Alonissos lies surrounded by 25 uninhabited islets which all together consist the National Marine Park in the Sporades sailing area. The islets of Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Piperi and Skatzoura are part of the Park. The ecopark was established in 1992 and is the first marine park in Greece. Its sole purpose is to protect the Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus-Monachus) and the rest of the marine life in the area.
The Mediterranean Monk Seal is one of the largest seal species and one of the most endangered mammals in the world. The park’s morphology and position make it an ideal habitat, rich in food and safety.
The marine park now protects 10% of the world’s endangered Monachus-Monachus seal population.
Please be aware that:
In areas where you are permitted to approach, swimming, observation of the sea bed, amateur photography and filming are allowed. There are specific restrictions on amateur fishing. Approach to certain islands in the zone requires special permission from the responsible authority.
Kyra Panagia islet (also known as Pelagos) was named after the monastery situated in East of the island. The recently repaired post-Byzantine Monastery is dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary.
Kyra Panagia is the largest of the islets around Alonissos and is property of the monastery in Ag. Oros. It is hilly and has two deep bays, Agios Petros and Planitis, both safe natural havens!
You can moor your boat in Monastery cove and visit the monastery. For swim stop, you can anchor at Paigniou bay, Planitis and in Ag. Petros.
The islet was named Peristera (dove) due to its shape. It has only a few, non-permanent habitants and some remarkable beaches such as Kokkalias, Vasiliko, Kephali, Peristeri, Kounoupas, Livadakia, Kalamakia, Tarsanades, Xylo and Spasmeni. Underwater archaeologists recently discovered an ancient wreck off the island.
Psathoura is small, flat islet of volcanic origin which offers a completely different landscape than the one of the rest Sporades islands.
Divers have found the ruins of an ancient city sunk beneath the waves East of the islet, which is believed to be the ancient city of Chrissi.
In the North, you will find the lighthouse built in 1895 by the French. The lighthouse is one of the tallest in the Aegean Sea, standing at 28.9 meters!
While sailing the Sporades, make sure you visit Psathoura’s tropical beach, Mandraki. It is perhaps the best beach in the whole Sporades area.
Gioura (or Gerontia in the ancient times) is small, rocky, awe-inspiring islet located Northeast of Kyra Panagia. It is inhabited by wild goats and is part of the Marine National Park as the monk seals use the underwater caves as their habitat.
The only thing worth visiting in Gioura is the “cave of the Cyclopas” in the interior of the islet. According to mythology, this is the cave where Odysseas was imprisoned by Polyphimos (one of the most famous Cyclops). In order to escape, Odysseas was forced to blind Polyphimos.
The islet of Piperi is the core of the Marine Park and is strictly protected as it is the most important habitat for the Monk Seal, Eleonora’s Falcon and other rare plants.
The islet of Piperi is also inaccessible (even by boat) due to the fact that there are no protected bays.
Skantzoura islet has been a monastic centre in the past and is still owned by the monastery in Ag. Oros. It has series of low hills on shores of white marble and an abandoned monastery in the centre. Skantzoura and the nearby rocky outcrops of Strongilo and Polemika constitute an important habitat for Audouin’s Gull and Eleonora’s Falcon. Approach on the islet is prohibited.
Skyropoula islet is situated close to Skyros island and is uninhabited private island with two small bays which form a natural harbour. The colour of deep blue and turquoise waters will enchant you!