small inhabited island with many churches close to Chios

Village by the sea in the morning


Psara is a small but inhabited island from the North Aegean group, lying west of Chios island. Like Agios Efstratios and Oinousses, it is a getaway destination unknown to tourists and providing a very different holiday experience. Ferry connections are available with Chios and the port of Lavrio on mainland Greece but the service is maintained a few times weekly.

Once upon a time Psara numbered more than 20 000 permanent residents and had one of the largest fleets of Greece. The tragic story of the island began with its active participation in the Greek War of Independence. This enraged the Ottomans who invaded Psara in 1824 and killed almost all residents. Only 3 000 managed to escape and settle on Evia island, and later very few dared to come back. Today less than 450 residents live there all year round and count on fishing because the island is not only small but also barren and nothing can grow on it.

The only village of Psara bears the same name and is located on the south coast, on a small rocky peninsula dotted with numerous churches and chapels. Just two kilometers west off the village lie the uninhabited islets of Antipsara and Kato Nisi, with a couple of large coves which can be visited by boat for swimming and sunbathing. The village offers a small selection of tavernas, cafes and a bakery but they all provide excellent service and delicious food. Mini markets sell only basic goods and accommodation is also limited. Do not expect big hotels or any night life activities, Psara is for those who can appreciate tranquility and slow paced life in the genuine atmosphere of an old island village. There is one beach next to the port and a few more coves within walking distance. The closest of them are called Limnos and Lazaretta and they are one of the most visited because of the fine sand and shallow water. The beaches on the west coast are accessible via dirt road, they are larger and the sand is mixed with big and small pebbles. The beaches of Psara are not organized and have no facilities. Actually, out of the village the only buildings you will find are churches.

highlights: small inhabited island with many churches close to Chios, island in North Aegean Islands, Greece

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