View Alonissos in Google Maps here.
Alonissos is a beautiful green island located in the northwestern corner of the Aegean Sea about 40 miles from the mainland. It belongs to the archipelago, the Northern Sporades, which is geologically linked to the half-island Pelion, but with a large submarine area. Alonissos is about 20 km long and 3-4 km wide, on the widest area. The island has a magnificent and diverse nature which impress most visitors. It is a green island with oak and pine forests, fruit gardens and vineyards in the southern part of the island, while the northern part is wilder and with a lower vegetation. The island has approximately 2,700 inhabitants.
“The main city is called Patitiri and is also the port town of the island”.
The first impression of Alonnisos’ contrast filled nature is already given when the boat approaches the island. The southwestern mountain rises sharply from the sea in steep rock formations up to 300 meters, but shortly after a small village appears on top of the soft green hills which are hidden behind the mountain. The village, Palia Alonnisos, is the old capital of the island and was built in this high place in order to protect the inhabitants from attacks by pirates. After a few minutes of sailing, the island’s port town, Patitiri, will become visible, beautifully located in a very picturesque and stunningly beautiful bay. From here it is possible to sail to and from, among other things, the mainland. The nearest neighbor islands are Skopelos, Skiathos and Skyros. Patitiri is by far the only Greek port we have been to, where the water in the port bay has been the true Caribbean blue green color. Alonissos has no airport, so the nearest place by plane is the neighboring island of Skiathos. There are often cheap airline tickets to Athens and Thesalonikki, but you have to consider other expenses too, such as the bus and ferry journey from Athens, which are reasonably expensive. From Thesalonikki there is only a short taxi ride from the airport to the ferry / catemaran ( about 20 euros), but the ferry is not quite cheap either. If there are cheap flights to Skiathos or Volos on the mainland, it is absolutely preferable. Optionally through some of the Danish charter companies (e.g. Spies)
“Just enjoying the amazing views or embracing all the fragrant herbs that this island is rich of, is an experience in itself”
The area behind the port of Patitiri is tightly populated, and the tight population continues to the neighboring bay, Rousoum and on to the fishing village, Votsi.
In addition to these villages, Palia Alonnisos, Patitiri and Votsi, there are also two fishing villages further up the coast. The first is Steni Vala – about 10 km from Patitiri – a charming little fishing village and home to many. The last smaller population along the coast is the city Kalamakia, which is a smaller town with a, also, small harbor. Kalamarkia is wonderfully nice and perhaps the right place to stay if you want absolute peace in calm, authentic settings.
In the evenings, the three taverns set up tables and chairs all the way out on to the seafront, and lots of delicious fish dishes are served. Definitely worth experiencing.
If you want to live in this place, we can for example recommend Pension Aleksandra at the small harbor. The place reminds a little bit of the small island of Telendos, which you can also read about on this web. In addition to the little settlement and the little harbor there are a few small beaches on the spot. For example, you can combine living in this place with a stay in Patitiri or another area, where you can experience a little more city life.
Until the 1960s, Patitiri was only a small fishing fleet. The main city was then Palia Alonnisos on a mountain top just 4 km inland. The city, that can be seen up high, on the boat trip into the island. However, Palia Alonissos was severely damaged during an earthquake in 1965, and residents therefore moved to the sea in new homes. The main city was until 1965 the high-rise city of Hora (Old Town or Palia Alonissos). The former, so cozy, main city was allowed to lie in ruins for several years. At some point, some foreigners began to care for the damaged houses in the city, and began a refurbishment in order to use them as a vacation home.
“For a number of years, the formerly nice capital city was allowed to ruin”
This development led to the city being almost entirely rebuilt, and the old cozy houses are now being used for small beautiful shops, holiday homes and taverns. None of the island-residents is living in the city, but it is visited a lot in the evening by the tourists who live in Patitiri. The old town is absolutely beautiful and nice with lots of small staircases and lots of flowers everywhere. It is not possible to drive by car in the city. Renovation is done with a pair of donkeys, where the garbage then gets emptied into some containers on the back of the donkeys.
