Agistri: The Tiny Island Paradise a Stone’s Throw Away from Athens



  • Agistri is a green, lush island that includes many scenic and unspoiled charms despite its proximity to the great Greek capital city. Along with Poros, Aegina, Spetses, and Hydra, it belongs to the Saronic group of Greek islands.

Since all these isles are in close proximity to one another, Agistri makes a perfect base for your island-hopping adventures.

Agistri is one of the best Greek islands for weekend getaways or even day trips, since it is a mere 55 minutes away from the port of Piraeus by ferry.

The island offers surprising tranquility considering its closeness to the bustling city, as well as extraordinary scenery and breathtaking beaches, with opportunities for many outdoor activities. There is also a unique nightlife scene on Agistri.

Let us explore what this beautiful island has to offer.

History
In ancient years, the island was known as Kekrifalia, or “Embellished head.” Archaeological excavations show that the first traces of human habitation on the island date back to 2,500 years before the present.

Its early inhabitants gave it an important presence in literature, including Homer’s epic work The Iliad. The poet refers to the island’s contribution in the Trojan War as an ally of Aegina Island in this monumental work, cementing the name of the island in history.

Agistri, along with other neighboring islands including Kontari, Megaritissa, and Aponissos, was part of the ancient kingdom of Aegina.

The village of Skala, on the island of Agistri. Source: Wikipedia

Beaches
Agistri is a small, verdant island boasting lovely pebble and sand beaches, rocky cliffs and tiny, hidden coves. Megalochori and Skala are the most popular and organized beaches on Agistri. However, Dragonera Beach is sure to win the hearts of those who prefer more privacy, with its stunning forest coming all the way down to the sands.

Megalochori
Megalochori Beach attracts many vacationers, offering beautiful mountain views and a quiet, relaxing atmosphere.

A stroll around the town of Megalochori is highly recommended as well, because of its picturesque stone houses, all painted in white, with clay-tiled roofs. There is also a Culture Center which displays archaeological discoveries found in the Megalochori area.

Megalochori Beach. Source: Wikipedia

Skala
The beach of Skala village, featuring very shallow, aquamarine waters, is one of the few all-sand beaches on the island.

Skala, more than the island’s other beaches, is geared to tourists, and it is where you can find the best bars, restaurants, and tavernas. There are also some small bars and nightclubs, where you can enjoy music until late into the night.

Skala Beach. Source: Wikipedia

Aponissos
Aponissos, located on the west coast, is another gem of the island of Agistri. Its beach features crystalline waters for swimmers, but the cove here is also perfect for yachtsmen to moor in, as it is somewhat protected from the open sea.

You can also find a traditional taverna open during the spring and summer months, where you can enjoy delectable Greek food while enjoying the delightful view of the cove and  offshore islets.

Aponissos Beach. Source: Wikipedia

Dragonera
Saving the best for last: Dragonera Beach features the most solitude of all Agisti’s beaches, with a lush, green forest coming all the way down to the water and sparkling-clear turquoise waters. This beach gives you the chance to enjoy the sea, the forest, and the mountains at the same time, and reminds you just how beautiful nature can be — even just a stone’s throw away from Athens.

Its completely relaxing atmosphere represents the entire vibe of this beautiful gem of an island.

Travelers may even go camping, for free, in the nearby forest at Dragonera; this unforgettable experience gives you the chance to truly appreciate the many natural wonders of the Greek isles.

So after enjoying your day at this stunning beach you can set up your camp and enjoy the millions of stars that will appear at night, since there is hardly any light to obscure their beauty here.

TIP: Be very well prepared if you choose to camp here. Bring food, water, and all the necessary camping equipment, including flashlights, as there are no amenities nearby.

Dragonera Beach. Source: Wikipedia

Activities
Since Agistri is small and laid-back, the things that can be done on the island are somewhat limited, compared to more commercially-developed islands. There are no organized tours as such on Agistri, as there are on many other, larger islands.

However, this island should be your choice if you want to enjoy the natural beauty of the environment and experience total relaxation, either at the beach or in the hills and villages of the countryside.

Enjoy your day sunbathing, and in the midafternoon, have a leisurely lunch at the seaside tavernas. In the evenings, sip a drink at a bar under the stars while listening to your favorite music.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, go ahead and follow the old footpaths across the island which lead to small villages, tiny chapels, secluded beaches and hilltops with mesmerizing views of the sea and the mountains.

And if you are up for it, you can even pedal your way through the island on your bicycle. Yes, with all the hills there, it can be tiring, but it is a great way to appreciate the many beauties this island has to offer.