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Agathoníssi

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The small, steep-sided, waterless islet of AGATHONÍSSI is too remote – closer to Turkey than Pátmos, in fact – to be a popular day-trip target. Intrepid Greeks and Italians form its main tourist clientele, along with yachts attracted by excellent anchorage. Even though the Nissos Kalymnos (and a summer catamaran) appear regularly, schedules mean you should count on staying at least two days.

Despite the lack of springs, the island is greener and more fertile than apparent from the sea; lentisc, carob and scrub oak on the heights overlook two arable plains in the west. Fewer than a hundred people live here full time, but they make a go of stock-raising or fishing (or rather, fish-farming), and few dwellings are abandoned or neglected.

Most of the population lives in Megálo Horió hamlet, just visible on the ridge above the harbour hamlet of ÁYIOS YEÓRYIOS and at eye level with tiny Mikró Horió opposite. Except for a small shop and two café-restaurants working peak-season nights only in Megálo Horió, all amenities are in the port.

With no rental scooters, exploring involves walking along the cement-road network, or following a very few tracks and paths – bring plenty of water. If you won’t swim at the port, home to the largest sandy beach, hike ten minutes southwest to shingle-gravel Spiliás, or continue another quarter-hour by path over the ridge to Gaïdhourávlakos, another gravel cove.

Bays in the east, all reached by paved roads, include tiny Póros (45min distant), fine sand with lentisc-tree shade at the back; Thóli (25min further) in the far southeast, with good snorkelling and some morning shade; and Pálli across the same bay, a small but pristine fine-pebble cove reached by a fifteen-minute walk down from the trans-island road.

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