Alonissos Greece: The Greek Island You Forgot

Alonissos Greece may be your perfect Greek island getaway if you are looking for a slice of desert island paradise. The little island sits in the Sporades archipelago in the Northern Aegean.

Nearby Skiathos and Skopelos may capture the hearts of many travellers. However, Alonissos largely flies under the radar. 

Beautiful Alonissos 

Chora, Alonissos
Chora, Alonissos

There are 24 islands in the Sporades archipelago. Of these, only four are inhabited: Alonissos, Skopelos, Skiathos, and Skyros. 

Alonissos is one of the most remote of these islands. It is home to just 2,700 people. Although it may seem a shame that such a paradisiacal place is often forgotten, in some ways, this adds to the magic of the experience. In Alonissos, you may often find that you have entire beaches and stretches of coastline all to yourself. 

Dozens of incredible trails twist and turn through the countryside of Alonissos, Greece – taking you through areas of rugged nature, dense pine forests, fragrant orchards, and picturesque olive groves. There are a plethora of serviced beaches scattered around the island for a great day out by the sea. However, there are also breathtaking secret spots that are only accessible via hiking or private boat. 

A Little History of Alonissos 

Alonissos, Greece
Alonissos, Greece

Neolithic ruins found on the island suggest that Alonissos was the earliest inhabited island of the Northern Sporades group. It also has fascinating links with Greek mythology stories

Legend has it that Alonissos was the place where the ship “Argo” sailed to Troy. This same ship was used by Jason & the Argonauts to retrieve the Golden Fleece.  

Things to do in Alonissos 

Spartines Beach, Alonissos
Spartines Beach, Alonissos

There are plenty of things to do in Alonissos, whatever your interest. It is possible to dedicate an entire week to exploring the island and still not see all there is to see. However, at the very least, you should try and get to lovely Alonissos on a day’s excursion from Skiathos or Skopelos. 

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Have Coffee in Patitiri 

Patitiri, Alonissos
Patitiri, Alonissos

When you first sail into Alonissos, Greece, you will arrive at the port town of Patitiri. This adorable little settlement consists of just a handful of streets. You can explore its entirety on foot in less than an hour. 

The beautiful stone-paved waterfront is lined with charming coffee shops where you can enjoy an iced freddo cappuccino, a traditional Greek coffee, or a spot of brunch. By nightfall, this area really comes to life, and there are plenty of live music and dining options available for your evening entertainment.  

Visit the Old Town (Chora) 

 Old Town (Chora) Alonissos
Old Town (Chora) Alonissos

Alonissos Old Town or “Chora” as the locals call it, is the former capital of the island. The houses here sit on a hillside, some 200 metres above sea level. 

The old town was largely destroyed in a major earthquake that rocked the Sporades in 1965. Forced to leave their homes, the locals moved towards the coast to the area that is now Patitiri. 

The Old Town was largely abandoned until the 1980’s when foreign residents began to purchase property here, and restore some of the Chora buildings to their former glory. Today, exploring the Old Town feels like a journey back in time. 

There are a scattering of charming Byzantine churches, coffee shops, and tavernas here. However, the Old Town is very much a sleepy Greek island village. This is especially the case if you stop by during siesta hours or out of season. 

During the summer months, a bus runs frequently between Patitiri port and Old Town Alonissos. However, there is also a pleasant, cobbled walking trail that connects the two settlements. 

The trail takes 45 minutes each way and is manageable for people of all ages and hiking abilities.

Hike Around the Agioi Anargyroi Church Area 

There are more than a dozen established hiking trails that lead you through the lush green scenery of Alonissos. One great place for walking is the area around Agioi Anargyroi. 

This adorable grey stone church sits on the western coast of Alonissos, just 7km northwest of Patitiri. The church can only be reached on foot, by hiking through the pine forests. 

Tuck into Local Alonissos Delicacies and Sweet Treats 

Sampling flavourful Greek food is a highlight of any Greece travel itinerary. However, not everyone realises that Greek cuisine is far more than just moussaka, gyros and souvlaki! 

