Aegina: Cycling and Picnicking Among the Olive Groves

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ACCESS

Shipping service from Piraeus to Aegina is regular, from 07:00 to 18:00, by dolphins or vessels of the companies Blue Star Ferries, Saronic Ferries, Aegean Flying Dolphins and A.N.E.S. The trip lasts from 40 minutes up to 1 hour and 15 minutes and the cost of a one-way ticket varies from 9 to 15.50 euros per person. If you don’t own a bicycle, you can rent one at Giakas rentals (Tel. (+30) 22975.003.27) at the port. The cost is 10 euros per day. 

ACCOMMODATION

Despite the plethora of accommodation, Aegina does not have to show remarkable modern accommodation proposals, as the aesthetics of past decades prevail. Our choice is the Aeginitikon Archontikon (Tel. (+30) 22970.249.68, from 60 euros, breakfast included), which has a strong character and is located in the alleys of Aegina, next to Markellos tower and the church of Aghios Nikolaos. It is a house that dates back in 1780, which took its neoclassical form in 1900 and was turned into a hotel in 1987. Admiral Koundouriotis, Saint Nektarios and Costas Varnalis, among others, have stayed in his 12 rooms. The old building needs renovation, however you will enjoy the beautiful inner courtyard, the loggia and the retro air of the suite with its painted ceilings and the old wooden furniture and floors. It is a good thing that it recently came under the management of the Togia brothers, who have already started a restoration and renovation study.   The new hotel Angelina Boutique Escape (Tel. (+30) 22970.617.67, from 85 euros, breakfast included) in Perdika and Vrahokipos apartments (Tel. (+30) 694.478.8808, from 80 euros) in Vathi are both interesting choices.

FOOD

Fresh fish – including Pearly razorfish, which in other parts of the world are thrown away but here are cooked in the pan, along with butter and tomato sauce to bring out their unique flavor – octopuses, squids and shellfish. These are the delicacies you will taste in upgraded recipes at Skotadis (46 Demokratias Avenue, tel. (+30) 22970.240.14), in Gialos. Velvet fish roe salad, anchovy fillets marinated in lemon juice, red mullet tartare and golden grouper carpaccio in a 77 years old ouzeri, which is well managed by Giorgos Lykouris and whose chef is Sotiris Lampadarios. One more reason to prefer this place is its consistency in sustainable fishing, since they serve only what is allowed to be fished each season.  The place we dream of all winter: a pier by the sea with a sunset view. You will find it at Aeginitissa restaurant (Tel. (+30) 22970.615.46), on the homonymous beach, and you will accompany the moment with linguini with shrimps and special seafood saganaki. Continuing our quest for nice places to eat fish, we propose Nontas restaurant in Perdika (Tel. (+30) 22790.612.33), for its excellent frying and its specialty, Tiganosoupa (fish soup). Try the fried small shrimps or some of its home-made pies. For meat we would suggest Petras mezedopoleio (47, Panagi Ipeiroti, Tel. (+30) 22970.224.28) where they serve oriental mezes but also exquisite vegetarian dishes prepared with love by Rania. In the village of Antitsaio it is worth visiting Steki Tou Kinigou (The Hunters’ Haunt) (Tel. (+30) 22970.312.10) or Petrino (Tel. (+30) 22970.312.32). In Portes, during this season, choose Sophia’s courtyard (Tel. (+30) 22970.313.87), who makes homemade stew, mezes and yeast bread. Vatzoulia (215 Aphaeas, Tel (+30) 22970.227.11), in Aegina, is not to be visited only for the food but primarily for its special scenery, which is reminiscent of a kafeneio (greek traditional café) and the courtyard with its Cycladic style.

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