An island with countless beautiful beaches and small deserts in an amazing natural environment that its residents responsibly protected and promoted, Alonissos is the ultimate setting for a truly relaxing holiday. It is the most remote of the Northern Sporades complex and the only one inhabited in the main area of the Sporades National Marine Park, created in 1992. It is a haven for rare birds and especially the Mediterranean seal monachus monachus. The visitor can take a tour of the Marine Park (total area of 2,200 sq. Km.) Following the regulations that have been established to protect this unique ecosystem.
Ikos, as Alonissos was known in antiquity, had as its first inhabitant Stafylos, son of Dionysus and Ariadne, who refers to the island’s constant relationship with viticulture; the significant production of wine on the island in ancient times. The tradition that the tomb of Achilles’ father, Peleus, was located in Alonissos caused the island to be named Achilles, in a rare case where the reputation of the glorious son prevailed over his father’s name. The name has been preserved with many decays until recent years (Railways, Railways, Corridors).
Apart from the legend, Alonissos was one of the first islands in the Aegean to be inhabited, as evidenced by the traces of the Neolithic settlement at Cape Kokkinokastro, while in neighboring Yura the human presence reaches the 9th millennium BC. (Cyclops cave). And how could it be otherwise, when the channel of Alonissos was an ancient sea passage from here, the Argo of Jason will pass on the road to Colchis, as well as the ships of the Achaeans to Troy.
The numerous shipwrecks of the classical and Byzantine times that have been discovered confirm the important value of the island for navigation. In fact, travelers in recent years, such as Boudelmondi (1420), report that its inhabitants often guided the ships in their course with various signs.
The first image that the visitor of Alonissos sees is the picturesque Patitiri, a port and capital of the island, which took its name from the wine presses, when the main occupation of the locals was viticulture. Head to Chora (or Palio Chorio), the old capital of the island, with the medieval castle overlooking the sea, wander the winding cobbled alleys of the settlement with its stone houses and picturesque courtyards, its beautiful churches (of Christ). Athanasios, Agios Georgios) and the traditional threshing floors. Follow the path that leads to the chapel of Agioi Anargyroi built in a dense pine forest – an unforgettable experience in a unique landscape!
In Milia, in a verdant location, the International Homeopathy Academy is located, thus continuing the tradition of folk medicine that flourished in this place thanks to the miraculous herbs of the island.
Sea lovers will not be complaining in Alonissos: lacy shores with emerald waters (Megalos Mourtias, Steni Vala, Milia, Chrysi Milia, Marpounta, etc.) await the lucky travelers who will choose to spend their holidays on the island.
After all, the monachus monachus seals, one of the rarest and most endangered mammals in the Mediterranean, also chose these waters as their refuge. The sensitivity of the fishermen and the intervention of the state led to the creation of the National Maritime Park of Alonissos-Northern Sporades, where the visitor will discover the way of life of the Mediterranean seal without endangering this great marine ecosystem.
Get pictures of immaculate beauty with a day boat tour of the desert areas of the wider area of the marine park:
• Yura, with the huge cave of Cyclops, where traces of habitation have been found since the Mesolithic Age (9th-7th millennium BC), as well as a rare species of eagle.
• Kyra-Panagia (or Pelagonisi), which is identified with ancient Alonissos, with the homonymous monastery of the 12th century, part of the Great Lavra, with olive press and flour mill that are preserved in excellent condition. The island has one of the largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean, the bay of the Planet.
• Piperi, the center of the marine park, where access to any boat is prohibited, as the seals are bred here.
• Xiro or Peristera with its wonderful sandy beaches, Skatzoura with the famous Monastery of Evangelistria, and Psathoura, a volcanic island with ruins of a sunken ancient city. You will recognize the island from its lighthouse, the highest in the Aegean, built by the French in the 19th century.
Discover the traditional way of life of the inhabitants of Alonissos that remained unchanged as well as the natural environment from the temptations of excessive development. With the center of the country reviving every year traditional events such as the Alonissian wedding (on the 15th of August), while the threshing is represented in the month of July (Alonari). Do not leave the island before trying the amazing local specialties, such as the famous Alonissi cheese pie, cacao, roasted figs with honey, walnut.
How to get here:
• From any city you can reach KTEL in Volos and from there take a boat or flying dolphin to Alonissos.
• By road to Agios Konstantinos and then by boat or flying dolphin to Alonissos.
• Alonissos is also connected by ferry to Skiathos and Skopelos.