Welcome to the “Alonnisos Insider” Site

Welcome to the Alonnisos Insider Site! As a frequent visitor to Greece (i.e., 15 trips between 1997 and 2018) I’ve learned many things about traveling there, and am particularly knowledgeable about Alonnisos island. My primary intention with this site is to provide readers with valuable insights into the island itself, including guidance with respect to:

  • The primary methods of getting to/from Alonnisos
  • Detailed information about what to see and do when visiting there
  • Courtesy listings for rooms, studios and homes available for rent on the island

In addition, I share “insider information” through my opinions regarding the best-of-the-best restaurants and other service providers in Alonnisos. In this regard, please note that any recommendations I make here regarding specific businesses are simply my experiences and suggestions, and of course, they should not preclude you from visiting and experiencing other establishments or using other service providers during your stay on the island. Also, please note that the photos used in the slide show at the top of this page are courtesy of Vasilis Photography in Alonnisos.

If you are using a PC or laptop, the best way to use the site is to refer to the Category Archives box to your right, as it provides a summary of all topics covered.

NOTE: For those visiting this site using a smartphone or other mobile device, please page down to find the nav-bar content, which includes links to specific categories of posts (e.g., “Alonnisos-Restaurants”, “Getting to Alonnisos from Volos, and many, many more).

If you have any questions regarding anything on this site, or have specific questions about Alonnisos, contact me via email by clicking here.

If you have found value in this website and are a member of Facebook, please click on this link to be taken to the Alonnisos Insider page on Facebook, where you can choose to “Like” the site. This will help us to spread the word about the Alonnisos Insider. Thanks! Also please note that I regularly share new photos on that page.

Important Notice: The date and time stamp at the bottom of every post is not  reflective of the “newness” of the information shared. Note that as of March 20, 2018 I have updated all posts that required update. I also update older posts when necessary whenever I make another trip to Alonnisos. Also, please note that to keep this site “pure,” none of the links on this site provide compensation to me or this website for any click-throughs.

The Alonissos App from Zesti.gr

For an additional information resource about Alonnisos beyond this blog, anyone who visits the island with a smartphone really should download and use the Alonissos App prior to your trip (see screen shot to your right). This advanced, user-friendly application was created by a team of people who truly know Alonnisos, and who had the requisite technical expertise to design this top-flight information resource.

The Alonissos App is a dynamic guide for those visiting the island, as well as anyone who is interested in doing so. To ensure it remains up to date, information is added continuously to assist users in effortlessly navigating to find the best the island has to offer. With this powerful app, users can easily identify where to stay, what places to visit, where to swim, where to dine, and much more (see sample screen shot to your left).

In addition, users can personalize the guide by adding favorites, ratings, and comments about the places they visit so others can benefit from the knowledge of their experiences. When a user locates a place they want to visit, they simply need to tap below the map to navigate there. The screen shot below shows a sample page about the Old Village of Alonnisos.

The Alonissos App is powered by the Zesti platform, and because the company works closely with the people of the Alonissos and the local Municipality, the content is constantly updated. Users also can click on the feedback button within the app to make suggestions for additions or improvements to it.

The Alonissos App is free for smartphone users, and is available for both the iOS and Android operating systems. Local island businesses interested in advertising through the app pay an annual fee. To download the app for use on an iPhone, visit the Apple AppStore using this link; Android OS users can get the app through the Google PlayStore by clicking here.

Getting to Alonnisos from Athens via the port of Mantoudi in Evia

During the tourist season of 2019 there were no longer any direct boat (i.e., ferry or Flying Cat) departures from the mainland port of Agios Konstantinos to Alonnisos. It was possible to get to Skiathos from Agios Konstantinos, but passage on a different boat was required for the rest of the journey to Alonnisos. This may change during the 2020 season, but in case it doesn’t, people on their way to Alonnisos who arrive in Athens, and who do not want to fly to Skiathos (for an ensuing boat transfer to Alonnisos), or who are unable to book a flight to Skiathos, have two primary options to get to the island:

Option 1 is to take a coach bus or taxi to the port of Mantoudi on the island of Evia, followed by a ferry to Alonnisos called Proteus (pictured to your right), which is operated by ANES Lines. To book reservations for passage on Proteus, click here. (Note: As of January 2020 Proteus is in dry dock for repairs so it may be a couple of months before bookings can be made on it.)

To reach Mantoudi by bus from the Athens airport you will first need to take the X93 city bus to the Bus Terminus B bus station in Athens. To see a long-distance bus schedule for buses departing from Bus Terminus B click here. The total time it will take you to get to Mantoudi from the airport via Bus Terminus B will be perhaps as much as 3.5 hours, but could be more based on traffic conditions. The estimated time for the bus ride itself from Athens to Mantoudi is approximately 2.5 hours. To book reservations on this bus click here. Choose the departure point as Athens and the arrival point as Kymasi.

If you’d prefer to take a taxi to Bus Terminus B, please page down to see information regarding a limo/taxi driver in Athens that I recommend.

