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ALONISSOS

Alonissos is the home of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), once one of the largest species of seals. Go to the National Marine Park of Alonissos and support the rescue of newborn pups. Blessed with rugged natural landscapes, and surrounded by small islands scattered through the archipelago, Alonissos is ideal for those who want to unwind and enjoy leisurely walks surrounded by pine forests, olive groves and orchards.

ALONISSOS

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Alonissos is an island with countless beautiful beaches and small uninhabited islets in a fantastic natural environment that is protected and promoted responsibly by its inhabitants; it likewise meets the conditions required for quiet holidays. It is the most remote island of the Northern Sporades and the only inhabited island in the region of the National Marine Park of the Sporades. It is a refuge for rare birds and for the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus in particular. Visitors can take a tour of the Marine Park (total area 2,200 km2,) in accordance with the regulations established to protect this unique ecosystem.
The first thing the visitor sees on Alonissos is the picturesque Patitiri, the island’s port and capital, the name of which was taken from the Greek word that means wine press, when the local people worked primarily in viniculture. Head for Hora (or Palio Horio), the old capital of the island, with its medieval castle that has a view of the sea from high up; stroll around the winding tiled lanes of the settlement with its stone houses and colourful yards, its superb churches (of Christ, of Agios Athanasios, and of Agios Georgios) and the traditional drying floors. Follow the path that leads to the chapel of Agioi Anargyroi built in a dense pine forest – an unforgettable experience in a unique landscape.
The first inhabitant of Ikos, as Alonnisos was called in ancient times, was the son of Dionysus and Ariadne, called Staphylos, a name that alludes to the island’s permanent relationship with viniculture. Amphorae inscribed with the word ΙΚΙΩN were exported to the ends of the earth, confirming the significant production of wine on the island in ancient times.
Beyond the myth, Alonissos was one of the first Aegean islands to be inhabited, as testified by the traces of a Neolithic settlement on the cape of Kokkinokastro, whereas on neighbouring Youra, the human presence goes back to the 9th millennium BC (cave of the Cyclops). And how could it have been different, when the channel of Alonissos was the most ancient sea passage? Jason’s Argo passed through here on the way to Colchis, as did the ships of the Achaians on their way to Troy. The many shipwrecks that have been discovered from the classical and Byzantine periods confirm the island’s significant contribution to navigation. Indeed, travellers in more recent times, such as Buondelmondi (1420) reported that its inhabitants often used various signals to guide foreign ships on their course.

Source: Visit Greece - The Official website of the Greek Tourism Organisation