The precious gem of the Saronic Gulf
Agistri is a small island so close to the bustling capital city of Greece, Athens, and yet a whole world apart when it comes to one's sensations when they are visiting the place. What defines this island is its lush pine forest which covers the whole extent of it, reaching out to the rocks by the sea and its crystal-clear blue water, making it an ideal place for one to relax and unwind, blissfully oblivious to the helter-skelter of a city lifestyle.
There are four villages on the island. Megalochori is the capital of the island while Scala is the village with all the main tourist attractions and facilities. Metochi is a small, picturesque village, and there is also the village of Limenaria on the other side of the island. Visitors will simply adore the golden sand of Scala beach, as well as its many beach bars, the pebble beach of Chalikiada, and the pebble beaches to be found in the several coves on the island coast. There is also the lovely beach of Dragonera, as well as the exceptional beauty of Aponissos beach on the other side of the island, which is not one to miss. Do not forget to take a dip in the amazing, deep sea of Marisa beach at Limenaria.
There are several local bus services to Scala, Megalochori, Dragonera beach and Aponissos beach. Visitors can also roam around the island taking a taxi, or a sea taxi if that is their thing! You can also opt to rent a bicycle or a motorbike. The islets of Metopi and Moni are nearby, both offering private swimming in wonderful blue water.
Hiking lovers can follow the many trails on the island, some reaching the highest peak of Mountain Kontari. There is also a multitude of other activities, including fishing, diving, kayaking and mountain biking.
Agistri visitors can easily travel to the island of Aegina on a daily basis, taking in among others the renowned archaeological site of Aphaea, featuring perhaps the best-preserved ancient temple after the Parthenon in the Athens Acropolis.
As Agistri is in the vicinity of the Attica coastline, and because of the easy access to the port of Piraeus on a daily basis, our guests can visit Athens and take in its main sites on a daytrip.
The many restaurants and tavernas on the island will cater to every visitor's palate.
Agistri, together with the island of Aegina and the surrounding islets, constituted the mythical kingdom of Aegina of King Aeakos. In antiquity, the island of Agistri bore the name of «Kekryfaleia», which means a crowned head. On the west coast, one can find relics of its ancient past submerged in water. Many of those ancient artifacts are on display in the Cultural Centre of Megalochori. Such findings attest to the theory that the island was originally inhabited by people from the Peloponnese in the 5th century BC. In its more recent history, the island was inhabited by migrants from the Peloponnese, mainly of Albanian extraction, in the 14th century AD. Thus, even to this day, some elderly ladies still wear skirts adorned with chevrons and yellow ribbons.
The Municipality of Agistri was established by a Royal Decree in 1835. According to the census back then, there were 248 inhabitants. This number remained more or less so until 1940, the permanent residents being mainly fishermen, seamen and resin harvesters, the latter being due to the rich pine forest on the island. From 1940 on, the island population increased steadily to reach over 1,000 permanent inhabitants today, a number raising to 6,000 in the summer, whose main occupation is tourism.
Up until 1960, the island was only connected to Aegina by fishing boats. It was in that year that Agistri established direct boat connections to the port city of Piraeus. The island was fully electrified in 1973. Agistri has had a ferry boat and Catamaran service to Piraeus since 1994. High-speed passenger Flying Dolphins service to Piraeus was inaugurated in 2006. In 2011 Agistri was formally proclaimed a Greek Municipality. Its development in terms of tourism has been significant, with major improvements in infrastructure. However, the island has most certainly retained its unique natural beauty.