Alonissos’ landscape is ideal for day trips and long walks in nature. Enjoy local forests and wildlife; visit the chapels and bays found on the island. And to refresh yourself, have a swim in the crystal blue sea!
Enjoy the little things in life, such as watching the sunset from Kalovoulos Mountain, visiting different villages every day, exploring the Old Village or having a swim in Yalia beach!
It’s also a nice idea to walk along some of the most beautiful ravines, such as Vathi Rema rising from Megalo Chorafi and flowing into Megali Ammos beach. Or, you could also explore the fascinating ravine of Kastanorema that cuts the north-eastern part of the island in half before flowing into Strovili beach.
Kalovoulos Mountain is the southern cape of the island; the mountain top is elevated 325m above sea level and is definitely rewarding to visit. The eastern mountainside is covered by pine forests, olive groves and bushes, whilst the western side forms a steep vertical cliff rising above the sea.
Megalo Chorafi Mountain is 8.5km from Patitiri village, right in the middle of the island; elevated at 350m above sea level, its top is perfect for visitors to enjoy magnificent views over the south-eastern coast of Alonissos. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you will certainly appreciate the beauty of this area, where pine forests gradually give their place to various species of oaks and arbutuses.
Kouvouli - the highest mountain top in Alonissos
Kouvouli is the highest mountain on the island with its top elevated at 475m above sea level. Steep cliffs with an average height of 450m come out from the sea to be gradually smoothened out before reaching the mountain top. The easiest way to approach this mountain is by land. Setting out from Diaselo area, you can even reach the mountain top!
Kastanorema ravine lies in the north-eastern part of the island. It rises from Kastania area and gradually widens as it runs through the rocky landscape. In spite of the rocky terrain, trees and bushes spring up everywhere. In November, autumn leaves of Holm oaks and maple trees turn fiery-red, brightening up the scenery.
Short walking routes around the Old Village
Walking down to the central port of Patitiri
1 hour and 20 min (round trip)
Route description: This is a lovely route following down the old cobbled road to Patitiri, crossing beautiful local orchards that give off such a sweet smell... All houses in Patitiri village are relatively new for they had to be reconstructed following a destructive earthquake in 1965. Located in a lovely area of yellowish cliffs and crystal blue water, the port of Patitiri is full of life all day and all night long. Free from areas of steep gradient, this is a beautiful walk sloping down to the village of Patitiri.
Walk to the chapels of St. Ioannis & the Taxiarchs (Archangels Michael & Gabriel)
Route description: A part of this beautiful short walk goes along the crest of the hill. Walkers can enjoy impressive panoramic views over the sea. This route consists of several short paths, including a short steep one in the area that comes after the chapel of St. Ioannis.
Watching the sunset from Kalovoulos Mountain
Route description: This is a short walk to a spot with amazing views. It is also easily accessible following the earth road from the foot of the mountain. With view to the western part of the island, it is perfect for a walk at sunset.
Longer walking routes around the Old Village
Old Village – Patitiri – Megalos Mourtias – Old Village
2 hours and 30 min
Route description: This is a diverse route going through several crop fields, crossing the port of Patitiri and several beautiful pine forests before reaching a lovely beach perfect for a swim! Alongside this beach, there are many local taverns for walkers to have a rest. It consists of several wide paths and earth roads, including a short part paved with asphalt right before and after Patitiri village.
All houses in Patitiri village are relatively new for they had to be reconstructed following a destructive earthquake in 1965. Located in a lovely area of yellowish cliffs and crystal blue water, the port of Patitiri is full of life all day and all night long.
Old Village – Yalia – Old Village
Route description: This is a route leading to an old restored windmill located on the cliffs surrounding the small beach of Yalia. It is a wide path, including both earth and asphalt roads. The road to the beach is winding and sloping, yet the gradient is gentle and smooth. Both sides of the road are spread with short bushes, and therefore walkers can enjoy unobstructed view over the cliffs and the windmill.
Old Village – Kalovoulos – Kokkino – Mikros Mourtias – Old Village
Route description: This is an interesting route to the foot of Kalovoulos Mountain and the impressive lighthouse sitting on the rough cliffs by the western cape of the island. It is a stony road largely covered with spiny bushes and part of the way down is also relatively steep. Therefore, long trousers and trekking shoes are recommended. Why not go for a swim in Mikros Mourtias beach before climbing back to the Old Village? This is a walk for people that truly enjoy exploring new routes.
