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Aegina

Anybody visited Aegina please, we have decidedto stay for 3 weeks on island, with visits to Piraeus for visiting other islands.

As posted before, we are Pensioners who like walking/visiting harbours/tavernas/promenades.

Love Greek food and people, all suggestions on hotels/places- not budget and not mega , please, to visit😇 and hotels in Paris or Milan and train arrangements from Paris-seats/ bar/etc.

Is it better to book direct, once we have chosen a hotel

Cheers guys, have a great weekend

Posted by
996 posts

Aegina is a very nice island. It has everything one would want in a Greek Island and is very close to the mainland making it easy to get to.

However, 3 weeks may be a bit too much for the island unless you just want to kick back and enjoy what the island offers.

It may be better if you combine Aegina with another island. However, the only island that is easy to get to from Aegina is Agistri which is right "next door". It's known for it's family atmosphere and beaches.

You could ferry from Aegina to Poros (not an island) and enjoy a lovely working class town on the water. There are ferrys from Poros to Hydra if you want another island experience.

Otherwise to get to other islands from Aegina you would have to backtrack to Piraeus. Not a big deal but every time you backtrack you lose time.

It's always best to book directly with an accommodation rather than a third party. You may get a better deal and more personal service.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you for reply and considered opinion😇 my wife would like to limit to two locations- travelling/packing. Argonauts maybe 1/2 weeks and other location 1/2 weeks. Suggestions again for secon location😇😇 given criteria- walking/fishing villages/ promenade/ shops/ interesting streets🤔🤗🤗

Posted by
2963 posts

I enjoyed a 3-day stay in Aegina, it's very handy for people who want a close-by island to combine with AThens... but I am puzzled by a decision to stay there for 3 Weeks. Have you already visited 15-20 other islands, and just want a nearby place? Where are you from? What time of year trip? (in high season, it can be packed with Athenians).

AHA. I just clicked on your name, and found your other posting in which you gave more details ... TIp for Future -- even tho you say "as posted before" please do repeat key facts. Now I know --- you're British retirees, looking far ahead, to May 2020 (great time of year BTW), and apparently you like to unpack once, & stay put. Hmmm. I have UK friends like this, who use Greece somewhat as N. Americans use Florida ... a getaway to nicer weather, stay in one place, some day excursions... not particularly intent on ancient sites or famous landmarks that "New World" people come looking for. Can always come back next year, at moderate cost, a compared to "once in lifetime" trips for many USA tourists.

We're all envious of your 3-week stay, and (as u know) May has many plusses; rain is gone, but greeenery abounds, temperatures mild, everything's open/nothing is crowded, the Greeks are refreshed, happy about weather, busy with summer prep, but plenty of time to socialise. Good choice! However I agree with others that it's island-Hopping.. not Island-Basing. Why? A few reasons -

• Day trips can mean at least half the day on ferries, with perhaps 4-5 hours max on an island ... which means you'd be limited to walking the harbor, maybe taking a quick bus trip
• Most feasible trips from Pireaus are on costly "fast ferries" --once 2x cost of slower conventional open-deck ferries but now I hear are waaay more €€€now. So the round-trip ferry for 2 would cost a lot more than a night in modest lodgings.
• Fast-ferries don't have open-decks, you're pent inside, no walk-around room, limited views.... hours of boredom!

Have you considered perhaps FOUR easy-too-reach islands, where u could spend 5 days on each, going from 1 to next in ferry trips of just 1-2 hours instead of lengthy backtracking? I have had wonderful experiences this way... and on a shoestring budget. Since you're prudently planning so far ahead, I could recommend wonderful very moderate small hotels/guesthouses I've loved in May & early June, in wonderful islands like Sifnos, Serifos, Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Folegandros, Milos ... and this is just the Cyclades group. Each of them has a port or village(s) fascinating to stroll & explore.. many have good bus networks foro further exploring. If you haven't a guide book, this link https://www.greektravel.com/greekislands/ can give you a great overview... and if you want more, a click on each island will give you a dedicated illustrated webpage on each. We look forward to you coming back with some preferences, and we can get started helping you witih this dream trip!

PS: It sounds as if you mean to start by going to France ... if you want travel and hotel advice for that, you'd do better as others hve suggested ... and a train journey to Greece is not feasible, barely possible. IF u must start with Paris, then fly from there to Athens and take a bus immediately to Pireaus.

Posted by
15 posts

What a wonderful, thoughtful, and comprehensive reply😇you are indeed a lovely lady and have got us down to a ‘T’

I am sending out lures, and getting good bites🤗 we shall definitely go the two+base route, but 4 is too interruptive with packing, upheaval etc.We’re 72 and 66 respectively and want to use this as a relaxation catch-up, have had close young family bereavements and illnesses, so prioritising life at moment.

Any ideas for 2/2 weeks-from personal experience- very grateful for info.

Have a great weekend with those close to you💃🍺🥃🥂🍷🧉

Kindest regards🥰😘

Posted by
1891 posts

Aegina is lovely and unlike many other islands also has some sights, first and foremost of course the temple of Aphaia, where you can study classical doric temple architecture much more relaxed than on the Acropolis in Athens. Its big disadvantage is that on weekends it is flooded with day trippers from Athens and the situation in the two main places, Aegina town and Aya Marina, can get hectic.

