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Wunderschöner Strand von Milia auf der Insel Alonnisos, Bild: Georgios Tsichlis / shutterstock

Alonnisos – the unknown island paradise of the Aegean Sea

On the edge of the Sporades is the island of Alonnisos, a true natural paradise. Unspoilt beaches and a lush landscape characterize the rather unknown island, which looks back on an eventful past. The magic of the destination also lies in the fact that the island is rather sparsely populated and there are only a few small villages apart from the main town of Patitiri.

Of course, there is no airport on the idyllic island. If you choose Alonnisos as your holiday destination, you can either travel via the city of Volos or via the neighbouring island of Skiathos . Both Volos and Skiathos are served by numerous European airlines several times a week during the peak tourist season and offer a ferry connection to the island of Alonnisos. In the low season, you can travel via Athens or Thessaloniki. Even if a little longer distances have to be accepted for the journey, the effort is forgotten at the latest at the sight of the island paradise of Alonnisos.

The magic of the magical Sporades island

Port of Alonnisos
Port of Alonnisos, Image: Pit Stock / shutterstock

Even the first view of Alonnisos from the ferry gives an idea that the island has a very special magic. The island’s capital Patitiri, framed by pine trees, is practically the gateway to the island paradise for travellers. Around the atmospheric harbour there are some lovely taverns and cafes from which guests can enjoy the view of the fishing and sailing boats moored in the harbour as well as the uninhabited islands of Dyo Adelfia.

The breathtaking island landscape immediately makes you want to explore and so the island with its lush flora is also a hiker’s paradise. The island, which consists mainly of limestone, is overgrown with spruce, olive, fig and almond trees. In addition, viticulture is also practiced on the sun-drenched island, so that hikers always come across romantic-looking vineyards. If you walk mindfully through nature, you can also discover numerous wild herbs on the island, which beguile with their scent.

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There are also numerous myths surrounding the island. Among other things, Peleas, the father of Achilles, is said to have chosen the island at the end of the Mycenaean epoch to spend his last years there and find his final resting place here. Regardless of mythology, numerous finds prove that the island was one of the first inhabited islands in the Aegean Sea and was exposed to a wide variety of influences throughout history.

Ultimately, Alonnisos seems to take his guests into another world. The island paradise makes it possible to enjoy nature and the special silence of the island world.

Chora – a journey into the past

Anyone who explores the villages of the island quickly gets the feeling of having traveled into the past. Especially the former capital Chora, which today is also often referred to as the “old village”, is extremely worth seeing. Only 2.5 km from the new capital Patitiri, the historic streets of Chora invite you to a very special exploration tour. The narrow and winding streets of the village are lined with ancient stone houses. Small shops and boutiques characterize the place as well as cozy taverns and nice little cafés. Once built as a medieval fortress to protect pirates, the village is still surrounded by the castle walls and only accessible through two entrances. This also ensures that the “village” is completely car-free, which further underlines the historic townscape.

Alonnisos National Marine Park – Northern Sporades

Agios Dimitrios (Saint Demetrios) beach on the island of Alonnisos
Agios Dimitrios (Saint Demetrios) beach on the island of Alonnisos, Image: Pit Stock / shutterstock

With a unique combination of land and marine biotope, it is the Alonnisos National Marine Park that delights nature lovers from all over the world. The unique flora and fauna, the natural beaches and the fascinating underwater world are thus under special protection.

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So it is not only wonderful to enjoy the sun on the natural beaches and refresh yourself in the crystal-clear sea, but it is also particularly worthwhile to explore the underwater world. The unique ecosystem of the Northern Sporades ensures, among other things, that the rare Mediterranean monk seals cavort here.

But the underwater world around Alonnisos also combines the beauty of nature with the myths and legends that surround the island. Thus, numerous historically valuable shipwrecks, some of which originated from the seabed, can be found on the seabed. 4. and 5th century BC originate.

Excursion tip – Pelagonisi

The northern Sporades hold some treasures and so a boat trip from Alonnisos to the island of Pelagonisi (Kyra-Panagia) is worthwhile. It is the largest uninhabited island in the archipelago. But this was not always the case and numerous finds prove that the now uninhabited island was built as early as 6,000 years BC. was settled. There is evidence that the ancient city of Alonnisos was located on the island. A testimony to the former settlement are the ruins of the Kyra Panagia monastery complex, a windmill and a historic wine press.

Culinary tips for your holiday in Alonissos

To this day, the inhabitants of Alonnisos are very conscious of tradition, which is reflected not only in the authentic places, but also in the gastronomic offer. Fresh fish should not be missing from the menu in any tavern on the island and the tasty fish dishes also convince gourmets.

Especially the traditional fish soup Kakavia is worth trying, but also delicious meat dishes prepared according to family recipes can be found in the taverns. However, local specialties also include desserts such as fauskakia or hamalia. A very special sweet called Amigdalota is also very suitable as a souvenir to extend the holiday season, at least culinarily.