Αnafi: Cyclades of another era
Simple, human, friendly –as if taken from another era– Anafi is only one and a half hour far from Santorini. Anafi, ‘the last of the Cyclades’, as called, promises for an experience absolutely unique.!
The moment you reach the port of Agios Nikolaos in Anafi, you immediately feel peace and tranquillity, the sensation that time here flows slowly. Going up the Hora, you will realise that you inevitably have to forget everything about consumption attitudes and luxurious amenities. Hora is small, with picturesque alleys and a spectacular view over the surrounding bays. Rooms, cafés and little tavernas are here to offer you the essential basics during your stay on the island. Nothing more. When exploring the wild landscape, always followed by the seducing aromas of thyme and oregano, you will discover an island that lives and develops at different paces.
The reasons to visit Anafi
To walk. This is after all the best way for you to really feel the island. The three main itineraries are:
- For discovering the beaches of the island, you should walk from Hora, heading towards Small and Big Roukounas, ending up to the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (duration: 2.30 hours).
- For admiring the view, take the route from the Zoodochos Pigi Monastery to Kalamos and then to the Old Monastery of Kalamiotissa (duration: 1.30 hour). Walking uphill may be a bit tough particularly at some spots, but the view from the second highest monolith in the Meditteranean (after Gibraltar), will surely reward you.
- For a walk of archaeological interest, set off from Kasteli along Iera Odos, which crosses the archaeological site of the island connecting Hora with the temple of Apollo (duration: 1.30 hour).
To swim in virgin beaches Anafi has dreamy sandy beaches with crystal-clear blue-green waters and tamarisks offering the necessary shade. If you don't have plenty of time, choose either Kleisidi beach, the closest beach to Hora with a picturesque tavern, or the famous Roukounas beach, the largest beach on the island. Other options are Katalimatsa, Agios Ioannis, Megas Potamos, Agii Anargyroi and Monastiri. Located one after the other within a distance of 12km southwards, all beaches will offer you unforgettable moments of relaxation by the sea.
To relax This is an island where your mobile phone has signal only in Hora and the only place you can get something to read is a stand operating as a lending library (you get a book, read it, leave it back or even leave another one of yours that you do not need anymore). So, you realise that your contact with the outer world is very limited! Wandering around the alleys, stopping for coffee, ouzo or rakomelo and savouring well-cooked dishes in the little tavernas of the island, will make you experience a different pace of life. Don't be surprised if in the end you and the locals become one friendly company feasting and having the greatest time in your life!
Most accommodation options are located in Hora and are rooms to let, such as Villa Egli (+30 22860 61282). The only exception is Apollon Village Hotel (+30 22860 28739) with beautiful independent apartments and studios and spectacular seaview. As for food, excellent choices are Liotrivi for fresh fish caught straight by the family themselves in their own caique, Sholarchio with a hand-written menu and student-like atmosphere, Alexandra’s Taverna and Margarita in Kleisidi where you will savour delicious pies and hand-made bread.
How to get there
There are frequent connections in conventional ships from Santorini every Tuesday & Saturday at 19.20 and every Wednesday at 20.45.You can get from the port of Agios Nikolaos to Hora by bus running 7-8 times daily. It is a 2km distance and it takes 20' to get there on foot. There is also the option to rent a car. Manos: +30 22860 61380, 61280, Margarita: +30 22860 61292.