification.