Alonissos is part of the Sporades group of islands and has Skopelos as its nearest neighbour, only 20 minutes away on the regular hydrofoil service. While Skopelos may be known for its gentle pace, life on Alonissos is another notch slower. The interior of Alonissos is largely uninhabited, with goat tracks crossing the spine of the island and olive and fruit trees covering much of its surface.
It is perhaps the ideal destination for a walking break, with a rich variety of tracks meandering the long narrow layout of the island and while there is enough to explore on several day hikes, you’re never far from your base and indeed from a cool refreshing drink.
Those planning a walking break in Alonissos can take advantage of the services of long term resident and walking enthusiast Chris Browne. Chris Browne has lived permanently on the island for 16 years and helped to open up the traditional footpaths and create the marked hiking trails that now snake across the island.
He founded the Alonissos Walking Club in 2005 with the aim of ‘encouraging both residents and visitors alike to better appreciate and enjoy this outstanding island environment’.
The walks offered by Chris vary from 6km sunset walks along the beach, starting and ending at Patitiri, to a 12km walk that includes the Kastania Gorge and offers the chance to see the eagles and falcons that live on the island.
As Chris explains, “Somewhere on your travels you are sure to bump into a shepherd, the resin collector, an old woman collecting her horta (wild greens) or perhaps someone leaving an offering at one of the many road side shrines. If you do, then a cheery greeting of “Yassas” will almost always get you a reply.”
For an island that is a modest 13 miles long and only 3 miles wide it is surprising just how much landscape offers for the casual walker. The mild climate allows for year-round walking, with the summer months being the busiest while the period from September to April when the Alonissos Walking Club organises Saturday morning walks, being a time to enjoy a more peaceful side to island life.
And when you’re ready from a break for walking you can enjoy one of several small coves and beaches where you can bask in the crystal waters and soak those weary feet.