Alonissos Marine Park

The National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades is currently the largest marine protected area in Europe and the breeding region for the Mediterranean Monk Seal. It is a member of the MedPAN (Network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean). Besides the sea area, the park includes the main island of Alonissos, six smaller islands (Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Piperi, Skantzoura), as well as 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops.

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Monachus monachus

The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) is the most important mammalian species living in Northern Sporades. It is believed to be the world’s rarest pinniped species. This wild and beautiful animal lives and reproduces on the steep cliffs of Piperi island which is a strictly protected by the law area.


It is said that the sight of dolphins is a sign of luck! Are you lucky enough…? Sail on to find out!


The monastery of Kyra Panagia lays on a hill on top of Kyra Panagia island. It is a 16th century post – Byzantine time monastery dependent on the Holy Monastery of Megisti Lavra on mount Athos. All around there are still existing remains of the old olive press and flour mill. A monk who is the only inhabitant of the island welcomes you and share his stories with you.

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Alonissos Marine Park

History and significance of the Alonissos Marine Park

The Alonissos Marine Park was established in 1992 with the goal of protecting the rich biodiversity and unique marine ecosystems found in this region. It was the first marine park in Greece and has since become a model for marine conservation efforts worldwide. The park is home to a diverse range of marine life, including endangered species such as the Mediterranean monk seal, dolphins, and loggerhead turtles.

Beyond its ecological significance, the Alonissos Marine Park also holds historical and cultural value. The region has a long history of human presence, with evidence of ancient shipwrecks and ruins dating back thousands of years. Exploring the underwater archaeological sites in the park provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Flora and Fauna of Alonissos Marine Park

Alonissos Marine Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, both on land and underwater. The park boasts a rich variety of marine life, including over 300 species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and the iconic Mediterranean monk seal. The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts to explore the vibrant underwater world.

On land, the islands of Alonissos and Peristera are covered with lush vegetation, including pine forests, olive groves, and aromatic herbs. These habitats support a wide array of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. The park is also home to rare species such as the Eleonora’s falcon and Audouin’s gull.

Activities and attractions in the Alonissos Marine Park

Alonnisos Marine Park offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular activities is boat tours, where you can explore the hidden coves, secluded beaches and sea caves around the islands. These tours often include swimming stops, snorkelling and picnics in scenic locations.

Diving enthusiasts will be delighted with the underwater wonders of the marine park. The clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to get a close-up view of vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish and other sea creatures. There are dive centers on the island of Alonissos that offer lessons and guided dives for all skill levels.

For those who prefer to stay on land, the island of Alonissos offers numerous hiking trails that traverse the island’s beautiful landscapes. These trails lead you through pine forests, olive groves and offer stunning panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the amazing images!

Conservation Efforts in Alonissos Marine Park

Alonissos Marine Park is not only a stunning natural destination but also a center for conservation efforts. The park plays a crucial role in protecting the Mediterranean monk seal, one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. Research and monitoring programs are in place to study their behavior, habitat, and population dynamics.

Additionally, the park actively promotes sustainable tourism practices to minimize the impact on the fragile ecosystem. They have implemented regulations to protect the marine life and educate visitors about responsible behavior while exploring the park. By respecting these guidelines, we can ensure the preservation of this unique natural treasure for future generations.

How to visit Alonissos Marine Park

A visit to Alonissos Marine Park is a truly unforgettable experience. The park is accessible by boat from the nearby islands of Skiathos and Skopelos. There are regular ferry services connecting these islands with Alonissos, making it convenient for travellers.

Once you arrive on the island of Alonissos, you can explore the marine park by joining organized boat tours or renting a private boat. There are also several dive centers that offer equipment rental and guided dives for those who wish to explore the underwater world.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the marine park, it is recommended that you spend a few days on the island of Alonissos. There are various accommodations available that you will find at yourself in the tranquility of the island, enjoy the local cuisine and indulge in the natural wonders that the marine park of Alonnisos offers.