Anafi

This island has been ignored by most holiday makers for a very long time, but has become quite popular the last years. It is very small, harsh island with steep cliffs offering spectacular views of the sea and unforgettable sunsets.

Anafi is a great place for recreation and relaxation. Here, time stands still, and you can enjoy the friendly atmosphere and little taverns without the pressure of doing and seeing lots of things.

If you do want some sightseeing, there are options though, as well as little bars and cafes. Greek islands always have some kind of nightlife, and this is no exception.

History

:We don't know much about the ancient history of Anafi because of lack of archaeological findings.It is likely, though, that the island was under Minoan, Cretan, rule in the 2nd Millennium BC, and that it had connec-tions with the Phoenicians. The Dorians lived here in the 9th century BC.

According to mythology, the island was created by the god Apollo and he was probably worshipped here. There are also connections with Jason and the Argonauts, since Anafi was said to be a gift to Jason from Apollo In classical years, Anafi belonged to the Athenian league, but the contacts were scarce and the island was left alone as long as it paid its tribute.

The island was often tormented by pirates through history and there are stories about hidden treasures here and there.

The Romans came in the 2nd century BC, and then used Anafi as a place for unwanted citizens.

In the 13th century the Venetians arrived, and they were to rule the island and its surroundings until the 16th century when the Turks invaded. Not that there was much to rule: most of the people had left the island because of the harsh living conditions.

Anafi was liberated in 1832, eleven years after the War of Independence had started.

What to see

  Anafi is first and foremost an island for walking around on, since the roads are very bad and there are no opportunities to rent a car.

The capital is the village Chora, which is a small, idyllic place with little cafes and tiny chapels.

Kastelli is an ancient settlement from the 9th century BC. In the 15th century the Venetians built a citadel on top of it, and the ruins you see today are mainly from then.

The monastery Zoodochou Pigis (Life-giving Source) is a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary which is worth a visit. It is often closed though, and make sure you are wearing a long skirt and covering your shoulders if you are woman, and wearing long trousers if you are a man.

What to do

: Anafi is foremost an island to relax on, so a bit of snorkelling or going on walks are your basic options. You can also go on daytrips to Santorini.

Beaches

The beach in the little harbour Ag Nikolaos is a nice, sandy one. You can also go to various idyllic beaches with a small boat starting from there.

Nightlife

:If you are looking for a wild nightlife, don't go to Anafi. If you prefer quieter places, where you can sit and relax in good company, then you're in the right place. You'll find some nice cafes in Chora and during high season there is even a disco.

Food

Most restaurants are traditional Greek taverns. If you have children with you or simply get tired of the Greek food, you can usually get a pizza or some pasta.

Shopping

Basically, the only shops are in Chora, and the variety is limited.

Getting Around

There is a bus going between Ag Nikolaos and Chora, and a boats can take you to surrounding beaches. Because the island is so small and the roads bad, you can not rent a car.

Getting there

There is no airport to Anafi so you'll have to fly to one of the neighbouring islands, like Santorini or Naxos, or to Athens. There are boat connections with Pireus on the mainland, as well as the islands Santorini, Syros, Paros, Ios, Naxos, Folegandros and Sikinos. Make sure you know when the ferryboats leave the island so you don't end up missing your flight home.

Facts about Anafi


Size: 40km2
International code: 0030
Population: about 500
Local code: 22860
Cash machine: Yes
Health centre: 61215
Internet cafe:
Police:
Highest Mountain:Vigla. 582 m
Coast guard:
Airport: No
Port Police: 61216
Tour Operators:
Telephone company (OTE):
Price rate: Average
Tourist Information Office:

Anafi map