Anafi

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US

 Photo Credits to Anne-Claude Faillétaz 

The Gibraltar of the Aegean

Hideaway Escapes, Wild Sceneries and Authentic Hospitality at the Edge of the Cyclades
Legend says that Anafi emerged from the Aegean Sea in order to provide a safe harbour for the Argonauts on the return voyage from the Golden Fleece. Following the legend, the island was named Anafi, as the meaning of it is …the island that appeared… Anafi is isolated in its mysterious simplicity at the edge of the Cyclades. The charming capital of Anafi is Hora, a genuine specimen of Cycladic architecture with whitewashed houses, flowery courtyards and labyrinthine alleys, which seems like it is climbing on the imposing rock above the deep blue of the sea. Everywhere you gaze, the sea is not hiding. Anafi is a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Aegean waiting for you to discover it. The island is a small paradise of pristine natural beauty that resembles the Garden of Eden. The beautiful golden sandy beaches of the south make an indescribable contrast with the natural wilderness of the steep cliffs of the north that boast a rare topography from the expansive sea level horizon. The predominant rocky terrain of granite and limestone overlaid from volcanic rocks of the eruptions of Santorini create mysterious hiking paths inside the great past of Anafi. However, the most intriguing part of Anafi is the view from the gigantic cape of Kalamos, the second largest monolith of Europe,that hangs over the sea! This view will definetely reward you , and maybe these words are too little to describe the picture and the feelings when you climb on the edge of Anafi. But this is not it; can you imagine staring to the most beautiful sunrise of the east Mediterranean, a vermillion sun emerging beneath your feet painting the sea with the most beautiful colours? Imagine just that and you might be able to feel the uniqueness of this island! The hospitable Anafiots and the peacefulness of the wild landscape, the narrow cobblestone streets and the whitewashed houses, the most red sunrise and the waters in all shades of blue will make you want to stay here forever!

Discover Anafi

Best of Anafi

The Capital of Anafi 

The Settlement of Hora is the capital of Anafi located on the south side of the island. The sole village of Anafi is a true specimen of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades with its beautiful whitewashed house, the flowery courtyards and the labyrinthine alleys. Hora is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of the Cyclades. Wander around the winding alleys of the traditional settlement and enjoy the pure atmosphere under the sun of the Aegean.

The Beach of Roukounas 

The Beach of Roukounas is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the eastern side of the island. It is the longest beach of Anafi and perhaps one of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean. As the beach is rather secluded, it is ideal for those looking for tranquillity and isolation. You will also find a tavern here. The beach is accessible by bus from Hora.

The Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa 

The Old Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa is the most important religious monument of Anafi located on the hill of Kalamos Rock. The monastery is a single room domed temple with interesting architectural style. Although the hiking path that leads to the monastery is difficult, the view from the monastery is one of the best of the Aegean. Keep in mind that entry to the monastery is only possible with prior arrangement.

The Rock of Kalamos 

The Rock of Kalamos is an imposing tall monolithic rock and a unique natural monument located on the eastern side of the island. Kalamos is the second highest rock in the Mediterranean after the Rock of Gibraltar. The highest peak of the rock hosts the abandoned old monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa. The entire area of Kalamos has been included as a important area for bird species in the European Network of Natura 2000.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Katalimatsa is located on the southeast edge of the island.  Excavations have brought to light the remnants of an ancient settlement that, in its largest part, is lying in the seabed. It is hypothesized that the ancient harbour was situated at this location and concentrated the largest aspect of the financial life of Anafi.The Archaeological Site of Kasteli is the ancient capital of Anafi located on the hill of Hora. On the site, the remnants of the ancient city can be seen along with the outline of the defensive walls of the city. On the northeast part of the site, remnants of the necropolis are preserved along with some carved tombs and marble statues. One of the most impressive findings is the sarcophagus located next to the historic chapel of Panagia sto Dokari.

The Temple of Apollo Aiglitis is located in the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi. One will have the opportunity to admire the remnants of the ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. According to the legend, the temple was built from the Argonauts to honour Apollo for his help.

