Review: Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko, Aegina: a small hotel with charm and history
Want to soak up the sun and enjoy a city but only got a few days? Go to Aegina, and stay at the Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko.
You could do worse than fly to Athens, take a bus to Piraeus, and be in Aegina and on the beach within half an hour.
Aegina Island is an island in the Argosaronic Gulf, 30 minutes from Piraeus by hydrofoil and 1.5 hours by regular ferry, but it’s a world away from Athens. You may have never heard of it, but despite the proximity to Athens, it’s unspoilt, little developed, with beautiful clear water and a handful of decent beaches. Moreover, the town of Aegina is gently buzzing all year round, so it would be perfect for catching a bit of end-of-season sun, or visit in summer – it will never get badly crowded.
We spend three sun-filled days at the end of October in Aegina Town last year, and we loved our little hotel in the town centre. It’s small and rustic, and really friendly. If you visit outside the main season, I recommend you base yourself in Aegina Town as this is where most islanders live, so it won’t be shut down like Agia Marina, and, to a certain extent, Perdika.
Location of Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko
The hotel is in the centre of Aegina Town, about 3min walk from the town port and harbour front. This is the view that greets you as you arrive.
Just walk straight on to the harbourfront, bear right and turn into a lane on the left, just past the water taxi. After 100 metres you come to a small square. Look for the dome of the church to your right, the hotel is on the right next to it.
Sandwiched between an Orthodox church and the Markellos Tower, it enjoys a super quiet location most of the time. Being next to the church, the bells might wake you at 7, but even Orthodox Churches appear to adhere to siesta hours and don’t ring much after 10pm.
You will find plenty of restaurants and bars in Irioti Street – cheaper and more traditional than most seafront cafes. If it’s a sea breeze and sea views you are after, try the cafes at the southern end of the harbour.
For decent beaches, walk to the port and turn right. There is a small beach called Avra beach with super clear water just north of the port, lined with a few simple but really good restaurants. If you walk 5min on, pass the archeological site of ancient Aegina to your left, then walk down to a longer stretch of beach (Kolona) where you’re likely on your own. Even on Avra Beach, the closest to town, the water is clean and crystal-clear. If you are lucky, you might see remnants of the ancient port here.
The Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko
Converted from a traditional neoclassical residence, the hotel has just a handful of rooms around a small plant-filled courtyard.
You just walk in and find this welcoming flagstone lobby.
Rooms go off a large communal balcony with a small sitting area for each room.
There is cute Greek folk art and nautical touches everywhere.
We were asked with great fanfare to choose a room when we pitched up at 9am – we took a bright small one on the first floor, off a communal balcony. The room was pretty tiny, but bright and traditionally decorated, with a super comfy bed (of you like firm mattresses). It had an attached private bathroom, which, given the age of the building, was tiny, with the shower pretty much taking most of the bathroom. That’s definitely a quirk of Greek bathrooms unless you’re edging luxury class, but with a decent bath mat and flip flops, it didn’t bother me. Showering was definitely possible without turning into advanced yoga poses or crouching on the floor.
The walls are about 1m thick, so the room stayed nice and cool even in 30 degree heat.
This is a simple hotel, with old country-house charm but little facilities. There is a small comfy entrance area with books and magazines, and little private seating areas outside each room on both floors. The hotel has well functioning WiFi and small desk spaces – we even had one in our room. There is a small roof terrace with sun beds. No pool but you can literally walk to the beach in 5 minutes.
Plenty of outdoor and covered seating.
If you really want to roast, there is a little roof terrace. Feel free to bring your bottle of wine or beer here – all rooms have fridges, and there are little shops selling everything you might need just around the corner.
What Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko lacks in facilities, in makes up in friendliness and genuine care about guests. We arrived in the early morning, just wishing to dump our bags and go off to the beach, but no. The proprietress was quickly called, and we were literally forced into the salon and made to take another breakfast – nothing like in Athens, she said, while busily squeezing pomegranate juice and talking us through her home-made cakes.
The owner takes a great pride in her breakfast and serves up a huge feast in the beautiful salon of the house every day – from bread to jam via various cakes, everything is home made. It’s a breakfast unlike anything I’ve eaten before – if you like sweet things for breakfast, you will love this.
Just by the southern end of the harbour are some inexpensive cafes – lots of locals sit there and you can get a coffee and a glas of wine for less than a Euro each. Try that in Rhodes.
Watch the sunset with a few glasses of wine. At these prices, you can sit there almost indefinitely.
Also, you may notice as soon as you leave the boat, there are stalls selling pistachios absolutely everywhere. They are grown on the island and make a nice edible souvenir.
I highly recommend visiting Greece in autumn. The season will slowly winding down, but Aegina Town is the administrative centre of the island and therefore, a lot of hotels and restaurants wills stay open all year round. There are quite a lot of smaller, nice-looking hotels in Aegina Town and no mega-resorts, but if you like a homely comfy place with a little quirk and some very sweet breakfasts, this one is for you.
Hotel Aeginitiko Archontiko Details
1 Ag. Nikolaou & Thomaidou Str, Aegina 18010, Greece
Tel: +30 2297 024968
How to book: You can book online on several booking portals including TUI, Zen Hotels and Trip.com. The only experience I have is with Trip.com when I booked a hotel in Turkey. It was a bit long winded (could have been my credit card) but in the end okay. This is one of the hotels where just phoning their mobile or emailing them might work best.
Port: 3-5min by foot
Nearest Bus Stop: there are some buses from the port to Agia Marina and Aphaia but they run very infrequently. Aegina is small enough to ride by scooter.
Features: all non-smoking rooms, quiet rooms, free WiFi, private bathroom, roof terrace, a wonderful home-made breakfast
Doesn’t have: bar, restaurant, bathtubs, pool
This trip was entirely self funded, and I have received no monetary or non-monetary rewards for linking aside from some affiliate links (marked with an asterisk). For the simple process of linking to other businesses, I proclaim this unpaid advertising. I will only review and recommend places that I have stayed in myself. You can trust me for the complete, unbiased truth. More details on my affiliate link policy are here. This post was first published in September 2018 and updated in August 2020