Alonissos too, has its delicacies. Being an island, seafood dishes are very popular here. Be sure to sample the famous Alonissos tuna fish, stuffed local squid, lobster served with spaghetti, seafood pasta dishes, and local fresh fish dishes. 

One famous Alonissos dessert to add to your culinary Sporades radar is “soultana” – a local handmade sweet that is often served as a complimentary dish at the end of dinner. Chocolate pies, cream pies, amygdalota, and fouskakia (doughnuts with chocolate) will also capture the hearts of those with a sweet tooth. 

Rent a Boat and Sail to Uninhabited Islands 

It is possible to rent a boat from the port at Patitiri and sail out to one of the uninhabited islands that float beside Alonissos. Alternatively, you can use the boat to access Alonissos beaches that are otherwise impossible to reach. You can opt to either rent a boat independently, or hire a boat with a skipper/guide. 

Peristera, Piperi, Papous are small islets that have adorable little churches on them. They are some of the easiest places to reach from Alonissos. 

On Peristera island, you can also see a half-sunken shipwreck. The unusual sight of this rusting old metal boat poking out of the water makes for some awesome photographs. This boat used to carry supplies to and from the island until it unfortunately met its demise. 

Scuba Dive or Snorkel off the Alonissos Coast 

Alonissos Marine Park was the very first of its kind in Greece. Furthermore, it is the largest protected marine area in all of Europe. 

Alonissos is widely regarded as being one of the best places for diving in Greece. Beneath the surfaces of the water here you will find shipwrecks, rare marine and plant life, and submerged archealogical ruins. Various dive shops and centres are scattered around Patitiri. 

Shop for Sporades Traditional Products 

Handmade sweets, jams, and honeys make a wonderful edible souvenir from your time in Alonissos, Greece. You will find numerous delicatessens in Patitiri and across the island that sell Greek agro products. 

Jars of “spoon sweets” make a nice gift. These are little, syrupy jars of preserved fruits that are often enjoyed with Greek yoghurt as a light dessert after dinner. Local honeys infused with Alonissos herbs also make a wonderful purchase. In the chora, you will find places where you can buy them directly from the beekeepers. 

Visit the Island’s Quaint Villages 

Alonissos Greece
Alonissos Greece

There are several adorable traditional villages in Alonissos, Greece that are very worthy of your time. They are known for their architecture, and their excellent seafood tavernas. 

Steni Vala is a picturesque little village that is set against a backdrop of pine trees, and sits around a bay. It is just 10km north of Patitiri. It is well worth the drive to come here for dinner. 

Votsi is the village that sits directly adjacent to Patitiri. While the area is mostly residential, there are some beautiful local beaches here. 

Stop by the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy 

You will find the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy just off the main road near Votsi and Millia beach. The academy dates back to 1995 when it was founded by Giorgos Vithoulkas. 

A diverse range of wild herbs grow across the island. They are often used for homeopathic therapies, or added to Greek agro products like jams and honeys. 

Spend an Afternoon at the Mavrikis Folklore Museum 

The Mavrikis Folklore Museum does not need to be at the top of your Alonissos Greece agenda. However, it can be a nice place to pass the time if you find yourself with a couple of hours to kill while waiting for your ferry. 

The privately-owned museum first opened its doors in 2000. The exhibits on display here include a range of local art pieces, war memorabilia, local costumes, and artefacts excavated in the area. Here you can experience a journey of Alonissos through the ages. 

Alonissos Beaches 

Alonissos is filled with incredible beaches
Alonissos is filled with incredible beaches

There are plenty of Alonissos beaches to choose from. You could easily relax on a different beach each day of your trip. Whether you are looking for secluded coves where you can have areas of coastline all to yourself, or you are looking for serviced areas, this island has something for everyone. 

