Souvala can be reached directly by ferry from Piraeus or it can easily be found by taking the coast road north and east from Aegina Town for about 10 km. Until about the 1950s it was simply a fishing village but over the last 50 years has grown in response to tourism in the area. However, unlike some other places Souvala retains the atmosphere and flavour of Greece.
Aegina's Second port
Today you will find a crescent shaped harbour area with fishing boats moored and the second main port after Aegina Town. Indeed, there are several large ferries from and to Pireaus port which stop here. This means that many Athenians and people from the mainland come to Souvala which may explain why you will find a more genuine Greek experience here.
Summer holiday village
Souvala can be used as your base for a holiday since there are several hotels and private houses and apartments to rent. In the harbour area you will find a selection of tavernas and cafes which overlook the sea. There are also shops, a supermarket, and newsagents.
The town is especially popular in the high season with Greek visitors from Athens. Indeed, it is in the high season that the town bustles with a holiday atmosphere. Families and couples stroll along the 'paralia', which is the paved area along the harbour, to enjoy the setting sun. At night, you can see the lights of Attiki, Piraeus and the Athenian Coast.
Beaches & watersports
There is a small beach at Souvala and other places to bathe at the beaches close by (for example at Agii or Vagia). The coast of Souvala follows the configuration of the northern morphology of the island: most of the beaches have shallow waters with sandy bottoms.
Party of the marides
Yearly in July the village is celebrating the party of the marides (small fishes). FREE fresh BBQ-ed Marides and wine are offered to the people and there is a stage with a live band playing. Young and old are enjoying themselves.
The name of the town is derived from the man-made underground water tanks including those ancient cisterns found in the rocks near 'Therma'. These are the mineral water springs located to the eastern edge of the town and have been known since antiquity. The spa with its mineral laden waters is one of the best known in Europe. Its curative powers extend to the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, skin and digestive problems. Unfortunately in recent years the spa has been closed but it is hoped to be opened again.
The town - earlier called Aegena - has existed as a settlement since before Byzantine times. During the 900 year period from 900 to 1800 AD Souvala dealt with most commercial traffic when the pirates forced the people inland to the hillside village of Paleachora. When Paleachora was the capital of Aegina, it was Souvala that served all the sea traffic of the island. Souvala was for the first half of the 20th Century, the main port of Aegina exporting products such as grapes, sponges and carob
Today Souvala is a good choice for a relaxing holiday in a traditional location or even for a day trip. When you are staying take the opportunity to make interesting walks through the small mountains of Agious Souvala or walk up to Paleachora
, visit Agios Nektarios
or even continue walking to the Afea Temple
. Feel the beauty of nature and enjoy the great panoramic views you will have while walking.
Aegina’s second port is quite small, with stores, cafes, tavernas, a plant nursery, butcher shop, bakery, pharmacy, and supermarket lined up along its waterfront, and there’s a town beach next to the harbour. In summer, some of the main ferries stop here, with routes to and from Piraeus and also to/from Agia Marina. Behind the waterfront, the town is quite built up, with hardly any open land left. A little to the east of the port are the old thermal springs (accessible via the road leading out of town), which were known in antiquity, as attested to by remnants of ancient buildings.
The name souvala
(see article), describes open cisterns often lined with rocks, which filled with rainwater and were used for water supply in many old island villages. The presence of such cachements near the mineral springs likely accounts for the named later given to the port (its name in pre-Christian times having been Oia).
Prior to WWII, caiques (καϊκια) left daily for Piraeus, loaded with clay jugs, grapes, figs, and the local porous sandstone, called puri by the locals.