How much beauty can you fit into an island of less than 14 square kilometres? Well, Agistri has a beauty that is as authentic as it is unassuming. This Lilliputian, green isle is one of the islands close to Athens – just 1.5 hours from Piraeus and 15 minutes from Aegina. The aromas of the pine trees complement the sight of the refreshing, clear water and the picturesque settlements exude a Cycladic aura. As for the beaches … there’s an exotic beauty to them that will relax all your senses. So let’s get you ready for a complete reboot, with our best things to do in Agistri… known and unknown. On the island whose name translates as hook in Greek, you’ll be … well, hooked!
Skala… the beating heart of Agistri
Skala is known for having the most popular beach in Agistri and being the island’s natural harbour, connected to Piraeus and Aegina by frequent ferry boat and hydrofoil services. It’s where most hotels and rooms for rent are concentrated, along with restaurants and tavernas, beach bars and cafes, and nightlife spots. So it’s likely to be your arrival and departure point on Agistri.
It's certainly where you'll be going for a swim. The coastal part of the settlement is an uninterrupted stretch of beachfront, sandy in places and pebbly in others. The water is clean and clear and the beach forms an arrow-shaped expanse of sand at the edge of the settlement! It’s worth walking along the coast to the church of Agii Anargyri.
Walk or cycle along the coastal road east of Skala towards Skliri. You'll find a lovely little beach with blue-green waters and the 'Street of Lovers', where you'll stock up on Instagram material!
The cosmopolitan aura and tradition of Megalohori
Next on your list of things to do in Agistri is to visit Megalohori, the island’s other main settlement and port. If you opt for the high-speed boat to Agistri, this is where you’ll get off. It’s also called Myli (which translates as mills) because of the windmills that operated in the area until the 1960s. Only one remains, a hotel (called Milos) in the village. Skala may win in terms of tourist infrastructure and visitors, but Megalohori combines a cosmopolitan aura with tradition. Strolling through the narrow, paved streets, you’ll pass traditional stone houses and flower-filled courtyards. And don't forget to take a dip at Megalohori beach, which has something for everyone – sand or pebbles and sunbeds & umbrellas, or no facilities at all. There’s also a Cultural Centre in the village that houses a collection of archaeological finds. Megalohori is connected to Skala by bus but if you fancy a walk, it's only 15-20 minutes between the two!
The turquoise sea and pine trees of Dragonera
The route from Megalohori to Limenaria leads you to Dragonera, essentially two beaches on the west coast with turquoise waters and pine trees right up to the sea. Megali (Big) and the nearby Mikri (Small) Dragonera are known for their combination of greenery and refreshing waters, thanks in part to underground currents. Megali Dragonera is a pebbly beach that is partly organised, but you can always choose the non-organised part if you want peace and quiet. There’s a canteen that plays chill-out music.
A touch of the exotic in Aponisos
It’s no surprise that Aponisos is on every bucket list of things to do in Agistri! It’s a green island-peninsula combo in the southwest, with water that looks like it’s straight out of the Caribbean. There's a relaxed atmosphere and a choice of water sports, including sea kayaking, pedalo and inflatable rings.
The tiny island (connected to the mainland by a causeway) is private and you have to pay to enter the beach, which gets you a sunbed, umbrella and a drink. There’s a rare beauty to the landscape.
The water is typically swimming pool-blue and there's something here for every taste and need. Shallow water for families with children, diving from the rocks for the more adventurous, relaxing on a sun lounger with a book… Whatever it is, you'll want to return.
Known and unknown beaches
The charm of Agistri is swimming at less-known beaches as well as at the stars. Beyond Skala and Megalohori, there’s Skliri beach, which you reach by following a path between whitewashed houses and greenery. Likewise, south of Skliri, Chalkiada beach is another gem. Unless you have a boat, access is by foot down (and then back up!) a steep, uneven footpath.