The Best Alonissos Beaches at a Glance 

Alonissos beaches are some of the most stunning in Greece
Alonissos beaches are some of the most stunning in Greece

You may not have time to cross every single Alonissos beach off your list. The best spots that you should try to make time for are detailed below. 

  • Spartines Beach

  • Millia

  • Chrisi Milia

  • Kokkino Kastro

  • Tzortzi Gialos

  • Leftos Gialos

  • Agios Dimitrios

  • Megalos Mourtias  

Spartines Beach

Spartines beach is the place to go if you are seeking real desert island vibes. If you visit this stretch of coastline from September onwards, you may well be the only one there. 

Despite the fact that Spartines is so close to Votsi village, it is seldom crowded. You can only reach the beach via hike or a private boat. 

A short walk through the woodlands brings you to this pebbled beach and its cerulean waters. The beach is not serviced so be sure to pack some snacks and plenty of water. 

Millia Beach

Millia beach is one of the most beloved beaches on Alonissos island. It sits on the island’s east coast, less than 5km away from Patitiri. The stunning sandy beach is set inside a small bay, surrounded by palm trees. 

Millia beach has all the amenities that you need. A restaurant and bar both operate here during the summer months. It is possible to rent a sunbed and umbrella on the beach for the day if you spend just a few euros at the bar. 

Chrisi Milia Beach

The breathtaking whitesand shores, and crystal-clear turquoise waters of Chrisi Milia beach combine to make it a local favourite. There are many rocky pools here that are perfect for snorkeling and observing underwater life. 

The leafy green pines that run alongside the coastline make the perfect spot for a shaded picnic. Beach parties and events are often hosted at Milia and Chrisi Milia beaches between June and August. 

Kokkino Kastro Beach

The Alonissos beach of Kokkino Kastro received its name from the reddish coloured rocks that surround it. “Kokkino” in Greek means red. 

It is said that an ancient city once stood here. If you snorkel a little way out from the shore, you will see some ancient ruins beneath the depths of the water. 

Kokkino Kastro beach has a naturist-friendly section. It is not serviced, so be sure to bring a towel, some food, and plenty of water with you. 

Tzortzi Gialos 

Tzortzi Gialos is a 2km stretch of sandy coastline that sits adjacent to Kokkino Kastro beach. Steep cliffs and pine trees surround the bay of Tzortzi Gialos. 

The nature of the area shields the beach from heavy winds and strong waves. The calm, clear waters here are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. 

Leftos Gialos 

The beach of Leftos Gialos is regarded as being one of the best in Alonissos. There are two tavernas here where you can stop for some traditional Greek delicacies after a day of relaxing at the beach. 

Agios Dimitrios 

The beaches of the Sporades are said to boast some of the clearest, cleanest waters in the world. Agios Dimitrios beach is perfect for swimming, and many consider it to be the very best beach in Alonissos. 

Agios Dimitrios’ stony coastline has a horseshoe shape. This gives beach-goers plenty of options of where to sit. 

A taverna operates here during the summer months, offering plenty of dining and refreshment options. The excellent fish tavernas of Steni Vala are also just a short walk away. 

Where to Stay in Alonissos 

Angelos Design Suites, Patitiri
Angelos Design Suites, Patitiri

There are plenty of accommodation options in Alonissos. You will find self-catered apartments, hotels, and villas that cater to every budget and travel style. 

Arguably Patitiri is the best place to base yourself. You have the best transport links on the island here. From the port area you can take buses to all other parts of the island.

Angelos Design Suites, Patitiri 

Angelos Design Suites
Angelos Design Suites

Angelos Design Suites should be your first choice of accommodation in Alonissos. The property offers indulgent luxury and comfort without the luxury price tag. 

Suites are spacious and lovingly decorated in bohemian style. The accommodation was renovated in 2020 and it is clear to see that consideration has been put into even the smallest of details. 

Best of all, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Aegean, and the nearby uninhabited islands from your balcony. Suites here start from just 40 euros per night. Click here for the latest rates and availability. 

