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article imagePhoto Essay: The profound beauty of Aegina Special

By Kyle Smith     Jun 26, 2013 in Travel
Athens - Aegina is the closest island to Athens and one of immense beauty. The island boasts a grand monastery, an epic temple, a quaint wharf and a multitude of friendly locals. The perfect experience of a Greek Island, without the hassling crowds.
June is upon us, and what better time to go Greek Island hopping!? Here's a traveller's guide to the beautiful Aegina.
Situated South off the mainland port of Piraeus, Aegina is the closest substantial island to Athens. The island itself comprises of mountainous terrain, a temple, a monastery, many fantastic tavernas and cafes, and of course the unique and vibrant Greek atmosphere. No holiday to Greece is complete without a trip to the islands. So, scroll through and see what Aegina is all about. Enjoy!
Eagerly awaiting the train at Omonia station to Piraeus port station.
Eagerly awaiting the train at Omonia station to Piraeus port station.
Inside the hustle and bustle of Piraeus train station. The closest stop for public transport to Pira...
Inside the hustle and bustle of Piraeus train station. The closest stop for public transport to Piraeus port.
The ferry awaits to set-sail to the Greek Island of Aegina!
The ferry awaits to set-sail to the Greek Island of Aegina!
Departing the Athens port of Piraeus.
Departing the Athens port of Piraeus.
Leaving the industrial mainland. Not all of mainland Greece is white-wash villas and grand churches!
Leaving the industrial mainland. Not all of mainland Greece is white-wash villas and grand churches!
The Aegean Sea ferry crossing takes 45 minutes.
The Aegean Sea ferry crossing takes 45 minutes.
The main port of Aegina: a welcoming sight after a 45 minute ferry crossing!
The main port of Aegina: a welcoming sight after a 45 minute ferry crossing!
Greek fishing boats - welcome to the real Greece!
Greek fishing boats - welcome to the real Greece!
A view of inland Aegina.
A view of inland Aegina.
The beautiful chapel awaiting disembarking travelers. A simple building  yet more beautiful than the...
The beautiful chapel awaiting disembarking travelers. A simple building, yet more beautiful than the greatest hidden treasure.
Looking back at the ferry: clearly the Greek s don t have a price on carbon!
Looking back at the ferry: clearly the Greek's don't have a price on carbon!
The main Aegean wharf: villas galore! Exceeding beauty and seaside simplicity.
The main Aegean wharf: villas galore! Exceeding beauty and seaside simplicity.
The wooden hulls of Greek vessels.
The wooden hulls of Greek vessels.
A Greek fisherman checking his nets. After a successful morning fishing  Dmitri looks forward to ano...
A Greek fisherman checking his nets. After a successful morning fishing, Dmitri looks forward to another beautiful day in paradise.
The Aegean wharf-front. Classic Greece!
The Aegean wharf-front. Classic Greece!
Typical transport on Aegina  classic and elegant.
Typical transport on Aegina, classic and elegant.
A typical Greek Island: Aegina has a profound beauty found in few other places around the world.
A typical Greek Island: Aegina has a profound beauty found in few other places around the world.
The grand Greek Orthodox monastery  St. Nektarios of Aegina; named after Aegina s patron saint.
The grand Greek Orthodox monastery, St. Nektarios of Aegina; named after Aegina's patron saint.
The grand entrance to the monastery of St. Nektarios of Aegina. A newly built super-church of epic p...
The grand entrance to the monastery of St. Nektarios of Aegina. A newly built super-church of epic proportions. The Greeks are passionate about their Orthodoxy and are proud of their Byzantium heritage.
An icon depicting Jesus of Nazareth inside the church reception of the monastery.
An icon depicting Jesus of Nazareth inside the church reception of the monastery.
An icon of Aegina s patron saint St. Nektarios of Aegina.
An icon of Aegina's patron saint St. Nektarios of Aegina.
Inside the monastery - sacred  symbolic  startling.
Inside the monastery - sacred, symbolic, startling.
A view from the upstairs monastery: the rolling mountains are a beauty not experienced everyday  a s...
A view from the upstairs monastery: the rolling mountains are a beauty not experienced everyday, a special treat.
 Thank you for your understating.  Gotta love Greek English!
"Thank you for your understating." Gotta love Greek English!
Beautiful mosaics around a doorway. Mosaics are an ancient Greek art-form of unparalleled skill and ...
