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The Temple of Athena Aphaia in Aegina
Chalikiada, a beautiful beach in Agistri island
The beautiful main village of Hydra island
The Argo Saronic islands are part of the Aegean Sea and it lies between the peninsula of Attica and the northeastern coasts of Peloponnese. It has lovely Greek islands that are frequently visited as weekend destinations from Athens. The Saronic is perfect for day trips from Athens.
The most powerful island of Saronic in the antiquity was Aegina but it was later conquered by the fleet of Athens. In the center of Aegina, there is an important ancient temple dedicated to Athena Aphaia. Impressively enough, when seen from the air, the temple of Aphaia, the temple of Poseidon in Sounion and the Acropolis of Athens form an isosceles triangle.
The Saronic Gulf has another historical importance, as it was at the straights between Attica and Salamina island that the Battle of Salamis took place in September 480 BC when the allied fleet of Athens and other Greek city-states caused great damage to the Persian fleet.
In the Middle Ages, the islands of Hydra and Spetses in Saronic developed a lot due to shipping and trade. Although they were under the Ottoman rule, the islands managed to flourish in financial and cultural terms. The architecture of the Saronic islands is particularly impressive with stone mansions and elegant decoration, showing the rich background of the locals.
As Hydra and Spetses had yet developed an important trading fleet when the Greek War of Independence broke out, the locals turned their ships into warships and they engaged into sea battles with the Ottoman fleet. Many heroes came from these islands and the most important was a woman from Spetses, Lascarina Bouboulina, who gave all her fortune to the Independence War. In fact, the flagship of the Greek fleet was a ship of her own called Agamemnon.
The Saronic islands were set free in 1829 and in fact for a few months, Aegina was made capital of the modern Greek State before the capital was moved to Nafplion and eventually to Athens.
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