Psara

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The Island of Heroism

Hospitable People, Pristine Sceneries and Virgin Seashores in the Middle of Nowhere

“…On the full back ridge of Psara, glory stands by herself, considering the brilliant lads, and wearing a crown wreath, product of a few herbs that had stayed in the deserted land…”

Dionysius Solomos

Imagine a dry rock emerging from the Aegean Sea. Try to visualize Zeus throwing a massive rock into the sea in one of his fights with jealous Hera. This rock could be Psara, a mysterious island! Psara is a dry island in the middle of nowhere. A place filled with hospitable people with a calm smile of pure sufficiency. Indeed, the smiles of the people are so bright and powerful, one of the most irreplaceable ways to make you forget everything. Cubic houses and ceramic roofs, fuchsia bougainvillea and cobblestone alleys spread amphitheatrically on the slope of the hill around the homonym character. Indeed, the traditional character of the settlement of Psara is evident everywhere! An island embracing the value of peacefulness, a place where beauty, nature and history harmonize will definitely engrave your mind with nostalgic memories. Psara might stand in the middle of nowhere; however, you might find everything you need!

Discover Psara

Best of Psara

The Capital of Psara

The Settlement of Psara is the sole inhabited village of Psara located on the west side of the island. The settlement has a traditional character with stone houses, red tiled roofs and narrow streets that spread around the homonymous harbour. Wandering around the cobblestone alleys, one can admire the beauty and peace of the atmosphere. Worth visiting sights include the House of Konstantinos Kanaris and the Church of Agios Nikolaos.

The Beach of Psili Ammos

The Beach of Psili Ammos is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean. The beach is located on the island of Antipsara. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Psara.

The Church of Agios Nikolaos

The Church of Agios Nikolaos is the jewel of the island standing on the highest point of the village. The church was built in 1793 in honour of the patron saint of sailors. According to tradition, the church was constructed with marbles carried from the inhabitants of Chios from Malta, Marseilles and other islands of the Aegean. Although you will have to climb sixty stairs to visit the church, it does worth the effort as the views will compensate you.

The House of Konstantinos Kanaris

The House of Konstantinos Kanaris is located in the village of Psara. Legendary captain Konstantinos Kanaris was one of the greatest heroes of the Revolution of 1821. Kanaris was born in Psara in 1793. Konstantinos Kanaris was an admiral and served as prime minister and minister of shipping.

The Peninsula of Paleokastro

The Peninsula of Paleokastro surrounds the western side of the harbour of Psara. The cobblestone stairs lead to the chapels of Agia Anna and Agios Ioannis. The hill of Mavri Rahi is located on the south side of Paleokastro. During the Revolution of 1821, the inhabitants of Psara brought cannons to this place and constructed an emplacement that was utilized as a fortress. On June 22 of 1824, 120 Psariot warriors self sacrificed for the liberation of their homeland. Today, there is a monument on the steep massive in honour of the immortal defenders. The inscription states … In memory of the immortal heroes of the Holocaust of Mavri Rahi…

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Arhondiki is located in the homonymous area. Archaeological excavations brought to light traces of a remarkable Mycenaean settlement. In the same area, an ancient cemetery was found with interesting findings that are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Chios.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Nikolaos is the jewel of the island standing on the highest point of the village. The church was built in 1793 in honour of the patron saint of sailors. According to tradition, the church was constructed with marbles carried from the inhabitants of Chios from Malta, Marseilles and other islands of the Aegean. Although you will have to climb sixty stairs to visit the church, it does worth the effort as the views will compensate you.

The Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is the cathedral of Psara located in the center of the village. It is a three aisled basilica built in 1770. This church constitutes one of the most important buildings of the island, as it was destroyed on the Holocaust and rebuilt with the help of donations in 1885.

The Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary is located on the north side of the island. The monastery was designed from Roumeliotis according to the standards of the monasteries of Mount Athos in 1780. According to tradition, the entire monastery was built from marble carried from the residents of Chios. From there, one can admire panoramic views of the endless blue. Today, the monastery exhibits a rare collection of manuscripts and religious books printed in Moscow and Venice. The holy icon of Virgin Mary was painted from the renowned artist Dominicos Theotokopoulos, else known as El Greco. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on August 1.

Historical Monuments

The House of Konstantinos Kanaris is located in the village of Psara. Legendary captain Konstantinos Kanaris was one of the greatest heroes of the Revolution of 1821. Kanaris was born in Psara in 1793. Konstantinos Kanaris was an admiral and served as prime minister and minister of shipping.

The Holocaust Memorial is located on the hill of Mavri Rahi. On June 22 of 1824, 120 Psariot warriors decided to suicide on this place instead of being captured from the Ottomans. Today, there is a monument on the steep massive in honour of the immortal defenders. The inscription states … In memory of the immortal heroes of the Holocaust of Mavri Rahi… The names of the warriors are engraved on the memorial.

