ARGOSARONIKOS ISLANDS - COSMOPOLITAN HISTORICAL MANSIONS
Aegina is the second largest island of the Saronic Gulf and owes its name, according to Greek mythology, to the daughter of the God Asopos Aegina. Around Aegina is Agistri, Salamina, Methana, Troizina, Poros and Piraeus. Aegina, also known as the "island of pistachios", is very picturesque, with idyllic landscapes and many attractions. In ancient times, it participated in the naval battle of Salamis against the Persians and during the classical era, it was a city of the Achaean Confederation. In the port and its coastal zone, life is intense, with enough traffic, city features, but also with the traditional carriages that make guided tours of the island. The buildings in Aegina are samples of neoclassical architecture with a strong folk element, built in the 19th century, reminding that it was once the capital of Greece.
At the entrance of the port, the small white church of Agios Nikolas of Thalassinos welcomes the visitor. Near the port, on the left is the archeological site of "Kolona" as it is known from the only column, a remnant of the Temple of Apollo Delfini, Doric style, which dominated the hill. The hill of Kolona was the Acropolis and the religious center of the Ancient city. Under the hill of Kolona, even today, the traces of the piers of the famous "Crypto port" of the war port of ancient Aegina stand out. The Church of Agios Dionysios, Metropolis of Aegina, has in its courtyard the Einardio school, which was the Teachers' School in the last century.
The Tower of Markellos houses the Kapodistrian Spiritual Center of the Municipality of Aegina and the Center for Social Reflection "Spyros Alexiou''. On the outskirts of the city there are archaic tombs, of parchment era and the Byzantine Church of Agios Theodoros two kilometers west of the city. On Mitropoleos Street is the library of Aegina and the Kapodistrian Government, where the first Mint was located. On the same street are the houses of Zografos, Peppas, Lymperopoulos and Pyrgos Markellos. The beaches of Agia Marina, Panagitsa, Aeginitissa, Avra, Kolona, Souvala, Agios Vasilios, Marathon and Vagia are well known. Aegina pistachio is the best in the world and has a protected designation of origin (PDO).
Salamina is the largest island in the Saronic Gulf and is not far from the port of Piraeus. The greatest event in its history was the famous naval battle that took place in 480 BC, in which the ancient Greeks defeated the Persian fleet. It is the homeland of the Homeric king Aiada of Telamonius and the tragic poet Euripides. The poet Angelos Sikelianos stayed in Salamina in a small house until 1950, opposite the Monastery of Faneromeni. George Karaiskakis had his headquarters on the beach of Salamina and his patron was Agios Dimitrios. The most important archeological findings of the island are in the Archaeological Museum in the 1st Kapodistrian Primary School. In Peristeria is the Cave of Euripides, and the age-old stone lighthouse while in Kolones it is the most circular burial monument of the 4th century BC. which is said to have been the palace of Aiada.
The city has a Museum of Folk Art and History at the City Hall, and the library houses 3,500 volumes. In Paloukia, there is the Naval Museum with cannons and torpedoes which is a great sight. On the hill of Mylos, the two windmills, buildings of the 18th century, constitute the largest and most remarkable Byzantine monastery on the island, the Monastery of Faneromeni. In Ampelakia, is the acropolis of ancient Salamis, in Peristeria the cave of Euripides, and the green Aiantio, where there was an early Helladic settlement. The most famous beaches are Kanakia, Peristeria, Gyala, Selinia, Satirli and Panagia. Although a modern city, the island retains its traditional character, with its neoclassical buildings and picturesque corners, with a strong island character.
Aristocratic, charming, cosmopolitan, Hydra is considered the "lord" of the Saronic Gulf and is preserved. The aqueducts with the beautiful cobbled streets, the flower-decorated houses, the well-preserved stone mansions, built amphitheatrically under the bare rocks enchant the visitors. Donkeys and horses are, along with sea taxis, the only means of transport on the island, since cars are banned on the island. To the right and left of the port there are the bastions with the cannons, which protected the settlement of Hydra while above the left bastion, dominates since 1993 the emblematic statue of Admiral Andreas Miaoulis. The Historical Museum of Hydra displays important museum relics, archival material, a library with valuable publications and relics of the Balkan Wars.
West of the city is the four-storey Mansion of Tombazis, which was built by Manolis Tombazis and his wife and since 1936 belongs to the School of Fine Arts. In the church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Hydra is the seat of the Diocese of the islands of Hydra, Spetses, Poros, Aegina and Agistri, in the City Hall together with the Ecclesiastical Museum. The island is famous for its natural beauties, calm life, but also for the intense cosmopolitan life it offers to its visitors at night. The sunset from the Pavilion and from the Cave is unique. The "Melina Mercouri" Art and Concert Hall hosts exhibitions, speeches, concerts and cultural evenings, while the hall hosts works by famous artists all year round. In the eastern part of Hydra is the lighthouse Zourva which was built in 1883.
Outside the port, there is Spilia, a rocky beach with intense traffic, which is suitable for long dives from the rocks in very deep and crystal clear waters. Next to Hydroneta, located in perhaps the most beautiful part of the island, under the cannons, on the rocks, in the same area as Spilia. After Hydroneta is Avlaki, located between the old bridge of Agia Anna and the Mansion of Boudouris. After Avlaki, there is Kamini, a small, natural and picturesque fishing port full of fishing boats. Continuing you will find the beautiful seaside traditional settlement of Vlychos, with magnificent views and the wonderful sunsets, which is suitable for family tourism. Molos is also a closed and quite calm, rocky cove, with a large and beautiful pebble beach.