Recommended Alonissos Restaurants 

The Black Cat, Patitiri
The Black Cat, Patitiri

The seafront promenade of Patitiri is packed full of tavernas and restaurants. You will also find several wonderful traditional eateries in the Old Town (Chora) and some of the fishing villages around the island. If you are looking for a local experience, and you want to sample the “best of the best” of Alonissos cuisine, you may wish to consider the below places. 

The Black Cat (Mavros Gatos), Patitiri 

The Black Cat is a quirky coffee bar located close to Patitiri port. The interiors have been designed with shabby chic furnishings, and the walls don paintings and sculptures that pay homage to furry felines. 

This is a wonderful place for breakfast and brunch – with pancakes, health foods, and home-cooked breakfasts available until the early afternoon. You will also find a lot of modern, contemporary dishes here. 

For instance, vegan burgers, and a selection of delicious sandwiches and baguettes. The prices here are reasonable, and the portions are huge.  

Ostria, Patitiri 

Ostria is one of the more upscale options in Patitiri. Here you can order an array of gourmet plates and meze dishes for your table. 

Favela 

Favela is an Alonissos eatery beloved by many locals and tourists alike. From here you can enjoy wonderful views over the port of Patitiri as you dine.

Red Rooster 

If you are looking for perfectly marinated souvlaki, head to Red Rooster. This place is takeaway only. However, they serve up all of your Greek street food favourites: gyros, souvlakis, pitas, etc. 

Thea Restaurant, Old Town (Chora) 

If you’re hungry after venturing up to the Old Town, consider stopping for a bite to eat at Thea restaurant. 

This place is only open during the summer months. However it offers incredible views out to sea, and across to the nearby islets. 

Diver & Kalymnia, Steni Vala

There are a number of exquisite fish restaurants in the Steni Vala area. However, not all fish tavernas are made equal. 

Diver & Kalymnia is one of the best places to eat in this area. The owner is a fisherman who catches his own produce. The fish here are always fresh and cooked to perfection. 

Getting to Alonissos

Patitiri by night
Patitiri by night

Alonissos may be a little trickier to get to than some other, more renowned Greek islands. However the journey is certainly worth it. 

By Ferry

Ferries connect Alonissos with the nearby islands of the Sporades and mainland Greece. If you are travelling from Athens, your best option would be to take the ferry from Agios Konstantinos. 

During the summer months, regular buses connect Athens with Agios Konstantinos. You can also take the ferry to Alonissos from Volos, or nearby Skiathos and Skopelos if you are Greek island hopping. 

By Plane 

There is no airport on the island of Alonissos. The closest international airport is in Skiathos. 

Various airlines offer international and Greek domestic flights to Skiathos throughout the year. You can purchase return tickets from Athens to Skiathos for as little as €40 if you purchase your seats in advance. 

Getting Around 

Patitiri beach, Alonissos
Patitiri beach, Alonissos

The island of Alonissos is small. Public transport options here are limited. 

Ideally, you would rent a car, an ATV, or a scooter from one of the rental places around the port area. However, if you prefer not to drive, or you cannot, there are buses that operate around the island’s main attractions during the summer months. 

Alonissos Public Transport 

Boats operate from Patitiri port during the summer months. They connect the town to many of the stunning beaches across the island. 

Regular sea ferries make this very convenient – you can spend as little or as much time at the beach as you like.Alonissos Municipal buses run  between Patitiri and the Old Town (Chora) between June and October. 

Cabs on Alonissos Island

Since Alonissos is a small island, there are only a handful of taxi drivers that operate here. You will find a taxi rank close to the port in Patitiri. If there is noone at the rank, call one of the numbers on the board or have your hotel order you a cab. 

Final Thoughts 

Do you have any additional questions about visiting Alonissos or the surrounding Sporades islands? Please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

I have lived in Pagrati, Athens for over three years now. I am happy to assist with any questions that you may have. 

Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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