Churches and Monasteries

The Chapel of Panagia Sto Dokari is a whitewashed chapel located on the path leading to the archaeological site of Kastelli. The construction materials of the chapel come from a burial complex of the Roman period. One will have the opportunity to admire the marble Roman sarcophagus on the same position with relief presentations of Erotides, Grypes, Medusa, Perseus and Pegasus.The Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi, else known as Kato Panagia, is the main monastery of Anafi. The monastery was constructed on the foundations of the temple of Apollo. Inside the monastery, one can admire a wood carved iconostasis from the 19th century along with the old icon of Panagia Kalamiotissa. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on September 7. Numerous ecclesiastical events are held in both monasteries of Ano and Kato Panagia.

The Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa, else known as Ano Panagia,  is the most important religious monument of Anafi located on the hill of Kalamos Rock. The monastery is a single room domed temple with interesting architectural style. Although the hiking path that leads to the monastery is difficult, the view from the monastery is one of the best of the Aegean. Keep in mind that entry to the monastery is only possible with prior arrangement. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on September 7. Numerous ecclesiastical events are held in both monasteries of Ano and Kato Panagia.

Museums and Monuments

The Archaeological Collection of Anafi is located in Hora. The museum exhibits findings from the excavations on the island. Exhibits include inscriptions, statues and architectural parts collected from the area of Kasteli.

The Katikies of Anafi are scattered in the countryside of Anafi. These are isolated stone clusters of farmhouses with common morphological elements. Katikies played an important role for the rural economy of the island and have been declared as protected buildings.

Natural Beauties

The Cave of Drakontospilo is located on the northern part of the Rock of Kalamos. It is an impressive cave with magnificent stalactite formations and golden green deposits. However, the cave can only ne accessed through a rough path. Local people believe that the interior of the cave ends to bigger depths traversing along Kalamos with an outlet to another cave in the northern part of the rock.

The Mount of Vigla is the highest mountain of Anafi. The highest spot of the mountain is located at an altitude of 579 metres. Vigla can be accessed through a narrow rough path that to the peak of the mountain offering panoramic views of the Aegean. To reach the path towards Vigla, you should follow the road to the helipad continuing towards Vrises until you reach the peak of the hill.

The Rock of Kalamos is an imposing tall monolithic rock and a unique natural monument located on the eastern side of the island. Kalamos is the second highest rock in the Mediterranean after the Rock of Gibraltar. The highest peak of the rock hosts the abandoned old monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa. The entire area of Kalamos has been included as a important area for bird species in the European Network of Natura 2000.

Promenades & Villages

Hora is the capital of Anafi located on the south side of the island. The sole village of Anafi is a true specimen of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades with its beautiful whitewashed house, the flowery courtyards and the labyrinthine alleys. Hora is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of the Cyclades. Wander around the winding alleys of the traditional settlement and enjoy the pure atmosphere under the sun of the Aegean.

[/toggle]

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Vagia, Southwest Anafi

Spot: Beach of Megas Potamos, Southeast Anafi

Spot: Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa, East Anafi

Spot: Windmills of Anafi, South Anafi

Excursions

Boat Tour: The circumnavigation of the peninsula of Kalamos is a fantastic experience with majestic natural landscapes rising imposingly above the boat in an altitude of four hundred meters. The site is a special challenge for lovers of climbing. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Agios Nikolaos.

Boat Trip: The Island of Santorini will definetely leave you speechless from her invigorating beauty of the imposing sceneries of the island. The mysteries of Santorini emerge through the vermillion colours of the astonishing sunset of the caldera. Mysteries of the sleeping volcano, intoxicating beaches and majestic sunsets compose the rare beauty of this island. The eternal beauty of Santorini is crafted through the reddish cliffs and the colourful houses hanging on the deep blue of the sea. Nowhere else on earth exist such an impressive scenery hosting human life. As though the works of the almighty volcano create awe, as though the island is exposed in the most imposing landscapes of the world, as though thousands of travellers grasp subtly a piece of her soul, Santorini is a miracle itself. The evocative landscapes, the lunar sceneries and the faschinating history of the island attest that Santorini is a natural monument for your bucket list, a destination you deserve to explore even for once in this life.

