off the beaten track destination



Looking at on the map Anafi seems a bit outcast and unnoticeable, away from the other islands of the group. And indeed, this small rocky piece of land is one of the best off the beaten track destinations in Greece, with only one village, desolate beaches and silent chapels overlooking the sea.

People going to Anafi should keep in mind that ferry connection is not daily. A few times weekly there are car and passenger ferries from Piraeus port and some of the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands but you may not be able to leave the island any day you want. In the summer a seasonal boat connects Anafi with Santorini, the closes island.

The port of Anafi, called Agios Nikolaos, is on the south coast of the island, right below the only settlement - Hora or just Anafi. A steep paved road connects the port with Hora which is built on a hill at an altitude of more than 200 meters, with rooms to rent, cafes and some tavernas. Anafi village is one of the most authentic island settlements as most of its houses are in their original appearance, including small one-room houses. The narrow cobbled streets lead to the top of the hill where visitors can see ruins of an old Venetian castle. A 300 meters further to the east one can find ancient Kastelli, the former capital of Anafi, or whatever has left of it.

Next to the port there is a small beach and 100 meters away from it, hidden behind a high cliff is Klissidi, the most popular beach of the island, with soft sand. There are no beach bars on Anafi and no sunbeds or parasols are provided on any beach, you can see tents and campers instead. The island has many long and desolate beaches, most of which sandy and attracting nature lovers and naturists. Some of these beaches are Roukounas, Megas Potamos, Monastiri and Katsouni.

A decade ago no paved roads were present on Anafi but now there is a small network of roads going to most of the beaches and to the Monastery of Zoodohos Pygi which is the main attraction of the island. It is located in east Anafi, on the border with Mount Kalamos - a huge and barren rocky peninsula. On the top of Kalamos stands the abandoned monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa, the most fascinating spot of Anafi but reachable only through a narrow walking path. The walk up the rock takes 40-50 minutes but climbing is tiresome and suitable clothes, shoes and water are recommendable. Those who dare to climb the path will admire a gorgeous view from the monastery which is literally hanging on a platform above the sea.

highlights: off the beaten track destination, island in Cyclades Islands, Greece

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