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AIGINA

Aigina was the first capital of Greece after the Turkish dominion. It is a lordly, self ruling island, with big throng all the year because of its' short distance from Piraeus port and it captures the visitor from the first moment. It is offered for lasting holidays also for restful weekends. Its' capital city is Aigina and it counts 9.95o citizens. It has a long tradition in pottery and ceramics as its' ground is appropriate for materializing the manufacture of earthen vessels. Even today in great request are the Aiginas' urns and its' jars. Prime are the local products such as olives, grapes, figs, wine and there's no body ignoring the famous pistachios.

Impressive are its' palaces, azure cupolas, horsecars, narrow alley-ways, little shops and warm nightlife. It blends the in-city lark with the peaceful vacation at picturesque traditional vills. Fishing at rocky coasts, sandy beaches, visions of sea, gulls and a unique sunset fulfill the visitor. Aigina represents an ideal resort for rest, and authentic discoveries as it excites with its' quiet nature, the idyllic landscapes with the vineyards and the plantations, the ancient temples, the ruined settlements and the heady tastes.

Numerous and significant are the sights in the city. At your welcome to the port you will see the snow-white tabernacle of St. Nicolas, while nearby stands one of the islands eldest medieval constructions, Markelos Tower, where its' first coins where minted and today it is used as an exhibit center. Kolona by the port consists in the ruins of the ancient Dorian Apollo' temple. Then we find the Archaeological-Folklor Museum. It places sculptures and anaglyphs of the Afaia Athina temple, Hercules' statue from Apollo' Temple and the world-famous marmoreal Sphinx of the 6th century B.C. and contemporaneously at the museum are organized interesting essays considering the traditions Aigina, picture exhibitions, speeches and seminars. At the Plakakia area is the Kapralos Painting and Sculpure Museum where the visitor discovers the massive pieces of the fine artist Christos Kapralos.

The tourist is also worth visiting one of the most beautiful churches of the island, the Cathedral of Agios Dionysios, built on 1806, Kapodistrias' Government house with the 7000 tome library, the Orphanage, the house guesting Nikos Kazantzakis at Plakakia with ooks, photographs and personal items of the writer.At the long beach you will see the beautiful Spiridon and Charilaos Trikoupis (politicians), admirals' Kanaris, Kountouriotis and Varvakis houses surveying the Saronik bay.

Shortly after Agia Marina, at a coastal touristic hamlet, the visitor has the chance to marvel the famous Afaia Athinas' Temple, standing at very good condition as today still saved are 24 from its' 34 pillars. It was constructed on the 6th century B.C. in the Dorian order with local limestone. It is said that this Temple jackknifes Poseidon's Temple at Sounio and Acropolis. At the westward of the Temple is situated a small museum with scarce codex.

On the road to Afaia Athina's Temple lies Paliochora, a ruined city over the hill. It was the capital of the city from the ninth to the 11th century. Here the visitor will find the remains of the moyen-age castle at the top of the hill, Panagia Chrisoleontissas' monastery and the Agios Nectarios convent, one of the major chapels for the Orthodoxies in the whole Mediterranean. There spent his last years the Saint. In his church underlies the Saints tomb and his relics are saved at a special room filled with oblations by the religionists.

A bypass to the coastal road to Vagia leads to Agious, a village drowned by the pines, famous for its' potters and Apostle Krispos' -student of Saul- Temple. At the road to Souvala there is Kipseli that consistutes a city suburb. Showplaces are the church of St. Nikolas at Molos and the church of Agioi Theodoroi, with interesting murals. A Shortly southward, at the Asomatoi village you can admire the Red Castle that was the residence of the English historian Finley.A beautiful village with tradition in ceramics and an admirable view to the pine-clad hill where the Afaia Athinas' Temple is built is Mesagros that feutures "Rodakis house" of the folk artist and sculptor, an interesting building and a fine piece of the genuine folk architecture of 1880.

Grand are also the remains of the Ellanios Dias Temple standing at the highest of the island. It was built during the 11th and the 12th century B.C. and is the senior in Aigina.

This island disposes wonderful beaches that call the visitor to discover blending the cosmopolitan coasts with the solitary sands covering all demands. One of thw most well-known is the pine-clad sand beach of Agia Marina with its' organized beach. Hotels, taverns, cafeterias and shop complete the scene. The aquamarine shallow waters are appropriate for all ages.

Crowds are also outpulled by the Perdika beach, a piscatorial community, recently progressing to a holiday center with many hotels. The coastal road from Aigina to Perdika is full with cafeterias and sandy beaches under the eucalyptus umbrage. Ideal for swimming is Faros Beach and Marathonas. At the picturesque beach of Faros the Water Park is operating, a paradise for the water sports votaries. After the park the visitor can delectate good coffee or drink, listening to music and having a bird's eye view to one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Map of Aigina

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