Alonnisos or Alonissos (population 2,750 in 2011) is the least touristed island in the Sporades Islands. It is 3 km (2 m) east of the island of Skopelos. Alonissos is also the name of a village on the island. The Municipality of Alonissos includes several other islands.
The island at its widest is 4.5 km from northwest to southeast and at its longest is 20 km from southwest to northeast. The island is mostly limestone. It is east of mainland Greece and Magnesia, northeast of Euboea and northwest of Skyros. Alonissos has one main road which leads to three villages in the western part of the island and several unused roads throughout the island.
The village of Alonissos is located on the southern part of the island. It is locally known as Chora (χωρα - village). Chora (χωρα) is set high on the hill on the island of Alonissos, about 2 km from the island’s port, Patitiri, relatively unspoiled by tourism.
The bay at the southern end of the island is also called Alonissos.
The main port of the island is located in the southeast and is called Patitiri. There is ferry and hydrofoil service from Patitiri to Volos and to Agios Konstantinos on the mainland and to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros.
Other villages include Steni Vala and Agios Petros.
The Municipality of Alonissos includes the other, mostly inhabited, islands of Adelfopoulo, Gioura, Kyra Panagia, Pelagos, Persitera, Piperi, Psathoura and Skantzoura which are popular with sailors because of their romantic anchor bays.
Greek is the native language of the people of Alonissos. However, most people also speak passable English and many speak German or other European languages.
Summers are long and hot. In spring and autumn, you will need little more than a cardigan to keep away the cool morning and evening breezes, and winters are generally mild. You will find it slightly cooler in the island’s village of Chora, set high on a hill.
Alonissos is accessible via ferry from Volos, Agios Konstantinos, and Skopelos. Patitiri is the third stop both from Skiathos harbour and the mainland and takes about 1½ hours from Skiathos and 4 hours from Aghios Constantinos. While Cruise ships dock at the Patitiri Port.
There is no airport on the island itself but you can fly to either the nearby island of Skiathos in peak season or to Athens or Thessaloniki on the mainland. From either of these you will proceed to Alonissos by boat.
Out of season on Alonissos there isn't any public transport and you will find that even though there is a bus stop in Patitiri next to the taxi stand and opposite the Alkyon Hotel, there's no bus. This is because out of season the bus does the school run and is therefore otherwise engaged. Arrive here on Alonissos during the height of the season and you will find a regular bus service running between Patitiri and the Chora and a limited service running between Patitiri and Steni Vala. Tickets are purchased on the bus with the single fare from Patitiri to the Chora costing €1.60 and from Patitiri to Steni Vala costing €1.70.
With public transport on the island being available only during the summer months taking a taxi is the main form of transport for visitors unless you hire a car. The taxi rank is opposite the Alkyon Hotel next to the bus stop.
Patitiri harbour to theOldTown takes about 5 minutes by taxi and costs €5. For early morning journeys or at public holidays you may pay twice this amount for the same journey. You can also use the taxi's to take you to far off island destinations such as Votsi, Steni Vala and Milia beach which are accessible via tarmac roads.
It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car or a motor scooter. Asphalt roads run across the south of the island. Roads in the interior turn out to be little more than dirt paths. You can find for rent a cheap car on Alonissos island.
In Chora there is ample free parking in the new car park, just past the entrance to the village.
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Mopeds in particular are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go - for example the twisted narrow streets of Patatiri. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent: €10-15 a day is the usual price. You can rent them easily from the port of Patatiri.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tires is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious - it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.
From Patitiri there is a well marked footpath up the hill to Chora. Walking this takes around an hour, is very scenic, and fairly steep at times.
Sea caves where seals live. Don't expect to see any seals, they're too shy to be seen.
One of the things you should do if you have some time in Patitiri is visit the Alonissos museum, the largest privately owned museum in the Greek islands. This is housed in a bright, relatively new stone building to the left of the town beach. To get there, go past the bars and tavernas behind the town beach and up the steps at the end. The door to the museum is up the steps. Exhibits are on the lower ground, ground and first floors, with a coffee shop on the second floor. There is a lift to all floors.
The Traditional House Museum of Alonissos is at the start of the main thoroughfare of the Upper Old Town.
