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Aigio: The balcony of the Corinthian Gulf

Aigio


Aigio is built amphitheatrically on a hill of 60 meters overlooking the Corinthian Gulf and it is the second largest city of Achaia and the seat of the Municipality of Aigialeia. The Municipality of Aigialeia came from the merge of the municipalities of Aigeira, Aigio, Akrata, Diakopto, Erineos and Simpoliteia (Kallikratis plan). Aigio is the seat of the Metropolis of Kalavryta and Aigialia.

The name of Aigio, according to Stravona, came from the sacred goat (aigaAmalthea, who nursed Zeus when he was hiding from his father Saturn who was eating his children. Others argue that it comes from the Homeric verb aisso, meaning move rapidly, from the wild waters of its sea or from its terrain that is earthquake prone. The medieval name of Aigio, Vostitsa, may be from the Slavic word Vosta-Vostan that means “city of the gardens”.

In mythology Aigio was inhabited by Pelasgians Aigialeis but as founders of the united city were the Ionians of Attica (16th c.B.C.). In the 12th c. B.C. Achaeans from Laconia drove out the Ionians and settled in the area calling it – Achaia.

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The city of Aigio is divided in the lower town (kato poli) which includes the coastal zone, in the middle town (mesi poli) with Galaxidiotika or Ag. Andreas and the upper town (ano poli) with the historic center and the “Settlement”(Synoikismos).

A special feature of Aigio city is the green, central High Alonia Square with the neo-Gothic Tower (1900) which it used to be a Meteorological Station and the Memoria,l work of the sculptor G. Dimitriadis the Athenian.

In Aigio you will see many interesting preserved buildings such as the neoclassical Panagiotopoulos Mansion (1857-1860) with its wonderful frescoes inside – a great example of the neoclassical architecture in Southwest Greece, the Archaeological Museum (1890) by architect Ziller, the City Hall, the building of Historical and Folklore Museum, the mansion of George S. Messinezis etc. Impressive also are the old warehouses of raisins that have now been converted into luxury cafes and the old paper factory which is considered an industrial monument.

Aigio has a modern hospital, a spacious stadium and gymnasium. The Philharmonic of Aigio “EFTERPI” (1892) and the Aigion Choir (1933) are among the oldest in Greece.

In the municipality operate many cultural associations, among them the Association of Kefalonia & Ithaca of Aigialia & Kalavryta “Ag. Gerasimos”, which was founded in Aigio in 1955 with the aim of preserving cultural heritage of the Ionian Islands and Greece. As part of its activities has created the Orchestra “Music Odyssey”, the “Polyphonic Choir Aegialias” and Ionian Aegio Library.

On the beach of Aigio in a height of 30 meters you will find the Holy Pilgrimage “Zoodochos Pigi” known as “Panagia Tripiti”. Therein lies the miraculous icon of the Virgin and baby Jesus. Built in a cave, Panagia Tripiti impresses with its location, architecture and its elaborate gardens. The outdoor, of renaissance style, marble staircase connects the coastal road with the Church. It is the patron of Aigio and it celebrates on Easter Friday.

Other churches in the region are the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady Faneromeni work of Ernesto Tsiller, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Monastery of Archangels of Aegialia, the Church of St. Andrew, St. George Temenis, the Byzantine Church Holy Trinity etc.

Beaches

The coastline of Aigialeia offers a number of wonderful beaches with clear water for all tastes. Your refreshing swimming will complement the delicious dishes and the entertainment offered by the restaurants and bars by the sea.

Starting from the west directing to Aigio you will find the pebble beaches of Lampiri, the tranquil beaches of Buka, Akonia and Pefka of Kamares area, the small, picturesque beach of Loggos with the popular bars, the cosmopolitan Selianitika beach with the open-air cinema and the Akoli or Avythos beach with the deep, crystal waters.

The region of Aigio includes the awarded with the Blue Flag Aliki beach -next to the homonymous lagoon- ideal for the lovers of surf and kite – surf. Then you will see the living Digeliotika beach and the organized beach of Temeni. Just 6km from the town of Aigio is the pebbled beach of Valimitika.

Moving on the east of Aigio you will see the villages of Nikoleika and Rizomylos which share the same beach, pebbly with clear waters. Heading to Diakopto you will find the organized beach of Elaionas,  the sandy Egali beach surrounded by dense vegetation and the pebbled beach of Pounda – Trapeza one which is one of the cleanest of Aigialeia.

In the region of Akrata you will see the quiet beaches of Kryoneri and Porovitsi, and if you prefer an organized one you can visit Akrata beach. Last station, the beach of Aigeira on east of Aigialeia.

Video Aigio

Aigio Photos