Beautiful mosaics around a doorway. Mosaics are an ancient Greek art-form of unparalleled skill and finesse.
The quaint taverna opposite the grand monastery. A stark comparison of modern Greece.
The quaint taverna opposite the grand monastery. A stark comparison of modern Greece.
This taverna was quiet and peaceful. With rooms upstairs for guests and lunch comprising of a Greek ...
This taverna was quiet and peaceful. With rooms upstairs for guests and lunch comprising of a Greek salad with feta cheese and fresh kalamari rings.
The vineyard of the taverna. In the Summer this would be chock-a-block with sweet  fresh Greek grape...
The vineyard of the taverna. In the Summer this would be chock-a-block with sweet, fresh Greek grapes.
The complementary map of the island: a napkin from the taverna.
The complementary map of the island: a napkin from the taverna.
The grand Temple of Aphaia. Situated on the peak of the island mountain  it looks over the island an...
The grand Temple of Aphaia. Situated on the peak of the island mountain, it looks over the island and protects the ports below.
The ancient Temple of Aphaia. Withstanding millennium of passionate political debate and governance ...
The ancient Temple of Aphaia. Withstanding millennium of passionate political debate and governance of the city-state.
An unlucky column of the temple. Carved out of solid rock  the fact there s even a temple still stan...
An unlucky column of the temple. Carved out of solid rock, the fact there's even a temple still standing, is incredible.
The towering columns are carved with such accuracy and skill - these were no primitive peoples.
The towering columns are carved with such accuracy and skill - these were no primitive peoples.
Unsupported despite being thousands of years old. The ancient Greeks were sound engineers and master...
Unsupported despite being thousands of years old. The ancient Greeks were sound engineers and master architects.
While the Parthenon in Athens is larger  it is overcrowded with (annoying) tourists. The Temple of A...
While the Parthenon in Athens is larger, it is overcrowded with (annoying) tourists. The Temple of Aphaia is not. I was the only one there on this beautiful Spring day.
The grand Temple of Aphaia in all it s glory. An iconic symbol of Greece.
The grand Temple of Aphaia in all it's glory. An iconic symbol of Greece.
A view from the temple; breathtaking!
A view from the temple; breathtaking!
The serene wharf walk of the main Aegean harbour.
The serene wharf walk of the main Aegean harbour.
Aegina is easily one of the most beautiful paradises on Earth.
Aegina is easily one of the most beautiful paradises on Earth.
The real Greece; an experience not found in such concentration on the mainland.
The real Greece; an experience not found in such concentration on the mainland.
The most common mode of transport on Aegina. Just make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance!
The most common mode of transport on Aegina. Just make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance!
The beautiful wharf-front cafe. The fresh  salty Greek sea breeze revitalises the senses and eases t...
The beautiful wharf-front cafe. The fresh, salty Greek sea breeze revitalises the senses and eases the soul.
Inside a wharf-front cafe; simple and elegant.
Inside a wharf-front cafe; simple and elegant.
Another scene from the wharf: watching tourists and locals strolling by induces an incredibly innate...
Another scene from the wharf: watching tourists and locals strolling by induces an incredibly innate peacefulness.
The tropical island paradise...Pina Colada anyone?
The tropical island paradise...Pina Colada anyone?
About to board the ferry back to Athens: 
 Do I have to leave?!
About to board the ferry back to Athens: "Do I have to leave?!"
The journey back to the mainland is of sombre mood. I wonder when I will next experience the beauty ...
The journey back to the mainland is of sombre mood. I wonder when I will next experience the beauty of a Greek island. What a priceless experience.
A money-can t-buy sunset on the crossing back to Athens. Aegean sunsets are second to none. A beauti...
A money-can't-buy sunset on the crossing back to Athens. Aegean sunsets are second to none. A beautiful farewell from the gods of the Temple of Aphaia.
The Greek Islands are an essential component to any Greek holiday. Without visiting them, one cannot gain a holistic insight into real Greek life. Despite the current travel warnings and political instability, the islands remain a peaceful recluse of hidden beauty. However one must always exercise caution when visiting foreign lands. I hope this photo-essay provides inspiration to travel to Greece, and in particular the surrounding islands (of which there are more than 1000!)
Subscribe and stay tuned for the next photo-essay: Le Français.
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