Αλόννησος – Sporades
Alonissos is a very quiet little island, located just to the east of Skopelos. It is primarily a destination for daytrippers from the nearby islands, who may want to escape e.g the rush of Skiathos for a few hours. This may change in the future, as this island is now very well connected with ferries and hydrofoil the entire year. And indeed, package tourism HAS arrived. But Alonissos is probably not “attractive” enough for the general tourist to ever be spoilt by great hordes of people, and it will probably retain it quiet rural charm, an easily accessible refuge for those who want to get away from it all. At least for now, it is a very idyllic place for some quiet and easy strolling around the Greek countryside, one of THE most charming places I have visited.
Alonissos also has the most excellent little hillside Chora, although pretty much deserted. After an earthquake in the sixties, the inhabitants left for the other villages closer to the sea, but it is now finally being rebuilt. It is a very nice place with great views over the island. If you don’t want to walk up there, a bus does exist, but the walk is just as charming as the village itself.
Alonissos has one problem, though, and that is the lack of good (and accessible) beaches. The best approach is by boat. Some of the nicest beaches on the island, to the south of the port, are now fenced in by “Holiday Clubs”, and are seemingly not open to the general public (I seem to remember Greek law requiring public access to all shores?).
Selected walks: For walks on Skopelos take a look in “Alonissos On Foot” by Bente Keller. I refer to the first and second part of this book below as /Keller1/ and /Keller2/ respectively. On the web visit Alonissos Holiday and Travel Guides and Photos for Alonissos Greece by Foxy’s Island Walks.
•1 PATITIRI – CHORA (my total time 0h37, includes only short stops for photography; +215m -11m, 0 laps): This is Walk 6 in /Keller2/. A nice walk from the harbour to the old Chora (picture above) should not be missed. Just follow the main road up for a few hundred meters, then turn left at the sign. There is little ambiguity in the continuing path. Close to the village you will rejoin the main road.
•2 CHORA – PANAGIA STO VOUNO – ROUSOUM (my total time 1h52, includes short stops and general sightseeing; +178m -365m, 2 laps): This is a small variation on Walk 13 in /Keller1/, ending the walk at the beach. After Panagia Sto Vouno I even walked the little track to the end. Coming back to the main road I did not retrace my steps towards the Chora, but instead set the course down towards Patitiri, just strolling along the road. Then it is left (signed) and down stairs to the right to get as fast as possible down to the beach at Rousoum.
Just a couple of small things to note about this walk. The church of Ag. Fanourios is closed off and you have to circle the surrounding wall right or left. Left is bad, and right is probably quite impossible due to wire fencing. Seems like the road was a better option here after all.
After a small new diversion (it seems) of the track you now have Ag. Sotiros (picture above) on your right when you pass it for the first time.
•3 ROUSOUM – PATITIRI (my total time 0h28, includes only short stops for photography; +-58m, 0 laps): This is a variation of Walk 8 in /Keller2/, staring at the beach at Rousoum. Picking up the instructions from the beach it is easy to get up to the little headland. But you must be sure to discover the tiny steps right and subsequent narrow path just after the first few stair steps up. Do not turn at the little hut as the book seem to suggest, but instead continue ahead and rightish to get down to the sea cliffs themselves. Then round the headland counterclockwise by just walking on the pretty even cliffs (picture above) until there is a pronounced stony path up left to the returning path from the hut. This is a great little addition to the walk as described in the book.
2004 Updates: I have been fortunate enough to receive updates for many other of the walks in the book from a keen walker, see Notes on Alonissos on foot.
• Good starting points: • Patitiri (the island’s port) – Many walks starts here and you can take the bus or walk up to the Chora • Chora – Many walks starts here
• How to get there: • Excellent ferry/hydrofoil connections from the other islands in the Sporades • By ferry/hydrofoil from the mainland
• More info: • Alonissos Homepage • Aegean Alonissos – more info about walks, as well as many pictures • Alonissos island information – a site by the Ikion Hotel that has interesting information, pictures and links • Alonissos Marathon – Information about the Alonissos Marathon 2007 • Alonissos Holiday and Travel Guides and Photos for Alonissos Greece by Foxy’s Island Walks.
This page was last modified at April 21, 2009.