A SMALL ''ACRITIC'' TREASURE
Agathonisi has a remarkable location on the map. Particularly, it is the northernmost island of the Dodecanese and is located south of Samos. Moreover, the island has an area of 14.4 sq. km., coastline 32 km. and road network about 10 km. and it is 25 nautical miles from Patmos, 18 nautical miles from Samos and 8 nautical miles from the coasts of Asia Minor. Its permanent population is 186 inhabitants in a total of three settlements: Megalo Chorio, Mikro Chorio and Agios Georgios which is the port of the island. Also, the inhabitants are engaged in animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing and in recent years in tourism. With reference to the island’s name, it comes from paretymology of the thorn grass plant (‘agathi’ in greek) that is abundant on the island. Agathonisis’s highest place is the area Dendra at 209 meters. What’s more, there are six rocky islets around the island: In the south is Kouneli, in the north is Nero, Strongilo, the Piato, the Psathonisi and Praso, and in the east is Katsagani.
To begin with, worth mentioning is that in antiquity Agathonisi is referred to as Psetoussa, by Thucydides it is called Tragaia, by Strabo and Stefanos Byzantios it is called – along with the neighboring islands – Tragaia and by Plutarch as Tragia. Moreover, the philosopher Theogitos, a student of Aristotle, according to many, came from this island. Kares, Dorians and Ionians successively settled the island, near which it took place in 494 BC the naval battle of Ladi, between the Persians and the Ionians. During the Byzantine period, it was probably inhabited by Byzantine exiles to whom, possibly, the current linguistic idiom of its inhabitants is due, a very pure Greek dialect. Equally important are the below facts: The island was colonized and abandoned many times by its inhabitants, due to difficult conditions, with the last settlement of habitants from Patmos and Fourni, in the early 19th century. In 1294 the island was donated to the Holy Monastery of Patmos. Then, in the 14th century it was a refuge for pirates, while in 1522 it also passed into the possession of the Turks. On August 6, 1824, the defeated Turkish-Egyptian fleet took refuge on the island during the Greek revolution. Furthermore, on August 29, 1824, the naval battle of Gerontas broke out in the east of the island. Agathonisi, like the entire Dodecanese complex, came under Italian occupation in 1912. However, in 1943 the Germans conquered Agathonisi. Finally, the island was incorporated in Greece on March 7, 1948.
HOW TO GET THERE
Agathonisi is connected by ferry to other islands of the Dodecanese and to the North Aegean, all the year. Specifically, it is connected to Samos with a journey time of 35 to 85 minutes. With Patmos - travel duration from 1 hour to 3 hours (depending on the ship). With Rhodes - 6 hours. With Symi - about 4.5 hours.
HOW TO GET AROUND
In Agathonisi you can move with your private vehicle but also on foot as the distances between the settlements are very short.
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