Sailing holidays in the National Marine park of Alonissos
One of the first national marine conversations areas to be established in Greek waters, the Alonissos Marine Park boasts being among the largest in the whole of Europe and is a member of MedPAN.
It was founded in 2003, but a lot of the conservation work had already started well before to protect many marine and land animals as well as rare plants found on the islands that make up the park.
A glorious nature reserve for both land and marine life
Apart from protecting one of the most beautiful areas in the Aegean Sea, there is some very important work being done on historically important archaeological sites and monuments too.
The area is full of shipwrecks as well as ruins of many ancient churches and monasteries that date back to either the Byzantine Empire and classical period with some sites being from prehistoric times.
The great thing about the marine park is that you can swim and dive the waters as well as hike through areas on the majority of the islands that make up the marine park and the areas where people are permitted to go are well displayed.
There is even a specific area of the park where you can indulge a passion for fishing and if you've arrived there on a chartered yacht, the experience is simply out of this world. Yacht charters often provide their own guides for marine parks such as this one.
The marine park is made up of seven islands all of which are unique in their own way.
Alonissos, the largest among them boasts a hilly landscape with pine forests in the south which contrasts dramatically with the macchia vegetation found in the northern part of the island.
The island's port is Patitiri, where visitors can take boat rides to the gorgeous beaches along the coast as well as trips to visit the many neighbouring islands. You will usually find many sailing yachts of various yacht charters in the port of Patitiri.
Another delightful natural port can be found on the north-eastern coast which is called Steni Vala and it's here you'll find some lovely places to stay as well as delightful tavernas serving traditional dishes.
It's also here that you'll find the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre for orphaned and injured baby Mediterranean monk seals.
Other smaller islands
The six smaller islands are Peristera, Kira-Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Piperi and Skantzoura, but there are 22 other uninhabited rocky outcrops as well as islets to be found in the marine park which makes it a fascinating area to sail through.
The diverse habitats, gorgeous coves and beautiful azure waters make it a top destination among many seasoned sailors and newcomers to life on the ocean waves. Be sure to ask locals, as well as your yacht charter agent for more information, which will be helpful for a better experience.
There's so much to see in the way of marine life in the waters around the island that diving off a boat is a sheer job. But on land, there's lots to see too, which includes some very rare plants and the beautiful Eleonora’s falcons which can be seen on the island of Skantzoura.
Unforgettable sailing holidays experience
To really take it all in, you need to spend at least a week sailing these beautiful waters, especially as each of the tiny islands is so very unique. Some boast wonderfully sheltered bays, whereas others have steep cliffs teeming with seagulls nesting on them.
There's the Cyclops cave with its amazing stalagmite and stalactites that have to be explored. Then there's the higher reaches of other islands that offer a great day's trekking in beautiful wild settings that are so typical of this glorious region of the world where you'll come across some pretty rare goats that are though to be indigenous to the area.
All in all, the best way to visit this gorgeous marine park is to charter a yacht and take your time visiting each of the glorious islands that make up the reserve.
The diving is splendid, but there's a lot to see inland too and anchoring offshore is pretty easy in these tranquil waters which makes a island hopping in the Alonissos Marine Park so very enjoyable.
Our yacht charter experience can definitely provide you unforgettable vacations.
Are you ready to sail the seawaters of Greece?