The ancient name of Agistri was Kekrifalia meaning 'embellished head'. Agistri is referred by this name by Homer as ally of Aegina island in Trojan War (Iliad, epos A', raps. B', verse 562). Thucydides (470-335 B.C.) and Diodoros (90-21 B.C.) also refer to Agistri by the name 'Kekrifalia'.
Excavations have brought to light several archaeological finds of great interest that show that the island was inhabited 2500 years ago.
Agistri together with the surrounding islands constituted the kingdom of Aegina under the mythical King Aeakos. Several areas are of archaeological interest such as Megaritissa, Aponissos, as well as Kontari. Agistri, many times was subjected the influence of Aegina's tumultuous history.
Along the west coast and at close to the surface of the water one can see remnants of buildings from the pre-christian period.
In the 1920's Agistri was again barely inhabited but in the period between the 1940's and the 1990's, Agistri was one of the few smaller Greek Islands whose population actually increased. Today the official population is just 700 that reaches around the 4.500 during the summer. Until 1960 the island had no direct boat connection with Piraeus.
In 1973 electricity was introduced, and in the late 1970's a road was built to Limenaria. Since 1981, a small 12 seater bus has operated on the island traveling between Skala - Milos- Limenaria.
Traditionally the island's main products have been pine resin (used for making retsina), olive oil, figs, barley and fruit. However during the latter half of the 20th century the economy has come to be based on tourism rather than agriculture.
Megalochori (meaning ‘big village’ but known commonly as Milos) is the official main town of Agistri as it houses the Mayor’s office. However, this is a modest village with enchanting walks through its tiny, winding streets where you will see some of the oldest houses on the island all of which have been in the same families for many, many generations.
At its heart is the church of Agios Zoodochou Pigis which has its Name Day one week after Easter when Milos and the rest of Agistri joins in the two day celebrations with services, parties, market fairs – a truly carnival feeling pervades!
The town is well served with tavernas and bars in the centre and past the church on the road which winds down to sea, you will also discover a choice of hotels all of which have spectacular views from their balconies over gardens and the sea, with more bars and eating places.
Milos has a choice of supermarkets and, for those hunting down the perfect gift to reflect their Agistri experience, there are souvenir shops which offer an excellent choice of traditional presents.
Milos has its own port which has recently undergone extensive, yet sensitive modernisation and now is arrival point for the Aegean Flying Dolphin service which comes direct from the Athens’ port of Piraeus to Agistri in only a 45 minute journey and is also served by the island’s own Agistri Express several times a day.
Although there are many adventures to be had around the island of Agistri, its close proximity to Athens makes it an ideal base for a visit to the capital and some island hopping. In respect of timing, it is easy to visit Athens for a day and take in the sites such as the Acropolis, the market at Monastiraki and the city’s museums.
Agistri is only 40 minutes by boat from the ancient theatre at Epidavros. Take in the underwater city found near its shores, marvel at the ancient theatre with its amazing acoustics and swim, snorkel and kayak to your heart’s content. This is a truly memorable day out and a much nicer way to travel than the alternative of a hot bus trip via Athens!
Aegina is our nearest neighboring island and much larger than Agistri and its picturesque point is packed with bars, cafes and shops.
Only ten minutes Agistri to Aegina by our locally owned boat, the Agistri Express, visit the Temple of Aphaia and the cathedral of Agios Nektarios which is the second largest Greek Orthodox Church after Agia Sofia.
Agistri is the smallest island in the Saronic Gulf group of islands which includes Poros, Spetses, Hydra, Aegina and Salamina. It is possible to take day trips to many other islands in the group to add an extra element of adventure to your holiday. Returning the same day is naturally dependent on ferry timetables and asking the port police or at your accommodation should furnish you with the correct, up to date information.