IKION, Patitiri, Alonissos
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PERISTERA (Euonymos or Xiro)
Position: East or Alonissos
Area: 16 square km. Highest point 259 meters.
It is the nearest to Alonissos deserted island, known because of its two safe natural harbors Vasiliko and Peristeri.

(Pelagos or pelagonisos)
Position: North-east of Alonissos
Area: 25 square km. Highest point 299 meters.
It is the largest of the deserted islands. It is known because of its monastery and because of its two safe natural harbors, Planitis to the North-East and Agios Petros to the South-West.

GIOURA (ancient Gerontia)
Position: North-East of Kyra Panagia, North-West of Piperi.
Area: 12 square km. Highest point 570 meters.
It is known because of its Cyclops cave, where according to the myth, the Cyclops Polyphemus was blinded by Odysseus. To many travelers it seemed a "devilish" island, because it is so intractable, rocky and steep that it inspires fear in the visitor who chooses to set foot on it. Totally suitable to this environment are the rare wild goats. A wild variety with the name of Capra Aegagrus f. Circus is still thought to survive here.
  SKANTZOURA (ancient Skandira)
Position: South-East of Alonissos in the middle between Alonissos and Skyros.
Area: 8 square km. Highest point 107 meters. This deserted island belongs to the Mountain Athos and is a prohibited area of the national marine park. In the middle of the island there is today an unused monastery. There is a place to the South-West for boats to safely anchor.

Position: South-East of Kyra Panagia
Area: 8 square km. Highest point 352 meters. The island of Piperi and the sea surrounding it form the kernel of the National Marine Park. Fishing is completely prohibited within three miles of Piperi because this island is a very important place for the survival of the Mediterranean Monk Seal.
  PSATHOURA (ancient Chrysi)
Position: North from Yioura.
Area: 2 square km.
Highest point 15 meters. Psathoura is the northernmost deserted island of this group. A big lighthouse 25 meters in height visible and 18 miles away, is built in the middle of this island. The island is volcanic in origin and its tropical beach - perhaps the most beautiful in the Sporades - its dark color and its flatness a mere 10-15 meters above the sea - are reminiscent of the Polynesian Archipelago. In the sandy depth off the coast there are sunken ruins.

Two small deserted islands close to each other in the south of Alonissos, about 4 miles away, where scuba diving is permitted with diving teachers. You need to get a special license from the Port Police in Patitiri before.

The need for the preservation of the monk seal was the motive behind the formation of the Marine Park. Definite attempts were made in 1983 with the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Environmental Planning and Public Works and the EEC, resulting in the research for the assessment of the environmental value of the area.

The area consisting of the park is ideal and contains a natural Mediterranean extremely well balanced ecosystem. The caves on the land, the stalagmites, the stalactites, the beaches and the underwater caves not only have an aesthetic value but a biological one as well. The geological and biological evolutions of the Northern Sporades has its origins in prehistoric times when the existing islands formed a peninsula joined to Pelion.

The largest known existing population of the monk seal (monachus-monachus) lives in the Northern Sporades and is being threatened with extinction. The rich flora and fauna on the deserted islands is ideal for the dietary demands of the seal and provide the proper conditions for their reproduction. The deserted islands to the northeast of Alonissos are a paradise full of wild life. The island of Gioura is a botanical paradise for rare plants and has a unique species of wild goat. On Skantzoura and her steep cliffs the falcon finds refuge along with the rare Aegean seagull, while isolated reptile populations of great interest also live on these deserted islands.

The island Piperi is the natural refuge of the monk seal. Approaching the island or visiting it is prohibited. Only research teams with a specific licence are allowed to approach. On Geraka (on the northern tip of Alonissos) a building was erected especially equipped for research activities within the area of the Marine Park.

Besides protection of the seal monachus - monachus and the other rare animals and plants, the objectives of the marine park include the economic development of the area and the touristic upgrading of the environment.
  Click for video with seals
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