Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27 km (17 mi) from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, who was born on the island and became its king.
The municipality of Aegina consists of the island of Aegina and a few offshore islets. It is part of the Islands regional unit, Attica region. The municipality is subdivided into the following five communities (population in 2011 in parentheses ):
The regional capital is the town of Aegina, situated at the northwestern end of the island. Due to its proximity to Athens, it is a popular vacation place during the summer months, with quite a few Athenians owning second houses on the island.
Aegina is roughly triangular in shape, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) from east to west and 10 km (6.2 mi) from north to south, with an area of 87.41 km2 (33.75 sq mi).
An extinct volcano constitutes two-thirds of Aegina. The northern and western sides consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today (2000s) is pistachio. Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. Its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros (531 m) in the south, and the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side.
The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction. Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina; the regular ferry takes about an hour, with ticket prices for adults within the 4–15 euro range. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast.