Agios Efstratios

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 Photo Credits to Karsta Lipp

One of the Tiny Islands

Pristine Sceneries and Oak Forests Blessed from the Fortitude of the Locals
A tiny island on the edge of the Aegean, marked from the modern political history of the country as a place of exile, Agios Efstratios, known as Ai Stratis from the locals, is blessed with the beauty of the natural sceneries and the fortitude of its people. Agios Efstratios is a volcanic island with rare geological formations, pristine seashores and oak forests. The sole hamlet of the island lies in the verdant valley formed from two dried riverbeds, which used to be the fruit gardens of the inhabitants until the devastating earthquake of 1968. The old village used to have an authentic traditional character with two storey houses perched on the hill, till the final abandonment forced from the military government; however, some of the beautiful stone houses were restored with reverence of the locals. All it takes to discover this mysterious island is a few days through the courtesy and the kindness of the locals who will open their hearts to show you their island! Travel to Ai Stratis, an authentic island with a genuine soul, to unveil its mysteries!

Discover Agios Efstratios

Best of Agios Efstratios

The Capital of Agios Efstratios

The Settlement of Agios Efstratios is the sole village of the island located on the west side of the island. The lovely settlement has an authentic atmosphere with traditional houses and labyrinthine alleys. The village has a traditional character and is ideal for relaxing holidays. The rare geological formations, the pristine beaches, the sea caves and the small forest compose the natural environment of the island.

The Building of Maraslios School

The Building of Maraslios School was the first primary school of the island that was built at the expense of the community of the immigrants of Agios Efstratios in Egypt. The building was demolished after the devastating earthquake of 1968 and the restoration and renovation project was accomplished from the Ministry of Culture. Nowadays, it houses the Museum of Democracy with exhibits, objects and artefacts from the life of the political prisoners of the island. The museum is the first public museum of the country the dealt with the recent historical period of crucial political importance of Greece.

The Monument of Nikos Sialmas

The Monument of Nikos Sialmas is located on the cape of Tripiti. It is a monument dedicated to the homonymous lieutenant of the air force. Nikos Sialmas lost his life following the crash of his aircraft during an air combat with a Turkish F6.

Bicycling in Agios Efstratios

Agios Efstratios is a tiny island ideal for lovers of bicycle. The circumnavigation of the island with a bicycle is a beautiful experience. One will have the opportunity to admire landscapes of extraordinary beauty. However, cyclists should use the existing dirt roads, as there are no bike paths yet in the island. In certain areas, the trails are relatively flat while in other areas it might get quite steep.

Archaeological Sites

Excavations have brought to light the remnants of the ancient town including marble plaques and fragments of columns and vessels and the cenotaph of the exiled and the tomb of a German officer on the hill of Agios Minas, the remains of a prehistoric settlement in the region of Alonitsi and the relics of the ancient necropolis in the area of Evraiki.

Churches and Chapels

Of great interest are the temple of the Five Martyrs decorated with impressive frescoes built in 1693 and the church of Agios Vasilios, a unique example of byzantine monumental architecture built in 1727. The chapel of Agios Minas is located on the homonymous hill offering panoramic views of the island and the church of Christ is the cathedral of the island located at the square of the village

Monuments and Museums

The Building of Maraslios School was the first primary school of the island that was built at the expense of the community of the immigrants of Agios Efstratios in Egypt. The building was demolished after the devastating earthquake of 1968 and the restoration and renovation project was accomplished from the Ministry of Culture. Nowadays, it houses the Museum of Democracy with exhibits, objects and artefacts from the life of the political prisoners of the island. The museum is the first public museum of the country the dealt with the recent historical period of crucial political importance of Greece.

The Monument of Nikos Sialmas is located on the cape of Tripiti. It is a monument dedicated to the homonymous lieutenant of the air force. Nikos Sialmas lost his life following the crash of his aircraft during an air combat with a Turkish F6.

Promenades & Villages

Agios Efstratios is the sole village of the island located on the west side of the island. The lovely settlement has an authentic atmosphere with traditional houses and labyrinthine alleys. The village has a traditional character and is ideal for relaxing holidays. The rare geological formations, the pristine beaches, the sea caves and the small forest compose the natural environment of the island.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Cave of Agios Efstratios, Northeast Agios Efstratios

Spot: Chapel of Agios Minas, Highest Point of Agios Efstratios

Spot: Village of Agios Efstratios, West Agios Efstratios

Excursions

Boat Tour: The circumnavigation of Agios Efstratios is a beautiful experience. One will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful beaches of Agios Dimitrios, Ftelio, Gournias, Lydario, Tsygari and Tripiti and the sea caves of Fokia and Tripia. Excursion boats operate from the harbor of Agios Efstratios.

Activities

Bicycling: Agios Efstratios is a tiny island ideal for lovers of bicycle. The circumnavigation of the island with a bicycle is a beautiful experience. One will have the opportunity to admire landscapes of extraordinary beauty. However, cyclists should use the existing dirt roads, as there are no bike paths yet in the island. In certain areas, the trails are relatively flat while in other areas it might get quite steep.

Hiking: Agios Efstratios is an ideal destination for hiking lovers. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the northern side of the settlement and leads to the heliport. There, you should turn right on the dirt road that leads to the northern side of the island. Continuing the dirt road, you will come across the region of Mikro Mourouli and the gate of the sheepfold of Paneras. From there, you have to turn left uphill where you will see the charming chapel of Agios Georgios. After one kilometre, the road meets the barbed wires, where you should turn left and after a while you will reach the northern part of the island called Avlakia. From there, you can enjoy the crystalline waters of the beach of Agios Georgios. For your information, this route can be reached also by car. It is recommended to open the little door of the barbed wires and follow the trail that leads to the cliff edge with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. (2) Another beautiful route starts from the harbour. From there, move parallel to the river that continues through the village until the end of the road. (Spot: Yellow iron bridge) After crossing the bridge, a dirt road begins the leads to the northeast side of the island. Fifty meters from there, the road meets the hill of Agios Minas where you have to turn right. From that point, you can either start ascending or follow the dirt road and turn left at the first intersection and follow the dirt road. This route is also accessible by car. The chapel of Agios Minas stands the hill of Agios Minas with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Moreover, the tomb of the political exiles is located on the same position along with the grave of a German officer who lost his life during the Second World War.

Spearfishing: The rich marine life of the islands of Daskalio and Velia are ideal for spearfishing enthusiasts.

Walking: The oak forest of Ai Stratis will give you priceless opportunities for walking. The forest is located on the southeast side of the island.

Beaches

Agios Antonios is a sandy and pebbled beach with deep blue waters and oak trees located on the north side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Agios Dimitrios is a long sandy beach with blue waters and oak trees located on the north side of the island. The surrounding rocky shores are ideal for spearfishing.

Alonitsi is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island ideal for those looking for seclusion. The cave of Agios Efstratios lies in a close proximity to the beach, the place where the monk Agios Efstratios hid when being persecuted from the iconoclasts.

Ftelio is a sandy beach with deep blue waters located on the west side of the island. The beach is ideal for spearfishing.

Lidario is a sandy beach with deep blue waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Sahara is a dark sandy beach with blue waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is a beautiful beach with impressive rocky formations.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Velia: Coffee, Agios Efstratios
Rodokali: Pastries, Agios Efstratios

Gastronomic Delights

Artemonas: Greek Cuisine, Agios Efstratios
Veranda: Greek Cuisine, Agios Efstratios

Cocktails Inspirations

Omiros: Cocktails and Drinks, Agios Efstratios

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include seafood, meat, flomaria, a type of pasta, trahana and broad beans.

The local specialties of the island include crabs stuffed with rice, limpets with rice and lobster with rice.

Events & Festivals

Every 25th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agia Paraskevi takes place in Agios Efstratios.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in Agios Efstratios.

