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An Untouched Natural Paradise

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Discover Donoussa

Donoussa is an island in the Small Cyclades, situated between Amorgos and Naxos, so tiny that you can walk around its coast in just five hours. According to tradition, it owes its name, which means “vibrating”, to jolts caused by the rough waves of the sea!

It is one of the least frequented parts of the Aegean, an untouched natural paradise in a setting of exotic beauty, with countless little coves and seas in countless shades of blue.

Every corner is full of the intoxicating scent of cedar trees and Mediterranean herbs, while the relaxed pace of life promises unique opportunities for romantics or those looking for alternative holidays and outdoor adventure.

3 memorable experiences on Donoussa
  1. Discovering the rocky islets of Skoulonisi, Makares and Melanti, which surround Donoussa. Each is an exotic paradise with pristine beaches and spectacular seas for diving and fishing.
  2. Exploring the Messaria plain, with its pretty windmills and panoramic views of the Aegean.
  3. Swimming in the crystal blue waters of the dazzling Cave of the Wall, a natural wonder with imposing rocks and stalactites hanging from the ceiling.


Beaches of Donoussa

Although it is small, the island is blessed with superb beaches for all tastes, with boundless views of the Aegean. With one of the itineraries to Donoussa it is worth discovering:

  • The spectacular Kedros, which appeared on a Forbes Magazine list of the 8 best beaches in the world for 2018. Its heavenly setting of cedars, golden sand and turquoise sea in an attractive bay is especially popular with groups of friends and free campers. There is a beach bar here with soft drinks and food. Kedros can be reached via a path from Stavros.
  • Livadi, a long sandy beach with tamarisk trees and stunning turquoise waters. The famous syrmata (boathouses) are situated at one end. There are two ways of getting here: by a 20-minute hike along a path from Mersini or by boat from Stavros. There are no facilities, so make sure you have everything you need before you go.
  • The sandy beach of Fykio, an ideal choice for those who prefer seclusion. It has no amenities and it takes about half an hour to walk here via a footpath.
  • Stavros, near the port of Donoussa, which is a favourite of visitors to the island thanks to its impressive golden sand and shallow turquoise sea. It tends to be chosen by families with young children, as it has facilities and several tamarisk trees providing natural shade.
  • The three delightful beaches near the village of Kalotaritissa, Sapounohoma, Mesa Ammos and Vlycho, which lie next to one another in a tranquil cove with golden sand and transparent waters. They are ideal for anyone who prefers seclusion and a chance to explore the sea by snorkelling or diving.
Postcards from Donoussa: 5 things not to miss

Built on a hillside, the island’s lovely capital makes an immediate impression with its characteristic Cycladic architecture of bright white houses with blue shutters and flower-filled courtyards. The town’s balconies offer wonderful views of the Aegean.

If you choose a ferry ticket to Donoussa, don’t forget to see one of its most magnificent natural attractions, a cave which is also a refuge for the Mediterranean monk seal. The rugged beauty of the rocks and the shimmering reflections of the sea provide snorkellers and divers with an amazing underwater spectacle. Fokospilia is visited by the excursion boats that do rounds of the island, starting and finishing in the port of Stavros.

Built on a green hillside, this charming mountain village is an oasis of orchards with apricot and peach trees, vegetable gardens, running water and stone houses. The picturesque church of Agia Sofia, with a giant plane tree outside, is a beautiful place to enjoy a view of the Aegean and Amorgos.

The churches of the Virgin Mary and Saint John
Standing on a hill, this pair of simple 19th-century churches are joined by a modest bell tower. They are famous for their magical sunset views of Naxos.

Donoussa is an idyllic place for hikers, its trails fragrant with the aroma of thyme and rosemary. One path from Stavros crosses the enchanting Mount Papas by way of vineyards, olive groves and old mines, and ends at the tiny stone-built village of Kalotaritissa, with its whitewashed church of Saint George and some lovely beaches around the bay of the same name.

Tastes of Donoussa

The best-known of the island’s traditional dishes is patatato (braised goat meat with potatoes). It is also worth trying the fried pies such as hortopita (filled with chard and fennel) and tiropitaria (fried pastry parcels of mizithra cheese and mint), as well as goat stuffed with rice, kavourmas (pork fried in fat), yiaprakia (cabbage-leaf dolmades) and excellent handmade pasta such as klosta (spaghetti), aranista (made with fermented wheat, known elsewhere in Greece as trachanas), and pitaridia (noodles cooked with milk).

Don’t miss Donoussa’s favourite dessert, souvli (a pudding made with wheat flour), as well as treats such as xerotigana (fried strips of dough), loukoumades (doughnuts), and prickly pear jam.

You should also drink psimeni raki (made from dried figs), which is usually accompanied by pickled capers, and axialomizithra (a soft cheese), as well as the local sweet red wine.

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