The highest point of the island is the mountain Kouvouli with an altitude of 476 meters with smaller mountains consisting of Geladias 456 m, Tourkovigla 343 m, Kalovoulos 355 m, Vouno 255 m etc.
Alonissos, third in size of the Northern Sporades, has a permanent population of 3000.
Alonissos and the uninhabited islands of the Northern Sporades form an island cluster of incomparable beauty and exceptional ecological value. Of the habitat types, the most significant are the marine Posidonia beds (priority habitat type), and the sea caves (refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal). Of the plants species, a number of chasmophytes are endemic to the Sporades and five species are included in The Red Data Book of rare and threatened plants of Greece. Of the island's animal species, the Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most endangered species in the world.
Alonissos is covered with pine trees, olive trees, almond-trees, holm oaks, mastic-trees, arbutus bushes and also fruit-bearing trees. Its clear sea, dreamy coasts, bays, vegetation, the inhabitants traditional hospitality and the calm, cool atmosphere make Alonissos a place where someone can really rest during one' s summer holidays and come back into daily life refreshed and full of new impressions.
Alonissos has taken its name after the liberation of Greece from the Turks and the establishment of the New Greek nation. In ancient times Alonissos was called IKOS.
The relics of prehistorical times that are found on Alonissos such as Cyclopean walls and fortifications testify to the long history of the island. It is positively known that like all the islands of the Northern Sporades, the Dollops populated Alonissos, who were related to the tribe of Pelasgi. Later the islands were annexed to the Athenian State. Following that the Macedonian King Philip had an eye on Alnicos; a fact that compelled the great orator of ancient times Demosthenes to write his fiery speech "About Alonissos".
During the Byzantine Empire, Alonissos flourished, a fact made known to us by the monuments of that period, which to this day attract the attention of the visitors. The island was in these times conquered by the Francs, who completed the existing fortification. Finally, it submitted like the rest of Greece to the Turks. Following its liberation in 1821, it is only in recent years, that the island is flourishing and it owes this to its clear waters, beautiful coastline, pine-clad areas and the hospitality of its inhabitants.
During the winter months independent travel to Alonissos means a scheduled flight to Athens followed by an internal flight to Skiathos, 4 - 5 hour train or coach journey (3 hours with private car) to Volos or a 2 hour coach journey to Agios Konstantinos. There are ferries and hydrofoils to Alonissos from both Volos and Agios Konstantinos although you should make provision for an overnight stop if there are adverse weather conditions. In the summer months there are charter flights from London and UK regional airports to Athens, Skiathos and Volos in addition to the scheduled flights to Athens.
Hellenic Seaways are the major players for sea travel to Alonissos via their Hellas Flying Dolphin hydrofoils and ferries. Hellas Flying Dolphin hydrofoils make the trip from Agios Konstantinos or Volos to Alonissos in around 2 hours. Hellas Flying Dolphin's run a ferry service from Volos to Alonissos which takes around 5 hours journey time.
The Old Town (Chora)dates back to the Byzantine period in history and was the original capital of the island before the houses were destroyed by the disastrous earthquake of 1965. As with all hilltop Chora's the houses are knitted together with an intricate network of narrow paths and lanes that were originally designed to make life difficult for invading pirates. Most of the houses that are capable of being renovated have been bought by Northern Europeans who now have beautiful houses or holiday homes in this most picturesque of places. There are a few tavernas where good food is in large supply as well as supermarkets and tourist shops. The views from the outer areas of the Old Town are absolutely stunning and there are paths down either side to the beaches below.
Patitiri is the main port of Alonissos. All ferries, hydrofoils and excursion boats arrive and depart from here. The majority of the permanent population lives here.
Votsiis the closest village to Patitiri and is the second largest in terms of population. It is a sheltered bay and harbour with a small beach and a few tavernas and bars that open during the summer months. You can spend endless hours watching yachts and fishing boats sailing in and out of the harbour over an ice cool drink. The water is crystal clear and invites you to take a cooling dip.
Rousoum Yialos is the most popular beach in the area; 7 minutes walk from the centre of Patitiri. There are nice tavernas. Rsoum (now Rousoum), means 'tax' in Turkish. During the long period when the islands were under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, wine was shipped from this beach and all the island's taxes were collected here by the Turks.
Kalamakia is a small fishing harbour, 12km from Patitiri , popular for the fresh fish and lobsters served in the waterside tavernas - all owned by fishermen. Unfortunately there is no bus to Kalamakia from Patitiri, so to get there you must either take a taxi or use your own hire car or bike. Kalamakia and Agios Dimitrios make a good combined trip. Kalamakia's beach is small, but you could swim at nearby Agios Dimitrios and have lunch in Kalamakia.
Steni Vala is a very small fishing port with a pretty harbour in a lovely setting. The fishing port consists of a quayside with some good tavernas with fresh fish, a shop and a bar. The harbour offers good shelter from the Meltemi although the area is subject to winds from the south west and has only about one metre of water depth near the quayside.
The seawaters of the Northern Sporades are amongst the clearest waters in the world, which makes virtually all of Alonissos a safe and satisfying island for swimming. In addition to Patitiri, other beaches are Roussoum, Votsi, Milia, Chrissi Milia, Kokkinokastro, Tzortzi-Gialos, Lefto-Gialos, Agios Dimitrios, Marpounta, Vithisma, Megalos Mourtias, and Mikros Mourtias. Besides these, on the northwest part of the island are the beaches of Vrisitsa, Gialia, Tskalia, Tourkoneri and Megali Ammos. It takes from 10 to 45 minutes to reach these beaches by rented car or boat. Excursion boats will take you to the deserted islands of Peristera, Kyra-Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Skantzoura, to visit these beautiful beaches.
Alonissos is a silent and quiet island which respects the environment. The nightlife and all the activities for fun are well controlled. You can enjoy your drink in various bars on the island or your dinner in the taverns in some of which a program with live music is included.
Walking on Alonissos is a trip through the natural beauty that is an Aegean island. You can go on foot to the old town of Alonissos at an altitude of 255 m to visit the Venetian castle and enjoy the spectacular views. It takes approximately 100 - 120 minutes to walk there. Walking through the pine forest you will enjoy the natural, unspoiled and wild landscape, rich in different flora and fauna. There are some relics of the Byzantine Monastery. It takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes to walk there.
The conditions for wind surfing are excellent. Sailing in Alonissos is also very interesting. You can also explore the nearby deserted islands of Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura and Skantzoura as well as take a trip around the island of Alonissos.
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