A helicopter tour over Aegina is the most picturesque way to discover a Greek island known for its outstanding beauty as well as its significant place in Greek history. The island of Aegina is one of the closest islands to Athens, and although of its small size it boasts a number of impressive attractions and natural beauties.
An Historic Island
Aegina was once the temporary capital of the newly founded Greek State from 1827-1829. Some of the most valued buildings from Greek history remain including the once impressive mansions built by Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias to house his headquarters during his rule. A helicopter tour over Aegina also takes travelers on a journey to witness the “holy triangle” of antiquity from the sky.
The Temple of Aphea and the Holy Triangle
On the northern part of the island stands an impressive Doric Temple of Aphea Athena. The temple, which dates back to 500 B.C., is the most important ancient monument on the island. Out of the 34 pillars, 24 have been preserved. When the skies are clear, you can see all the way to the Temple of Poseidon at the Cape Sounio and the Acropolis of Athens. Together, the three ancient structures are said to form the “holy triangle” of the ancient times.
The Temple of Apollo at Kolona
The Archaeological site of Kolona was once an important town that flourished during the Bronze Age (2500-1600 B.C.). The Temple of Apollo was built here during 620-610 B.C when Aegina was one of the most important trading centers. The one remaining Doric column standing today has given its name to the area which was once considered the religious center of the ancient town.
The capital of Aegina with its well-preserved buildings is a popular weekend destination for many Athenians. With its neoclassical buildings, picturesque port and narrow streets, the island is a perfect destination for those seeking both history and relaxation. The outskirts of the island house a number of traditional villages such as Kypseli, Agii and Vagia, which have preserved their unique character. Tourist resorts like Agia Marina, Perdika, and Souvala are lined up with hotels, taverns and other holiday facilities.
Saint Nektarios Monastery
The island of Aegina also houses one of the larges monasteries in the Balkans. Constructed between 1904 and 1910, the Saint Nekrarios Monastery welcomes thousands of pilgrims seeking help from a miracle working saint who died here in 1920. Saint Nektarios was known to have healing abilities and his memory is celebrated on November 9th with local festivities.
Only in Greece can you find a helicopter tour that takes you on a journey to discover the beauties of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations.
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Aphea image source: Creative Commons