Activities

Hiking and Mountaineering: Anafi hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the route starting from Hora passing through the remains of the ancient city of Kastelli and the thrilling landscape of the peninsula of Kalamos and leads to the Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa. (2) Another interesting route is the one starting from Hora passes through the chapel of Stavros and leads to the highest peak of Anafi at Mountain Vigla. (3) Worth following also the one starting from Hora, passes through the beaches of Roukounas, Agios Ioannis and Megas Potamos and leads to the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi. (4) Another route worth exploring starts from Hora, passes through the area of Vounia and leads to the verdant valley of Vrysi. Discover more information from the Official Website of Anafi.
Rock Climbing: Are you a climbing enthusiast? Then, Anafi is the island for you! The climbing route of Anafi is called Argonaut Expedition and it needs five to seven hours for the ascent to the top of the Rock of Kalamos. The descent is done from a sign posted path that passes by the monastery. The best time for climbing is in spring from April to June and in autumn from September to November.

Beaches

Agioi Anargyroi is a sandy cove with emerald waters and steep cliffs located on the eastern side of the island. The beach is ideal for those looking for tranquillity and it is accessible by boat within a walking distance from the ancient sanctuary of Apollo.

Agios Nikolaos is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the southern side of the island. It is a secluded beach with few amenities in the surrounding areas.

Agios Georgios is a scenic beach with emerald waters located on the northeast side of the island. The beach is an ideal spot for isolation among unspoiled natural beauty. It is accessible either by a dirt road or by boat.

Agios Ioannis is a sandy beach with deep blue waters and beautiful rocky formations. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity. It is rumoured that monk seals reside at the beach. The easiest way to reach the beach is by boat.

Flamorou is a sandy cove with crystal clear waters and rocky formations. It is an ideal place for nature lovers among unspoiled natural beauty and it is accessible from the path starting from the beach of Klisidi. Katsouni is an isolated sandy beach with turquoise waters located close to Flamorou.

Katalimatsa is a secluded beach with turquoise waters and red rocks located on the southeast side of the island. The beach is known for the remains of the ancient Roman port lying in the seabed. It is accessible by walking from the beach of Roukounas.

Klisidi is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the southern side of the island. The beach is one of the most beautiful of Anafi with various amenities nearby. It is accessible from a paved road from the harbour.

Livoskopos is a sandy beach with emerald waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for relaxation and isolation.

Megas Potamos is a pebbled beach with turquoise waters lying at the mouth of the gorge Potamos on the southeast side of the island. The easiest way to reach the beach is by boat.

Roukounas is the longest golden sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the eastern side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for nature lovers and it has a charming tavern. The beach is accessible by bus from Hora.

Prassies is a long sandy and pebbled beach located on the northwest side of the island. The beach lies before the peninsula of Kalamos and offers panoramic views. It is accessible by hiking or by boat.

Vagia is a secluded pebbled bay with crystal blue waters located on the southwestern side of the island. It is an ideal place for those seeking for solitude. The beach is accessible by a dirt road or by boat.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Florans: Coffee, Agios Nikolaos

Kapou Sto Aigaio: Coffee & Pastries, Hora

Margarita: Coffee, Klisidi Beach

Tholos: Coffee, Hora

Gastronomic Delights

Anemos: Seafood, Hora

Armenaki: Seafood, Hora

Ktima Roukounas: Greek Cuisine, Roukounas

Liotrivi: Seafood, Hora

Margarita: Greek Cuisine, Klisidi

To Steki: Greek Cuisine, Hora

Cocktails Inspirations

Glaros: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Madres: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Mylos: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Tholos: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include thyme honey, strofyliatiko wine, bread baked in wood fired ovens and the cheeses of mytzithra, ladotyri and xialotiro.

The local specialties of the island include spaghetti with lobster, goat meat cooked in the oven, paragemista (pies with honey and sesame), and koufeto (a traditional sweet made with almond and honey).

Events & Festivals

Every August, the Argonaftika Festival takes place in the island of Anafi. The festival hosts numerous cultural events while the final day of the festival hosts an open-air feast with traditional music and dancing at the Square of Agios Nikolaos.

Every 20th of August, the Iakinthia Sports Competition, a revival of ancient feasts dedicated to God Apollo, take place in the island of Anafi.

Every 7th and 8th of September, the traditional celebration in honour of Panagia Kalamiotissa takes place in the Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa. The feast hosts folklore dances in traditional costumes.

