Alonissos National Marine Park is one of the largest in Europe
Created in 1992, Alonissos National Park was Greece’s first marine protected area. In Piperi Island, its most protected zone, the endangered monk seals, endemic species to the Mediterranean Sea, live and breed. The fact they chose Alonissos National Park as their home is a good indication that Alonissos waters are a perfect place to dive! In Patitiri, the main port of Alonissos, make sure to visit the information centre of MOm, the marine conservation organisation working in the park.
Conditions from mid-August to September are like in the Caribbean
It is difficult to have better conditions in Europe with underwater visibility from 30 to 40 m and a water temperature of 26°C from the surface to 22 m deep. Below a thermocline at about 22 m, the water is cooler, between 18 and 20°C down to 40 m. A full 5mm wetsuit with boots and adjustable fins is a perfect choice for ideal comfort, while no hood or gloves are necessary.
Both beginners and advanced divers can enjoy exciting sites
The Blue Cave will please all levels of divers who can explore its large open water sea cavern safely at shallow depths, while more advanced divers can explore its deeper wall to look for an abundant marine life in its cracks. The most adventurous divers holding a deep specialty and trained to drift diving will look forward the Gorgonian Garden between 35 and 40 m deep, one of the most densely covered in red gorgonians wall I have seen in the Mediterranean Sea. Read my complete guide to diving in Alonissos to check which dive sites are perfect for you.
It is an excellent introduction to scuba diving in the Mediterranean Sea
I have spotted a good selection of its most famous species in Alonissos: dusky groupers, Mediterranean moray eels, fan mussels and red gorgonians. Nudibranch lovers will not be disappointed: thanks to the help of the Divemasters of Triton Diving Center, I found giant doris and spotted doris on bath sponges, hervias and the pink flabellinas on hydroids.
Alonissos Island is still preserved from mass tourism
While most people flock to Crete or the Cyclades, the Sporades in the Northern Aegean Sea, between Athens and Thessaloniki, have started to make a name for themselves. While Skiathos has the international airport and Skopelos gathers Mamma Mia movie fans exploring its filming locations, Alonissos, the furthest island to the east, has remained rather untouched. At the top of one of the highest hills of the island, the old town, named in Greek Chora, is the most charming place to wander while enjoying the best 360° view where its inhabitants used to watch the pirates coming in the past.
Florine is a Divemaster and a Dive Travel blogger at World Adventure Divers. She dives in tropical to extreme cold waters, selecting her destinations when both adventure diving and cultural discoveries are part of the journey, and showing you how to do it without breaking the bank.