At Alonnisos there are many possibilities for swimming in the crystal-clear waters of one of the island’s many lovely beaches. One beach is more beautiful than the other, and they are all very different.
If you want to find your very own and private beach, it is absolutely possible too.
“Votsi – the most beautiful bay you can imagine”
There are so many amazing, both small and large, beaches around the island, so we are only going to name a few. There are, for example, a small nice beach in the port city of Patitiri. The next small bay is at Rousoum, and then there is Votsi, which is the nicest bay you can imagine. Unfortunately, the small cozy harbor in spring and summer 2016 has been drastically expanded throughout the bay, but it is still a very beautiful place. The beach is a small narrow pebble beach up a cliff wall and at a small nice harbor. As can be seen in the pictures below, the little bay is indescribably beautiful (The pictures are from before extension of the port). It continues with a few hundred meters apart, with one amazing little beach after another.
A beach, which we are also very happy with, is Spartines. Here there are actually two beaches, but we prefer to go left up over the cliff side of the small meadows. Then you arrive at a fantastically beautiful beach with white pebbles and situated on a white rock. Very often you are alone on this beach, where there is also the possibility of shadow under the steep rock.
Other lovely beaches are Milia and Chrisi Milia a little further up the coast. Chrisi Milia is a lovely relatively shallow and very child-friendly sandy beach. At times a little too many people according to our taste. After Chrisi Milia comes the very beautiful Cocoon disaster with the beautiful red rocks and is a beach with both sand and pebble. In this place there is very peaceful and in the outskirts really good space and not very many people. In high season there are beach chairs available and some years have been open at a small beach cafe on site. At Steni Vala there is also a lovely beach and it continues along the coast, where one beach replaces the other and the possibilities of being alone on the beach are getting better and better.
“The wild and diverse nature with all the fragrant trees and herbs offers opportunities for amazing natural experiences”
Alonnisos is very suitable for hiking and, among other things, most of the old donkey trails on the island are still available. The wild and diverse nature with all the fragrant trees and herbs offers opportunities for amazing natural experiences if you go on these routes. Danske Bente Keller, who has lived at Alonissos for over 20 years, has written a book about hiking trails at Alonissos. You can read more about this book here
Bente also offers various exciting courses and is the owner of the beautiful gallery “Gallery 5” which is definitely worth a visit. You will find “Gallery 5” in the old village in the top of the city on the right. You can read more about shops and courses here
We have lived several places on the island and can include recommend a real greek house in the old village.
“A authentic Greek house in the old village”
The house is an original old Greek house, (Elias house), which is lovingly restored and is indescribably cozy. Below is a picture from the terrace that has a nice sea view and a view of the old village. The house is on two floors and has two bedrooms for a total of 4 people. (+ optional extra bed)
You can read more about Elias house by clicking here
If you are several persons and want better space there is also the possibility to rent “Villa Maria”.
Villa Maria has 2 bedrooms and a large living room and generally very good space throughout, with several large covered porches around the house. An absolutely fantastic place. It is for 4-6 people.
You can read more Villa Maria by clicking here
It is also possible to find cozy rooms in the old village or in Patitiri, Votsi or Steni Vala. We have also lived in Votsi with amazing views of the very beautiful bay. Votsi is a small cozy and quiet place with a few taverns and only about 1500 meters to Patitiri.
In Votsi we can recommend Pension Votsi with unrivaled service and friendliness.
You can read more about Pension Votsi by clicking here
If you’ve been to Alonissos once, you just want to go there again. The only thing that wheighs down is probably that it is a bit difficult to reach unless you find flights directly to the neighboring island of Skiathos. But maybe that’s why it’s such a gem (-:
Live webcam from the port of Votsi here
“If you’ve been to Alonissos once, you just want to go there again”
View more photos from the lovely Alonnisos on Instagram, #KruseTravel.dk