KOKKINO KASTRO is a historic estate οn the island of Aegina and a very single part of it has been full of memories from 1825 until now.
It is set on a hill at a distance of 800m from the harbor of the town in a rural area of 22.000m2. What makes this place really unique is the transparency of the atmosphere and the dazzling flashes of the sunlight that enhance the little houses and the colors of the majestic bougainvilleas and laurels. The unique mixture of the old and the new, the peaceful coexistence of the rare and exotic with the humble and simple evoke emotions of elation and nostalgia. The little houses are surrounded by towering, cypress trees, olive groves, pistachio trees and centenarian pine trees.
In this superb environment one can swim in the huge swimming pool, play tennis in the tennis court or try cooking in the fully equipped modern kitchen and BBQ.
An open air dining room next to the kitchen accommodates 16-18 people and offers the best environment for a pleasant meal
The traditional Windmill (2 two-bed rooms), villa Konstantia (1 double - bed room) and villa Andriana (1 double – bed room) can be let as a whole to families or groups of friends of up to 18 people
Do not miss the opportunity to watch the traditional harvesting of pistachios that takes place during the last days of August beginning of September and the harvesting of olives at the beginning of November.
Living in Kokkino Kastro can be a unique experience. Memories of the 19th century come to life in a romantic environment full of modern facilities. It is the ideal place for relaxation, close to the town’s amenities and the island’s beaches, at a distance of only 11/2 hours from the centre of Athens.
At the entrance of this small house there is a small atrium patio (veranda) covered with a huge bougainvillea, where one can sit under its shade, have breakfast and relax sipping a cup of coffee.
In the interior of the house there is a living room area with a fully equipped kitchenette. The three bedrooms (2 twin and one double bed) all with ensuite bathrooms are fully air conditioned.
The windmill which actually looks like a tower is one of the landmarks of the property.
This construction dates back to the beginning of the 19th century (around 1826) and it was used for grinding wheat or other grains.
It has been converted into a guest house with 4 double bed rooms in the periphery and a two story living room area and a kitchenette for light meals in the centre.
On the top there is a terrace with panoramic view of the island.
Each bedroom is completed with a bathroom and is air conditioned.
The front of the stone house is covered by two huge glass doors offering ….views of the olive grove, orange trees, lemon trees and the trails of vines that cover the big veranda.
The 40m2 double bed room with bathroom has been furnished with taste and has been well equipped with air conditioning, TV, video, DVD, internet connection and a small kitchen with all the necessary accessories for the preparation of light meals.
THE CENTRAL KITCHEN AREA
The state of the Art kitchen, built with traditional, local stones, is very ergonomically designed.
With its tall glassed front doors looks like a conservatory that can be converted into a semi – open air space, with direct access to the big shaded pergola which serves as the main dining area during hot summer days.
It is fully equipped with refrigerator, deep freezer, microwave, dish washer, three coffee makers, two electric wall ovens, electric cooker, ventilator, wifi, TV, etc.
All sorts of small appliances and kitchen gadgets are also available as well as cutlery, pottery and all sorts of glaives to serve 8 guests and more.
Attached to the kitchen there is a bathroom a shower and a waching machine.
Next to the kitchen the BBQ area is equipped with a stone barbeque grill, counters, a stainless steel sink and storage area for logs and charcoal.
The cooking area is surrounded by all sorts of trees, plants and flowers.
Cooking here becomes a memorably experience.
Set near the swimming pool in the shade of a perennial pine tree, this stone villa with its 50cm2 bedrooms and en suite bathroom with shower, offers moments of luxurious relaxation and tranquility. It is equipped with a double bed – TV- VIDEO – DVD players a ladies boudoir a relaxing sofa and an antique closet.
A small fridge and a coffee maker complete the furniture.
The huge swimming pool (20 x 10m) with terracing and a fabulous pavilion is overlooking the sea and the nearby mountains. It is the place that somebody may spend all his day relaxing swimming making sun therapy and taking a nap or siesta during hot hours of the day.
The tennis court surrounded by big trees and climbing bushes is made according to the international standards in dimensions, etc.
The basket may be used for family play.
