Alonissos is a quiet Greek island getaway in the Sporades, known for its lovely beaches and National Marine Park. Here's what to see and do when you visit Alonissos in Greece.
Greek Island of Alonissos
Alonissos island is one of the Northern Sporades islands of Greece. Located off the east coast of mainland Greece, Alonissos is a peaceful and quiet place perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
In the past, Alonissos was an off the beaten path destination for writers and artists. As Skiathos and Skopelos became more popular, people gradually discovered that Alonissos had a lot to offer.
I've visited all three of these islands, and Alonissos is by far the quietest. So, if you're looking for a quiet Greek island getaway, Alonissos is for you!
One of the greenest Greek islands, Alonissos has fantastic beaches, is a good destination for diving, has great hiking trails, and is a good place to experience the largest protected marine area. Oh, and the food is fantastic as well!
How many days to spend in Alonissos island?
While some people spend just 2 or 3 days in Alonissos as part of a Greek island hopping trip in the Sporades, if you can, give the island a week of your time.
There's plenty to see and do, and if sightseeing and rushing around isn't your thing, spending a week on the beach is as good as an excuse to visit Alonissos for a week if you needed one!
How to get to Alonissos
You can only reach Alonissos by ferry. While inconvenient for some people, it's the island's lack of an airport which helps Alonissos keep its charm and tranquility.
International travelers could either fly in Athens, get a bus to Volos, and then a ferry to Alonissos. Another alternative would be to fly into Skiathos airport, and then take a ferry from Skiathos island to Alonissos.
I've a full guide here: How to get to Alonissos
You can check ferry timetables and schedules here: Ferryscanner
What to do in Alonissos
Now we've gotten some of the logistical information out of the way, it's time to look at the best things to do in Alonissos!
As with any Greek island, you'll want to spend some time on the beaches, so let's start with those. I'll get to the other things to do and places to see further on in this Alonissos travel blog.
Best Beaches in Alonissos
Some people remember the days when Alonissos had wild beaches, and you'd struggle to find a sunbed or umbrella to rent. Things seem to have changed quite dramatically though, at least when I last visited a year ago.
Most of the Alonissos beaches are now organized, which means you will find plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas to rent during the summer months.
If like me you prefer to lay down your own towel, there is still free space to be found, even at popular beaches such as Agios Dimitrios Beach and Chrisi Milia Beach.
Prices for sun loungers in Alonissos are generally reasonable when compared with expensive Greek island destinations like Mykonos. Even on Agios Dimitrios (often considered the best beach in Alonissos), a pair of sun loungers and an umbrella cost just 7 Euro (2022 price – probably higher now – thanks inflation!).
Agios Dimitrios Beach (Agios Demetrios)
This visually stunning beach is perhaps the best beach in Alonissos. It's certainly the most symbolic and photographed.
This V-shaped beach is about a 20 minute drive from the main town of Patitiri and is located on the east coast. Opposite, is Peristera island.
While organized, the sun loungers (at least in 2022) were shaded by umbrellas made of natural materials, which contrasted beautifully with the white pebble beach.
If you want to sit on your own towel, use the beach area on the left hand side. For food, it's recommended to use the beach bar on the right hand side.
Kokkinokastro Beach gives Agios Dimitrios a run for its money when it comes to the best beach in Alonissos.
With a stunning red cliff to the side, and a small red island, photos here look amazing. The name means Red Castle by the way!
Kokkinokastro is a popular beach, so you'll probably have to leave your vehicle some way from it in the parking area, and walk down with what you need. To the left, you'll find a taverna renting out sunbeds and umbrellas. To the right, there's free space to take your own towels and umbrellas.
This is another pebble beach, so you might have difficulty putting up your own umbrella, but you can get creative with the rocks to keep it from blowing away!
Go to Kokkinokastro beach in the afternoon for more shade on the right hand side of the beach. Particularly useful during the hot summer month of August!
Paralia Chrisi Milia
Chrisi Milia beach is a little different to the Alonissos beaches mentioned so far, in that this is a sandy beach.
Located to the south of Kokkinokastro, the beach is in a sheltered cove, so it is quite protected. If the wind is blowing strongly in Alonissos, this could be a beach to head for!
I felt that the number of umbrellas and sunloungers was over the top here, so there's not much opportunity to lay out your own stuff. If you do want to do so, get to Chrisi Milia beach early to claim your space!
Steni Vala Beach
In my opinion this beach was nothing special (we went on a windy day), however it does have a rare Seatrac access facility for people with mobility issues.
