AT just twenty km long and barely five km wide, unassuming Alonnisos is the silent achiever of the northern Aegean’s Sporades clan.
Lush, green and elegant, Alonnisos is the place discerning travelers go when they don’t want to see other travelers. It is a paradisiacal riot of rare passion flowers, butterflies, honeysuckle, twisted olive trees and ripe apricots.
This is not hip-hotel country. Accommodation is pre-dominantly basic guest villas (with presently only one five-star option). But Alonnisos is an island that gives much back. The National Marine Park provides sanctuary for the endangered Mediterranean Monk seal, immortalized in Homer’s passages; while verdant Milia is home to the International Academy of Homeopathy, drawing on Alonnisos’ deep-rooted tradition of folk medicine.
With no airstrip to speak of and only the most compact of ports, non-pretentious Alonissos offers up fertile slopes, inviting rock pools and coves, unblemished waters and villages of stone-topped cottages. The crowning glory is the old Chora with its steep stony stairways and intriguing veiled pockets. Alonnisos: Only Greek island purists need apply.