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Alonissos:
An Ecological Paradise

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Discover Alonissos

Alonissos is the smallest of the Sporades and the headquarters of the National Marine Park of Alonissos and the Northern Sporades, one of Europe’s most important protected wildlife areas.

It is a verdant place with exotic beaches that appeal to nature lovers, travellers, and romantics looking to relax and recharge their batteries in a stunningly beautiful setting. Its ancient tradition in alternative medicine and its extensive botanical garden led in 1995 to the establishment of the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy. The island is also an emerging travel destination for lovers of underwater archaeology and diving, with important ancient shipwrecks off its coast.

Alonissos, the home of the monk seal, is one of the last ecological paradises of the Mediterranean, where the natural environment and the local culture are in harmony with one another, offering unique experiences to those who love adventure and nature-based activities.

4 memorable experiences on Alonissos
  1. The Threshing Festival held in Palio Horio, where the traditional method of threshing, using horses, is demonstrated every July. Visitors are served traditional trahanas (a dish made from fermented wheat, known locally as hondro).
  2. Hiking the island’s signposted trails and enjoying the constant alternations between the green of the forest and the turquoise of the sea.
  3. Exploring the exotic seas of the island by canoe or kayak.
  4. Walking the breathtaking Kastanorema Gorge, surrounded by rocks, cliffs and beautiful maple trees.
Beaches of Alonissos

The picture-postcard beaches of Alonissos combine lush greenery with turquoise seas. Discover:

  • The exotic Saint Demetrius, a paradise of white pebbles and blue-green waters, which is regularly named one of the world’s top ten beaches.
  • The popular Chrysi Milia, with its golden sand and shallow waters, a favourite of families with young children and ideal for snorkelling.
  • The alluring Leftos Yialos, which resembles a swimming pool surrounded by pine trees.
  • The idyllic Vithisma, a secluded retreat for would-be castaways and windsurfing enthusiasts.
  • The impressive Kokkinokastro, set in a landscape of wild splendour with imposing red rocks and blue-green waters that are great for exploring.

You can enjoy them by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Alonissos.

Postcards from Alonissos: 8 things not to miss

Palio Horio
If you choose one of the itineraries to Alonissos, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the old capital of the island, an architectural jewel full of narrow labyrinthine streets and stone houses with flower-filled balconies. The village’s best-known landmark is the medieval castle, which has magnificent views of the Aegean, particularly at sunset.

The Museum of History and Folklore
This unique museum in the port of Patitiri provides a unique window into the history and traditions of the island through various everyday objects. Part of its collection sheds light on the activities of the pirates that roamed these parts from the 16th to the 18th century, and includes exhibits from their ships.

Steni Vala
This coastal village with a picturesque fjord-like harbour is one of the prettiest places on Alonissos.  Surrounded by dense pine forests and olive groves, it offers unique nature walks, and is also a good spot from which to explore the surrounding islands by boat.  There is a diving centre here, as well as the Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Mom).

Alonissos Underwater Museum
The first museum of its kind in Greece opened in the summer of 2020 and showcases the underwater wealth of the ancient shipwrecks around Alonissos. The first archaeological site that divers can explore, a ship that sank while carrying amphoras off the islet of Peristera, is one of the most famous wrecks of classical antiquity.  There will also be an Information Centre in Alonissos Town, where visitors will be able to go on a virtual dive using augmented reality technology.

The National Marine Park of Alonissos
One of the most important natural habitats in Europe, this dazzling aquatic ecosystem is home to rare flora and fauna such as the Mediterranean monk seal, dolphins, coral, and other types of marine life. The park covers Alonissos, the unpopulated islands of Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Psathoura, Piperi, Skantzoura and Gioura, and 22 rocky islets. The public areas of the park can be used for swimming, free diving, or wildlife observation.  

Agioi Anargyroi
Built on the edge of a cliff and surrounded by gorgeous pine forests, the 13th-century twin Byzantine chapels of Agioi Anargyroi (the Holy Unmercenaries) has fantastic views of the sea.  The tree-lined path that leads here from Alonissos Town is one of the island’s most picturesque walks.

Kyra Panagia (or Pelagonisi)
Ancient Alonissos developed and flourished on this nearby deserted island. Today, visitors can tour important cultural monuments such as the historic 12th-century monastery, and the restored flour mill and oil press, or swim at the exotic beaches of Saint Peter’s and Planitis.

The Blue Cave
One of the most impressive – and oft-photographed – natural wonders of Alonissos, this dazzling sea cave near the island of Peristera is a shimmering aquatic spectacle in every shade of turquoise, with extraordinary sculptural stalactites on the ceiling.

Tastes of Alonissos

The local cuisine can be divided into fresh fish, seafood, and pies. Don’t miss Alonissos tuna, one of the finest culinary delicacies in Greece. The long-finned albacore, as it is properly known, is an excellent meze either grilled or with black linguine. 

Also try the famous trahanas pie (made with fermented grain), the local courgette pie, cheese pie made in a spiral, and bourekia (meat pies made with boiled goat meat). And make sure you sample one of the island’s delicious lobster and pasta dishes, such as astakomanestra (made with orzo).

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the excellent walnut pie; a custard pie known as soultana (like the bougatsa served elsewhere in Greece); and traditional goodies from the Sporades such as hamalia and fouskakia (bubble-shaped doughnuts). 

A special treat well worth trying is grilled figs with honey. The island also produces wine known as “mavro” (black) because of its dark red colour.

MAP OF ALONISSOS
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