A good alternative might be Syros, which (unlike Mykonos not far away) has relatively little tourism (exept in July / August), which is large enough to have everything you may need reliably available, which has good boat connections to Piraeus and other Cyclades islands, and, very important for elderly people like us, has an airport so you can be in Athens quickly if needed.

Posted by
15 posts

Sla09 cheers for info😇🥰 much appreciated for your kindness and consideration

Posted by
3151 posts

I will give a very positive vote for Aegina as a place to relax and soak in the charm of a Greek Island. My only caveat is that I was there in late September, as tourist season was coming to a close. I haven't been there in May. And it was many, many years ago.

We stayed 5 or 6 days, for which our plan was to do as little as possible other than to walk, visit harbours and relax over long, slow meals at charming Greek restaurants. Aegina was perfect for that. We did take the ferry once or twice to visit Athens.

We rented a self-catering apartment (too many years ago to recommend) from which we could walk to restaurants and the most lovely little, protected cove with a sandy beach. At that time of year, we nearly had it to ourselves. I floated in the crystal blue water and impressed the perfect moment in my mind.

When someone says "think of your happy place," I go back to that secluded cove on Aegina, even after all these years.

Posted by
2963 posts

Glad for this better picture of priorities, pleased that you've found a compromise (2 isles/2 weeks) and repeat that you've chosen exactly the right month. To fine-tune further, I vote for the last 2 weeks in May... you don't mention swims, but water temps are better, more things are going on, yet room rates are still "shoulder season." For interesting (but not exhausting) town & village discoveries, I nominate NAXOS and SIFNOS -- my #1 and #2 favorites in the Cyclades. Each can be a rewarding week's experience.

NAXOS - Biggest isle in Cyclades, the most attractive/interesting port town, wonderful beaches, awesome inland landscapes, hillside villages, fertile farms/orchards/vineyards for outstanding fresh foods & dining. strong local culture, crafts. So far, has mostly escaped "package holiday" blight, no cruise-ship crowds or jumbo-jet throngs -- so go now, while it lasts! In May, Naxos "vets" recommend staying on St. George (Ag Giorgios) beach directly adjacent to the port town, advantages of a beach stay, view of water from your balcony, yet just a 10-15 minute stroll along the shoreline to Naxos Town's curving promenade of shops & tavernas. Down the coast are miles of other linked golden sand beaches.. inland are hillside villages, dramatic mountains of marble, hidden-away ruins... and there's an excellent bus network to take you almost everywhere. Fellow Naxophile and ace photog & RS contributor "stanbr" has doxens of albums of Naxos highlights:
Trip around Naxos - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157634605629689/
Naxos Town - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094558042/
Naxos Sunsets - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157700728046481

SIFNOS - Another isle with diversity landscape, and a network of PAVED trail paths unequalled in the Cyclades (until after WW II, there were almost no roads on Sifnos). Stay on a beautiful beach, or in enchanting hiillside villages - another good bus network lets you get around without car rental. I don't have pix by Stanbr to dazzle you, but a a wonderful start is this superb website - http://sifnos.e-sifnos.com/index.htm Visitors to Sifnos come with an appetite, and there's lots to love - this island 100 years ago produced the leading chefs of Greece and there are distinctive and delicious Sifnian dishes. At that time Sifnos was the national leader in producing household pottery, and in recent years that skill has been revived, with places to see artisans at work. One of the big attractions for me in this island is the beauty of the classic "white cube" architecture ---- in the villages, you see homes strung along hiilltops like gleaming necklaces. In May, I tend to stay up on the hillsides, and bus to the beaches, but one can easily do the opposite. Here's are a couple of quick videos to get your heart started - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4XTKdK6OI4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF7xtYZYH2o

Both these isles have modest-rate lodgings just right for your kind of stay -- balconies with great views, plus kitchenettes so you can fix breakfast & make picnic lunches if you wish... if you choose these 2 I can provide a list of places you'll love. Which one to visit first? I'd say Naxos, just because it gets an earlier start, having a large permanent population. Also, NAxos has an airport, in case you want to fly from Athens. Before your trip, you can find the days when there's the best NAxos-Sifnos ferry connection ... and there are several daily Sifnos-Pireaus ferry connections.

I know there are going to be a lot of island nominees for your trip, but I'm prepared to advocate for these based on major experience - SInce '99 I've made 13 trips all the way from USA ... I've visited more than 25 islands, in almost all the island groups and have stayed on Naxos 14 times... and on Sifnos 5x. Not a random choice, and I hope you'll investigate these.

Posted by
15 posts

Janet, what a player you are, 25 trips😇😇😇 I am so very grateful, and would ask if any of you guys have experienced Ionian islands please, all recommendations welcome, as I am trying to give Management-wife-a wide as possible options list.

You guys are the tops, so informative and very nice with it🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

Posted by
2963 posts

YOU over-estimate me .... I said I'd visited 25+ islands... b ut that was during 13 trips ... my shortest trip was about 17 days, many were 23-24 days, and 2 were for about a month. Note: I am not a wealthy globe-trotter... it's just that I haen't gone much of anywhere else in past 20 years.

Posted by
2963 posts

PS -- You may not get as much info here on the Ionian islands, more on Trip ADvisor, where a lot of the Ionian=philes are in the "Brits Abroad" category = people whose priorities are holidays in nice weather surrounded by their countrymen ... Historically the Ionians have developed a sizable UK fan club, since Britain effectively controlled those islands from 1820s - WW II. I've read that the capital of Corfu particularly shows British roots... some member of royal family had a palace there.