The island took its name after the Nymph Aegina, daughter of Assopos. The first villages of the island are dated since the Neolithic Age. It was member of the Amphiktion of Kalavria. After the 6th century a.C. achieved great commercial and naval accomplishments, set up colonies and had its own currency. In 456 a.C. it was conquered by the Athenians and afterwards by Spartans, Thebans. Macedonians, Romans. During the Byzantine period it was set up Paleohora that was destroyed in 1537 by Barbarossa. Aegina took part in the Greek Revolution and the first government of the Greek state has had its headquarters there.
Aegina famous for its pistachio-nut trees and the well-known pottery is extended in an area of 84 sq.km. and in a distance of 17 n.m. (1 hour 30’) from Piraeus. Capital of the island is the city of Aegina, with the particularly fascinating buildings in neo-classical style, the picturesque narrow streets ideal for walking and the church of St.Nicolas in the dock.
Historical monuments are Kolona, a column from the temple of Apollo of the classical age situated in the harbour, Kapodistrias’ Government Office with a remarkable library, as well the Orphanage built by him. Also St.Dionyssios where the first Government took the oath declaration, the houses of Harilaos and Spyridonas Trikoupis, the house of Kanaris and Kountouriotis, the house where Nikos Kazantzakis stayed, the Museum of the sculptor Chr.Kapralos.
In the Archeological Museum you will see exhibits from the temple of Afea and of Apollo and the well-known statue of Sphinx
(6th century a.C).
In Paleohora, 6 km. from the capital of the island, is situated the women’s monastery of St.Nektarios. It was called so in honour of its founder who died in 1920. The Saint’s relics are found in the first chapel. Under the picturesque monastery there locates the magnificent church of St.Nektarios considered as the biggest church in Balkan.
In the hill facing the monastery of St.Nektarios there are the ruins of the middle-aged town of Aegina. Today they are saved about 32 small churches of the 13th and 17th century, with beautiful wall paintings still preserved.
In Paleohora it is worthwhile to visit the monastery of Chryssoleontissa.
In the picturesque village Perdika known for the fresh fish, in the southwest end of the island, there are the most fantastic and clean beaches you can enjoy as well as many taverns serving fresh fish.
Facing Perdika there is the islet Moni full of trees which you can reach by boat.
St.Marina, touristic resort in a distance of 13 km.east of the city of Aegina is considered the centre where young people, friends of the island pass their vacation.
Following the road leading from Aegina to St. Marina there is Paleohora with the women’s monastey of St.Nektarios, celebrated in the island.
In a short distance before reaching St.Marina, there is the village Messagros where you will have the opportunity to admire the most remarkable sightseeing of the island, the temple of Afaia, in doric rythm, built in 490 a.C. of local limestone. Today they are saved 24 from the 34 initial kolumns.
In Souvala, beautiful touristic place 10 km. northeast of Aegina there are curative baths. Souvala is connected with Piraeus by ferryboat.