Of all the Cycladic Islands, or any island group in Greece for that matter, the one most people know is Santorini. But not far from its famed shores lies a much less glamourous but equally as special island called Anafi. It may not have the same hustle and bustle or prestige of its better-known neighbour, but what it does posses are natural beauty, warm hospitality and serenity that’s on par with the best islands in the Mediterranean.
Anafi is an island you go to if you want to escape the crowds and get some peace and quiet in an idyllic paradise. One of the best places to do exactly that is on the golden sands of Roukounos Beach. In the summer months it’s a popular spot for campers and naturists. However, don’t let the idea of a few nude sunbathers deter you, because there’s plenty of space to find some privacy. In the centre of the island is Chora. Here’s where you’ll find the cliched white, cubic houses and chapels that the Cyclades are known for. The town sits atop the mountain and affords stunning views across the Aegean Sea. The streets are narrow, flanked by white walled buildings. It’s a quiet and welcoming place, where you can find plenty of places to eat, stay and relax for a few days.
Despite its relatively small size, Anafi has plenty of archaeological and mythological interest, so the history buffs will have plenty to keep them entertained. At the monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa there are ruins of a temple built as an offering to the god Apollo. There are also ruins at Kasteli, and most of the artefacts that have been unearthed, including statues and pottery, can be found at at the Archaeological Museum in Chora. For those into nature, there are plenty of great walks to be enjoyed where you can check out some of the rich diversity of flora to be found, and you may even spot an Eleonora’s Falcon which nests on the cliffs in late summer and autumn.