Old Village – Top of Kalovoulos Mountain
Route description: This route goes up to the top of Kalovoulos Maountain (325m above sea level), a small mountain behind the Old Village. It is a route of rare natural beauty with panoramic view over the sea; Kalovoulos Mountain is a cape rising above the sea and it comes without saying that the view from its top is absolutely amazing! This route follows an earth road, including a path with rocky terrain. If you are hoping to reach the mountain top and enjoy the sea view from the cliff, long trousers and trekking shoes are recommended.
Old Village – Panagia – Old Village
2 hours and 30 min
Route description: Following this route, you come across several spots with great views, as well as three chapels within amazing natural scenery. Walking up to the spot where the antenna of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) is located, you can enjoy stunning views over the Old Village and the sea, steep hillsides and ravines. This small mountain is called "Vouno" (Mountain). If you keep walking towards the other side of the mountain, you can see the scenery constantly changing, with view over the wooded hills and the eastern coast. This route comprises several wide paths and earth roads, including a short part paved with asphalt.
Short walking routes around Patitiri
Walking up to the Old Village
1 hour and 20 min (round trip)
Route description: This is an amazing walking route following the old cobbled road to the Old Village. It crosses several field crops offering great view to walkers. It is a rising road with no areas of steep gradient.
Short walk to the small beach of Faros
Route description: Walk up and down the road, pass through the pine trees and reach the small beach by the port.
Walk to the fishing village of Votsi
1 hour and 30 min
Route description: The largest part of this route goes through several inhabited areas. It goes up and down hills and stairs that lie among three little bays: Patitiri, Roussoum and Votsi. The port of Votsi is a charming small place for long walks alongside the crystal blue sea, dotted with fishing boats and surrounded by steep yellowish cliffs.
Round walk to Kato Chorafi
Route description: This route leads to a hilly area nearby Patitiri village. Crossing olive groves and pine forests, it offers amazing view to walkers. It comprises several paths and earth roads, including a short part paved with asphalt.
Longer walking routes around Patitiri
Patitiri – Yalia – Old Village – Patitiri
2 hours and 30 min
Route description: This route goes down to the old restored windmill sitting on the cliffs that surround the small beach of Yalia. How about a swim in the crystal blue sea? Thereafter, the route goes up to the Old Village (200m above sea level) and then down back to the village of Patitiri. It consists of several paths and earth roads, including a short part paved with asphalt. The road down to the beach is winding, yet the gradient is gentle and smooth. Both sides of the road are spread with short bushes and therefore walkers going down the road can enjoy unobstructed view over the cliffs and the windmill. Free from steep areas, this route goes repeatedly up and down the hills.
Patitiri – Old Village – Megalos Mourtias – Patitiri
2 hours and 30 min
Route description: This is a diverse route that goes through crop fields, crosses the Old Village and several beautiful pine forests to finally reach a lovely beach perfect for a swim. Alongside this beach, there are many local taverns for walkers to have a rest. It comprises several wide paths and earth roads, including some roads paved with asphalt.
Patitiri – Panagia – Patitiri
2 hours and 30 min
Route description: This route goes by several spots with great views, and passes by three chapels located in lovely natural sceneries. Walking up to the spot where the antenna of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) is located, walkers can enjoy stunning views over the Old Village and the sea, steep hillsides and ravines. This small mountain is called "Vouno" (Mountain). If you keep walking towards the other side of the mountain, you will see the scenery constantly changing, with view over the wooded hills and the eastern coast. This route follows several wide paths and earth roads, including a few parts paved with asphalt. It also passes nearby the top of the small mountain (260m above sea level). As already described, the first part of the route goes uphill and the second one goes downhill back to the village.
Old Village and Patitiri – Long-distance walking routes
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero
45 min / 30 min
From the Old Village:
Starting point: The bus station in the Old Village.
Follow the asphalt-paved road to Patitiri village. Within approximately 200m, you will come across a sharp left turn. On the right-hand side, there is a house by the road. The old path shows up a couple of meters after the house, on the right side of the road. Follow this path. After about a ten-minute walk, the path crosses an earth road. Turn left along the earth road until you come across a road paved with asphalt. Keep walking straight ahead until you reach a crossroad; the right-hand side road leads to the village of Patitiri and the left-hand side road goes up to the antenna of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE). The earth road you should follow thereafter lies straight ahead.
