National Marine Park of Alonnisos.

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National Marine Park of Alonnisos Northern Sporades

Top choice in Alonnisos

In a country not particularly noted for ecological foresight, Europe's largest marine park (2260 sq km) is a welcome innovation. Created in 1992, its prime aim is to protect the endangered Mediterranean monk seal and several rare seabirds. In summer, boats from Alonnisos and Skopelos run full-day trips through the pristine park, whose sea floors are carpeted in oxygen-producing posidonia. The shy monk seal is rarely seen, but you may spot dolphins (three species), turtles, Eleonora's falcons or migrating whales.

The marine park is divided into two zones, A and B. Alonnisos lies within Zone B, along with the islets of Peristera and Dio Adelphi. Access to Zone A is more restricted, with boats allowed no closer than 400m to most islets; one exception is the island of Kyra Panagia, whose beautifully renovated monastery dating from 1200 is visited on most boat trips. Rocky Piperi islet is protected by a 5km radius due to its importance for monk-seal reproduction and raptor populations.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Alonnisos attractions

1. Kokkinokastro Beach

0.78 MILES

The gorgeous golden-white pebble-and-sand arc hugging red-tinged Cape Kokkinokastro, 6km northeast of Patitiri, was the site of the ancient, now-submerged…

2. Leftos Gialos Beach

1.13 MILES

Washed by deep-turquoise water, this white-pebble beach 7km northeast of Patitiri is graced by a couple of lively summer tavernas and a sprinkling of sun…

3. Hrysi Milia

1.21 MILES

Hrysi Milia is a gently shelving, set-back, sandy gold strand with pine-tree shade and popular summer-only beach bars (also offering scruffy-haired…

4. Agios Petros Beach


Small, pebbly east-coast Agios Petros sits 500m south of Steni Vala (by coastal path), bordered by pines and olive groves and with just a few apartments…

5. Votsi

2.31 MILES

Perched on a dreamy aqua-blue bay 2km northeast of Patitiri, the quiet fishing village and port of Votsi hosts several terrific sea-view restaurants and a…

6. Steni Vala

2.35 MILES

The island's third settlement, 11km northeast of Patitiri, is an attractive little fishing village and deep-water yacht port, backed by excellent seafront…

7. Agioi Anargyroi

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With a spectacular setting on a cliff above a north-coast beach, 4km north of Patitiri (down a dirt track), this 13th-century Byzantine church has…

8. Glyfa Beach

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Golden-grey pebbles and clear water are the draws at easy-going Glyfa, fringed by greenery just north of Steni Vala and often used by water-sports…