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Quick Facts: Anaphi
Pronunciation a-na-fi
Alternate Spelling Anafi
Transportation Ferry only
Main Attractions Beaches, Moni Kalamiotissas
Food Decent eateries are available
Accommodations Rooms are few and in high demand

Anaphi Characteristics

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesgreek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesAnafi or Anaphi lies at the southern tip of the Cyclades with Santorini its nearest companion (12 mi). It is 273 nautical miles from Piraeus. It has 38 sq. km of land mass and 32 km of coast. It's a tadpole shaped boulder in the Sea of Crete only an hour from Santorini. The ferry schedule is irregular, but those who stick with and make the trip are rewarded by uncrowded beaches and a slow, traditional lifestyle.

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesAbout 300 people live on the island. There is very little tourism so it's a wonderful place to get back to nature or to spent time alone. The islanders are friendly and simple, although their sophistication and the available amenities increase with each passing year's greater influx of tourism.

Very little is grown on Anaphi and has to be imported, raising prices a bit. Most of the island natives survive by fishing.

Earthquakes originating at Santorini sometimes wriggle across Anaphi.

Island Features

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesgreek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesThe harbor, Ayios Nikolaos, is directly below the Hora (also known as Anafi or Horio). There's a steep path or a new road from Aghios Nikolaos to Hora. Hora is a quiet and peaceful place surrounded by a natural amphitheater. There are typical Cycladic white-domed houses and windmills with wide views all around.

Pleasant beaches lay along the coast near the harbor and at the top of the hill the remains of the ancient settlement. To the NE a path tracts east of Hora to Kastelli, site of an ancient Roman town and the country chapel of Panagia tou Doraki. This chapel is decorated with a Roman sarcophagi and just the trunk of a statue.

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesThere are several nice beaches around the coast near Aghios Nikolaos. Hike eastward and you'll find the beach at Klisidi with its seasonal taverna. This beach allow camping, but the only facilities are in the seasonal taverna. The north side of the lsland is virtually empty except for an occasional goat path.

On the southeast side of the island you'll find Panayia Kalamiotissa. This monastery is built atop an older shrine, and some of the marble in its walls are believed to have come from the old shrine to Apollo. The site of this monastery is where an icon of the Virgin was found hanging on a cane. Reason enough to build a church! The views from here are spectacular, especially at sunrise. Getting up for the sunrise isn't as hard as it sounds on Anaphi, since there's no late night party scene here.

Near the monastery, you can stand on the highest rock formation in the Medierranean Sea at Monastery Rock. The rock reaches a height of 470m above sea level.

Also near Panayia Kalamiotissa, you can poke around in a cave knows as an old dragon's lair called Drakontospilo. Beware the dragon!


The town is Hora, where rooms are to be found. There was a medieval Kastro at Hora.

Drinking and Dining

Traditional eateries are available. Some of the hotels have restaurants on site.


greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesgreek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesMyth has it that upon killing the bronze giant Talus with the help of Medea, Jason and his Argonauts made their escape from Crete only to be met by a huge storm. Jason's patron deity Apollo, in answer to his plea for succor, caused Anaphi to rise from the sea to shelter them. Talus was also known as Perdix or Partridge (as in the fowl) and since Anaphi was over run with partridges it became closely associated with Talus.

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesNow as you may or may not know, if your Pliney and Aristotle are rusty, partridges are extremely lascivious birds. Pliney wrote that a hen partridge merely had to hear or smell a cock partridge to become impregnated and further noted that if the females were roosting, the males practiced sodomy to relieve their sexual frustrations. In fact they become so obsessed with their mating rituals that you don't even have to sneak up to them to kill them while they are at it. Unfortunately, partridges are extinct on Anaphi, so you won't be able to witness this phenomenon while there.

However, the connection to Apollo remains. Scholars have found that many of the songs and festivals on Anaphi bear traces of the ancient Apollo worship. If you are there during a festival, there is plenty of dancing and cavorting.

Long after the above events, Anafi suffered the same fate as the rest of the Cyclades–Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Alexanders' Generals, The Byzantines, The Duchy of Naxos and the Crusader Barons, Turkish pirates, and Turks.

greek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesgreek islands  anafi anaphi cycladesIn the photo are the ruins of the Castro (castle) of Guglielmo Crispi which fell to the Turks in 1537. Mt. Kalamos, the large tadpole like protrubence at Anaphis' SE end is the site of the 16th C Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa and also the site of the Dragons Cave (Drakontospilo) with stalagmites and stalactites. You must bring your own flashlite and supplies.



It takes a little effort to get to Anaphi because of the irratic ferry schedule, but if you're seeking solitude and quiet, it can be worth the effort.


greek islands  anafi anaphi cyclades

greek islands  anafi anaphi cyclades

The Complete Details

Helpful Information
Transportation Facts
  • By Ferry: Twice weekly with Piraeus, Santorini, Ios, Naxos and Paros
  • There's a small bus on the island that will take you from the port up to the hora.
Island Resources
  • Tel. code: 2286
  • Anaphi Port Authority: tel. 61216


Ikaria - Armenistis
New Maisonettes

Price: €209,000
 -  125 m2
Bedrooms: 3  Baths: 2


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