The amazing natural environment that blends with the traditional architecture of Alonissos make it a jewel of the Aegean, a source of inspiration for painters, writers, musicians and other artists.
The incomparably beautiful seabed of Alonissos is full of shipwrecks from the 4th and 5th centuries BC but also of the Byzantine era. In addition, the Marine Park of Alonissos offers 14 diving spots.
Alonissos has rich flora and fauna, which impress every nature lover. The flora of Alonissos consists of pines, wild olives, maples, cypresses, shrubs such as koumaria, shinos, holly, fillyki, heather. It also has endemic plants such as Campanula reiseri and rechingeri, Linum gyaricum and Areanaria phitosiana. The orchids of Alonissos also stand out, even though their variety is limited compared to the rest of the Sporades. More generally, the island’s flora is smaller compared to those of the other Sporades, perhaps because no major scientific research has been carried out there to date. The fauna of Alonissos is rich, consisting of about 300 species of fish, 80 species of birds, reptiles and mammals. Rare species that can be found in the area are the Mediterranean seal, the red coral, the black petrel, the eider gull, the cormorant and the Jura ibex. Birds such as the bald eagle, the cormorant, the herring gull, and the gray herons are also found in the area. The underwater fauna is also rich, as several species of dolphins and whales are found on the island.
MARINE PARK: The Alonissos National Marine Park of the Northern Sporades is the largest European marine park and the first in Greece, where hidden ecological treasures can be found. It was founded in 1992, while in 2003 the Management Body of the Marine Park was created, responsible for the protection and management of the natural wealth of the area. It covers an area of approximately 2260 square meters. kilometers, is located northeast of Evia and east of Pelion. Apart from Alonissos, it includes the neighboring islands of Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura and Piperi as well as 22 rocky islets. There is a combination of terrestrial and marine Mediterranean habitats and hundreds of species of plants and animals, with the Monachus Monachus seal being the main protagonist. In fact, fishing is prohibited in some parts of the Park, in order to protect the marine wealth. Also, there are important archaeological and historical monuments. These date back to the Prehistoric, Classical and Byzantine periods (wrecks, old monasteries, churches). It is worth noting that the residents actively participate in the care and development of the area, making the Park a monument of world natural and cultural heritage.
Gastronomy lovers deserve to taste the authentic Alonissian pie, tuna pasta and lobster pasta. The women’s cooperative of Alonnisos also sells handmade local sweets. In addition, the visitor deserves to try the bubbles, the hamalia, the almonds, the kakavia, the walnut pie, the Alonissos tuna and its fresh fish.
Alonissos is considered one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Northern Aegean. There are 27 hiking trails, with a total length of 132 kilometers:
1. Circular march to Agioi Anargyros
2. Circular route Agios Georgios – Agios Konstantinos (long route in the old rural landscape of the island)
3. Chora Alonissos – Kalovoulos (impressive climb to the top with an amazing view of Alonissos)
4. Cultural route in Chora
5. Chora – Megalos Murtias 1
6. Chora – Megalos Murtias 2 (from the back)
7. Chora – Mikros Murtias – Faros – Kalovoulos (combination of dirt path and cobblestone)
8. Chora – Kokkinos Faros
9. Chora – Patitiri (from the main cobblestone street)
10. Chora Alonissos – Vrysitsa Beach
11. Diaselo – Kastanorema – Agios Dimitrios
12. Diaselo – Koumarorachi – Agios Dimitrios
13. Gerakas – Analipsi peak
14. Circular route to Gerakas (route through the wild landscapes of the island)
15. From Gerakas to turku mnima
16. Great crossing of Alonissos (a 25 km long route, which crosses the entire island, connects with all the hiking routes and can be done within 10 hours)
17. Isomata – Leftos Gialos
18. Isomata – Steni Vala
19. Central asphalt – Leftos Gialos
20. Central asphalt – Steni Vala
21. Mega Nero – Agalo Lakka – Paliokalyva
22. Mega Nero – Geladias
23. Mega Nero – Megali Ammos – Paliokalyva (impressive course on the pine-covered north side)
24. Mega Nero – Turkovigla
25. Circular route Patitiri – Mega Nero
26. Circular route in Tsoukalia
27. Circular march in Votsi
On the island there is the possibility to try canoeing and kayaking, to explore the marine park, to fish and to go on sea excursions. Also, cycling is carried out either individually or organized.
The International Academy of Classical Homeopathic Medicine is located in Alonissos and is the only institution in the world where homeopathic medicine is taught. During the summer months, groups of doctors from different countries, Greek doctors, but also medical students are trained. It is worth mentioning that since 1980, 9000 people from 32 countries have been trained.
Although there are not as many churches as in the Cyclades, there are some quite interesting ones that could not be overlooked. Apart from Agioi Anargyroi and the monastery of Panagia on the island of Kyra Panagia where there was a monastic establishment in the past, today there is no monastery on the island.
Athletics lovers should take part in the Alonissos Physiological Road Race “Alonnisos Challenge” in which road races of 30 km, 20 km, 10 km and 2 km or a walking route of 15 km are held. This Race takes place at the beginning of summer.
Picturesque churches, chapels and heavenly exotic scenery make up a romantic and unique destination, ideal for weddings, vow renewals and anniversaries.
The Historical and Folklore Museum of Alonissos in Patitiri. The Historical Museum on the first floor houses archaeological relics, weapons and objects found on warships and pirate ships. In the Folklore Museum located in the basement, various traditional objects such as the barber’s razor and traditional clothing are kept.
The Underwater Museum of Peristera Alonissos, which can be visited by holders of a diving diploma or can be dived digitally.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
– May 21: celebration of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni in the picturesque chapel of Agios Konstantinos in “Psili Rachi”.
– July 25: celebration of Agia Paraskevi in Patitiri.
– August 15 – traditional wedding. After the end of the Divine Liturgy in the village square (in the Old Town) there is a memorial prayer and laying of wreaths in honor of the Alonissians who were executed on August 15, 1944 by the Germans. Then, in the afternoon, the big festival takes place, where the traditional Alonissian wedding is re-enacted, with an all-night feast, traditional dishes and plenty of dancing, singing and merriment.
– Celebration of Agios Georgios: Residents and visitors attend the Divine Liturgy in the chapel of the same name and celebrate by toasting wine and drinking plenty of wine.
– Festival of traditional dances of Alonissos in July.
– Threshing: in mid-July there is a reenactment of threshing in the Palio Chorio (Old Village), where the traditional trachanas is made.
– Fishing night: At the end of July, the fishing night takes place, where grilled anchovies and wine are offered free of charge to visitors.
– Evening of traditional cheese pie, where visitors learn how to prepare traditional pie with local ingredients to the sounds of live music and traditional dances.
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