From Patitiri to the West Coast

Patiti­ri is the westernmost of a series of three intimate coves in the protected southeast corner of the island: its area of habitation now spreads east behind Rousoum Bay (the next cove east), and incorporates the separate neighbourhood of Votsi (2km) beyond, named after Admiral Nikolaos Votsis (1877–1931), who used Alonnisos as a naval base during the Balkan Wars. A kilometre to the north of Votsi and to the left of the main road is the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy, founded and supervised by a widely published and respected ho meopathic practitioner and theorist, George Vithoulkas (b. 1932). A little way to its west, ruined architectural fragments mark the site of Aghios Andreas, one of the two Early Christian churches which have been located so far on Alonnisos.
   In the valley north of Votsi is the island’s most abundant spring, Mega Nero (turning to north off main road, 2.1km from Patiti­ri waterfront). Beyond the springs a track leads 1.5km across the width of the island to the small bay of Tsoukalia on the generally less protected north coast. A windmill (private) has been reconstructed in the bay.

On the east slope of Tsoukalia Bay are the vestigial remains of an ancient installation, partially buried in the pine woods. There is a thick scatter of ancient potsherds (al though in places mixed with modern) at the base of the hill. This was the site of a substantial wine-making installation of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, with associated pottery workshops producing the amphorae for transportation. (The name ‘tsoukalia’ means ‘pots’ in modern Greek.) It is here that a number of amphora handles, stamped with the legend ‘IKION’ have been found, confirming the ancient name of the island as Ikos. The rock-cut pool in the bed of the torrent behind the bay was also probably worked and enlarged in Antiquity.

The right-hand branch off the main track, 1km before the Bay of Tsoukalia, leads north and slightly east for a further 1.5km, at which point a narrow path continues a further 400m to the hermitage chapel of the Aghii Anargyri—possibly founded as early as the 15th century— now solitary, without its surrounding cells, on a wooded cliff overlooking the sea. The minute square interior is surmounted by a low cupola, tiled in schist; in the masonry of the corners are immured terracotta pots, ostensibly to emphasise the acoustics. In the hills to south and to east are more springs; below are the beautiful coves of Tourkoneri and Megali Ammos, which are accessible by foot. On the summit of the steep hill, due east of the latter are the remains of the Hellenistic watchtower of Kastraki.

Alonnisos Island is part of the Sporades Island Group, Greece.

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