Shipwreck at Peristera Some of the boat tours offered at the port can take you to swim/snorkel there.
- The Alonissos photography experience will be one of the most valuable experiences of your life. Bring your camera and take pictures of unforgettable moments.
- From the early light bouncing quietly off the ancient white washed walls to the delicate pink hue of the late afternoon sun setting, your lens will be filled with wonder for every moment. Try to be embarked on a daily trip sailing around the island or to the deserted island around. Don’t miss to be embarked on daily walking journeys through the narrow winding pathways of the villages, discovering interesting architecture, the natives and their culture, and some donkeys and mules being led through the narrow paths from ocean to cliff side.
- Swim: The waters of the island are considered to be the cleanest in the Aegean and have been declared a MarinePark and conservation area in order to protect a rare species of monk seal, the Monachus Monachus that breed in the region. Alonissos has a variety of beaches, like the others Sporades islands have. Most are on the east side. Megali Ammos an isolate unspoiled beach to the Northwest coast is really wonderful.
- In areas where approaching is permitted, swimming, observation of the sea bed, amateur photography and filming are allowed.
- Jewelry stores are common
- Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are actually imported, and have no authentic connection to the island whatsoever.
- Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (T-shirts, towels, hand bags, and so on)
- Geko (Silver&Art), Patitiri (Port), ☏ +30 6972386870, email@example.com. 09:00-00:00. Collection of silver or silver and gold jewellery made by famous Greek designers. Accessories such as bags, sandals, silk scarf, wooden necklaces, wooden bracelets.By far the most unique and beautiful pieces sold on the island.
All fish dishes are delicious as most restaurants only serve the day’s catch. The bakery on the right of the main street in Patitiri has delicious pastries. One cannot miss the famous lobster spaghetti dish of Kyria Tasia in her tavern at Steni Vala and her sister’s Soultana desert in the coffee house next door.
The style is hearty rather than overcomplicated. It’s better away from the tourist “chips with everything” areas in the major resorts. Alonissos tavernas generally offer best menus. Portions are usually generous. The excellence of the local wine is a real bonus, and at good prices, so a night out tends to be inexpensive and a lot of fun!
All the markets in Alonissos produce plentiful and inexpensive food. There are small supermarkets well stocked with local and imported food. Feeding 2 people for a week would cost you around €100.
Restaurants and Tavernas are not expensive – you should be able to eat and drink for around €7 per head, and enjoy a really good meal.
Local wines and spirits are good value, and beer will cost about €1.50 a bottle, cigarettes €3.80 per packet).
The cuisine is best enjoyed at the invitation of a local to go to his house - don’t turn down an invite. Grilled fish or meat sprinkled with local herbs cooked slowly on an outside charcoal fire is always delicious, especially when its washed down with some local village wine. Greek salad is well known, of course, and the souvlakia (meat on a skewer) is always to be found in village Tavernas.
If you enjoy seafood find a local Ouzorea that’s used by the locals and try a meze.
At lunchtime fried Calamari with a bottle of chilled Retsina is wonderful.
Breakfast tends to be light, and of the continental variety. But most tourist tavernas now do full English breakfasts, omelettes and toasted sandwiches.
Assume the tap water is not drinkable unless told otherwise. Much of the island relies on collected rainwater for tap water.
Local drinks include Mythos (beer) and Ouzo.
- Steni Vala camping, Steni Vala, ☏ +30 24240 65557.
- Ikion Eco Boutique Hotel, Kavos Patitiri, ☏ +30 24240 66360, fax: +30 24240 65736, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Marpunta Village Hotel, Marpunta, ☏ +30 24240-65212, fax: +30 24240-65582, email@example.com. Located in Marpunta on the beach, in a protected private pine forest.
- Paradise Hotel, Kavos Patitiri, ☏ +30 24240-65160, fax: +30 24240 65161, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alonissos is a generally safe destination.
- The summer sun tends to get very strong. You should not take the risk of dehydration, sunburns or even heat strokes lightly. Wear appropriate clothes, maybe with a hat and sunglasses; use sunscreen; bring enough water on excursions and know when to stop exhausting yourself and seek the shade of a tree.