It's great to see more and more of these crop up on beaches around Greece, and I hope it's a trend that will continue.
This is probably the wildest beach on the island of Alonissos, and Vithisma is also a naturist beach so not one for prudes!
There's a bit of a rough path leading down to the beach that hasn't been maintained in a while. You'll need to watch your footing as you descend.
On the beach, it's just about possible to put your own umbrella up if you have one in the dark, gritty sand. Natural shade is in short supply.
We liked this beach, and went back there twice during our stay in Alonissos.
We found this beach a little too organized for our tastes, with at least two competing tavernas offering sunbeds and umbrellas.
If you want to spend a day on a beach in Alonissos and want easy access to food and drinks, as well as the comfort of sunbeds this could be a good choice for you though.
There's a small stretch of beach on the waterfront of Patitiri, the main town in Alonissos. The waters have a lovely colour, and you'll always find someone swimming here.
While there are definitely much better beaches on the island to spend a day on, I can see the appeal of going for a quick swim here.
This is the most remote beach on Alonissos accessible by car, and you reach it on a sealed, but badly potholed road.
We were interested to check this beach out as we heard the snorkeling was good. However, our hopes turned to disappointment when we saw the sheer amount of plastic strewn all over the beach (although not near the sunbeds and kantina).
This was probably the worst we had seen a beach in Greece in a long time, and reminded me a little bit of a bad beach in Phu Quoc. If you have limited time in Alonissos, it's probably not worth the drive to get there.
There is now a taverna on Milia beach, so you can expect to find sunbeds and umbrellas as well as get food and drink.
Fortunately, there is still room to lay down your towel (if not too many other people have the same idea!).
We found this beach in Alonissos a nice one to spend an afternoon on.
Other places to visit in Alonissos
In addition to the great beaches, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Alonissos. Hiking (nothing too technical) is very enjoyable here, and one of my most memorable experiences in Alonissos was hiking the trail from Patitiri to Chora.
And of course, there's still more to see and do in Alonissos! Try squeezing these suggestions into your itinerary during you next trip to Alonissos island:
Take a boat trip to the National Marine Park
The National Marine Park of Alonissos is the largest marine protected area in Europe, a sanctuary for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal and a plethora of marine life. Diving here is a unique opportunity to explore underwater caves, reefs, and the famous Peristera Shipwreck, making it a diver's paradise.
Folk Museum of Kostas and Aggela Mavriki
If you are normally put off by the idea of museums, give this one a chance! It's a privately run museum, and has some absolutely incredible exhibits covering lifestyles on Alonissos through the ages.
The Pirate exhibits have some great items such as elaborately decorated firearms, cutlasses, and costumes. There's also items from the Second World War, and down in the basement, some displays on different trades such as barrel makers, ship builders, and farmers.
The Folk Museum of Alonissos is located in Patitiri, the island's main town.
Alonissos is home to Greece's first underwater museum. Dive or snorkel to explore the Peristera Shipwreck, dating back to the 5th century B.C. It's a unique blend of history and adventure beneath the waves.
Walk around the Chora
Perched on a hilltop, the Old Town, also known as Chora, is a maze of cobblestone streets, traditional stone houses, and blooming bougainvillea.
The remnants of a bygone era, coupled with panoramic views of the Aegean, make Chora a must-visit. As the sun sets, the local tavernas come alive, offering a taste of the island's culinary delights.
Rent a boat to go around the island yourself
Rent a boat and navigate the serene waters of the Sporades. Discover uninhabited islets, hidden coves, and private beaches where you can swim and sunbathe away from the crowds.
Where and what to eat in Alonissos
Alonissos' cuisine is a testament to its rich cultural heritage and abundant natural resources. Enjoy fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes. Don't miss out on local cheeses, olive oil, and the island's famous honey.
Alonissos Cheese Pie
You will see the Alonissos cheese pie on menus everywhere during your time on the island, so you'll have to try it once. In all fairness, you only need to try it once, because the thing is huge and it will be quite an undertaking to get a second one even a few days later!
Let's not think about the calories in this one!
Onward travel from Alonissos
Just as you can only get to Alonissos by ferry, you can only leave the island by ferry.
If you're continuing your island hopping adventures in the Sporades, the nearby islands of Skopelos and Skiathos are obvious choices.
Check Ferryscanner for the latest ferry timetables.
Dave is a travel writer from the UK who's been living in and writing about Greece since 2015. As well as writing this travel guide on what to do in Alonissos, he's also written hundreds more travel blog posts about other destinations in Greece. Follow Dave on social media for more Greece travel planning ideas: