Agistri – Just bring the essentials
Agistri, literally fishing hook in Greek, is a green gem of an island in the heart of the Saronic Gulf.
Located in between the island of Aegina and the ancient town of Epidaurus on the Peloponnesian mainland, Agistri is a destination that takes visitors back to simpler times.
The time when taking a holiday meant sea and sun-filled days, starry nights and good company. With its evergreen, pine-studded landscape, Agistri is the place for simple, yet fun memories. And its proximity to Athens makes it an ideal choice for a long weekend or a day-long excursion.
No need to bring the car. On Agistri, getting around on foot or bicycle is the preferred method of exploration. And there is a lot to discover. Three small settlements nestled among the pine trees, a variety of popular beaches, remnants of a centuries-old history, but some hidden surprises, too, such as the charming Aponissos islet just across a narrow stretch of water.
This place is ready to be explored. Remember, you need only pack the essentials!
The island of Agistri has a look of its own and is a perfect spot for those seeking a deserted, sandy beach and a quiet, relaxing atmosphere.
In the Saronic Gulf, just off the Grecian coast, lies the island oasis of Agistri. Explore exotic beaches with crystal-clear waters, like Dragonera, Aponisos and Mareza. Tour traditional settlements, like Limenaria. Or relax for a spell at one of the island’s scenic ouzo bars, which serve fresh fish right on the water. Here the pines stretch all the way to the sea and the breeze envelops you with aromas of the island’s fresh thyme and oregano plants. A year-round favourite for those who love cycling and hiking, the 14 square-kilometre island is the ideal destination for your next holiday or even a weekend getaway. It is a mere two-hour ferry ride from the port of Piraeus and only 55 minutes by Flying Dolphin.
The island’s bustling port, Skala, has many hotels, taverns, cafés and clubs, as well as an organised beach, perfect for relaxing under the hot Mediterranean sun. Nearby, the blue dome of the church of Agioi Anargyroi accents the beauty of the sea and sky. Not far from the city, you’ll find the traditional settlements of Skliri and Metochi, which offer incredible views of the island and its surroundings.
The island’s capital Megalochori, or Mylos, is filled with dazzling white houses, flowery backyards and scenic alleyways that converge at the church of Zoodochos Pigi. Nearby, you’ll find the island’s most scenic settlement: Limenaria, home to hundreds of traditional stone houses, the lovely church of Agia Kyriaki, an old café-tavern and bakeries that fill the air with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
Enjoy the sun and the exotic waters of Agistri, the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Agistri boasts some truly exotic beaches, with turquoise blue waters and pine trees that stretch all the way to the sea.
Agistri At a glance
The history of the island dates back centuries, when Agistri together with Aegina and the nearby islands established the Kingdom of Aegina, ruled by the mythical King Aiakos. The island has been inhabited since the 5th century BC by Peloponnese residents. According to Homer, it was the haven of the brave Myrmidons and also fought in the War of Troy. Known as Pityonisos, or the Pine Island, Agistri was also the summer residence of Aiakos.
According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphaia hid in the local sea caves to escape from the Aeginian fishermen. The goddess Artemis, who wanted to help Aphaia, gave her flowers to decorate her head, so she wouldn’t be recognised. This is how the island got the nickname Kekryfaleia, which means ‘beautifully decorated head’.
At the end of the 17th century, Agistri was inhabited by Arvanites who settled on the shores of the island’s lake. After devastating pirate raids, the settlers deserted the area, moving further to the south and founding the village of Limenaria.
During the Greek War of Independence, Agistri fought fiercely for freedom. But the island’s true independence did not arrive until 1835, when it was declared by Royal Decree a Community with 248 official permanent residents.
Sightseeing and activities
- The Folklore Museum, which is housed in the Cultural Centre of Agistri in the village of Megalochori
- The Byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos on the way to Aponisos
- Limenaria, a gorgeous traditional settlement
- The village of Megalochori
- The settlements of Metochi and Skliri
- The island’s idyllic lake
- A tour around the island in a traditional wooden boat
- The sunset in Aponisos
- A day cruise to Aegina (a 10-minute boat ride)
- A cruise to the nearby islets of Metopi, Moni, Kyra, Spalathronisi and Dorousa
- A ride on the tourist train around the island’s beaches
- A visit to the island’s churches: the Zoodochos Pigi Cathedral in Megalochori, Agioi Anargyroi in Skala, Agia Kyriaki in Limenaria, Panagia in Metochi, and Agioi Pantes and Agioi Theodoroi outside of Megalochori
In Skala, Megalochori, Aponisos and Limenaria you will find numerous taverns and restaurants with freshly prepared local delicacies, and seafood caught daily. Try the grilled octopus paired with local wine, or tsipouro, produced in traditional copper pot stills from a number of grape varieties. Local recipes include Mousounta (a kind of herb pie), Laklori (courgette pie), as well as doughnuts and pancakes. Local products include green olives, capers, pine honey and various herbs.
Feel right at home
You will find plenty of accommodation in Skala, Megalochori and Skliri offering high-quality services and affordable prices.
Find more information about hotels and rooms for rent at www.agistri.com.gr
Sports and activities
The island of Agistri is ideal for water sports, like windsurfing, waterskiing and fishing. Its rocky seabed is perfect for snorkelling and diving. The nearby islets of Metopi, Dorousa, Kyra and Spalathronisi have exceptional beaches and can be accessed by sailing boat or yacht.
Agistri is a paradise for those who love hiking and cycling. In the afternoons, you can go horseriding at the Equestrian Centre in Megalochori.