ALONNISOS



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Alonnisos - general

Alonnisos

Alonnisos has a stronger scent of pine and wild oregano in its air than almost any other island. Its waters are limpid, its forests intact, and its coastline—indented with enchanting coves and beaches—mostly un-built. Lovers of walking and swimming, and those who appreciate the attractions of simplicity have not failed to notice this. After centuries of obscurity, Alonnisos has acquired a new sense of identity through the creation of the largest Marine Conservation Area in Europe: it encompasses the whole island and the scattering of islets to its north and east. This aims to protect the area’s rare wildlife and the notable fecundity of its waters from the ecological upset caused by development and mass recreation. Far from discouraging tourism, the ‘Northern Sporades Marine Park’ aims to create a new kind of alternative tourism based on respect for the environment and interest in its unique natural riches. Walkers, snorkelers and sailors frequent Alonnisos in large numbers in the summer. Other visitors come in connection with the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy established on the island in 1994, which represents yet another aspect of the characteristically nature-oriented philosophy of the island.
   The constantly varying profiles and vegetation of the smaller islands around Alonnisos constitute a marine landscape of exceptional beauty. There is an intimacy to their waters which has appealed to human settlers and traders from the very beginnings of human history. Neolithic (and earlier) archaeology in the area is of great importance, and some of the Aegean’s richest prehistoric sites are scattered among the outlying islands. Such a landscape offered early man a fruitful equilibrium between the natural protection afforded by an island in the sea and the ease of communication and commerce which the sea facilitated. It is the story of Greek civilisation in microcosm. Though quiet today, these waters were a busy and important commercial thoroughfare throughout Antiquity: the number and the size of the ancient shipwrecks found on the sea-bed here are ample confirmation.
   Outside the busy port and the rapidly reviving Chora, the island has tranquil shores and a landscape of charm and natural beauty. Alonnisos and its diaspora of islets represent the eastern boundary of the land-mass of central mainland Greece. At this extremity, the broken land merges with the open sea. Beyond—and on occasions just visible—lies the different world of the eastern islands along the coast of Asia.


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


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access

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

By boat: There is no direct ferry route from Athens to Alonnisos. Services are from Volos or Aghios Konstantinos (closer to Athens): by car ferry (6 hours) daily from Volos, and five times weekly from Aghios Konstantinos. The island is also connected by rapid hydrofoil service (Flying Dolphin) in 2 hrs 30 mins from both of the above ports with varying frequency throughout the year. All serv ices to the island stop in Skiathos and Skopelos en route.
In the summer months, the hydrofoil connection is more frequent and the network extends to include Thessaloniki to the north and Kymi and other destinations on Euboea to the south.
Access to the outlying islands in the Marine Park (with the exception of Pipéri which is closed to ordinary visits) can be arranged with a boat opera tor in Patitíri: there are boats of varying size—the M/V "Gorgona" (Ikos Travel, details above); "Plantiri" (Alonnisos Travel, T. 24240 65188); and the smaller "Stella".

Alonnisos Travel Guide

beaches

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

Tourkoneri
Megali Ammos

Alonnisos Travel Guide

eating

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

A good place to sample the island's traditional, spiral tyropitta called striphtiko is at the taverna To Paradosiako at Steni Vala where they are freshly and delicately made along with a variety of good fish dishes, and where fresh wine from the island is served in the late spring.

Alonnisos Travel Guide

further reading

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

Ὰνω Μαγνὴτον Νησοὶ, Kostas Mavrikis, Alonnisos 1997 (currently only in Greek), is a comprehensive historical study of the island and its waters.
Walking on Alonnisos is a popular pastime. The following knowledgeable and informative guide can be of help: Alonnisos Through the Souls of your Feet, Chris Browne, 2008 (available through www.alonnisoswalks. co.uk). For information on the North Sporades Marine Park, see: www.alonissos park.gr

Alonnisos Travel Guide

lodging

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

Chora is a cooler, quieter and more panoramic place to stay than the port: Fantasia House (T. 24240 65186), to the left as you approach the village, is attractive and simple.
In Patitíri, the Hotel Haravgi (T. 24240 65090, fax 65189) is comfortable and pleasant, and open most of the year. There are many room or studio rental solutions on the island, which can be found at www. alonissos.gr.

Alonnisos Travel Guide

museums

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

Kostas and Angelas Mavriki Museum

Alonnisos Travel Guide

practical info

Alonnisos Island, the Sporades.

370 05 Alonnisos (sometimes written Alónissos), also referred to by its Mediaeval name‘Chelidromi(a)’ (and a current local variant, ‘Liadromia’): area 65sq. km; perimeter 81km; resident population 2399; max. altitude 475 m. Port Authority: T. 24240 65595. Travel information both for Alonnisos and for visits to the outlying islands: Ikos Travel (T. 24240 65320, fax 65321, www.ikostravel.com)

Alonnisos Travel Guide

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