One other note, in addition to bus X93 from the airport, you also can reach Athens City Centre via the Metro Train line. Ask the information desk at the airport for directions to the on-site Metro station (it’s on the lower level). If you do take the Metro, you’ll want to take it to the Attiki Station in Athens, as it’s the closest station to Bus Terminus B for your next travel segment to Mantoudi. Note that travel via train instead of bus gets you to the city center in perhaps half the time. Please likewise note that based on advice from a friend in Athens, for safety sake it’s best to take a taxi from the Athens Attiki Metro Station to the main bus terminal.

Option 2 is to take a bus or taxi to the port of Kimi on the island of Evia, followed by a boat (the Skyros Shipping Company Achilleas) to Alonnisos. To learn the details about this option, please click here.

To Mantoudi via Taxi/Limo

If you aren’t as much concerned about cost as you are about comfort and speed, you also have the option of taking a taxi/limo from the Athens Airport directly to Mantoudi. While this would obviously be more expensive than bus travel, if two or more people are traveling together the price is much more reasonable and it’s clearly more convenient.
If you are interested in taking a taxi/limo, I highly recommend the services of a driver in Athens named Spiros Halkides. Not only is he a great guy, but he also speaks fluent English from his experience in living in New York for many years. Here is his contact information: Telephone: 30-2109944771 (H) & (30)-6944285686(MOBILE). To visit Spiros’ website click here. To contact Spiros via email, click here.

(As an alternative to the above information, there is a website called RometoRio that has a bookings page dedicated to the Athens – Mantoudi segment. Click here to visit it.)

Greek Key Properties – Experienced Real Estate Services

Greek Key Properties is a real estate sales company in Alonnisos offering expert services delivered by Panos Taliadoros, an established real estate sales & support professional. His experience in this area includes several years serving as a branch manager for a large agency in the U.K. prior to relocating to Alonnisos in 2015.

As a full-time resident of the island, Panos (pictured on the left) has in-depth knowledge of the nuances of the Alonnisos real estate market, and is readily accessible not only by email and phone, but also in person 7-days a week. He is committed to delivering total transparency and honesty to both sellers and buyers, giving them the confidence to count on him to assist them throughout the transaction process.

Born in the U.K. of Greek-Cypriot parents, he is very much at home on Alonnisos and can empathize with the “Greek culture” first hand. He likewise is a great ambassador for promoting the island through social media and advertising.

Panos has the necessary experience and communication skills to work successfully with all parties involved – sellers, buyers, and their legal representatives as well. In addition, he has established relationships with architects on the island and other home-related service providers to assist buyers interested in customizing their homes to meet their specific preferences.

For more information about Greek Key Properties and the services it offers please visit https://www.greekkeyproperties.com. To contact Panos directly via email with any questions, please click here.

Insurance Services in Alonnisos

A trusted friend of ours, George Tsoukanas, is now offering top-quality insurance services for Alonnisos residents as well as homeowners on the island who are from the EU and other countries too. He can provide access to coverage for homes, businesses, autos, and motorbikes from an assortment of well-respected insurance suppliers.

To contact George via email about the various types of insurance coverage he has available, please click here.

Recommended Apartments in Skiathos – Fresh Rooms

For our trip to Alonnisos in 2018 we once again needed to overnight in Skiathos, as we arrived an hour later than the last boat for the evening left that particular night in mid-July. Since we were only staying just the one night, we simply wanted a clean, safe, and cost-effective place that was near to port so we could catch our ferry to Alonnisos the next day. In the past we stayed several times at a hotel outside the city center, however, this year the price was way too high (i.e., 100 Euros) for just a one night stay after a late evening arrival.

So, I came across information about Fresh Rooms on Booking.com and made a reservation. The owner/manager Michalis (Michael) was very friendly and hospitable. The room itself was fairly basic but clean and with AC as well. There was no Wi-Fi to my knowledge, but we really didn’t care since we would only be there a short time. We didn’t have a “view” but that didn’t matter to us either. The price at the time was 50 Euros, which was just fine. Note also that the place is up on a hill so there are some steps to climb.

We really liked the location because it’s right off the main road and it took us just five minutes to walk to the center of the port that evening for dinner at our favorite restaurant in Skiathos (i.e., Paraxenos – awesome food by the way). The next morning Michalis was kind enough to drive us to the port (less than 1km) since we had the suitcases to deal with and were running a bit late; we really appreciated that.
Bottom line, in our case this was a great place to stay in Skiathos based on our itinerary as pass-through travelers. Based on this experience, we would definitely stay there again on our way to Alonnisos.

For more information about Fresh Rooms, please click on this link to its page on Booking.com.

