Less than an hour by “flying dolphin” ride from the port of Piraeus, Agistri is a small island in the Saronic Gulf.
Agistri is small, a ten-minute drive from the village of Megalochori in the north to Limenaria in the extreme south.
In the middle are uninhabited hills with wild oregano, figs and lemons growing in the pine forest.
The coast of Agistri is rocky, with cliffs and lush woodlands that stretch out to the sea.
Some of the best places to bathe are simply rock platforms where you can drop yourself into glowing clear pools, but La Scala has a family-friendly sandy beach.
On land, you can try horse riding or rent a bicycle, while on the water you can go on kayaking expeditions, wreck diving and speedboat tours to the many destinations in the Saronic Gulf.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Agistri:
1. Aponissos Beach
Not a beach in the traditional sense, Aponisos Beach is a private bathing area set on a rock with ladders leading down to crystal clear waters.
The sea of Aponisos is shaded by jagged coasts and private islands no more than 200 meters offshore.
The entrance fee is 5 euros, which includes the price of deck chairs, parasols and drinks.
You can borrow an air mattress or tube to float on the water, while the fish restaurant by the beach is rated as one of the best on the island.
Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear as these crystalline waters are teeming with marine life.
Along with Megalochori, Skala is Agistri’s main port, handling traffic from Piraeus and the neighboring island of Aegina.
Skala is also the most upscale settlement on the island, with its fair share of accommodation, as well as taverns, café bars and even a nightclub on the edge of the village.
If you’re eating out at Agistri, you’ll probably find yourself in Skala, and one of the must-try treats is the grilled octopus.
Skala also has the shallowest and best-equipped beach on Agistri, making it a top destination for families.
3. Dragonera Beach
Just on the way from Megalochori to Limenaria, Dragonera Beach is a pebble cove made of pine-covered rocks on the west coast.
The beach has a row of sun loungers and shades, which are rented from a kiosk on the shore.
This is the only hallmark of Dragonera tourism: uninhabited coniferous hills lie behind, and if you’re feeling adventurous, trek north around the rocks to find a quiet place to bathe.
Dragonera’s sea is a stunning turquoise color, sparkling and safe for all visitors.
The capital of the island, Megalochori is still only a village in size with a population of just over 500 people. Apart from Scala, it is the most suitable settlement for tourism.
In ancient Greece, the port of Megalochori was used as a naval base, but today it is a simple fishing port with fishing nets stacked on the pier.
Ferries also arrive from Aegina, along with “flying dolphins” from Piraeus.
Take some time to wander its whitewashed alleys filled with fuchsia flowers, and track down the village’s landmark, a windmill that dates back to 1812. Finish off with an ice-cold smoothie at the cafe.
5. Chalichiada Beach
On the east coast, Chalikiada Beach is a pebble cove guarded by high cliffs.
Before you walk down the beach, you’ll want to stop at the view to see the islands of Aegina and Moni in the distance.
Due to its more private setting, Chalikiada Beach is the only beach in the Agistri and Aegina area that caters to nudists.
The shore is plunged into the water very steeply and the current can sometimes be too big for non-swimmers, but not a problem for others.
It’s best to be prepared to come to this remote beach, but if you need anything, La Scala is just a few hundred meters away.
It’s not uncommon to see tents in a small village on the beach, as people often camp here in the summer.
A small alleyway south of Agistri, Limenaria is a scenic 10-minute drive worth a visit, offering panoramic views of the Saronic Gulf and islands.
Limenaria is located in the valley and you can see the village from above, then meander down the slope.
This sleepy little place has only one bistro and is highly recommended.
The village comes to life on July 7th when the golden-domed church of Agia Kyriaki becomes the center of a folk festival.
To the east is the small port of Marissa, where the rock has a pool ladder that leads to the crystal clear waters below.
7. Water sports
One of the great things about the Saronic Gulf is that the sea is protected from the infamous Meltemi Wind, and when the weather is calm, its waters can be navigated by human power alone.
In Scala, you can get in touch with the adventure sports company Go Kayak Greek, which arranges kayaking tours with qualified guides with an in-depth knowledge of the island, nature and history.
These can be half-day or full-day trips, or shorter excursions.
