|The green island of Alonissos lies in the middle of the Sporades island-cluster off the northeast side of Evia, covering an area of 130 sq.km. The island's climate is very healthy. Mild with cool summers and warm winters, Alonissos is sunny throughout the year. Good-hearted, very hospitable, spontaneous and cheerful, always willing to help out strangers, the inhabitants live in port-capital Patitiri and smaller settlements throughout the island. Renowned for its wines since ancient times, the island has preserved a harmony between nature, production and development. Its soil still nourishes the wondrous herbs that made it famous and fostered the development of folk remedies, a tradition reflected in the establishment here of the International Academy of Classic Homeopathy. Today, the natural cycle of a local economy based on ecologically friendly fishing, farming and stock-raising helps keep the environment unsullied by the "temptations" of excessive and anarchical tourist development.
Alonissos, Ikos, Evonymos, Kodromia, Hiliodromia - over the course of the centuries, the island has been called by many different names, but very little else has changed. Its roots traced back to the Palaeolithic Age, Alonissos, a stopping-place on the sea routes from the Northern Aegean to Crete since the 9th millennium BC, has its own secrets in the age-old arts of ship-building, seamanship and pottery and a special charm of its own. From the Athenian Alliance in 478 BC it passed to the Spartans, then back to the Athenians who were succeeded by the Macedonians and later, in 146 BC by the Romans. After adopting Christianity c 3rd AD, the island enjoyed massive financial, commercial, maritime and religious prosperity, to fall into desolation and decline under the Ottoman occupation that followed the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Finally, the 1830 London Treaty annexed Alonissos to the newly formed Greek State.
By far the cleanest in the Aegean, the waters around Alonissos have been declared a Marine Park providing shelter to the Monahus Monahus seals that reproduce there. The Marine Park can be reached either by own boat or with tourist vessels through organised group excursions. There is a wealth of monasteries and beautiful small churches on the island decorated with splendid frescoes. The ruins of ancient Venetian walls survive in Palia Alonissos, while off the eastern coast of the island are the remains of the submerged Ancient City, on the island of Psathoura, near Kokkinocastro.
Alonissos has numerous local coffee-shops and pastry shops that also serve breakfast. There are many cafe-bars serving coffee in the morning and alcohol in the evening.
Picturesque traditional tavernas scattered throughout the island serve delicious local specialities, especially fresh fish and seafood.
Unaltered for centuries, the island's landscape is embellished with numerous splendid beaches ideal for swimming and pleasantly surprising for water sports enthusiasts. At the beaches of Milia, Chrisi Milia, Kokkinokastro, Giala, Megali Ammos and Aghios Dimitrios one can rent peddle boats, canoes and wind surfing boards. The island, as well as the surrounding islets have numerous fisheries ideal for fishing and underwater fishing. The hike through the trails, the dense pine forest and the historical country chapels of the island is a unique experience for nature lovers. For those who seek it, nightlife means fun at the discos till dawn or dancing at taverns with live music.
In the summer, regularly scheduled ferries and hydrofoils link Alonissos to the ports of Volos, Aghios Constantinos, Kimi, Skyros Halkida and Thessaloniki. Numerous excursions are organised with tourists vessels from Patini to the Marine park and with smaller boats to the secluded beaches on the island.