Travel Around Greece

Travel to ... Alonissos

Submitted by MK on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 15:59.

The island of Alonissos (or Alonnisos, as the greek spelling goes) is located on the north-western part of the Aegean Sea, and is part of the North Sporades island group.

Quiet and out of the main tourist routes, Alonissos features unspoiled nature, crystal clear beaches and picturesque bays. The island is popular with sail boat travellers as its fiord-like coastline offers calm waters and privacy. As the seat of the first national marine park of Greece, Alonissos also attracts naturalists and volunteers who work toward the preservation of the Monachus-Monachus Mediterranean seal (monk seal).

The history of Alonissos dates back to the prehistoric times, as Neolithic settlements have been uncovered in the now deserted islets around Alonissos. During Minoan times the island, then known as Ikos, was colonised by the Minoans initially and subsequently passed on to the Myceneans. During classical times it is a part of the Athenian Alliance, and is later occupied by the Romans. Alonissos flourishes during early Byzantine times and passes on to the hands of the Venetians until 1538 when the Turks occupy it. During the 1821 greek independence revolution, the island offers shelter to revolutionaries and has been greek ever since.

Today Alonissos is one of the less developed islands of the north Aegean, thus preserving its natural beauty, tradition and wildlife. The island is comprised of a handful of villages: Patitiri, Votsi, Hora, Kalamakia and Steni Vala host the majority of the population, whereas there are numerous isolated villas and cottages, mainly in the south part of the island.

The national marine park of alonissos is one of the main attractions of the island. It is comprised of the area around Alonissos and the deserted islets that form the municipality of Alonissos (Kyra Panagia, Adelfi, Psathoura, Piperi, Skatzoura, Gioura and Peristera). The marine park is a protected area, rich in marine life and visitors can observe Monachus-Monachus monk seals (especially around Piperi, where fishing is prohibited), dolphins, rare plants, wild goats and birds, reptiles and hundreds of fish species.

What to do in Alonissos:

Popular with sail boat aficionados, Alonissos is the ideal destination for those who prefer roaming the Aegean with their own – or rented – boat. The marinas at Patitiri and Steni Vala offer all amenities to boats and the innumerable bays of the Alonissos and surrounding islands offer seclusion, privacy and warm, green waters. The winds in this part of the Aegean are always milder than in the Cyclades and this adds to the area’s popularity as a sailing destination.

Hiking, snorkelling, swimming and nature watching is also popular in Alonissos, as the unspoiled nature hosts rare species of fauna and flora.

Scuba diving is on the rise in Alonissos, as the marine park hides caves, sunken ships, ruins and a world of sea life. Special permit is required for scuba diving, obtainable from the port authorities at Patitiri, as parts of the marine park are off limits to scuba divers due to research and wildlife preservation programmes.

Due to its size and laid back atmosphere, Alonissos is the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying nature, without the hassle of free camping (now prohibited throughout Greece).

What to eat in Alonissos:

All fish dishes are delicious as most restaurants only serve the day’s catch. The bakery on the right of the main street in Patitiri has delicious pastries. One cannot miss the famous lobster spaghetti dish of Kyria Tasia in her tavern at Steni Vala and her sister’s Soultana desert in the coffee house next door.

What to shop in Alonissos:

T-shirts, mugs and other mementos from the MoM shop, the shop of the organisation for the protection of the monk seal. Their establishment features a very informative presentation about Mediterranean marine life, suitable for kids as well and all the earnings from their shop go to their monk seal programmes.