A popular destination is the small island of Metopi, located between Agistri and Aegina.
There you can visit the chapel of Theodori and watch the sunset over the Saronic Gulf during your evening trip.
8. Agioi Anargyroi Church
Agioi Anargyroi is a 20th century church dedicated to the 3rd century saints Cosmas and Damian, the cruciform Agioi Anargyroi is one of Agistri’s most photographed buildings.
The church is reflected in the waters of La Scala, and its main dome and apse are painted light blue.
Like all religious buildings in Agistri, it is a sight to be savored from the outside, except during the Feast of St. Cosmas and Damian on July 1st, when it was the focal point of folk celebrations .
Located on an evergreen hillside between Megalochori and Skala, Metochi is a small but lovely residential village with only one tavern.
If you’re in Agistri, you can walk or drive to Metochi for great views of the north coast.
The village has some of the oldest buildings on Agistri, mostly whitewashed, with terracotta roofs, bougainvillea flowers and blue doors and windows.
In its elevated position, Metochi is a great springboard for hiking in Agistri’s taiga landscape, with the scent of wild grass in the air.
10. Panagia Church
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the chapel sits on a rock platform, an exhilarating vantage point in the north of the island.
It takes a little effort to walk there from La Scala, and every year on August 15, hundreds of devotees conquer the hillside for the Assumption ceremony.
Panagia Church may be closed when you come, but most tourists come here for the view of La Scala and Aegina.
The church’s whitewashed Cycladic-style walls and bell tower stand out against the blue sky and sea.
11. Skala Beach
Scala Beach is the favorite beach of Agistri families, just 100 meters from the village’s harbour with views of the blue domes of Agioi Anargyroi.
The location is one of the best options in La Scala as there are so many shops and places to eat in seconds.
Another advantage is that smaller children can play in gentle shallow water.
Skala Beach is also “organized”, with sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent.
12. Boat tour
Not far from the Peloponnese mainland and surrounded by other Saronic islands, Agistri is in a prime location if you want a great view of the Saronic Gulf.
Operating out of the harbour in Megalochori are the Jamaican Speedboats, providing fast transportation to anywhere in the vicinity.
The company provides services to Ancient Epidaurus, home to one of the greatest theaters in the ancient world, the picturesque traditional island of Hydra, the Corinth Canal and the island of Poros, home to Henry M. A haven for cultural figures such as Le and Nobel laureate poet George Seferis.
Alternatively, you can head to local scenic spots to snorkel, paddle and swim in the sparkling blue pool.
13. Horseback riding
The wild southern half of Agistri is ready for outdoor adventure, and you can now ride horses through its pine forests and orchards.
Aponisos Horse Riding is located in the southwest part of the island and is suitable for children and adults.
Children can learn the basics of horse riding in one lesson in a safe environment.
More experienced kids and adults can also hike along the coast and around the salt lake in the hinterland of Agistri.
A 90-minute drive will cost EUR 25 per person.
To the southwest of Agistri are sparkling waters with stunning clarity and no less than nine separate dive sites.
These could be the remains of the Avantis III container ship or the underwater canyon near Dorousa Island, which hides a sunken boat.
One of Agistri’s dive centres is Interdive in Megalochori, run by ex-commercial divers.
Interdive travels to its dive sites aboard a wooden Astrolavos yacht with complimentary refreshments on board.
Novice divers can study for PADI certification, while experienced divers can acquire more advanced qualifications.
Children can also learn about equipment and techniques through the “Bubble Master” class.
Aegina has a regular ferry from Megalochori, 5 km east of Agistri.
If possible, you should get there by moped or rental car, as there are some fascinating sights to follow.
Perched high on the east coast, overlooking the island, is the Aphia Doric Temple from the late 6th century BC. The once magnificent pediment has disappeared from the ruins, otherwise almost intact, but there is a faithful reconstruction in the museum at the site.
Just a few seconds across the narrow channel from the port town of Perdika, you are on Moni Island, home to wild peacocks and one of the best beaches in the region.
Although Monis Island Beach is just a rock ledge, the land-facing waters have a pristine aquamarine pool that must be seen to be believed.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Ajistria, Greece
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