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marina in Athens - Aegina - Poros - Hydra - Spetses - Ermioni - marina in Athens


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The Saronic Gulf stretches out before us in all its clean, calm, friendly glory. The island of Aegina straight ahead; at once cosmopolitan and traditional. Three harbors, three stops. Agia Marina on the eastern shore of the island, its pine forest tumbling down to its crystal-clear waters. Souvala, with its dozens of restaurants and cafes, famed for its hot springs. And Perdika, with its clean beaches and narrow alleyways bursting with colorful bougainvilleas. We head east towards the Temple of Aphaia, dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Dating to 500-490 B.C., it was constructed over the remains of an earlier temple that was destroyed by fire. An architectural jewel of the ancient era, it is thought that the temple served as inspiration for the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates in the subsequent construction of the Parthenon. We leave yet another wonder of ancient Greece behind us, and continue our exploration of the island. We recommend a visit to the Hellenic Wildlife Hospital in the area of Pahia Rahi. Hundreds of injured wild animals, the majority being birds, are nursed back to health at the hands of dozens of volunteers from around the world, who come here to treat and rehabilitate these wild animals before they can be reintegrated into their natural habitat. Enchanted by the simple, natural beauty of Aegina, before departing don’t forget to take some of the island’s celebrated pistachios with you. Famed for their delicious flavor, their inimitable taste and aroma keep them at the top of the list of the world’s best pistachio nuts.


With the Peloponnese to our right, we arrive in Poros, its clock tower proudly standing out from among the pine trees and prickly pears in the distance; an island with welcoming beaches and a sweet scent in the air emanating from the hundreds of flower and tree species that lend a unique hue to the waters that surround it. We invite you to take a plunge in this crystal clear water, with the help of experts from the water ski school “Passage”. Under the guidance of Marianna, European Water Ski Men’s Slalom 2013 Champion Sotiris and his three partners, Bob, Vangelis and Dimitris are all exceptional professionals and diehard fans of the sea, and offer state of the art equipment and top-notch facilities. The school provides ideal conditions for an unforgettable sporting experience in one of the Mediterranean Sea’s most gorgeous corners. With sweetly gratifying fatigue as our companion, we next lose ourselves in the Lemon Forest with its refreshing waterfalls and watermills. 3,000 lemon and orange trees seduce visitors with their heady scent, beckoning them to stroll among them. Ravenous, we head towards “Dimitris” and his renowned meats, grab a table on the balcony and witness a stunning sunset from up high before our full attention turns to the delicacies being placed before us: a rich variety of appetizers, fresh salads and immense portion sizes of well-cooked meat accompanied by fresh hand-cut fried potatoes served on a wooden platter. For fish-lovers, we head over to “Oasis”, with its fresh octopus and fish grilled on glowing embers in front of diners, starters that all vie for the title of tastiest appetizer and traditional tsipouro seducing us to try even more.


Our appetites satiated, we surrender to the evening’s soothing aura, thoughts on our next stop, Hydra. The Argo-Saronic Gulf’s most cosmopolitan island, with its rich history, the 1821 Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Turks reverberating still in its cobblestoned alleyways, awaits us, untouched by the passage of time and as impressive as ever. The historically-listed main town, also called Hydra, is a car and motorized vehicle-free zone with donkeys servicing those who are so inclined. Its winding alleys and stone mansions wait for us to uncover their hidden gems.

We’ll take Route 1 that leads to Mount Eros, the highest point on the island at an altitude of 588 meters, gazing out over the Myrtoan Sea. We walk through the village of Hydra and arrive at the Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah), the only male monastery functioning on the island and an active participant in the 1821 Greek struggle for independence. With the echoes of a not-so-distant history in our ears, we walk over to “Hydroneta” in the late afternoon to enjoy yet another magical cocktail-accompanied sunset.

Spetses - Ermioni

The next day we’re off to the “Island of Bouboulina”, the distinguished female captain who became a symbol of the Greek battle against the Ottoman Turks. Proud Spetses boasts dozens of ships’ captains who participated decisively in the 1821 fight for freedom. With gorgeous, sheltered beaches and a verdant landscape throughout, magnificent mansions and grand constructions of Venetian architectural influence, Spetses is a source of delight for thousands of visitors every year who enjoy its splendors on foot, by horse-drawn carriage or by bicycle.

And just before our return, Ermioni: a seaside town whose atmosphere is so reminiscent of an island, you forget that you are back on the mainland. Popular for its beautiful, clean waters and bustling nightlife, it is ideal for dips and dining on fish and seafood. Hinitsa Bay becomes our very own entertainment “retreat”, its fish tavern serving up delicious seafood appetizers accompanied by ouzo, the ubiquitous Greek summertime drink.

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