Covered by lush vegetation and dense forests, Alonissos is a little paradise in the western Aegean.
Located less than 42 km off the coast of mainland Greece, it is easy to reach, and still, it remains far from the huge tourist flows over the last few decades.
Similarly to the other Sporades, Alonissos is known for its outstanding coastline.
Since most of the beaches are covered with small pebbles, the shallow waters around the island are incredibly clear and limpid.More from Greece:
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Surrounded by a marine park, Alonissos is a fantastic place to spend your holiday.
Actually, it is one of the top choices of the Greek people when it comes to beach time and place to relieve the stress.
Known for its pristine beaches, the island is actually a place that offers too many things to do.
Here is what not to miss while on the island:
1. Explore the harbours villages of Patitiri and Votsi
Patitiri and Votsi are the most important coastal villages of Alonissos.
They are located right next to each other in the southeast part of the island.
They form together a lively and colourful area with many restaurants, cafes and shops.
The distance between the harbours of Patitiri and Votsi is about 1,5 km so you can easily explore the area, even if you are not willing to walk too much in the summer heat of the Greek island.
2. Discover the exotic Agios Dimitrios Beach
Located in a scenic area on the east coast of Alonissos, Agios Dimitrios is considered one of the most beautiful and exotic beaches on the island and is one of the most emblematic landmarks to visit.
It is well-known for its triangle shape and pristine waters.
It is a good choice for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.
As the bottom is covered with small white pebbles, the water is very clear and the visibility under the surface is very good.
3. Don’t miss Leftos Gialos Beach
Leftos Gialos Beach attracts many people because of its pristine waters and underwater visibility.
The beach is very clean and the stretch of small pebbles is about 170 meters long. Leftos Gialos is rarely too busy.
Even if it is very tempting, it attracts very few people because of its isolated location.
The lucky ones who come here to swim or snorkel enjoy the mirrored emerald water of the secluded beach from April till November.
4. Visit National Marine Park
Founded in 2003, the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades is one of the most important protected areas in the Mediterranean.
The ecologically clean reserve is located in the western the Aegean and is proud of its impressive variety of species of fish, marine mammals (including the endangered Monk Seal) and corals.
To join a boat trip to some of the popular diving sites of the marine park is probably the most exciting experience in Alonissos.
The water in the protected area is very clean and the underwater visibility of 40 or 50 meters is among the best in Southern Europe.
5. Walk to the remote Gerakas Beach
Situated in a narrow and sheltered cove on the northern coast of the island, Gerakas is one of the most isolated beaches of Alonissos.
As it remains quite far from the tourist routes, it rarely sees more than a dozen visitors.
The only exception is the height of the summer season when even Gerakas becomes a bit more noisy and busy.
Covered by small pebbles, the beach is very clean and the water is emerald green.
There is not much to do here but the area is beautiful and the water is really clean.
That’s why if you love swimming and snorkeling Gerakas is a must for you.
6. Explore the old town of Chora
The old town of Chora is an exciting place for people who love small historical villages.
Situated on the top of a green hill, it offers traditional architecture and narrow steep stone-paved streets.
Chora is a mix of two-storey white-washed buildings with blue doors and windows, centuries-old orthodox chapels, lovely charming tavernas and breathtaking panoramic views in all directions.
The village was seriously damaged and partially destroyed during the powerful earthquake in 1965.
However, locals gradually restored the old capital of the island.
As you will be able to see, nowadays it looks more beautiful than ever.
7. Spend a day at Kokkinokastro Beach
With its orange cliffs and emerald green waters, the beach of Kokkinokastro is definitely the most easily recognizable on the island.
Thanks to its sheltered location, the water surface here is always smooth and mirrored.
Located on the west coast, the beach is really photogenic, and you will be able to take some really good pictures, especially in the morning and during the midday hours.
In addition, there are some nice small tavernas if you want to try grilled fish with vegetables.
8. Discover the mystic Blue Cave
One of the must-visit attractions of Alonissos is the popular Blue Cave.
It is located on the northeast coast, right opposite the northwestern-most tip of the small and sparsely populated island of Peristera.
The Blue Cave lies on the sea level, beneath the coastal cliffs.
It is easily accessible only by boat.
If you want to visit this place, you need to join a day boat trip or a short cruise around the island.
Most of them include the cave in the route.
9. Visit Georgios Gialos Beach
Georgios Gialos is located in the southeastern part of Alonissos – an area which is well-known for its outstanding beaches.
Since the bottom is covered by small rounded pebbles, the water is crystal clear and limpid.
It is a very good choice both for snorkeling and swimming.
Except for its shallow emerald waters, Georgios Gialos is also famous for its scenic location.
The entire area is very beautiful, and the surrounding hills are overgrown with lush Mediterranean vegetation.
10. Experience the beauty of Spartines Beach
If you need a place to relieve the stress, Spartines Beach is the perfect spot to relax.
