Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 17 miles (27 km) from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of Aeacus, who was born in and ruled the island. During ancient times, Aegina was a rival to Athens, the great sea power of the era. Aegina is roughly triangular in shape, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) from east to west and 10 km (6.2 mi) from north to south, with an area of about 87 km2 (34 sq mi).
An extinct volcano constitutes two thirds of Aegina. The northern and western side consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today (2000s) is pistachio. Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. Its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros (531 m) in the south, and the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side.
The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction. Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina; the regular ferry takes about an hour. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast.
Eventhough the island small, it boasts a great number of sights and natural beauties, highlight of which is the famous Aphea Temple. It forms in fact an equilateral triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the so-called “holy triangle” of the antiquity. Aegina town, the capital of the island, stands out for its well-preserved buildings. On the outskirts you can find charming little villages with distinctive traditional character, such as Kypseli, Agii and Vagia as well as organized tourist resorts like Agia Marina, Perdika, and Souvala. Aègina is also surrounded by many smaller islands (Moni, Metopi, Diaportia, Lagouses, Kyra, Dorousa, Spalathonisi, Anonyma) that can be reached by boat from the port of Aegina.

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