But it’s well worth it, as the water is clean and clear. It's a beach that’s popular with nature lovers, nudists and campers. If you’re looking for a more secluded beach, it is worth visiting Magiza and Bariama, which are near Aponisos and are not so popular. Other quiet beaches are Mariza (which is a natural diving platform rather than a beach) close to Limenaria and emerald-green Xekofti (just 1km from Megalohori).
Tuck into the traditional delights of Agistri
Aromatics and herbs, capers, olive oil, almonds and figs are just some of the products you’ll find in the tavernas and shops of Agistri. Traditional treats include amygdalota (almond-based sweets), galaktoboureko (syrup-soaked filo pastry with a custard filling) and glorious tiganites and diples (fried dough, dripping in honey). Naturally, the fish tavernas serve seafood straight from the Saronic Gulf, such as katsoules (a type of wrasse). And you’ll find pistachios and all sorts of pistachio-based delicacies from neighbouring Aegina, from sweet spreads for your breakfast to pesto for your main course.
Memories of the Cyclades in Metohi
Right between Skala and Megalohori, at the foot of a hill, is a traditional settlement that's straight out of the Cyclades. It is lush, green Metohi, from which there is an amazing view. The village is famous for the chapel of Panagia, whose feast day is August 15. It is worth walking to Metohi from Skala along a beautiful path through pine trees and old houses. You'll love the traditional whitewashed houses with the blue shutters, the fuchsia-coloured bougainvillea and the views over Skala and Aegina. There’s a traditional family taverna in Metohi and even accommodation if you want the full village experience.
The picturesque hamlet of Limenaria
Limenaria is the third-biggest settlement in Agistri, located on the southeast coast, 5km from Megalohori and just 1.5km from Aponisos. It's a picturesque hamlet engulfed by pine trees, with a handful of small whitewashed houses and the characteristic white church of Agia Kyriaki. If you follow the road down to the sea, you'll find Mariza, for a well-earned splash in the deep green-blue water!
Round-the-island boat trips and water sports
A boat trip around Agistri is another wonderful way to explore the island! You get to discover places of untouched beauty, inaccessible by land.
There are many options, depending on what you're looking for: taking a water taxi to a recommended beach, hiring a private boat with a captain in order to stop and swim wherever you want… and even renting a smaller boat on your own for short distances.
Alternatively, water sports enthusiasts can enjoy kayaking around the rocky coastline and even over hidden wrecks, or go diving at the island’s scuba centre.
Ask about the boat tours that include the islet of Dorousa.
Hiking on known and hidden footpaths in Agistri
This verdant little gem in the Saronic Gulf is ideal for hiking trails, from the top of green hills down to the sea and around the coastline! You just have to put on a pair of walking shoes and set out on a well-known or less explored footpath. In no time, you'll be discovering the natural secrets of Agistri and walking among wildflowers or herbs, depending on the season .
On the way from Skala to Aponisos, you'll pass Lekani (or Basin), a saltwater lake rich in wildlife. You reach the lake a few metres from the Byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos (the first on the island), where legend says the graves of two pirates are located. Hiking and cycling enthusiasts can enjoy nature activities around the lake and, for those looking for more active things to do in Agistri, Aponisos Horse Riding offers horse riding lessons and excursions on trails in the area.
Best things to do in Agistri
So there you go… our 10 best things to do in Agistri, one of the smallest islands close to Athens that’s perfect to visit on its own or in combination with other Greek islands in the Saronic Gulf and beyond.
FAQs about Agistri island, Greece
Agistri has two ports: Skala and the port in Megalohori, which is also called Mili (or Miloi). They both have frequent ferry connections to and from Piraeus. You can choose a high-speed boat (1 hour) to Skala or Megalohori or a conventional ferry (1.5 hours) to Skala. There are also regular ferry services from neighbouring Aegina (10-20 minutes depending on the boat).
The short distances to beaches and nature trails on this small Greek island lead many visitors on holiday in Agistri to hire a bicycle or scooter (from Skala or Megalohori). You can also bring your car on a ferry. If you don’t have a car, there are regular bus service to Megalohori (from the church of Agii Anargyri in Skala) and in the summer to Aponisos, Dragonera and Limenaria.