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The Harbour of Souvala


Souvala, the second harbour of the island, is 9 km to the north of Aegina Town. You can either get there through the interior of the island via the quaint old settlement of Kypseli or by following the coastal road past Kolona, the Bouza Lighthouse, the home of Nikos Kazantzakis and the tombs of those who fought in the naval battle of Salamis, a route along sheltered coves and sandy beaches. As you reach the quiet fishing village, you enter another era, without the fast pace and crowds of modern towns, but which can nevertheless meet all your needs. There is a pharmacy, a supermarket, a bakery, a butcher's, family tavernas, bars and coffee shops. You can also buy freshly caught fish off the boats as they come into the harbour in the early morning.

It is ideal for a quiet escape and offers another dimension to your visit to the island. Reminiscent of the 1960s, it is surrounded by small coves where on a summer's night, you are likely to come upon a group of young people around a campfire, singing along to a guitar near the lapping water. It offers accommodation for all tastes and pockets, and is near the forested settlement of Agioi. It is just a few kilometres from other well known destinations, such as the medieval Paleochora and the ancient Temple of Aphaia. The village's name derives from the word for "watering hole", which the inhabitants made by digging out a hole in the ground, 5-6 metres wide and just as deep, and lining it with stones to collect water for their livestock and for themselves.

There are many "souvalas" on the island, but some of the more distinctive ones made of standstone are found in Therma, the ancient thermal baths in Souvala, just a two-minute walk from the harbour. As the locals recall, Agios Nektarios, the patron saint of Aegina, came to the island for these baths. He then went up the mountain to build a church out of sand carried up by old man Spyridakis from the sea.

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