The Lighthouse of Psara is located on the southeast side of the island. It was manufactured in 1909 at a height of 78 meters. The lighthouse is located on the top of the cape of Agios Georgios. It was manufactured from the French Company of Ottoman Lighthouses while it was included in the network of Greek Lighthouses following the release of Psara.

The Peninsula of Paleokastro surrounds the western side of the harbour of Psara. The cobblestone stairs lead to the chapels of Agia Anna and Agios Ioannis. The hill of Mavri Rahi is located on the south side of Paleokastro. During the Revolution of 1821, the inhabitants of Psara brought cannons to this place and constructed an emplacement that was utilized as a fortress. On June 22 of 1824, 120 Psariot warriors self sacrificed for the liberation of their homeland. Today, there is a monument on the steep massive in honour of the immortal defenders. The inscription states … In memory of the immortal heroes of the Holocaust of Mavri Rahi…

The Spitalia is a distinctive example of the traditional architecture of Psara. The building was used as a lazaretto in the 20th century. The sailors of Psara used to reside in Spitalia for a period of time on their return from their long trips. When the doctors were convinced that the sailors were not carrying any infectious diseases, they could return in their homes. Today, the vaulted buildings work as an idyllic restaurant.

Promenades & Villages

Psara is the sole inhabited village of Psara located on the west side of the island. The settlement has a traditional character with stone houses, red tiled roofs and narrow streets that spread around the homonymous harbour. Wandering around the cobblestone alleys, one can admire the beauty and peace of the atmosphere. Worth visiting sights include the House of Konstantinos Kanaris and the Church of Agios Nikolaos.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Church of Agios Nikolaos, West Psara

Spot: Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin, North Psara

Spot: Mavri Rahi, South Psara

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Chios unfolds in front of your eyes ready to be explored. Atmospheric medieval mastic villages and beaches of wild beauty with volcanic pebbles. Mansion houses with flowery gardens and citrus orchards and dense forests with miraculous tears of mastic. Impressive mosaics and geometric shapes with floral motifs. A different world is unfolding in front of your eyes ready to be explored. Hanging in a corner of the Aegean, the value of Chios is timeless blessed from the fragrant scents of mastic and the majestic diversities of the landscapes. Do you want to discover the unrevealed mysterious beauties of the island? Wander around the scenic meadows of tulips of Kambos and explore the beautiful geometric shapes of floral motifs of Pyrgi. Visit the impressive New Byzantine Monastery with its wonderful mosaics and be amazed from the evocative deserted settlement of Anavatos. Every corner of the island is hiding an unexpected surprise.

Activities

Hiking: Psara is an ideal destination for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the village of Psara towards the south side of the island. The route leads to the peninsula of Paleokastro and the hill of Mavri Rahi. Here, one will have the opportunity to admire the best views of Psara! (2) Another interesting route starts from the village of Psara towards the north side of the island. The route leads to the Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary.

Snorkelling: The crystal clear waters of Psara are ideal for snorkelling lovers. So, don’t forget to bring your mask with you!

Spearfishing: Psara is known for its rich marine life making it an ideal destination for spearfishing enthusiasts.

Beaches

Agia Kyriaki is a sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the east side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Arhondiki is a sandy and pebbled beach located on the west side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Fanari is a peebled beach with crystal clean waters located on the south side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Ftelio is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Katsounis is a golden sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the east side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Psara.

Kato Gialos is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Lakka is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of Psara due to its easy access.

Lazaretta is a sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the south side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Limnos is sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the south side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of Psara due to its easy access.

Psili Ammos is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the island of Antipsara. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean.

Spitalia is a long golden sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Bakery of Psara: Pastries,Psara

Sirokos: Waffles, Psara

Sweet House: Coffee and Pastries, Psara

Gastronomic Delights

Delfinia: Seafood, Psara

Iliovasilema: Seafood, Psara

Spitalia: Seafood, Psara

Steki: Greek Cuisine, Psara

Cocktails Inspirations

Petrino: Cocktails and Inspirations, Psara

Sirokos: Cocktails and Inspirations, Psara

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include the cheeses of kefalotiri, kopanisti, touloumotiri and mizithra and the exceptional thyme honey of Psara.

The local specialties of the island include traditional dishes of seafood. Psara is one of the biggest lobster producers in Greece. You can also try the dish of stuffed goat, black cuttlefish risotto and koufota, a type of pasta.

Events & Festivals

Every 22nd of June, the Commemoration of the Holocaust of Psara takes place in the island.

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

Every summer, the Beach Volley Tournament of Psara takes place in the beach of Katsouni.

History & Mythology

Mythology

The islands of Psara are not associated with any myths.