Every 6th of December, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Nikolaos, the protector of sailors, takes place in Agios Efstratios.

History & Mythology

Mythology

The island of Agios Efstratios is not associated with any myths.

History

According to historical texts of Pausanias, the island was first called Nea as it was believed that it was a new island that has emerged from the sea. Archaeological findings show that Agios Efstratios has been inhabited since the Mycenaean period. The current name of the island dates back to the Byzantine years and the Iconoclastic period, the time when the monk Agios Efstratios landed in the island to found refugee in a cave.  By the end of the 14th century, the island suffered from pirate raids resulting in the desertion of the island in the 15th century. The permanent settlement of the harbour was built in the island in 1693 along with the church of the Five Martyrs, all of which were demolished from the devastating earthquake of 1968. In modern history, the island served as a place for political exiles (1928-1963). Significant personalities of the arts and letters were exiled in the island including the composer Mikis Theodorakis and the poets Kostas Varnalis and Giannis Ritsos.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (130 Nautical Miles): Agios Efstratios is accessible from the harbour of Lavrio and Kavala. However the quickest way to get to the island is with the daily ferry routes from the island of Lemnos. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Agios Efstratios

Agios Efstratios is one of the remotest islands of Greece. The island is a small forgotten paradise offered for vacations with incredible moments of relaxation. The road network of the island has dirt roads suitable more for a 4×4 vehicle, as only a small part has asphalt road. There is no a taxi on the island, but there is a gas station. You can rent a vehicle from the neighbouring island of Limnos.

Bicycling in Agios Efstratios

Agios Efstratios is a tiny island ideal for lovers of bicycle. The circumnavigation of the island with a bicycle is a beautiful experience. One will have the opportunity to admire landscapes of extraordinary beauty. However, cyclists should use the existing dirt roads, as there are no bike paths yet in the island. In certain areas, the trails are relatively flat while in other areas it might get quite steep.

Discover the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus

The island of Agios Efstratios provides shelter to the endangered species of the Mediterranean Monk Seal of Monachus-Monachus!

Escape from the World

Agios Efstratios is an ideal destination for those looking for an escape from the real world!

Explore Agios Efstratios by Boat

The best way to discover the area is by boat. An excursion to the beautiful islands of Dodeka Apostoloi, Daskalio and Velia is a beautiful experience. Also, one will have the opportunity to discover the l beaches of Agios Dimitrios, Ftelio, Gournias, Lydario, Tsygari and Tripiti and the sea caves of Fokia and Tripia. Excursion boats operate from the harbor of Agios Efstratios.

Hiking Higher than Highest

One of the most beautiful hiking routes starts from the the harbour. From there, move parallel to the river that continues through the village until the end of the road. (Spot: Yellow iron bridge) After crossing the bridge, a dirt road begins the leads to the northeast side of the island. Fifty meters from there, the road meets the hill of Agios Minas where you have to turn right. From that point, you can either start ascending or follow the dirt road and turn left at the first intersection and follow the dirt road. This route is also accessible by car. The chapel of Agios Minas stands the hill of Agios Minas with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Moreover, the tomb of the political exiles is located on the same position along with the grave of a German officer who lost his life during the Second World War.

Taste the Fresh Fish of Agios Efstratios

Agios Efstratios is one of the best places to taste the most delicious seafood in the islands of Greece!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Agios Efstratios Village: Pvaigaiou.gov.gr

Alonisti beach: Panagiotis Kritsikis by Agiosefstratios.blogspot.gr

Avlakia path: Panagiotis Kritsikis by Agiosefstratios.blogspot.gr

Ftelio beach: Panagiotis Kritsikis by Aistratisphotos.blogspot.gr

Kafoureza beach: Panagiotis Kritsikis by Aistratisphotos.blogspot.gr

Karavotsakisma beach: Lovaros by Panoramio

Monument of Nikos Sialmas: Armyaviation

View from the mountains: Panagiotis Kritsikis by Aistratisphotos.blogspot.gr