Temple of Aphaia
At only 3km away from Vagia Hotel lies the ancient Temple of Aphaia. The temple was built by the people of Aegina to honour the Minoic Goddess Aphaia, daughter of Zeus and Karmi. Another version of the myth supports that the name of the daughter was Vritomartys and run away to Aegina to hide from king Minoas of Crete who madly fell in love with her. The temple and its surroundings took their final form around 490 B.C. It is built in Doric style and the pediments are made of Parian marble, representing the campaign to Troy in which Ajax and Achilles played a major part in the Greek victory.
Goddess Athena is also present in them hence the name of the temple is referred to as Aphaia Athena. The place provides a marvelous view to the Saronic Sea and it seems you can touch the city of Piraeus. You can see the temple of Poseidon on cape Sounio and the Acropolis when the atmosphere is clear enough.
At 6 km distance from Vagia hotel you will find the Medieval town of Palaiochora. It began to be built in 896 after a fierce raid by Saracene pirates on the costal town of Aegina. Centuries later it became the capital of the island, to be abandonned at the beginning of the 19th century when the inhabitants slowly began to return to the sea and rebuild the new Aegina. Some grey yellow buildings can be seen scattered around on this hill. These are approximately 35 of the many churches that existed in Palaiochora (tradition says that there were 365) which remain standing. Around 20 of these still have some fine wall paintings preserved.
Ayios Nektarios Monastery
The monastery of Agios Nektarios is located opposite the medieval Town of Palaiochora. This nunnery was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of a small Byzantine monastery dedicated to the Zoodochos Pigi (life-giving source) by the bishop of Pentapoli Nektarios. Ayios Nektarios passed the last years of his life in the monastery, carrying out a great philantropical work and gaining the admiration and adoration of the faithful, who flocked to the monastery to help him. Many still talk about his generosity and his ability to cure people suffering from incurable diseases. Ayios Nektarios died in 1920 and was buried in the monastery. He was canonised in 1961. A new church is built below the Monastery of Ayios Nektarios, the architecture of which is reminiscent of that of Ayia Sophia in Constantinopole.
At 14km distance from Vagia Hotel, located on left part of the port of Aegina, the acropolis of ancient Aegina was built. The name Kolona (pillar) comes exactly from this last pillar saved till nowadays in the area. The place was first inhabited around 3500 B.C during the Copper Era and was protected by a wall. Today only the north wall and some ruins are saved.
Next to the archaeological site the Archaeological Museum of Aegina is built with exhibits mainly from the excavations and their findings from surrounding area.