The Argo Saronic Islands are located in and around the Saronic Gulf just to the south of the Greek capital of Athens. The main islands in this group are Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Methana and Salamis with Hydra and Spetses beyond. Aegina is a popular weekend holiday retreat for Athenians and it can get very busy. Many mainland Greeks have holiday homes in the Saronic Islands, which are regularly served by ferries from Piraeus and the Peloponnese.
Aegina is a hugely popular holiday island base for visitors who plan a trip to Athens but it has never picked up a Blue Flag awards for its beaches. This year is different after the Agia Marina beach lifted a Blue Flag accolade - making it a first for Aegina island.
Although many Greek islands are suffering as the number of overseas visitors continues to fall, the island of Aegina has been hit by even more pain. Hotel owners on the island of Aegina have been even harder hit by the collapse in domestic tourism . . .
Players will be taking part in a beach volleyball tournament between Christmas and New Year to compete in the Aegina Xmas Cup Beach Volley contest which is open to all athletes.
Yhe remarkable Temple of Aphaea, often spelt Aphaia which dominates a pine covered hill near the island beach resort of Aghia Marina is one of the best preserved temples in Greece
Hydra is only a tiny island in the Saronic Gulf but it's architecture boasts a wealth of history that belies such an diminutive place in particular its splendid 18th century mansion houses.