Hotels and accommodation in Aegina

aegina-hotelsAegina has a plentiful supply of accommodation to cater for the Athenians who descend here every weekend and the package holiday hordes who tend to huddle together in the busy east coast resort of Agia Marina. But you’d be well advised to book ahead if you’re planning a weekend visit during high season when the best places are booked solid with refugees fleeing the searing heat and smog of Athens. If you turn up without a reservation you might have to take pot luck with one of the domatia owners who gather at the quayside to snare ferry passengers as they disembark.

Many hotels close down from November to March, especially those in Agia Marina. Some hotels and pensions in Aegina Town offer substantial discounts to mid-week visitors and guests who stay longer than a week.

There are no camp sites or youth hostels on the island but budget travellers will find a good choice of cheap and cheerful pensions and rooms to rent in Aegina Town and at the picturesque fishing village of Perdika in the south west corner of the island.

Good value budget options in the island’s capital include Eleni Rooms, in Odos Kappou, where squeaky clean rooms with pine floors and whitewashed walls are housed within part of an elegant 19th century building. There are several domatia at the top of Leonardou Lada including the clean, comfortable and inexpensive Electra Rooms.

aegina-accommodationIf you prefer to be by the waterfront try the Avra hotel for simply furnished en-suite rooms or the nearby Plaza Hotel at the far left end of the harbour. Both have rooms with sea views though they can be noisy on summer nights. If there are no rooms to spare, the Plaza owner might be able to find you a bed in one of his three pensions.

For stylish old-world charm you can’t beat the Eginitiko Arhontiko, a lovely sandstone mansion built in 1820 as the home of a wealthy merchant family. You’ll have to book ahead to be sure of a room at this sought after hotel located at the corner of Thomaidou and Agios Nikolaou opposite the Markelos Tower. There are 12 traditionally furnished rooms, one sumptuous suite and a lovely roof garden where you can eat breakfast in the summer months. The hotel’s illustrious guests have included the first president of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistria, and the acclaimed Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis who penned his last and most famous work, Zorba the Greek, on the island.

To avoid the mid-summer mayhem of Aegina Town, book a room at the delightfully homely  Pansion tis Rena, about 15 minutes walk south of the port. The eight charming bedrooms are equipped with all mod cons (fridge, TV, air conditioning and phone) but the hand-made lace curtains, marble and solid wood furnishings create an air of elegance which you’ll be hard-pushed to find on the other side of the island. Ask her in advance and the owner will cook you one of her island specialties such as “kokoro kokkinisto” (rooster in red sauce).

Agia Marina is awash with modern hotels and apartments some of which boast superb sports and leisure facilities. The glitzy Hotel Apollo and the family-friendly Hotel Astro are among the pick of the bunch when it comes to on-site facilities and entertainment.

The Astro hotel has its own scuba diving club and spa centre where you can enjoy a mind-blowing array of health giving treatments – you can be wrapped in mud, smothered in wrinkle-reducing Dead Sea minerals, relax with some reflexology or have a shot at shiatsu. The hotel management organises a packed programme of activities including evening fishing trips (accompanied by the inevitable ouzo), beach barbecues, firework parties and jeep safaris.