Angistri makes a delightful excursion from Aegina, al though it can also be reached directly from Piraeus. The island is a hilly protrusion on the Aegina shelf, separated from the main island by subsidence. The shallow waters and sandy sea-bed between Angistri and its own off shore islets of Metope (to the north) and Dorousa (to the south), mean that the sea is of a limpid, tourquoise col our. The island’s mantle of pines has survived well, and its beaches are attractive.
In the waters, 5km to its west, lies the uninhabited island of Kekryphaleia, where according to Thucydides (I, 105), the Athenians prevailed over a Peloponnesian fleet in a sea battle in the early 450s bc. Pliny (Nat. Hist., IV 12.57) gives Angistri the name Pityonesos (‘island of pines’). The current name, Αγκιστρι, means a ‘fish-hook’. Throughout its history, which has closely followed the vicissitudes of Aegina on which it has always depended, Angistri has been alternately inhabited and deserted in different periods. The ancestors of the present inhabit ants are mostly Albanian Christian settlers from Northern Greece. In the late Middle Ages they fled Serbian incursions to settle in the Peloponnese. They subsequently name from there to the islands in the Saronic Gulf seeking refuge from Turkish dominion in the Morea.
Arriving boats stop mostly at the harbour of Skala at the northeast corner of the island. To the south, the road leads to the steeper and more dramatic east coast of the island—the bays of Skliri (0.5km), with several ho tels, and the more untouched Chalikiada (1km), backed by pine-fringed cliffs. To the west, the road leads in 2km to the principal settlement of Megalochori, also called ‘Mylos’. On the hillside to the south of the road to Megalochori, is the island’s oldest and most appealing settle ment, Metochi, embedded in the pine-woods that cover and scent the higher slopes. Terracing and walling in the valley below dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the centre of the village still preserves many stone houses from the same period. The other village originally settled on the island was Limenaria, 5km to the south of Megalochori across the forested and panoramic ridge of the is land, passing above the bay of Drangonera. This southern half of the island has no hotels, and remains very tranquil. Limenaria, attractively sited on a plateau above the cove of Mariza, has the appearance of a Peloponnesian village, with many older stone houses. The wider landscape of the southwest corner of the island at Aponisos (1.5km west of Limenaria), with its small seasonal lake, reed-beds, and the off-shore island of Dorousa, is a good place for seeing a variety of migrating birds in early spring and autumn. For somewhere so close to the capital, the area feels remarkably remote.
Angistri Island is part of the Argosaronic Island Group, Greece.