Best beaches:

Alonissos beaches have pebbles, smaller or bigger, with the exception of Milies. On the main island, accessible by road, one can visit Votsi, Kokkinokastro (where the Mycenaean settlement was), Kalamakia, Agios Petros and Glyfa (right before and after, respectively, Steni Vala). A bit down the road is Agios Dimitrios, one of the best beaches on the island. Still, most of the beaches on Alonissos and the islets are accessible only by sea

Travel Information: 

Alonissos is accessible by boats and hydrofoils leaving from mainland Greece (Volos and Agios Kostantinos) daily. For more information, contact the local port authority at +30 24240 65595

Accomodation Information: 

Alonissos features 2 4star hotels, a few 3 star hotels and many rooms and villas for rent. It is worth to spend a couple of nights at Hora, the old village, if only to soak the atmosphere and enjoy majestic vistas of the rest of the Sporades at sunset (Hora is built on the mountain but is only a few minutes’ ride from nearby beaches). There are also two camping sites on the island, at Patitiri and at Steni Vala.

Region: North Aegean

Place: aegean islands, alonissos, alonnisos, greek islands, National Marine Park of Alonnisos, Piperi, sporades

You will find here: Agrotourism, Ancient monuments, Beach, Camping, Diving, Fishing, Hiking and trekking, Scuba diving and snorkeling

See also

  • History of Spetses

    Sadly and unlike the rest of Greece, Spetses does not have much to offer in archaeological findings. The earliest evidence of man on Spetses comes in the shape of two Mesolithic flint spear-heads. These are thought to indicate a passing visit by hunters from the Fraghthi cave on the mainland who were searching for water. Spetses' first inhabitants appear to have been mostly just passing through, on their way from the Peloponnese to the Cyclades.

    Related places: aegean islands,Argo Saronic Gulf,Dapia,Greek Island,Spetses,sporades

  • Travel to ... Icaria (ikaria) island

    Icaria belongs to the dodekanese islands complex of Eastern Aegean sea. Icaria is located to the west of Samos and its first name was Dolichi but it was finally named after the Greek Mythology hero Icarus, the first man that ever managed to fly according to the deadalus and icarus myth.

    Related places: aegean,aegean islands,Agios Kyrikos,greek islands,ikaria,Therma

  • Aegina Nightlife

    Aegina is a popular destination for athenians, looking to spend their weekend in a nearby island. Being only 35 minutes away from Peiraus, it attracts a large number of athenians every weekend. Aegina is mostly considered a family place. There are not that many bars and night clubs, and if you are a party animal you will be better off going to paros, mykonos and other such islands. There however are many taverns and bar/restaurants all over the island, that will accomodate anyone else.

    Related places: aegean sea,Aegina,Argo Saronic Gulf,athens,attiki,greek islands,saronic islands

  • Travel to Aegina

    Aegina is a small island a few miles south of Peiraus. The easiest way to get to aegina is by boat from the port of peiraus. There are daily depertures of Flying Dolphins (hydrofoil ferries) for Aegina. With these very fast ferries, the trip to aegina lasts about 35 minutes. You cannot take your car or motorbike with you though. Use regular ferries if you want to take your car with you. Regular ferries cost less, but the trip lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

    Related places: aegean sea,Aegina,Argo Saronic Gulf,athens,attiki,greek islands

  • Spetses

    The island of Spetses is a short distance from Greece's capital and is a popular option for many Athenians that want a few days away on an island. It is a relatively small island yet it attracts a large amount of Greek and foreign tourists. Ferries and high-speed hydrofoils arrive regularly from Piraeus and Tyros and Leonidio and Nafplion on the Peloponnese.

    Related places: Agia Marina,Agia Paraskevi,Agioi Anargiroi,Agios Mamas,College beach,Dapia,Spetses,sporades

Other similar places in Greece

  • Travel to ... Elounda

    Elounda is a town placed on the north-eastern coast of Crete, in the picturesque gulf of Mirabello. Elounda is 10km from Agios Nikolaos, the capital of Lassithi and 70Km from Heraklion. You can travel to Heraklion, either by plane to the international Airport Nikos Kazantzakis, or by ferry from Peiraus. You then can take a bus from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos, and another bus from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda. A taxi directly from the Airport (about 70 Km) will cost around 60 Euros.