Picturesque and manorial, full of life, Poros is an attractive tourist destination and offers relaxation and enjoyable holidays to its guests. The beauty of the place was praised by leading writers, poets and artists such as Nobel Laureate George Seferis, Kosmas Politis, Kostis Palamas, Ioulia Dragoumi and the American writer Henry Miller. It is considered a very romantic place, while it is also ideal for families. It is a green island, with pines covering its small hills and beaches. The city is built on the small peninsula Sferia on the small hill overlooking the harbor. The god Poseidon was especially worshiped on the island called Kalavria during Greek antiquity.
The first naval base and shipyards of Greece were founded in Poros, as well as the first school of Naval Trials. The famous battleship Averoff was anchored in Poros for many years. The ruins of the temple of Poseidon from the 6th BC. century and the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi is one of the remarkable sights of the island. The Clock Tower is one of the most important landmarks of Poros since 1927. Bourtzi east of the port, is a small island with the castle that hides secrets of the 19th century, with the fort built in 1827 by a Bavarian to protect it port. The island can be visited even by swimming. With a 10 minute boat ride you can reach the lemon forest of Galata, a magnificent forest of lemon trees.
Three kilometers from Galatas, to Troizina, are the Royal Tombs of Magoula, the vaulted monuments from the Mycenaean years, and the archeological site of Troizina, home of Theseus. An impressive canyon, with dense vegetation of plane trees and oleanders is the Devil's Bridge. Impressive is the Port of Love, with the small romantic cove, the turquoise waters and the pines that reach the shore. Poros is famous for its water sports and diving center because its almost lake-like sea serves all its athletes in their activities. Psifta is a coastal location in Trizinia, which is a very interesting ecosystem and one of the most important wetlands in Greece.
Askeli is a large enough, beautiful beach with sand and tall trees to rest and is located a few kilometers from the port, then the coastal road after the Canal. Vagionia is located in the north of the island, it is a beach with sand and pebbles that is offered for a quiet vacation. Kanali is a beautiful organized sandy beach at the bottom of the bay of Askeli after the bridge that connects the Gym with the Settlement. Megalo Neoreio is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Poros with many pines on its beach, suitable for family tourism and relaxing holidays. The Russian Naval Station is a beautiful, picturesque bay, which ends in a pine-covered valley and opposite of it,there is the island of Daskalio with its special church. Mikro Neorio is a beautiful and sandy beach after the bridge of the canal, with the pines reaching the sea. The Monastery is an organized quiet beach, with crystal clear waters, next to a pine forest under the hill where the monastery is built.
Spetses is a historic island in the Saronic Gulf of naval tradition and secular lifestyle. Spetses during the Venetian occupation was called isola di spezzie, that is, the island of perfumes, from where they got their current name. The island of Spetses travels the visitor in time, where donkeys and carriages replace cars and concrete roads are turned into pebble sidewalks. The central port of Dapia, which during the revolution of 1821 was the meeting point of captains and lords today is a pole of attraction for most locals and tourists of the island. It is the island of Matrozos and Bouboulina, which rightfully holds the National prestige for its invaluable contribution during the Greek Revolution of 1821. The island retains its features that remain unchanged over time.
The mansions of the captains of the last century with their peculiar architecture, the picturesque post-Byzantine churches, the historical museums, the streets with the pebbles of Spetses, the famous carnagia and the picturesque carriages, are traditional features. "Poseidon" is located in the square of Bouboulina, where all the major events of the island take place with the best known representation of the Battle of Spetses in 1822, known as "Armata". The old spinning mill of "Daskalakis", today has been transformed into a beautiful residential complex of luxury tourism, harmoniously maintaining the tradition. A few meters later is the preserved traditional building of the City Hall of the island with a beautiful garden and Spetses pebbles.
The famous educational complex of the Anargyrio Korgialenio School, the largest in the Balkans, operated for over 50 years and promoted renowned scientists, politicians and artists (I. Xenakis, G. Rallis, etc.). At the highest peak of Spetses is the Prophet Elias, with panoramic views of the whole island. Above the port is Kastelli, the city of pre-revolutionary times, from the ruins of which only its churches survive. The "Old Port'' (Baltizas) passes through the traditional carnagia that are preserved to this day, passing from generation to generation the secrets of caulking the hulls. "Fanari", is where the church of "Panagia Armata" is located, a small church built to honor the Virgin Mary. In the area there is also the garden of the cannon station, a place of historical memory and the promenade park, which has been decorated with its bronze sculptures by the artist Natalia Mela.
The beach of Agia Marina, about 2 km from Dapia is one of the most organized and popular sandy beaches on the island. A small beach with sand and fine pebbles is located in the cove below Agios Nikolaos and is quieter than that of Agios Mammas. The beach of the town of Spetses of Agios Mamma is preferred mainly by locals and children, it is quite large with sand and pebbles and to its right it has been built for the convenience of bathed disabled people. After "Dapia", west of the port, is the beach of Kounoupitsa, a small beautiful beach of pebbles and sand with clear blue waters which, in addition to swimming, is ideal for walks between fishing boats. Apart from these, there are many beaches on the island. One of the most famous local products in Spetses is the famous macaroons and there are many workshops that make them.
Agistri is the smallest island of the Saronic Gulf, it is very close to Piraeus and only ten minutes from Aegina. It is the ideal place for holidays for anyone looking for rest and peace on a Greek island with crystal clear organized beaches and remote getaways. Various areas of Agistri are of archaeological interest such as Megaritissa, Aponisos and Kontari. Some archeological finds from the island are exhibited at the Cultural Center in Mylos. It is one of the few Greek islands that still retains their special identity. It has 4 villages, Megalochori (Mylos), Skala, Limenaria and the small settlement of Metochi. Mylos is the main village of the island, Skala is more of a tourist place with the largest beach on the island and Limenaria is a small traditional village. The main products of the island are the pine resin (for the preparation of the resin), the olive oil, the figs, the oregano and the fruits.