It is a complex of pine trees in absolute tranquility is offering a superb shadow for relax, study, reading, or watching the friends playing tennis.
Kokkino kastro estate boasts one of the most enviable locations with a natural environment of unique beauty and memories of the past.
FEW WORDS ABOUT LIFE & FACILITIES IN AEGINA
- Aegina is an island οf cultural life with plenty of art exhibitions,theatrical performances,lectures and local festivals.
- The harbor and the marina for yachts are near the center of the town. Coffee bars and taverns by the sea offer deliciously cooked international dishes and of course fresh fish.
- Big chains of super markets offer all standard foodstuff as well as delicatessen both oriental (pasturma) and international (French cheese, caviar, etc.) Also a big variety of wines, beers, whiskies and soft drinks is on the shelves. All the above are of the highest quality.
- There are free beaches near the town and all around the island where you can enjoy the sea, the sand and the sun. Basic facilities such as sunbeds, umbrellas and refreshments are available .
- Three open-air cinemas show mostly English speaking films.
During July and August one can go to Epidaurus,where the famous festival is held,to watch performances of ancient Greek drama, usually in Greek or English.Daily trips are organised for groups,departing from Aegina in the afternoon and arriving at Epidaurus port by motor ships. Visitors are taken to the ancient theatre by shuttle bus.They are taken back to Aegina late at night. Honestly, do not miss this opportunity.You will remember it for ever.
Aegina was firstly inhabited in 5000bc and since then has remained an island with glorious civilization. An important archeological museum as well as the temple of Afaia and other ancient temples are very interesting.
- Auto cars, motorcycles and bikes are available for hire.
- Also taxis , sea taxis and motorboats can take you anywhere in the island and the surrounding areas and islands.
- Finally apart from the national Fast Aids Station and the small hospital there are private doctors of most specialties.
As mentioned above, Aegina is only 1 ½ hours away from the center of Athens. There are speedy boats every hour from Aegina to Piraeus and back and they start early in the morning up to late in the evening so a one day visit to Athens is possible.
(There is a direct subway line from Piraeus to Athens that takes only 15-20 minutes).
George Finlay (1799-1875) the famous Scottish historian was the grandson of the founder of the trading company ‘James Finlay & Co ‘.
In 1823, he sailed to Greece to fight in its War of Independence from the Ottomans, serving initially on board the ‘Karteria’ (‘Perseverance’) the first steam warship used in war with Captain Frank Hastings. In his involvement with the Greek struggle he worked closely with, and became a friend of, Lord Byron in the last months of the poet’s life.
In early 1825 Finlay first set up house on Aegina, the first capital of the Greek estate, buying a landed farm estate which he named ‘The Red Castle’ (KOKKINO KASTRO), establishing his permanent roots in Greece, developing a field of barley for his horse and stocking his garden with pear and olive trees.
For the remainder of the conflict, Finlay, dedicated himself to easing the plight of the refugees on Aegina.
Finlay never wavered in his desire to serve the Greek people by pressing for financial stability and a government adapted to their needs and historical background.
Finlay wrote many books about the history of the Greek people from the Roman times up to his time among which the most known is the history of the Greek revolution of independence from the Turkish yoke in 1821, also he was the official Athens correspondent of the Times newspaper from 1864 to 1874.
The Red Castle was subsequently purchased by Alexandros Mavrocordatos the most eminent political personality in the War of Independence.
Alexandros Mavrocordatos participated in almost all the constitutional assemblies that took place during the War of Independence (1821-1827) and contributed to the syntax of the first constitution of the new Greek State, later on as Prime Minister in the reigning of King Otto he worked very hard to promote democracy against the monarchy regime of the time.
Alexandros Mavrocordatos spent the last 5 years of his life in the Red Castle in Aegina where he died in 1865.
After his death Red Castle passed to other famous families of Greece (families of Soutsou and Baltatsi) and finally it was bought by Melas family in 1911, the family of the heroic Pavlos Melas who fought a gorilla war against Boulgarian troops to keep Macedonia a Greek area in the first years of 20th century.
Melas family revived Red Castle estate by planting most of the pistachio trees of today .
The today’s owners purchased KOKKINO KASTRO 25 years ego and upgraded it to it's today status.