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero – Spartines – Votsi – Roussoum – Patitiri / Old Village
4 hours / 3 hours
Route description: This route has so many things to offer! It passes through crop fields, olive groves, vineyards and even kitchen gardens. It also crosses a virgin forest, a couple of lovely beaches and three fishing villages: Votsi, Roussoum and Patitiri. This is a route that comprises several wide and narrow paths, earth roads and a few short parts paved with asphalt. The path going up and down the hill is gentle and smooth.
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero – Chapels of the Holy Unmercenaries – Tourkoneri – Old Village / Patitiri
4 hours and 30 min / 4 hours
Route description: This is a route passing through the most picturesque landscapes on the island. Surrounded by a beautiful pine forest, the two chapels of the Holy Unmerceneries are located on the edge of a cliff with amazing sea view. The small beach of Tourkoneri lies by a lovely bay, not far from other beaches to explore. This is a route of wide paths, earth and forest roads, without any steep areas. Perfect for nature lovers!
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero – Tourkovigla – Megali Ammos – Mega Nero – Patitiri / Old Village
6 hours and 30 min / 6 hours
Route description: This route goes up to Tourkovigla area (348m above sea level), one of the best spots on the island with stunning view over the southern part of Alonissos. Thereafter, it first crosses a gully before reaching the bay of Megali Ammos and its beautiful small beaches overlooking the wild and steep western coast of the island. It follows several earth roads, wide and narrow paths leading to small beaches, as well as short forest paths. The part of the route that crosses the gully is relatively steep; therefore, trekking shoes are recommended. A very impressive route for walking enthusiasts only!
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero – Isiomata – Agios Petros – Steni Vala
4 hours and 30 min / 4 hours
Route description: This is a straight road leading to the picturesque fishing village of Steni Vala, in the south-eastern part of the island. In Steni Vala, you can have a rest at local restaurants and cafés or go for a swim in the beaches nearby. On your way back from Steni Vala, you should probably take a bus or taxi. If you decide to catch a bus back to the Old Village, make sure you reach your destination in time for the bus. If you prefer calling a taxi, use the phone booth in Steni Vala or ask one of the restaurant owners to do it for you.
Old Village / Patitiri – Mega Nero – Megali Ammos – Megalo Chorafi – Isiomata – Agios Petros – Steni Vala
7 hours and 30 min / 7 hours
Route description: This is a route perfect for a day trip to the picturesque fishing village of Steni Vala, in the south-eastern part of the island. In Steni Vala, you can have a rest at local restaurants and cafés or go for a swim in the beaches nearby. On your way back from Steni Vala, you should probably take a bus or taxi. If you decide to catch a bus back to the Old Village, make sure you reach your destination in time for the bus. If you prefer calling a taxi, use the phone booth in Steni Vala or ask one of the restaurant owners to do it for you.
Flowers blooming in different seasons
In springtime, nature is at its best! This is the case here, too, as springtime is the flowering season for most plants, bushes and trees. However, in Alonissos there are all sorts of evergreen trees, shrubs and flowers blooming all year long.
Winter is the flowering season for saffron crocuses and anemones. Anemones have large pink or lilac leaves with toothed leaf margins. They grow in practically all sunny areas around the island. Small white anemones (similar to the anemones of the northern Europe) grow in deep ravines where the sunlight can't reach the surface of the earth in winter.
Sourgrass blooms after the New Year's Eve. It has leaves that resemble clover and beautiful bright yellow flowers; it is very common in olive groves. As soon as sunlight touches it, its flowers open up giving a bright yellow touch to the green fields in the middle of the winter.
Friar's cowls also bloom in winter. They usually grow under olive trees, blanketing the earth underneath them with their green leaves. Their blossoms are not as distinct as those of sourgrass, yet their shape is very impressive!
Autumn heathers have tiny bell-shaped blossoms that sometimes bloom even in February. Many hilly areas close to the windmill of Yalia are spread with these evergreen shrubs, as well as the area surrounding the chapel of St. George.
