Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail

White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas

For you’re tired of the filthy waters of the harbors

You who loved the distant Sporades

You who lifted the tallest flags

You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves

Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens

Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades

(Andreas Empeirikos)

What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams?

TNH and our documentary show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

From the Royal Hotel of Thermaikos we set sailed directly with Seajets from Thessaloniki to the lush green oasis of Alonnisos in the Sporades island group, famous for its National Marine Park, which is actually the largest in Europe.

The Mar Punta Resort of the Santikos Collection offered us a five-star stay for all the senses! Fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, diving – and above all relaxation is the order of the day for those who visit Alonnisos! The place where, as the locals tell us… “you will have less to think about and more to remember!”

The Sporades are known for their beautiful islands, which differ from the drier Aegean islands. They present a more exotic aura to travelers who decide to visit them.

The direct connection of Seajets from Mantoudi in Evia and Thessaloniki to Alonnisos has given the once-least accessible of the islands of the Northern Sporades the opportunity to welcome a large number of tourists from Southern and Northern Greece and abroad.

Alonnisos, also known as the ´island of the seals’, is a rich biotope and one of the last shelters for this rare mammal. It is also among the top five destinations of global interest for diving.

The cluster of uninhabited islands that make up the marine park (most notably Pelagonisi, with its emblematic monastery where a single monk resides), and even the most inaccessible beaches of Alonnisos are transformed into the approachable and heavenly ´green paradise bay` of the National Marine Park, where we were guided by the park´s staff and the mayor of Alonnisos, Petros Vafinis, known for his energy and his passion for diving!

Equipped with the necessary diving gear and a welcoming smile, Vafinis reports: “This is the largest natural marine park in Europe, the first underwater museum in Greece – and the authenticity of the island has always been and still is the main factor that brings our exotic paradise of the Sporades to the top. The island’s excellence has inspired many media outlets to write beautiful and extensive reports to show the public that Alonnisos is not a sterile, generic destination, but actually an authentic spot full of soul. Our efforts never stop. In collaboration with prestigious institutions, we will continue to establish a presence in as many markets of interest as possible.”

The island with the crystal clear waters, pine forests, and its impressive network of exciting trails for nature and hiking enthusiasts was recently crowned the national winner of Greece in the long-established annual list of 25 recommended Greek islands by the Times of London, trusted by millions of potential travelers from Great Britain and all over the world.

Recently, Alonnisos was featured in the new multi-page feature of the popular National Geographic Traveler of Poland.

It is also interesting to note that underwater research in the submerged part of the Neolithic settlement of Agios Petros, located in the bay of Kyra-Panagia, north of Alonnisos, has been completed. As we were informed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, this is an important site in the Aegean islands, where the findings give a complete archaeological picture of the first agricultural groups that settled permanently in Greece shortly before 6,000 BC. The research was carried out within the framework of the approved five-year program implemented in cooperation with the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Department of Archaeology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The opportunity offered by the underwater research at Agios Petros, the earliest submerged island settlement in the Aegean, is expected to highlight important aspects of the life of those early communities and their navigation among the Aegean islands.

The visit to the old town of Alonnisos with its traditional colorful alleys and the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea from ‘Hayati’ – a wonderful café/piano bar/pastry shop – confirms the profound words of the great modern Greek poet Odysseus Elytis: “No wave holds evil in its breast… But only infinity.

Follow us on: Instagram: ethnikos_kirikasthenationalheraldclelia_charissis.

Special thanks to: Seajets, Peugeot Hellas, Mayor of Alonnisos Petros Vafinis, Mar Punta Resort Alonnisos of Santikos Collection, Hagiati piani bar, Tassia’s Cooking, Panoulis Tavern, Fanari Tavern, Alonnisos Travel & More, Shopandtrade, Saucony Greece, Aristoteli Bitsiani, Mythic Collection.


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