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Aegina

A world away from the stress and chaos of the city

At a glance

The Saronic island is so close to Athens that some dismiss it as just another suburb. Certainly, at just 40 minutes from Piraeus by Flying Dolphin, it’s easier to get to and from than many a gridlocked mainland neighbourhood (and what a commute, across the sparkling Saronic each morning), but it’s a world away from the stress and chaos of the city.

Set among its rolling hills are the ruins of Paleohora with its dozens of tumble-down chapels, and the sublime temple of Aphaia, one of the best-preserved in Greece, cresting the pines in perfect symmetry to Athens’ Parthenon and Sounion’s Temple of Poseidon.

On the lowlands, you can feast your eyes on groves of dusty-pink pistachios and savour fresh seafood as you perch over the small harbour at Perdika; speed across to the isle of Moni with its flocks of wild goats; take a plunge in the pine-fringed bay of Agia Marina, or lie in the balmy shallows along the coast from Aegina Town, watching the horse-drawn carriages clop by and deciding which of the sweet treats you’ll order with your post-swim coffee on the harbour-front.

If you’re on a tight schedule, it’s an ideal location for a day-trip, or rent one of the seafront villas with their unmatched vistas across the dusky curves of the Peloponnese and take a week to relax into the island’s easy pace of life.

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