    Related places: Agios Nikolaos,East Crete,Elounda,greek islands,Kato Elounda,Lasithi,Mavrikiano,olous,Pano Elounda,plaka,Skisma

  • Aegina Nightlife

    Aegina is a popular destination for athenians, looking to spend their weekend in a nearby island. Being only 35 minutes away from Peiraus, it attracts a large number of athenians every weekend. Aegina is mostly considered a family place. There are not that many bars and night clubs, and if you are a party animal you will be better off going to paros, mykonos and other such islands. There however are many taverns and bar/restaurants all over the island, that will accomodate anyone else.

    Related places: aegean sea,Aegina,Argo Saronic Gulf,athens,attiki,greek islands,saronic islands

  • Spetses

    The island of Spetses is a short distance from Greece's capital and is a popular option for many Athenians that want a few days away on an island. It is a relatively small island yet it attracts a large amount of Greek and foreign tourists. Ferries and high-speed hydrofoils arrive regularly from Piraeus and Tyros and Leonidio and Nafplion on the Peloponnese.

    Related places: Agia Marina,Agia Paraskevi,Agioi Anargiroi,Agios Mamas,College beach,Dapia,Spetses,sporades

  • Elounda

    Elounda is a town placed on the north-eastern coast of Crete, in the picturesque gulf of Mirabello, about 70 km from the Heraklion airport and 10 km from the town of Aghios Nikolaos. Elounda is a quite small town with almost 2.000 residents. In reality it is a union of 4 small villages : Pano Elounda, Kato Elounda, Mavrikiano and Skisma which is the center of elounda. In the summer it is full of visitors and tourists. Because of its good climate and great beauty, many foreigners (mostly europeans) have chosen elounda as their permanent residence.

    Related places: Agios Nikolaos,East Crete,Elounda,Elounta,greek islands,Kato Elounda,Lasithi,Mavrikiano,olous,Pano Elounda,plaka,Skisma

  • Beaches in Elounda

    The beaches of Elounda are numerous and for all kinds of taste. There is the main sandy beach in the center of the town. Those who prefer pebbles can visit the beach of Plaka, a village next to Elounda about 4km away. One of the main attractions or Elounda is the beach of Kolokytha, located on the Elounda peninsula, with its white sand and crystal water. You can get there either by car - in this case you will have to leave the car at a point and walk about 10 minutes - or by one of the boats you can find in the port of Elounda.

    Related places: Agios Nikolaos,antiskari,East Crete,Elounda,Elounta,greek islands,kolokitha,Lasithi,olous,plaka,skistra

Travel to Greece facts

- 15 International Airports
- 51 marinas
- 227 inhabited islands ( out of 6000 greek islands)
- 430 beaches awarded with the blue flag.
- 9,111 hotels with 693,252 rooms:

  • 176 5-star hotels
  • 994 4-star hotels
  • 1804 3-star hotels
  • 4460 2-star hotels
  • 1677 1-star hotels

- 752 spas.
- 17 Monuments of Cultural Heritage according to the UNESCO catalogue.
- 124 Museums

Plan a trip now

Elounda, Crete

- : Autumn is the ideal season to visit Elounda. Elounda hotels and apartments are open untill mid-october and the whole experience is so much better after the summer...
- : Airplane to Heraklion Airport and bus to Aghios Nikolaos.
- : The airplane tickets cost depends on your departure site, the cost from Athens airport ranges from 60 to 140 Euros. The cost of the bus to Aghios Nikolaos is less than 10 euros and the bus from Aghios nikolaos to Elounda is less than 5 euros.
- : Choose a cosy little apartment over a large hotel.
- : ranging from 40 to 100 euros for two people per night.

Travel around Greece

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. The Aegean Sea lies to the east and south of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west. With more than 6,000 islands and the heritage of ancient Greece, the Roman and the Byzantine Empires it is a major tourist destination, with more than 15 million visitors every year. A travel to greece is more than purchasing a ticket and a hotel room though. Get on board with travelaround.gr and lets explore greece together.