Barcelona

Off the Beaten Path: The Greek Islands of Hydra and Aegina

Monica Murphy is a student at The College of New Jersey and an ISA Photo Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.

A few short hours by boat off of the coast of Athens brings you to two very special and different Greek islands. These small islands are full of rich history, culture and amazing sights.

Hydra

The island of hydra is only 28 square miles with a population of about 2,000. It is deeply rooted in maritime culture and diet. The island is only accessible by boat.

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On sunny days, locals and tourists stroll along the coast line. There are cafes, shops and restaurants offering traditional Greek dishes.

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The island has no motorized vehicles so the only way to travel is on foot or by donkey. The donkeys are also used to transport deliveries to the island from boats.

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Aegina

The island of Aegina is slightly bigger at 34 square miles. It was given the name after a figure of Greek Mythology who was taken by Zeus to the island and gave birth to its first king, Aeacus.

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A popular landmark on the island is Monastery of Agios Nectarios. It is dedicated to Saint Nectarios who is a recent saint of the Greek Orthodox Church. High ceilings, mosaic and murals create a peaceful atmosphere.

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Across the island lies the Temple of Aphaea. Aphaea is a Greek Goddess associated with fertility and agriculture. The temple was built on one of the highest points of the island where the sea and Athens can be seen.

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Aegina has about 200,000 pistachio trees which they export around the world. It is difficult to determine what is better: the homemade pistachio ice cream or this view!

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After a long day exploring these two islands, watching the sunset off of the back of the ferry was just what I needed.

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The world awaits…discover it.

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