 

 

Land for Sale – Old Village Area

One of the things I really appreciate about Alonnisos is the impromptu connections I’ve made over the years that truly are organic (i.e., not arranged) in nature. Last week, for example, I went to the cemetery to pay my respects to people we knew who passed away since we left last year. In doing so, I had the great pleasure of meeting a mother (Machi) and daughter (Maria) who were carefully tending to the grave of their husband/father. Maria and I struck up a conversation in English and it was a lovely chat indeed. She mentioned that she had some land for sale, and in response to that I decided to write this post and include information about it here on AlonnisosInsider.com.

The parcel of land for sale is a seaside plot of 2,203 square meters (total) with olive trees located on the west side of Alonnisos near the southern end of the island. It is just 500 meters away from the Old Village, has easy access through an existing road, and importantly, the required building license, forest clearance, and proper documentation are already prepared. The property is situated on a hill and is ideal for building a home/cottage. The price for this plot of land is 60,000 Euros.

For more information about this property, or to ask any questions, please click here to send an email to Maria Kalogianni.

Also, please note that to keep this site “pure” AlonnisoInsider.com does not receive any compensation for this post or any others.

Marabu All Day Bar in Patitiri

Recently I learned about a cafe called the Marabu All Day Bar, which is located right on the waterfront in Patitiri, so I thought I’d write a quick post about it. Marabu offers 25 percent discount on selected items daily from 17:00-19:30 (i.e., 5:00pm – 7:30pm) and has the following Happy Hour prices:

  • Large beer (draught or bottled): 3.0 Euros
  • Glass of wine: 3.0 Euros
  • Selected cocktails: 6.0 Euros

Next time you’re in Patitiri be sure to check out Marabu to enjoy the beverage of your choice, and to take advantage of the great view as well.

ElectroNet Alonnisos – Wide Selection of Electronic Products, Excellent Service

Recently, the 20-year old refrigerator in our family home in Alonnisos began to fail so we had to face the fact that it was time to replace it. While some folks on the island suggested that we shop for it on the Internet, I really felt it was better to deal face-to-face with local people for a purchase such as this. As such, I visited the ElectroNet store in Patitiri several times to do research in order to make a decision as to which fridge to buy. Each time I stopped by there I was greeted warmly by the salesperson, Smaragdi, and she patiently listened to my questions and answered them all.

The other day we finally purchased one at ElectroNet and it was delivered just three hours later by one of the owners, Panayiotis, and two other men who clearly knew what they were doing.  They not only brought the new fridge, they also took the old one away for only 20 Euros.

I am pleased to say that the entire experience was very positive, and as such I highly recommend ElectroNet as a source in Alonnisos for just about any electronic product (I actually bought a new coffee grinder as well that day).

ElectroNet is located across from the car park near the big bakery on the main street heading up to the port. The telephone number  is 2424-0-66069, and to contact the store via email, click here.

I&M Motorbike Rental in Patitiri Now Renting Cars Too

For anyone interested in renting a car in Alonnisos, I am pleased to report that I&M Motorbike Rental is now offering cars for rent as well. They have two new Citroen C1 passenger cars available for daily rental this summer (2018, see photo to your right). Both cars have manual transmissions and rent for approximately 50ϵ/day during high-season (August) and 45 ϵ/day in May – June and in September.

Based on my very positive experiences over 21 years with the owners, Ilias and Maria and their fine son Apostolis, I can say without question you won’t find a better place to rent a car or a motorbike in Alonnisos.

I&M’s Patitiri location is  on what we call “the back street” up from the port on the west side of Patitiri. The photo to your left of Ilias and his father Apostolis was taken back in 2011 and provides some insight as to what the storefront looks like. It’s easy to find because there’s usually a large number of motorbikes parked across the street from it. To contact I&M by phone call (30) 2424-065010 (where 30 is the country code). To reserve a car (or motorbike) via email click here.

Votsalo Restaurant in Rousoum

During our trips to Alonnisos the past two summers we met our good friend Eva for dinner at the Votsalo Restaurant in Rousoum. In past years visiting Rousoum typically wasn’t part of our usual routine, so when we went there in 2016 to meet Eva it was our first time down there to have a meal in perhaps 10 years. In any event, both my wife and I were very pleased with the quality of the food we ordered and also with the portion size as well. Plus, the prices were very fair.

The traditional Greek appetizers we ordered were delicious, the oven-cooked meals were wonderful, and the service we received during both visits was excellent too. Like virtually every restaurant or taverna on the island, the Votsalo Restaurant is a family-run business, and it is operated by a very nice couple named Nikos and Ioanna, who we found to be very friendly and welcoming. Based on our very positive experiences at Votsalo the past two summers we’ll be sure to eat there more often the next time we visit Alonnisos.

For those who haven’t visited Alonnisos before, Rousoum is a small bay/beach located east of the main port of Patitiri. If you have a rental car or motorbike, you get there by taking the main road up from Patitiri harbor and then keep going past the first cross-street (where the school is) following that main road all the way down and around to Rousom. Votsalo is right on the waterfront – the second restaurant in from the road. Those who like to walk also can travel there by foot, but with the understanding that the walk back up is quite steep in spots.