Later on, in springtime, the pink and yellow blossoms of various sand spurries create a lovely colourful contrast all over the island. The weaver's broom, in specific, usually flowers in May or June. Sand spurries are very common in Alonissos and are usually found on the outskirts of local forests. Bees love them when in blossom!
As temperatures rise in April, all kinds of spring flowers spring up in the fields! If the weather is good, Cretan rockroses and red poppies are the first to peep out around the island.
Later on, rare flowers such as orchids and gladioli (gladiolus italicus) begin to pop up. In July, many little blue flowers spring up in local olive groves.
In May, it's time for the yellow flowers of the common catchfly to bloom. These arborescent bushes are also covered with spores shaped like a rolled-up parchment. In addition to all these flowers, evergreen trees also sprout at this time of the year making the air sweet and fragrant!
In late spring and early summertime, shrubby knapweeds' purple flowers start blooming; these evergreen shrubs are often found on hillsides by the coast or hanging over steep cliffs. Shrubby knapweeds are found in the areas surrounding many beaches such as Tsoukalia, Chrissi Milia, Kokkinokastro and Megalos Mourtias. They are also found close to the chapel of the Holy Unmercenaries. When blooming season comes to its end, heat withers their flowers which, instead of falling off, stay on the plant all summer long.
This is also the flowering time for Etruscan honeysuckles. Their white or reddish flowers brighten up all fields in summer. The best place to look for Etruscan honeysuckles is on the outskirts of the forests! Many aromatic herbs also bloom in late spring, such as sage. Thyme, origan and other aromatic herbs bloom later on, in June or July.
In autumn, the pink flowers of heathers and cyclamens peep out everywhere! Many hillsides are spread with autumn heathers (similar to the heathers flowering in springtime) that had been waiting patiently for the first autumn rain to start blooming.
As soon as the sunlight reaches these flowers, they send forth such a sweet smell! Along with heathers, cyclamens are also waiting for the first autumn rains to open their little pink flowers in rocky and stony terrains. Early cyclamens are leafless, as it takes some time for their heart-shaped leaves to appear.
Arbutus is a shrub with red berries and its little white bell-shaped flowers bloom throughout autumn. Areas spread with arbutuses look like oases in blossom! Such areas are found around the chapel of St. George and on the hillside of Koumarorachi.
Within a few weeks, the flowers of many bushes and shrubs such as pistacias, Etruscan honeysuckles and Mediterranean buckthorns turn into fruit.
The species described above are only part of the local plant life and rich natural vegetation, and were chosen to be described in detail since they are the most common plant species of the island. Therefore, you can now recognize them if you come across them around the island!
A botanical paradise
Leaving the villages and the beaches behind as walking further into the semi-mountainous countryside of the island, you will soon be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the scenery! Local plant life is comparable to the range of plants displayed in botanical gardens, and the landscape never ceases to amaze visitors with its wooded hills cut in half by ravines and steep cliffs.
With regard to its plant life, the island can be distinctly divided into two parts; the southern and the northern one.
The southern part of the island is largely spread with pine forests and olive groves. Throughout these pine forests, especially on their outskirts, there is a wide variety of bushes and shrubs such as heathers, Cretan rockroses, sourgrass, pistacias, Judas trees and arbutuses.
Various bulb flowers and herbs grow all year long in local olive groves. Anemones, sourgrass, red poppies, orchids, stage, origan and thyme are some of the most common ones.
There are also a few places with tall stone pines, trees native to the Mediterranean region, which are used and cultivated for their edible pine nuts.
In the northern part of the island, there are mostly Holm oaks, kermes oaks, maple trees (Montpellier maple) and arbutuses. Many of these trees are no taller than bushes; however, there are also some areas with huge Holm oaks and maple trees. The northern part is spread with all kinds of shrubs, flowers and herbs, too.
Saffron crocus, wild chamomile and mint are also common in areas with ground vegetation.
The below texts are excerpts of Bente Keller's two books, Alonnisos on foot and The Alonnisos Guide
You can buy these informative and well illustrated books in different shops in Patitiri, Old Village and Steni Vala.
In the middle part of the island, that is the area between Isiomata and Steni Vala, there is a beautiful cedar forest. There are also many wild pear trees on the island, which locals often whip graft. Whip grafted or not, pear trees blossom in springtime. There are also many fig trees on the island, wild or whip grafted. Pear and fig trees were very important in the past for the sweet taste of their fruit.