My husband and I, along with another couple, spent 2 nights at Irides Luxury Studios this month. It was the final two nights of a 13-day trip which included a 7-day cruise of Greek island hopping and Turkey at the beginning along with 2 nights in Athens prior to arriving. We were worn out from site seeing and traveling and were hoping that Irides would be a nice place to relax and recharge before heading home and back to the real world. I was also particularly wanting a reasonably priced place with a sea-view and clear waters along the shore. I am pleased to report that it was everything that we had hoped for and more!
First off, the hotel owners, Andreas and Dimitra were extremely welcoming. The view of the sea from the beautifully done pool / patio area was instantly soothing and very inviting. The rooms were comfortable with small kitchenettes and nice covered balconies with table and chairs overlooking the sea. I believe that both couples were given room upgrades since it was still off-season and during the week, and not many rooms appeared to be occupied (an additional bonus!). The bathroom had a built-in hair dryer, but I will admit that the shower stall was quite small which was fine for me but I thought might be more of a problem for my stout husband. He managed just fine though.
I was a little concerned that the sea-water quality off Aegina Island might not be that great since it was closer to the mainland (unlike the beautiful waters of the Cyclades which are further out). I was VERY pleased to see that while it was a little murky in the port areas, it was very clear off the quiet shores at Irides. It's a rocky beach there so probably not the best if you have small children, but their pool is really lovely if that's not your type of beach. And there are some sandy beaches on other parts of the island, a particularly large and safe one at Agia Marina (about a 10 minute taxi ride from Irides), but the water there at Agia Marina was murkier along the shore line since the sand would wash up into the waves. It was clearer a little ways out. Definitely bring water shoes to more comfortably enter the waters at Irides -- there are a few areas where you can enter pretty easily barefoot (some sea urchins can be encountered in the rockier patches... ask and they will point those out to you). We enjoy snorkeling so had brought some goggles and a snorkel along. The waters provided some rocky areas to explore small marine life and once you swam out about 10 feet, there were large sandy patches of crystal clear waters. I was very pleased with the waters there---and I'm pretty picky about the type of sea water that I'll swim in since I have an irrational fear of murky sea/ocean/lake waters thanks to watching the movie Jaws at an impressionable age.
Again, with regard to the hotel itself, they had great service and served a pleasant little breakfast to us when we came down to the shaded/breezy patio overlooking the shore in the mornings. They have a small snack bar serving drinks and pizza and toasted sandwiches for lunch or mid-meal bites. There is a nice little supermarket within a 5 minute walk from the hotel to get whatever sundries you might want to make use of the kitchenette which had glasses, serving ware, plates, cutting boards, a fridge with a small freezer, etc.
The little town of Souvala was around a 25 minute walk along the shoreline from Irides and has about 10 little restaurants/bars/cafes to choose from. The food was pretty good at the two places we tried---I can't remember their names though. There was a nice little bakery on the west end of the strip which had some great baklava! We also took a taxi in to Agia Marina one evening for dinner since I had read here on TA that Pita Tom was a good place to get a gyro and I was wanting some pita and tzatziki. We all liked it a LOT! Lots more shops and restaurants to choose from in Agia Marina. Be sure to arrange for the taxi driver to come back and pick you up later that evening to take you back to Irides... not as many taxis were readily available from that town...round trip was around 25 or 30 Euros. We only spent a few hours in Aegina Town when we went back to catch the Flying Dolphin back to Piraeus (Athens). It's definitely the larger town and was very pretty... lots more restaurants and shops there. The beaches away from the port area seemed to be pretty nice there as well. Lots more people though. Many Athenians make weekend trips out to Aegina and since we arrived on Sunday with several people who came out for the day, we had to wait over a half hour to get a taxi at the taxi stand. There just weren't that many available. In hind site, we should have looked into either taking the ferry to Souvala (where the hotel owners would have picked us up) or better yet, renting a car (since we could have split it with our friends and had easier access for further exploring the island... but our main goal was to relax so we were perfectly fine without it). The taxi ride from Aegina Town to Irides was around 20 minutes and cost around 15 or 20 Euros.
Overall, I LOVED our stay at Irides and would definitely return!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Irides studios & apartments are located right on the beach, just outside the village of Souvala in Agious on the north side of Aegina island (vis a vis Athens) in Greece. You can wake up with the sound of the waves. Have your breakfast at our poolside and enjoy the sun & sea afterwards. There are sunbeds around the pool and on the beach in front. Our studios & apartments and our family bungalow are comfortable and have balconies or terraces with view towards the sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Irides Luxury Studios Aegina/Souvala, Greece