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Aghia Marina in Crete

The village and resort of Aghia Marina is the biggest tourism destination on Aegina in summer. It is ideal for families and couples, being located close to a gorgeous beach and with excellent facilities such as hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and more. In August the village is filled with Greek and foreign tourists and many people from Athens own summer houses here.

The village was once a suburb of Mesagros and is named after the small church at its southern end. This is typical of the region and the church has her nameday festival on 17 July with festivities around the church building and on the beach - well worth a visit for tourists. Aghia Marina is well linked to other popular visitor destinations, being just half an hour by bus from Aegina Town and also linked via a boat connection during the summer months between its port and Piraeus. It is well worth exploring as a base to the wider region and visiting the areas around by car, bike or bus.

Beaches

Aghia Marina boasts its own sandy spacious beach, ideal for those who prefer shallower waters to swim in and for children. For those who would sooner have the more adventurous deep waters and rocky coast, the north of the port is ideal - headed in the direction of Kavos. The beaches are well served with restaurants, cafes and other facilities alongside and there are opportunities for water sports and other activities nearby. The village's own beach is ideal for families and children and the area is safe and clean, they can explore freely whilst their parents relax!

Things To Do And See

There are many shops for buying souvenirs and gifts, with pottery and local arts being most popular. The village offers many bars, restaurants, cafes and taverns which are mainly found along the main street. For those who wish to venture a little way out of the village, the small nearby village of Alones also has some tavernas which are noted for their excellent Greek food. Fish is a particular speciality around here and all of it is wonderfully fresh. Try too the excellent meze, bursting full of flavours and the freshest local ingredients and some of the local wines and spirits.

Aphaia Temple is a popular tourist destination for day trips and located around 3km away. It's built in local lime stone and still worth a visit, despite its artifacts being removed in 1811 by German and English aristocrats who sold them to the German King Ludwig and they are still on display in Munich. The temple is the only surviving Hellenic temple and was built in the 9th century BC. This site is also worth visiting for the incredible views of the Aegean.

Other places worth visiting are the main part of town, which has a lovely harbour, Agios Church and the Triada Monastery and the Temple of Afea which is the most gorgeous of the relics on Aegina Island. It is set in a forest, with gorgeous monuments and incredible views out towards the sea and is a very important archaeological site.

If you enjoy walking there is also Kolona Hill, five minutes walk from the port of Aegina, which offers many foundations, excavations and walls to explore - with a museum too for visitors.

Nightlife

As with many village resorts in the region, the nightlife is busy and popular, but it is not of the disco and nightclub variety found in larger and more commercial resorts, although there are the odd spots for enjoying a late night dance! Tavernas are a popular option for evening entertainment, with long drawn out sociable meals that tend to start later in the evening and are accompanied by music or rounds of drinks. There are also bars to enjoy and cafes which stay open until late and have friendly local people in who will enjoy telling their history of the area.

Accommodation

There are hotels, B&Bs and self catering options available for visitors, most of which are open from Easter until September, the main tourist season. A few of them are open year round, along with some of the taverns and shops. It is wise to book ahead if coming to Aghia Marina, as there will not be the raft of late minute deals that are found in large resorts.

Getting There

The closest airport is Athens - about 25km away. There are transfers by coach or bus or you can hire a car. A hire car can be useful for getting around when you arrive, but there are also bike hires for those who feel more active!