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Alonissos Sightseeing

Churches and Monasteries
Unlike the majority of Greek islands, Alonissos does not have many churches, since they were mostly located in Old Alonissos and were destroyed after the earthquake in 1965. However, there are a few churches worth visiting:

The Church of Christ, in Old Alonissos, which was built in the 12th century A.D. and was among the very few churches that survived the earthquake. It is made of stone but its walls are white painted. This church houses significant Orthodox icons of the 17th century A.D.

The Church of Agios Georgios is another church that survived the earthquake. Built on the highest spot of Old Alonissos it is a picturesque, traditional, stone-built, white chapel. This church offers visitors a magnificent view, while it also houses two unique Orthodox icons of the mid-17th century.  

The Church of Agios Athanasios is the third church that survived the earthquake and it was built during the same period as the Church of Christ. It is a quite spacious, stone-built church, which also has a beautiful paved yard and houses a significant Orthodox religious icon of the 18th century and those of the Church of Agios Demetrios, which was ruined by the earthquake.  

The Church of Panagia tou Vounou, which means Virgin Mary of the Mountain, due to the fact that this church is built on a mountain slope. The decorative wall paintings inside this church date back to the 17th century A.D.

The Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi at the western part of the island, close to the beach of Megali Ammos. This is a beautiful byzantine church with magnificent views to the western coast of Alonissos. 


Museum of Alonissos
This museum is composed by the Historical Museum, the Museum of Folk Art, the Pirate Museum and the Museum of Photographic Cameras. All the above are housed in a four-floor stone building, located at Patitiri. Visitors may admire important historic objects, guns, canons, handcuffs and odd objects used by the pirates, utensils and tools of the everyday life and a rare collection of old photographic cameras, all in the same building. 


Patitiri
Although the island’s port, Patitiri, is not exactly what the visitors would expect in terms of architecture, due to the fact that it has been built in a hurry right after the big earthquake in 1965, it is quite picturesque with its beautiful bay and its hills full of pine trees. In Patitiri traditional and modern houses coexist and this village hosts all public services, many shops, taverns, cafeterias and some nightclubs.
 
Patitiri owes its name to the large number of wine production units, as its name in Greek means the place where the grapes are being pressed in order to extract its juice and has a long history; since the Ancient Times, it was among the most important commercial ports in the Aegean Sea. Wine, oil and several other products where shipped from Patitiri to other ports all around Greece. 


Hora or Alonissos or Old Alonissos
This is a magical setting, composed of traditional whitewashed houses with colorful doors and windows, all built on a hill. This used to be the island’s capital, but it was destroyed after the big earthquake in 1965 and many of its inhabitants moved to Patitiri. Old Alonissos has a unique atmosphere with its narrow paved streets, its traditional medieval settlement (that was recently fully restored and is protected by law), the amazing building of the Venetian Headquarters and its castle with the amazing entrance called Palioporta or Kazarma. Starting from Old Alonissos, visitors may arrive by foot to wonderful isolated beaches on the western part of the island, through scenic paths.


Votsi
Votsi is an old fishing village only 1 km. from Patitiri, surrounded by impressive cliffs.  Around Votsi there are several imposing rocks forming caves and secluded rocky beaches, accessible only by boat. The village also has some taverns and tends to be united with Patitiri, with houses being built along the road that connects the two villages.  


Kalamakia
Kalamakia is a lovely small village in the eastern coast of Alonissos, opposite the island of Peristera. The main occupation of the inhabitants is fishing and this is why there are quite some taverns with excellent seafood and fresh fish. Also, the deck here is ideal for boats and yachts, which usually make a stopover at Kalamakia while sailing in the Aegean Sea.


Steni Vala
This is a coastal village that offers several accommodation choices. It is connected with the island’s capital by bus and increasingly attracts visitors due to the beautiful beaches situated around it and its picturesque ambience. The village also attracts nature lovers and divers, since an organized diving school is located at Steni Vala, while it also has an organized camping and a marina that is ideal for yachters. Last but not least, the Center for the protection of the Mediterranean Seal (MoM) is based at Steni Vala. 


Kokkinokastro Archeological Site
The most renowned archaeological site of Alonissos is the area of Kokkinokastro, where there are also signs of inhabitance starting in the Paleolithic period. Visitors may admire the ruins of the ancient city Ikos along with its cemetery.   


Agios Demetrios Area
It is also worth mentioning that ruins of a city of the Old Christian Period were found around the beach of Agios Demetrios. This city comprised of houses, baths and a basilica dome.  


Various Archeological Sites
What is amazing with Alonissos is that the archaeological sites are even located on the islands around it. For example, on the island of Gioura there is the large cave of Cyclops and on the island Piperi there are findings of prehistoric, classical and byzantine times, including shipwrecks, various findings in caves, old churches and monasteries. 

Finally, in the area of Marpounda, there are findings that are possibly ruins of an ancient temple devoted to the Ancient god Asclepius. 


Sea Park of Northern Sporades
The Sea Park of Northern Sporades is one of the two Sea Parks in Greece (the other one is on Zakynthos). The park houses 170 species of fish, 70 species of amphipodous and 40 species of sponges. The sea park consists of the area between the southeastern Skopelos and Alonissos, 94% of which is sea. The remaining 6% is composed of little inhabited islands, with great ecological significance and unrivaled beauty.
 
This is the largest protected sea area in Europe! Visitors can admire the beauty of nature, untouched by the humans, and the largest on the world population of seals of the Monachus-Monachus specie (about 400-500 seals). According to scientists, 2/3 of the total Monachus-Monachus seals, which are considered as the most endangered mammals on earth, live in the Greek seas.


Attractions & Activities not to be missed
Last but not least, visitors should definitely take a boat trip and spend some time on the islands around Alonissos, which host some unique hidden treasures: Kyra Panagia (the Ancient Alonissos) with its beautiful beaches of Agios Petros and Planitis, and the Kyra Panagia monastery; Gioura and Piperi with impressive cave formations and archaeological findings;  Psathoura with an ancient city sunk in its port and a large lighthouse; Pappous, close to Kyra Panagia, with a picturesque chapel; and finally Skantzoura with its wonderful bays and the monastery of Evangelistria.   



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