agathonisi island information
Agathonisi is the northernmost of the Dodecanese islands, located only 8 nautical miles from the Asia Minor coastline. A tiny ‘dot’ on the map with only 150 inhabitants, a surface of 13 sq. kms and a coastline of 32 kms of crystal clear waters!
Here there are no cars, no buses, no circulation... the visitor will enjoy serenity, local hospitality and fresh fish! No wonder it has been included (along with neighboring islets) in the Natura 2000 Network as a natural shelter to endangered bird species.
Agathonisi has 3 villages : Agios Georgios, the island’s port. This is where all accommodations and services are located. Megalo Chorio (Big Village) which is the largest and oldest village where most islanders live, Mikro Chorio (Small Village) and Katholiko , a practically abandoned fishing village. Even though at a distance of only 500m from the port, Megalo Chorio is invisible from the sea (a throwback to pirate invasion times). Its main architectural feature are the stone walls that surround houses, with their large entranceways to the community. Megalo Chorio has 120 inhabitants, whereas the communities of Mikro Chorio and Agios Georgios have only 15 inhabitants each. Since the island is rich in fish there are many fish-farming facilities (piscicultures) one of which is in Katholiko which is also a natural refuge from winds.
The little white-washed houses built according to the local architecture, the tiny gardens and the kind nature of its inhabitants come in contrast with the dry climate and land which give a unique character to this lonely standing little island.
The serene life of the island, the hopitality of its locals, the cleanliness of its beaches as well as its many natural beauties satisfy the visitor’s need for a relaxing holiday. Fresh fish, the tasty fava (fliskoukoudi) and the local wine deserve to be tasted in the picturesque taverns by the sea.
agathonisi cultural INFORMATION
HistoryInhhabited since antiquity, Agathonisi according to ancient historians, writers and geographers was named YETOUSSA. It changed various names to its current (Agathonisi), which declares the kind character ot its inhabitants ("agathos" for good in Greek).
The island’s proximity to the Turkish or Asia Minor coastline has infuenced its history. Originally Agathonisi was an exile place throughout the Roman and Byzantine course. It was constantly being attacked by pirates and therefore never was a real community until the 19th century. In the meantime the island was under Turkish occupation from the 16th century onwards although the Turks never lived on the island.
In 1922, Agathonisi was occupied by the Italians and it was liberated only after the end of World War II and was only then annexed to the rest of Greece.
From an archaeological view, on Agathonisi there are many Byzantine findings as well as numerous churches and chapels. You will definitely visit the unique in their kind throughout the Dodecanese islands "Domes", Byzantine sites most likely to have been used for storing food supplies.
What to seeThere are many small churches and chapels scattered throughout the island, such as the Church of Agios Georgios, the Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia), the Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos, the Church of St. Raphael, the Church of St. Charalambos, the Church of Agia Irini, the Church of St. Nikolaos, the Church of St. Panteleimon, the Church of Metamorfosi tou Sotiros (which hosts interesting religious festivals in the course of the year, the biggest of which are the feast of Agios Panteleimon on 27 July, the ninth day (Enniamera) from the Assumption of Virgin Mary, on 23 August, in Megalo Chorio, and Agios Ioannis Thermastis on 29 August (day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist).
Close to the picturesque chapel of St. Nicholas, on the east side of the island are some large arched structures, the “Tholoi” (Domes), dating back to the 11th century AD and believed to have been used as food warehouses. Legend has it that there is a huge cave which leads to tunnels connecting one end of the island with the other. The archaeological excavations on the island are also worth exploring.
Agathonisi has mainly pebble beaches with clear blue waters: Ai Giorgis, Spilia, Gaidouravlako, Tsaggari, Palos, Poros, Vathi Pigadi, Chohlia and Katholiko and many more, mostly accessible by car, but some only on foot.
- Citizens' Service Centre
- Post Office
- Port Authority
- Gas station
- Football pitch
- 5 x 5 field
- Local community : +30 22470 29009, 29010
- Ticket office (travel) : +30 22470 29004
- Health Center : +30 22470 29049
- Police : +30 22470 29029
- Post office : +30 22470 29115
Agathonisi has no airport nor a large port. It can be reached via other, larger islands.
There is a connection by sea 4 times a week with the islands of Kalymnos and Samos (Pythagoreion port), twice weekly by speed boat with Kalymnos and once with Rhodes. During the summer months, a modern heliport is also in operation.
From the island of Samos : one can fly or take the large ferry to Samos and from there catch the small ferry “Nissos Kalimnos”.
From Rhodes island : one can fly or take the large ferry to Rhodes and from there catch a local high speed ferry “Dodekanissos Seaways”
From Kalymnos, Leros, Lipsi or Patmos islands with Nisos Kalymnos
From Kalymnos, Leros and Lipsi with “Anna Express” which is a local Lipsi boat.
You will cover all distances on foot.
agathonisi | SPORTS & ACTIVITIES
Sailing & YachtingThe calm bay of Agios Georgios, sheltered from the wind, is ideal for yachts. You can also moor in the bays of Spilia and Gaidouravlako. The harbor can take approximately 15 yachts that moor longside.
One may enjoy a sea trip to the nearby islands - Arki 10 miles away, Lipsi 15 miles away, Fourni 25 miles away, Samos 15 miles