Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 17 miles (27 km) from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of Aeacus, who was born in and ruled the island. During ancient times, Aegina was a rival to Athens, the great sea power of the era. An extinct volcano constitutes two thirds of Aegina. The northern and western side consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction.
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