Before the days of airports and flying dolphins,Alonissos was a remote outpost patronized by fishing caiques, dedicated spare fishermen, and the occasional camper. Now, though lacking fine hotels, boutiques, public transport and paved roads, it is gaining in the popularity polls. More and more people flock to this funky place, attracted by its splendid beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and delightful population. Nature is at its best in Alonissos; what man hath wrought is another story.
Afer suffering over the centuries the same slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as its larger neighbors, the people of Alonissos led a quite, uncomplicated existence from the Greek revolution until 1950, when the wheel of fate turned against them once more.
Boat trips or walks along pine-scented paths to gorgeous beaches , sails to desert islands, picnics on verdant hillsides, and the chance to watch an old town being restored to life or some of the pleasures Alonissos offers.
A visit to Chora, above Patitiri and just under a mile from town by footpath or just over two miles by road, is a must. Not only are the views from it among the best you;ll enjoy on any island, but it is gratifying to watch the old town coming back to life. Though restored dwellings are juxtaposed with ruins, there is a feeling of optimism to offset the melancholy. A lot of care is going into the restoration, and already there are rooms and tavernas to entice you to stay. Hiking up the hill is no longer necessary. Alonissos now has hourly bus service between the port and Chora, plus the taxis.
Up here you have to make the choice between the good views and good food, as is so often the case, the establishments with the best vantage points tend to neglect cuisine. Aloni has the most spectacular location, Napo's Italian restaurant has no view at all and it's pricey, and Paraport is a good compromise. Astrofengia is where you can satisfy your cravings.
Patitiri is the departing point for the excursion boats serving the various beaches around the island - Megali, Mourtia, Milia, Chrisi Milia, Kokkinokastro etc They also chug farther up the coast to Steni Vala, a fishermen's haven and center for research on the endangered Mediterranean sea and to the offshore islands.
There are more beaches on Alonissos southwest coast, though few on the steep windswept north. One of those on the southwest boasts the Marpounta Village Club, a bungalow complex with recreation facilities, bar, taverna, pool and tennis courts, build on a small promontory overlooking two lovely beaches.
As with all the islands there are rooms available in private houses, even up in Chora. But don't dream of island-hopping without reservations in July or August.
More remote than Skiathos Island and Skopelos, Alonissos has benefited from the expanded airport at Skiathos and the quick service provided by hydrofoils. It lies at the end of the hydrofoil and ferry lines and is about 3 hours on the hydrofoil from Ag. Konstantinos or Volos and 6 hours on ferry.
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