History & Mythology

Mythology 

Legend says that Anafi emerged from the Aegean Sea in order to provide a safe harbour for the Argonauts on the return voyage from the Golden Fleece after the desire of Apollo; in return, the Argonauts built the temple of Apollo near the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi while they honoured the god with the annual Iakinthia Festival. The island was named after the legend, as the meaning of Anafi is the island that appeared.

History

Anafi joined the Athenian League during the 5th century BC, while the island fell under the domination of Naxos in the medieval times ruled from the Venetians and thereafter from the Ottomans. In 1537, Anafi was tortured from the pirate Barbarossa, who slaughtered the women and children and sold all the male inhabitants as slaves. However, the island was liberated during the Turkish occupation in 1830, the period when the majority of the inhabitants moved to the capital of Athens at the district of Plaka named Anafiotika.  The people of Anafi are famous for their building skills and the architectural style of their island. This is the reason that King Othon was impressed from the reputation of the people of Anafi as builders, and he brought them to the city of Athens in order to built his palace. Anafiots settled on the foothills of Acropolis and built many small houses in the traditional architecture of their island; this region is considered as one of the most beautiful areas of Athens known as Anafiotika.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (141 Nautical Miles): Anafi is accessible by boat from the harbour of Piraeus. The journey usually lasts from ten to eleven hours. However, Anafi is also accessible with daily boats from the island of Santorini. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

Climbing at Its Best: The Rock of Kalamos

Are you a climbing enthusiast? Then, Anafi is the island for you! The climbing route of Anafi is called Argonaut Expedition and it needs five to seven hours for the ascent to the top of the Rock of Kalamos. The descent is done from a sign posted path that passes by the monastery. The best time for climbing is in spring from April to June and in autumn from September to November.

Enjoying a Cocktail at Glaros in Hora

Hiding in the labyrinthine alleys of Hora, Glaros is one of the best places to enjoy your cocktail in its lovely terrace overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean!

Hiking at Its Best: The Sacred Road

Anafi is synonymous with hiking! One of the most beautiful routes is the route of the Sacred Road. It begins at the point that is signposted towards Kastelli on the main road of Hora – Monastery. The footpath crosses the well preserved archaeological site and the route is really interesting. Heading north, the trail reaches the chapel of Agia Mammas. The path continues to Iera Odos, the Sacred Way, the ancient route that used to link the city to the famous temple of Apollo. The trail then leads to Mount Halepas. There, one will have the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views!

Its Sunset Time: The Balcony of Panagia Kalamiotissa

Can you imagine staring to the most beautiful sunrise of the Eastern Mediterranean, a vermillion sun emerging beneath your feet painting the sea with the most beautiful colours? Imagine just that and you might be able to feel the uniqueness of this island! You will have the opportunity to witness this spectacle from the Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa!

Emerald, Turquoise and Blue: The Beaches of Anafi

The majority of the beaches of Anafi are easily accessible from numerous hiking paths. The most beautiful beaches of the island include Flamorou, Megas Potamos, Roukounas and Prassies!

Mysterious Isles of Anafi

It is highly recommended to explore Anafi by boat! Hop on to an excursion boat to discover the beautiful beaches of the deserted isles of Anafopoula, Anydros, Megalo Fteno and Pounta Drapanou! Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Agios Nikolaos.

Useful Travel Information

You can find useful information material for the island in the souvenir shops of Maria and Anafi in Hora! Also, make sure you bring cash with you as there is only one ATM in the island.

Photo Credits

×

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

Agioi Anargyroi beach: Tsolakian by Panoramio

Cape Kalamos: Designmixer.wordpress.com

Church: Giorgos Ntachris by Panoramio

Countryside: Karsta Lipp by Flickr

HoraAnne-Claude Faillétaz by Flickr

Megalos Potamos beach: Giorgis Tsirikos by Panoramio

Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa: Reid Per Fiskerstrand by Flickr

Square of Hora: Nick Gent by Panoramio

Sunrise: Lyd.ium by Flickr

Sunset in Anafi: Kostas Limitsios by Flickr

View of Kalamos: Nikos Tsoniotis by Panoramio

View of Kalamos peninsula: Panayotis Vryonis by Flickr