Escape the high-season crowds that overwhelm the more popular of the Greek Islands by heading to tranquil Alonissos for a quiet honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Also known as Alonnisos or Alonisos, this small and authentic Greek isle is renowned for its rugged, unspoiled natural beauty, gorgeous beaches and pristine clear waters, which are considered to be the cleanest in the Aegean Sea.
Stroll the narrow stone-paved streets of Old Alonissos, a charming Greek village that sprawls across the island’s highest point and showcases traditional white-washed houses with blue painted doors and windows. Meander beneath balconies decorated with colourful flowers and plants.
From the hilltop café, enjoy a refreshing drink and be rewarded with panoramic views. Wander the ruins of a 15th century Venetian castle and admire the beautiful white chapel.
An earthquake in 1965 severely damaged Old Alonissos (which is now restored). Because of this, most of the inhabitants were forced to leave their homes and relocate to the picturesque port of Patatiri, which is framed by steep ochre yellow cliffs and sprawls across a pine-studded hillside in front of a sheltered cove.
Wander the waterfront and narrow streets lined with shops, bars, cafés and tavernas.
Alonissos is easily explored on foot, bicycle or by car. Discover a landscape rich in pine and spruce forests, olive groves and green hills punctuated by deep ravines, gorges, cliffs and secluded beaches.
Alonissos is arguably the best of the Sporades Islands for hiking, with a choice of 14 marked routes comprising a mix of short pleasant walks and longer challenging treks.
Try the hiking trail from Ayios Dhimitrios to the scenic Kastanorema Gorge, returning along the northeast coast. Or hike from Melegakia to Ayios Konstandinos.
Don’t miss a guided excursion from Patatiri to the National Marine Park, a 2200km² reserve rich in marine life, including more than 300 species of seabirds, fish, dolphin, whales and the rare and endangered Mediterranean monk seal.
The southeast coast of Alonissos is indented with a range of secluded beaches that are hidden in coves and often surrounded by cliffs and pine forests.
Choose from golden sand, white shingle and colourful pebbles. Most beaches can easily be reached by car, water taxi or on foot.
The best beaches on Alonissos, include …
This popular golden-sand and white-pebble beach shelves into crystal clear turquoise waters fringed by tree-clad rocky promontories and a tiny harbour.
The beach is backed by several tavernas and various accommodation options. Roussoum Yialos Beach is located on the southeast coast, around 1km north of Patitiri.
Choose from two golden-sand and white-pebble beaches that shelve into the clear waters of a beautiful cove fringed on one side by steep cliffs topped with pine trees.
Facilities include sun beds, umbrellas and various water sports. Go swimming, snorkelling and kayaking then cool down with a refreshing drink at one of the beachfront tavernas.
Stay for a few days or longer at one of the many hotels in this popular resort town. Marpounta Beach is located 3km south of Patitiri on the southernmost tip of Alonissos.
Sunbathe on the soft golden sand of one of the island’s best beaches, which sits beneath pine-covered slopes and faces a wide turquoise bay.
Swim in the calm turquoise waters, explore the rock pools at the far end of the beach and escape the hot sun in the shade of beachside pine trees or on the terrace of the hillside taverna. Facilities on this family friendly beach include sun beds, umbrellas and some water sports.
Chrisi Milia is located on the southeast coast, around 4km north of Patitiri.
Sunbathe on one of the best beaches on Alonissos, a small white-sand and pebble beach surrounded by pine trees and shelving into a turquoise cove that offers perfect swimming.
Leftos Gialos Beach is located on the southeast coast, around 6km north of Patitiri.
Unwind on this secluded pine-fringed beach that nestles in front of a long bay, surrounded by hillsides covered in pine trees.
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this 2km-long white-sand and pebble beach, which shelves into crystalline turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling. There are no facilities here so you need to take your own food and drinks.
Tzortzi Gialos is located on the southeast coast, around 6.5km from Patitiri.
This narrow white-pebble and golden-sand beach nestles beneath a dramatic red cliff promontory indented with pine trees.
Go swimming and snorkelling in the calm deep blue sea of the bay then perhaps swim out to the isle of Kokkinonisi (Red Island). Visit the Palaeolithic archaeological site, home to the earliest evidence of human life in the Aegean.
Savour a cold drink at the beachfront taverna or relax in the shade of beachside pine trees. Facilities include sun beds and umbrellas. Just inland sit the remains of the ancient city of Ikos.
Kokkinokastro is located on the southeast coast, around 6.5km north of Patitiri.
Although Alonissos is the smallest and least developed of Sporades Islands, holiday accommodation is not an issue.
This is especially true during the summer months when you have options that range from hotels to apartments in Patitiri, Old Alonissos and close to the most popular beaches.
The best time to honeymoon in the Sporades is during the mid-season (May, June, September and October) when the sky is sunny and temperatures average a warm 25°C (77°F). Mid-season also provides more reasonable hotel prices and generally less crowds.
The summer months of July to August average 26°C (78°F), reaching highs of 29°C (84°F) but are best avoided if you don’t enjoy crowds – Skiathos is generally swamped with European and Greek holidaymakers.
The winter off-season, from November through February, is generally quiet with high rainfall. The Sporades are not as hot as the Cyclades.
Alonissos is located in the Aegean Sea, southeast of the Pelion Peninsula in northern Greece. The island is part of the Sporades island group, comprising Skopelos, Skiros, Alonissos and Skiathos, plus a number of smaller islands.
The village of Alonissos – locally known as Chora – is located on the southern part of the island.
The most convenient route to Alonissos is by air to Skiathos International Airport (JSI), followed by a fast hydrofoil to Alonissos.
The island's port of Patitiri provides frequent ferry, catamaran and hydrofoil services to and from Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros, as well as to Volos, Agios Konstantinos and Thessaloniki on the mainland.
By hydrofoil, Alonissos is 1 hour 20 minutess from Skiathos and 2 hours 30 minutes from Agios Konstantinos. By ferry, Alonissos is 4 hours hours from Volos and Agios Konstantinos (a 3-hour bus ride from Athens).
Information on getting to Alonissos…
Latest update: Alonissos: 24 April, 2022