Please sign in to post.

Greek Island of Alonossis-anyone been there?

I am re-arranging my itinerary a bit deciding not to go to Romania and am thinking of spending about a week on this little Greek island instead. It's a bit out of the main tourist track and looks quite nice.

I will be traveling there from Sofia via Thessaloniki. When I leave I will be heading to Budapest via Skopje and Beograd.

I am interested to know if anyone has been there and what your experience was, where you stayed etc. Great Beaches and Restaurants?

Thanks

Posted by
1117 posts

I've been there but it's quite a few years ago. I don't think I could come up with the name of the hotel or any other information like that any more... except the hotel was in the main harbor town of Patitiri, which, IMO, is advisable.

We like those places that are a bit out of the way of the main tourist crowds. Skiathos has the reputation of being a party island, Skopelos is great for hiking, and Alonissos is just - Greece. We just loved doing some hiking and exploring without expecting anything spectacular.

The things I remember are more anecdotal, like renting a car for one day to go to some remote chapel, and after a heavy thunderstorm getting completely stuck in the mud with a steep slope going upwards on one side from the path, and a steep slope going downwards on the other. There was no way we could get the car out of there, and even a helpful neighbor with a four-wheel pickup failed. The rental company was very gracious about it though and didn't even charge us for towing the car out of there.

Posted by
546 posts

Thanks for your reply. Strangely I am encouraged by the lack of replies to my post as it indicates it is still a bit off the main Greek Island tourist trail. (but still anxious to hear more from those who have been there)

Posted by
1117 posts

Well, it is.

So if you enjoy the quietness of a not-so-overrun island and exploring the small things along the wayside without expecting Santorini type spectacular scenery, or Acropolis type antiquities, or Cyclades type cuteness, Alonissos is for you.

There is one thing that might be a bit special: Alonissos is located in a marine park meant to protect the Mediterranean monk seal.

I am always a bit torn how to deal with tours into such a park as a tourist: on one side, tours will help sustain the park. On the other hand, they will disturb the very objects they are trying to protect. Irresponsible scuba diving in protected zones seems to be a real problem.

P.S. To be honest, I have been getting a bit bored by the Naxos-and-Santorini, Santorini-and-Naxos questions and recommendations over and over again on this forum... But then, let the crowds all go there and leave islands like Alonissos alone! :-)

Posted by
106 posts

Hello!

Congrats on the alternative destination :) Alonissos is a very beautiful island. It is the most remote of the Northern Sporades Islands, making it the perfect island to unwind! You can spend your time exploring rugged landscapes rich in history, and ancient Byzantine ruins. You will surely enjoy leisure walks along pine forests, olive groves, and orchards. A magical place indeed...

Alonissos, is one of the largest marine reserves, in the Mediterranean Aegean Sea, and the home of the National Marine Park, a refuge for rare seabirds, dolphins, and Mediterranean Monk Seals. I have to tell you that... we actually saw (!!!) two Monk Seals in their natural inhabitant on our visit! Some friends had a boat and gave us a tour around the island. It was amazing to witness such a creature up close!

Some of the best beaches in Alonissos are:
Agios Dimitrios Beach (one of the best on the island according to the locals)
Chrisi Milia Beach (it means Golden Apple Tree, near Patitiri)
Glyfa Beach (more secluded)
Megalos Mourtias Beach (near Patitiri, perfect when the northern winds blow during the summer)
Kokkinokastro Beach (it means “red castle”, it has colorful sand)
Votsi Beach (a beautiful little bay for the romantic ones... )

Skiathos island is near Alonissos and can be easily combined, you could take a day trip by boat to get there. Another good idea would be to visit Mt. Pelion as well! For your accommodation in Alonissos, you might wanna check some reviews first. I stayed at Kamelia Villas, my father booked it through Hostelbay. It was a bit expensive (100 euro per night). You can find a good place to stay around 40 euros per night as well.

You'll love this island. The fifty shades of green and blue all in one paradise <3

Posted by
6487 posts

You are right in thinking that Alonissos is not on the normal tourist route and you might not get many helpful responses. We stayed on Skiathos, which I loved by the way. We did take a boat tour around some of the other islands in the area and we stopped at Alonissos for lunch at a restaurant near the harbor. I don't remember the restaurant or the meal (it's been 15 years) but I have some lovely photos of the harbor. I remember that the island is mostly nature/agricultural land, and I had read a bit about the island and know there is a lot of history there - I believe it was one of the earliest inhabited of the Greek islands. It sounds like a good choice to avoid the Santorini and Mykonos type crowds and a lovely place to chill for a few days.

Posted by
546 posts

Thanks for all the great replies. They are making me glad I chose this particular place. I wish I could stay longer than 8 days though.

Posted by
6487 posts

Wow, that's cool that you have 8 days - should be a nice relaxing stay. And since you have so much time you could do day trips by ferry to Skopelos and/or Skiathos, both are worth visiting.

Posted by
1117 posts

Wow, that's cool that you have 8 days

Interesting point. One you might almost get philosophical about.

Don't we all have 8 days...? It's just the question of what we do with them. Some of us try to cram three European countries into 8 days.

Well, to each his own, I guess. But personally, I'd much prefer spending my 8 days on Alonissos!

Posted by
546 posts

Yes, Anna brings up a good point. I am retired and have pretty much all the time I want and this 8 days is just a small part of a 5 month trip. And I feel that I am not doing justice to this small but interesting place.

Rick Steves has made a career of introducing Americans to Europe and the benefits of travel in general. His audience is lucky if they have TWO weeks of vacation. And in response I believe he tailors his books and Radio/Tv work to the reality of the paltry American Vacation time.

But the question is; What do you do with that time? Should you stay in just one or two places? Or try to see as much as possible? That is something even I struggle with with all of my free time. And I have to monitor myself that I am not trying to do too much in too little time. I have lived and worked in Europe twice in my life so it's a little different for me. But I still fall into that mindset of "Oh my gosh I can just get on a train and go to_______.(fill in any place)

About 34 years ago I was on a trip to Europe and had a rental car from Spain. I had spent a wonderful Christmas in the small town of Evora in Portugal. I woke up one morning and just decided to go to Paris. I raced across Portugal and Spain in my little SEAT car Speeding toward Madrid to make the departure of the legendary overnight Talgo train from Madrid to Paris. The Talgo was only first class sleeping cars and a great dining car.

Early the next morning we rolled into Gare st Lazare and I was in Paris for New years.

On the train I had met a young French couple at dinner who asked me where in Paris I was staying. I said that I had no idea. I had just made this trip on the spur of the moment. They right then and there invited me to stay in their "spare" apartment near the Bastille. They explained they lived a bit farther out of Paris. They simply would not hear my protestations. My friend and I spent a great week in Paris and found ourselves standing atop a trash bin at the Arc d Tiomphe looking down the Champs Elysee at midnight on New Years. It was magical as we waded almost ankle deep through empty champagne bottles down that legendary boulevard.

This is the kind of thing that can happen. You just have to listen to your "inner troublemaker".
So yes go, stay longer in one place for sure but don't be afraid to chuck it all and head over the horizon if the spirit hits you hard.