Alonissos is the third of the Northern Sporades islands, together with Skiathos and Skopelos, located in the Greek archipelago of the Aegean Sea.
Due to the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades, the largest Marine Protected Area in Europe and famous for the presence of the monk seal, the island is very sensitive to environmental issues. Alonissos was the first island in the area to adopt a plastic-free policy and is now trying to adopt environmentally friendly sustainable tourism models. Moreover, numerous awareness-raising campaigns and citizen science missions on marine pollution take place in the island.
There are 6 main islands in the Marine Park area: Alonissos, Peristera, Skantzoura, Gioura, Kyra Panagia and Piperi along with 22 rocky islets.
Alonissos is very green and tranquil with a population of almost 3.000 people. It offers many small, quiet beaches, wonderful walking opportunities and a rugged, natural landscape with many spectacular views. Alonissos has many beaches that boast crystal clear waters with pine trees almost reaching right down to the sea’s edge. Most of the beaches are small and pebbly with the exception of one which is sandy.
The local atmosphere is easy going, in perfect blend with the bustling little harbour of Patitiri. Patitiri is the heart of the island surrounded by steep rock formations and small pebbly beaches. Half-way up the island, on the southeast coast, there is the pretty fishing village and harbour of Steni Vala. Steni Vala is teeming with flavours of local culture.
The Old Village is 4 km from Patitiri, perched on a hillside with spectacular views over Skopelos Island and the Aegean. This was the main town and capital until 1965 when an earthquake destroyed the houses and was abandoned. The houses have been restored and the little village with the narrow, cobbled streets has come to life again. Here, the Old School hosts the Knowledge Awareness Centre, an exhibition and information center where advanced digital technologies merge with the traditional museum practices for raising awareness of underwater cultural heritage.
Since 2020, the first Accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage site of Alonissos, the Peristera classical wreck, is open for diving tourists, increasing the tourism flows and the interest in the UCH.