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Agistri in Greece
Agistri belongs to the Saronic islands located between Athens and eastern Peloponnese. The closest neighboring islands are Aegina and Poros. Agistri has about 1,140 inhabitants and the island's surface is 13 km2.
The two main villages are Megalochori (570 inhabitants) and Skala (450), in addition there are two smaller communities: Metochi and Limenaria. The highest mountain is called Kontari and measures 245 meters above sea level.
Megalochori is the largest village in Agistri.
Agistri (or Angistri) is a pine-covered island in miniature that attracts many Athenian weekenders who flees from smog, noise and stress. It is a tiny island, both in size and number of inhabitants, actually it is the smallest of the Saronic islands. During high season, the population is multiplied, mainly by the Athenians who visit their summer houses, but also many foreigners (British and German) have taken Agistri to their hearts and owns a summer house on the island.
The cozy taverna at Aponisos beach.
The allurement is a relatively small-scale tourism that in a nice way merge with the Greek everyday life. Although the island is small and the small-scale tourism, it is no lack of amusements, here's everything you could imagine: from simple tavernas to bars and discos.
But do not believe that Agisti is a party island, many who comes here, do so for entirely different reasons, like to sit down and read a book under the shadow from a tree, or do a bike tour on virtually traffic-free roads lined with fragrant pine trees.
Should you get tired of Agistri, or if you want to get about a little bit, you can take the ferry to Piraeus for shopping or to pay a visit to a museum in Athens. Or you can go to Aegina where you also can go shopping, or just stroll around in the alleys of Aegina town, or maybe have something to eat on one of the restaurants along the nice waterfront.
Personally, I think that Agistri is a very nice island. Just small enough to be discovered in peace and quiet, beautiful scenery, many good restaurants serving good Greek food, close to Athens, and a wonderful mix between Greek everyday life and low-key tourism.
The beach in Skala an early morning in June. The church on the left is called Agioi Anargyroi.
The beautiful ceiling of the church of Agioi Anargyroi.
Agioi Anargyroi church is located next to the beach in Skala. The church is something of a symbol of Skala and it is very beautiful, both exterior and interior. The inner ceiling is extremely grand and you can stand for a long time and admire it.
TRAVEL TO AGISTRI
It's easy to travel independently to Agistri: go by air to Athens, take the bus or subway to Piraeus (Athens port), and continue with a boat to Agistri. The voyage takes about an hour. (The boats usually goes via Aegina.)
The island's own cute little boat is called Agistri Express and runs between Aegina and Agistri 3-4 times daily. Keep in mind that there are two ports on Agistri: Megalochori and Skala. Agistri Express usually calls at both ports, while hydrofoils just calls at the port of Megalochori.
Agistri express that runs between Agistri and Aegina.
GETTING AROUND ON AGISTRI
As the island is small and the roads are few, most people choose to go by foot or to take the bus. Car is not for rent. Scooters and bicycles are available for rent in Megalochori and Skala. Renting a scooter is, however a little pointless, a full tank lasts forever, then a bicycle is a better option. The island's only gas station is situated between Megalochori and Skala.
The roads are few and distances are short.
VILLAGES ON AGISTRI
Megalochori, or Milos, (see photo on top) is the largest village in terms of number of inhabitants. It is a quite charming village with whitewashed houses in labyrinthine alleys, not unlike many villages in the Cyclades. In the village there are a large number of tavernas, cafes and pensions.
The beach in Megalochori.
Skala, twenty minute walk from Megalochori, is the most important tourist resort on Agistri and the majority of the island's hotels and pensions lays here. There are also numerous of restaurants, tavernas, music bars and cafes. Why Skala is more popular than Megalochori is because the beach of Skala is the best on the island.
Skala beach in Agistri.
Limenaria, the third largest village in the southern corner of the island, about ten minutes drive from Megalochori. Though it is the third largest community does not mean it is big, quite the reverse, about 130 people lives here. It's a pretty shabby village, but oh-so-authentic Greek. The village's pride, the church of Agia Kyriaki who have a shining golden dome, visible from afar. You'll find Taverna in the village.
Limenaria. (The church's dome is now red colored.)
From Agistri's smallest village, Metochi, it is a great view of Skala and Megalochori, and all the way to Aegina. The hamlet is tiny, just a few streets and a dozen houses, some of them belong to the island's oldest. There are no pensions in the village, but a taverna called Parnassos.
The small village of Metochi on the right and the large village of Megalochori on the left.
BEACHES ON AGISTRI
I hardly think that anyone choose to go to Agistri only for the beaches, they are few, and pretty mediocre, but the water is just wonderful. The best beach is arguably the one in Skala, it is also the island's only sandy beach, the other beaches consist of gravel or pebbles.
Along the coast, south of Skala (after the little harbour), are several small pebble beaches and places where you can swim off the rocks at Skliri. Where the road ends a path starts, continue the path and you'll reach Chalikiada beach (Halikadha), which is Agistri's nude beach. The water is bluer than anywhere else on the island. The beach is quite pebbly so bathing shoes are advisable. No taverna.
Chalikiada beach from above.
The water at Dragonera beach, south of Megalochori (on the way to Limenaria) is lovely, but the beach is covered with large stones that makes it difficult to get into the water. Though there are some small pockets of sand. No taverna, but a small kantina offering ordinary meals and drinks. Sunbeds and parasols to rent.
Mariza is not a real beach, it is a platform built in the rocks surrounded by crystal clear water in a gorgeous setting just south of Limenaria. A sign in Limenaria shows the way. No taverna.
The rocks at Mariza.
In Aponisos a few kilometres west of Limenaria is a soulless salt marsh that you are more than happy to pass. Continuing a short distance from the lake and you will soon reach the coast. Here is a small pebble beach that is excellent for swimming. If a swim do not appeal, I can promise that the taverna does, the food is good and the view of the islands of Aponisos and Dourossa is peaceful. See picture further up the page.
SIGHTS ON AGISTRI
Agistri has no historical monuments, no famous monastery, nor any ancient temples. If you want to be cultural you can always go by boat to Aegina to see the interesting Temple of Aphaea, near Agia Marina. Or take an early boat to Athens to see as much you accomplish in one day.
Skala beach promenade.
The sunset from the beach promenade in Skala is very beautiful.
I don't usually stay on the beach long enough to see the sunset, but sometimes I make an exception, like this beautiful evening by the beach in Skala on Agistri.
ACCOMMODATION ON AGISTRI
If you are travelling during low and mid season, you'll have no problem to find a place to stay, even if you haven't booked ahead. However, it can be tricky if you arrive on a Friday or Saturday when the Athenians invade the island, but it tends not to be impossible. If you are visiting during high season you must pre-book.
Here are suggestions on three good hotels.