History

Archaeological findings show that Psara were inhabited since the Mycenaean era and its inhabitants have relied on the sea to make a living whereas the island played an important role in maritime transportation between Asia Minor and Mainland Greece. Psara were deserted for a short period of time during the middle ages, until Greeks from Thessaly settled on the islands during the 15th century in an attempt to avoid Turkish invasions. During the Greek Revolution of 1821, Psara had a key role as a naval power destroying many Turkish naval units under the command of the captain Konstantinos Kanaris. In 1822, the Holocaust in Mavri Rahi took place, the historic destruction of Psara, where the Turks conquered the island and the inhabitants self sacrificed for the liberation of their homeland. Following the destruction, the poet Andreas Kalvos wrote the poem Sta Psara, the poet Dionysius Solomos, who is the author of the Hymn to Liberty, wrote the poem the Destruction of Psara, and the painter Nikolaos Gyzis painted the Destruction of Psara. Following the liberation of Greece, many of the few inhabitants who escaped returned to the island. Psara had the privilege to elect two members of the parliament in acknowledgement of their help to the War of Independence.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (90 Nautical Miles): Psara is accessible by boat from the harbour of Lavrio. The quickest way to travel to Psara is from Chios. Chios is accessible either by airplane or by boat. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Psara

Psara is an island cluster located twelve nautical miles away from the island of Chios. The island cluster comprises from the isles of Antipsara, Ai Nikolaki, Daskalio, Kato Nisi, Nisiopoula and Prasonisi. The inhabitants of the sole inhabitant isle, Psara, are engaged in fishing, as the rocky terrain of the land does not allow cultivation. Psara is an ideal destination for those looking for an escape from the world. Keep in mind that there are no car rental services in Psara. However, there is a gas station. Also make sure you bring cash, as there is only one cash machine on the island.

An Excursion to Antipsara Isle

Antipsara is located three kilometres away from Psara. It is a rocky island hosting one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Psili Ammos is a long sandy beach with emerald waters ideal for those looking for seclusion. Antipsara has been declared as a protected natural reserve from the European Network of Natura 2000, as it hosts numerous rare seabirds. On the east side of the island, one will find the charming chapel of Agios Ioannis. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Psara.

Discover Psara by Boat

The best way to discover the mysterious beauties of the island cluster of Psara is by boat! With a coastline of 45 kilometres, Psara counts twenty sandy and eighteen pebbled beaches. Inside the harbour of Psara, one will have the opportunity to visit the pebbled beaches of Lazaretta and Megali Ammos while the beach of Kato Gialos on the west side of Mavri Rahi is another spectacular beach. Lakka beach in the bay of Agios Nikolaos distinguishes for its white pebbles and further north, Ftelio beach is known for its colourful pebbles and deep waters. However, the beaches of the eastern coast are the most beautiful beaches of Psara with their wild black rocks and the deep emerald waters. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Psara.

Exploring Psara

The real mystery of Psara is its deserted isles and rocky reefs. The island cluster comprises from the isles of Antipsara, Ai Nikolaki, Daskalio, Kato Nisi, Nisiopoula and Prasonisi. Whether you decide to make the circumnavigation of Psara or rent a kayak and spent overnight at a deserted beach, you will definitely find your own corner of the unexplored Aegean!

Golden and Sweet: Psara Honey

In Psara, one will have the opportunity to taste the pinnacle of honey production in the entire Mediterranean!

Hiking in Psara

Lovers of hiking will appreciate the pristine beauty of the hinterland of Psara. Wear your shoes, get a bottle of water and start discovering the island of Psara!

It’s Sunset Time

One will have the opportunity to enjoy the best sunset of Psara at Mavri Rahi on the south side of the island!

Relaxing in Psara

It will be quite easy to adapt to the simple rhythms of life of Psara. So, make sure you leave all of your problems and thoughts in the ferryboat! Once you step in Psara, the air of serenity will definitely capture your body and soul!

Spearfishing in Psara

As Psara is one of the biggest lobster producers in Greece, the island is known for its rich marine life making it an ideal destination for spearfishing enthusiasts!

Observing like an Olympian God

Hike to the Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary to admire the views towards the islands of Lesvos and Skyros and the Mount of Athos or head to the peninsula of Paleokastro to enjoy the endless views of the Aegean!

Taste the Lobsters of Psara

Psara is one of the biggest lobster producers in Greece. So, make sure you try the best lobster pasta in your life!

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:

Arhondiki Beach: Manolis Roxanas by Panoramio

Chapel of Agia Markella: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Church of Agios Nikolaos: Markmpitt by Flickr

Ftelio Beach: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Landscape: High School of Psara

Lazaretta Beach: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Lighthouse of Psara: Manolis Roxanas by Panoramio

Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary: High School of Psara

Pristine Scenery: Kostis57 by Flickr

Psara Town: High School of Psara

Psili Ammos Beach: Kat66 by Panoramio

Rugged Landscape: Manolis Roxanas by Panoramio