Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Alonissos, Greece—The Northern Sporades

Getting to Alonissos from the United States

Since I live and fly from a small commuter airport I don't have much nice to say about this part of the trip. This year, 2022, I'm hitting three airports before I leave Boston for Athens. Some years I've flown from New York to Chicago only to turn around and then fly east all the way to Athens. Commuter airports are great. I love mine. They're just not all that convenient for big trips. Plus when I'm making a trip to Greece I've learned to give myself long layovers between connections. It gives me wiggle room for those inevitable flight delays and changes. 

The first reason I don't travel to a major airport to leave is that it takes me as long to get to one as it does to spend the whole day flying around. The second reason is that the cost is the same. So if I add the cost of travel to a major airport from my small town, storing my car or renting one, and likely needing to get a hotel overnight, it makes no practical sense at all. So I endure. I like to think it builds character. Little tortures can do that.

Once you get to Athens

Usually it takes me about thirty hours of flying around to get to Athens. I have some small health issues that demand I sleep there. My favorite place to stay in Athens on my way to Alonissos is at the Athens Airport Sofitel. You walk right out of baggage claim and cross the street to the hotel. You can also grab a subway car or taxi to go someplace else. The Sofitel can be a bit pricey but the convenience is unparalleled. 

Leaving Athens

The easiest way to continue the journey toward Alonissos or any island in the Northern Sporades from Athens is a flight. It's a short flight to the island in the Northern Sporades with an airport, Skiathos. Do give yourself two hours at the Athens airport to board this quick flight. It's a busy place and can take a while to check in to your little island flight. I use a Greek travel agent for interior travel in Greece. If you'd like the contact info just shoot me a message to the right of this blog. 

When you're taking one of these flights you're going to check your luggage at whatever area your airline is at. You'll pass through security and when they begin boarding at your gate, you'll get on a bus and be taken to your plane from there. So hit the restroom beforehand and you might want a bottle of water. Not all of the little carriers provide drinks because they're fast flights.

Arriving in and leaving Skiathos

Skiathos recently updated their airport. Airport is "Aerodromio" in Greek. The airport's name is Papadiamante. He was a writer from the island and you can tour his home while you're on the island if you have the time. First though, pick up your luggage and get transportation into town. I always use a taxi. It's not expensive but you may need to scoot over because they often put other fares in with you. 

From the Skiathos airport you'll probably be heading to the port (port in Greek is "Limani") to get your ferry to Alonissos. Right at the port is the ferry office. It's wise to have already booked your ferry before arriving, but you will probably still need to dart in there to exchange your ferry voucher for a ferry ticket. There's a difference and don't wait for the ferry to show up before you do it. The ferries go in and out fast. 

By the way there are slow moving ferries with cars and trucks in the hull and also hydrofoils. You can't go outside of the hydrofoil to sit and watch the sea and stops at ports as you pass by the island of Skopelos. I recommend the slow ferry. Sit outside (wear sunscreen and a hat), buy something nice to drink, and watch for dolphins as you slip into Greece mode.

Arriving in Alonissos

You'll need to get your luggage out of the ferry fairly quickly once you arrive. There are only four taxis

on the island, but they're efficient and will get you to where you're staying if you need them. Many of the hotels provide pick up services too.                                                                                                                                                                        On Alonissos you can stay in the port area, Patitiri, or one of the other towns on the island, or even up in Old Town (Hora). I like to stay at the port where I can walk to shops or dinner and beaches. Although my favorite beaches are a taxi or bus ride away. (Leftos Gialos is my all time favorite beach.)                                                                                                            Hopefully this information can get you to Alonissos. Enjoy your stay! It's magical!

No comments:

Post a Comment