Riding and Renting a Motorbike on Alonnisos

During each of my ten stays on Alonnisos one of my very favorite things is riding a motorbike up and down the island’s twisting roads, and navigating around the numerous obstacles that one encounters while cruising through the crowded streets of the port town of Patitiri. With respect to the latter, my wife and I always joke that driving through Patitiri is like playing a computer video game because all sorts of obstacles just appear at the last moment to keep you on your toes.

There are two particular stretches of the tarmac that are the most enjoyable in my view, the first being the views on the road between the Old Village and Patitiri (see picture to the left), and the second being those on the road down to the port town of Steni Vala (photo below right). In both cases the vistas are just amazing, and I truly have never tired of seeing these sights no matter how many times I driven up and down these roads. There’s also something magical about the smell of the pine forests as you cruise down the road with the wind blowing softly on your face. There are times during the winter here in Chicago that I long for the scent of those beautiful pines and the visual treats that await me around every corner on the roads of Alonnisos.

To see a brief YouTube video of what driving the road down to Steni Vala is like, click here. The music clip attached to it is from a song called “Foreign Land” performed by a Paris, France-based rock and roll band called Televox.The band is led by my good friend Lorenz Plassman, who I met on Alonnisos in 2007, and who gave me permission to use this copyrighted audio content.

How Safe is Riding a Motorbike on Alonnisos?

If you are a person who is comfortable riding a two-wheeled vehicle, in my view there is simply no better way to experience the island than to rent a motorbike. One of the first questions that you may ask is, “is it dangerous?Honestly, yes, it can be if one is an inexperienced rider. As the driver, however, you are the one who is ultimately in control of your destiny. So, if you drive carefully, and stay sober while driving (this is critical on these roads), your chances of getting into an accident on Alonnisos are no worse than they are anywhere else, and perhaps less simply because there are dramatically fewer vehicles on the entire island than one normally would encounter at any one moment in a typical medium to large-size European or U.S. city.

So, assuming you are up for the challenge, the only thing you need to figure out is, who on Alonnisos to rent your motorbike from. In this regard, there are numerous businesses that rent them on the island, and I’m sure that for the most part you’d probably be satisfied with any number of them. There is, however, one particular business that I have rented from for over ten years, and every time I return I don’t hesitate in going right back to them. The business I refer to is I & M Motorbike Rental, and the proprietors are Ilias and Maria.

They live in Volos during the winter, but come to spend every summer in Alonnisos where they offer a great assortment of motorbikes, backed by some of the friendliest service you’ll find anywhere on the island. I first rented from Ilias back in 1997, and since then he and his wife Maria have always provided me with a quality ride at a competitive price. More importantly, anytime I’ve experienced a problem (such as a flat tire), he’s been excellent about getting me back on the road as quickly as possible. I cannot say enough about the character and hospitality of Ilias and Maria, and for that reason I highly recommend their rental business. In fact, during my visit in 2009 I suggested I&M to visitors from Italy and the U.S. who I had met while there and all of them reported complete satisfaction.

Just so you know, they offer both automatic transmission mopeds (see above) and automatic with shift (no clutch) models such as the famous Honda Cub (see photo at right). In addition, if you’re into larger, traditional motorcycles, they can accommodate your needs there as well.

Finding I&M Motorbike Rental

I&M’s original location is in Patitiri on what we call “the back street.” The photo to your left of Ilias and his father, Apostolis, provides some insight as to what the storefront looks like. It’s easy to find because there’s 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 motorbike via email click here.

A few years ago I&M built another facility out-island on the main road between the first road to Chrissi Milia, and the road to Kokkino Kastro beach. This larger facility (see photo to your right) is located on the left side of the road when you are coming from the direction of Patitiri. It is more convenient for people who are staying at the Alonnisos Hotel and other rental properties in the area. In addition to motorbikes this facility offers car wash services.

Happy motoring, but just be careful out there!

To contact me via email with any questions regarding this post click here.