A dot in the Aegean Sea, on the borders of the Prefecture of Dodecanese and Samos, Agathonisi (meaning “kind island”) is a small, unspoilt paradise that takes its name from the kindness of its inhabitants. It is the northernmost of the Dodecanese islands, very near to the island of Samos. The island, with a total surface of 14.4 square km, full of sheltered bays and small rocky islets, is the ideal place for a relaxing and tranquil holiday, for those who love diving in crystal waters and coming into contact with simple, pleasant folk. It combines untouched island nature with the traditional way of life and authentic Greek hospitality. It is a paradise of undisturbed ecological balance, with ancient religious and cultural traditions, the smell of wild herbs and freshly-baked bread and the sound of the lapping waves and flapping seagull wings.
The waters of Agathonisi have abundant fish and the hospitable fishermen await the amateur fishermen to teach them their secrets. Discover Agathonisi in the summer and you will be surprised at all the things it has to offer.
Agathonisi is included in the Natura 2000 protected sites, as an invaluable refuge for rare birds (Audouin’s gull and others).
Since becoming a separate Community in 1954, Agathonisi has seen the implementation of several development projects: Roads have been opened or asphalted, a power-generating station has been installed, a heliport and an artificial harbour have been constructed, and the island now has its own water-supply system, a sanitary landfill, etc. Agathonisi is covered also by more than one mobile telephone services.
The inhabitants of Agathonisi are mainly fishermen and farmers, supported by the agricultural cooperative. They also work for the island's fish-farming facilities. Others work as employees in the service sector. Lately, the development of tourism on the island has resulted in the creation of a tourism infrastructure of 120 beds now available in “rooms to let”.
In recent decades the island’s population has diminished overall, but has risen slightly in the past ten years.
There are three communities in Agathonisi: Mikro Chorio, Megalo Chorio and Agios Georgios. Megalo Chorio is the largest and oldest community on the island, invisible from the sea (a throwback to pirate invasion times). Its main architectural feature are the stone walls that surround houses, with their large entranceways to the community. Megalo Chorio has 120 inhabitants, whereas the other two communities Mikro Chorio and Agios Georgios – the island’s main harbour – have only 15 inhabitants each.
There are fish-farming facilities the Katholiko area, in the north-east, which is also a fishing refuge.
There is a connection by sea four times a week with the islands of Kalymnos and Samos (Pythagoreion port), twice weekly by speed boat with Kalymnos and once with Rhodes. During the summer months, a modern heliport is also in operation.
All information about agathonisi is from municipal site agathonisi.gr
All photos taken from patmography.eu contributors