The air in the area offers a real natural aromatherapy because of the incredibly fragrant pine forest in the area.
The pine groves reach the coast itself.
The stretch of small white pebbles is interrupted by coastal cliffs but on the other side, the water is irresistibly clean and limpid.
This place is a perfect choice if you love snorkeling.
11. Visit the Monk Seal Information Center
Located in the main coastal village of Patitiri, the Monk Seal Information Center is one of the recommended places to visit while in Alonissos.
Here you will be provided with detailed information about this endangered mammal.
You will learn more about the life and habits of the Monk Seal as well as about his habitat.
This is the only seal species in the Mediterranean, so its survival is a priority of the environmental organizations.
12. Spend a day at Milia Beach
Milia Beach is among the top rated beaches on the island of Alonissos.
It is located on the southeast coast of the island and lies in a well-shaped and sheltered bay, surrounded by steep slopes, covered by pine trees.
The beach is never too crowded although it is never empty too.
Because of its popularity, it attracts day trippers from the entire island.
People come to enjoy the small pebbles, emerald crystal clear waters and smooth mirrored surface.
13. Take advantage of the wonderful Rousoum Gialos Beach
If you need to visit some of the closer and easier to reach beaches on the island, Rousoum Gialos is a very good choice.
It is situated in a sheltered bay, right in the middle between Patitiri and Votsi.
Rousoum Gialos offers all the needed facilities, including sunbeds and umbrellas.
There are wonderful traditional Greek tavernas just across the street.
As the beach is shallow and accessible, it is a great choice for families with kids.
14. Day trip to Peristera
Peristera is the island which dominates the horizon to the east of Alonissos.
Even if not very small (nearly 8,5 km long in the north-south direction), it is very sparsely populated.
As of 2011, the total population of the island is 30 people.
Being so sparsely populated is most of the charm of this little paradise.
It is recommended to explore as much as you can from Peristera because it combines pristine nature, wonderful pebble beaches and scenic landscapes.
The crystal clear waters around the island are a very good choice if you love snorkeling.
Considering that the bottom is covered by pebbles, you can expect underwater visibility reaching 40 and sometimes even 50 meters.
15. Don’t miss the Alonissos Museum
Despite being a small island, Alonissos is a place of rich history.
Visiting the island for a week or two, you can see just a small part of everything it can offer.
The best and most affordable way to get to know its past is to visit the Alonissos Museum.
Known as the largest private museum in Greece, this is a place you shouldn’t miss because of its rich collections.
Located only one minute walk from the port of Patitiri, it is housed in an old stone building.
16. Kayaking along the southeast coast
The southeast of Alonissos is the best place to go if you love kayaking.
The coastline is spectacular. Wonderful small coves appear one after another, and the villages of Patitiri and Votsi are the gate to all of them.
Since the sea surface is very smooth, kayaking is a pleasure even for less skilled people.
Well, it is still recommended to stay in a group and to follow your guide.
The most amazing thing is that the water is crystal clear and you see everything on the bottom 4 – 5 meters below the sea surface.
17. Visit the ancient village of Ikos (at Kokkinokastro)
If you are interested in archeological sites, the ancient village of Ikos at the area of Kokkinokastro is the most recommended place to visit on the island.
It is considered the oldest inhabited part of Alonissos.
Today here you can still find parts of ancient stone fortifications, walls and graves.
The first traces of human presence in the area date back to the Neolithic period.
18. Visit Agios Petros Beach
Agios Petros is one of these beaches that make you fall in love at first sight.
Surrounded by beautiful and fragrant pine groves, it brings a relaxing feeling to its visitors.
Since the area is sparsely populated, the beach is usually very quiet and secluded.
It is irresistible with its emerald and smooth waters.
With no matter if you love snorkeling or swimming, Agios Petros is a very good choice.
The bottom is covered mostly by little pebbles so the water is always crystal clear.
Agios Petros is very easy to find.
It is located in a sheltered cove, less than a kilometer south of Steni Vala.
The beach is easily accessible by car, although you can get there on foot too.
19. Cruise to Skopelos and Skiathos
Since all of the Sporades are very beautiful, it is deeply recommended to visit as many of them as possible.
A good way to do it is to join some of the day boat trips or mini cruises to the neighbouring islands.
They are very green and exciting, with breathtaking coastline so you will definitely have a lot to see and do there.
20. Explore Kalovoulos Mountain
Kalovoulos Mountain dominates the southwestern part of the island, forming an impressive scenic peninsula.
If you love hiking, this place is deeply recommended for you.
It offers the opportunity to spend the entire day here, walking around the winding and shady mountain trails.
Dense forests cover most of the mountain.
Pine trees alternate with olive and citrus groves.
Even if only 325 meters high, the mountain reveals some really breathtaking panoramic views.More from Greece: