Apr 18, 2023
Anafi is a small, serene and unassuming island situated in the Cyclades located near Santorini, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the glitz and glamor of its neighbouring island. This hidden gem boasts breathtaking natural beauty and warm hospitality, captivating travelers who seek a simple yet authentic experience.
With its stunning Aegean sunshine and the invigorating sea salt, Anafi remains a haven untouched by the modern society's frantic pace. Its visitors are charmed by the unique landscapes and the generous hospitality of the locals, falling in love with the island's beauty permanently.
Although slowly emerging on the tourist scene, Anafi caters to the needs of discerning travelers who prefer to explore the island's uncharted territory by foot or by sea, rather than following a standard tourist route. With its unspoiled charm and undiscovered treasures, Anafi is a perfect destination for adventurous excursionists seeking a truly virgin and unexplored place to uncover. Our travel guide will show you what this beautiful island has to offer.
How to get to Anafi
By Ferry: Anafi island can be reached by ferry from Athens via Piraeus port, although the journey can be lengthy, taking between 9-11 hours. Alternatively, the island is easily accessible from neighboring Cyclades destinations like Ios and Milos, with Santorini being the closest port.
The ferry from Santorini will take 1.5 hours
By Plane: Anafi does not have an airport, so the easiest way to get there is to fly in to Santorini via Athens, and then jump on the ferry to the island of Anafi.
Best things to do on Anafi
Known for its limited tourist development, the island offers few activities for visitors to indulge in. However, hiking is a popular pastime and often necessary since motor vehicles are scarce.
The best thing to do is to walk around the island to discover the island great beaches or hire a boat to take you around the island, making sure to stop at the island best known beach Roukounas.
Anafi boasts both archaeological and mythological significance. One such site is the ruins of a temple dedicated to the god Apollo Aegletus, located at the monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa.
According to myth, the island was named Anafi as a result of Apollo's intervention during a storm, where he used his bow to illuminate the island as a shelter for the Argonauts. The name of the island, "Anafi," derives from the Greek word "anefinen," meaning "he made it appear." Another explanation for the name suggests it is due to the island's lack of snakes, with "an Ophis" translating to "without snakes."
The historical town of Anafi situated atop Kasteli hill you can admire the incredible necropolis with its grand tombs and intricate sculptures. You can the make your way to the Vrissi where you can relax under the shade of the magnificent plane trees and beside the serene streams.
On the eastern side of the island, you can take a tour to the impressive Kalamos rock, the second biggest monolith limestone structure in Europe after Gibraltar.
This site is a must-visit for experienced climbers. At the foot of the rock, you can explore the ancient temple of Apollo the Anafian and the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. Climbing to the top of Kalamos offers breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding islands, as well as the opportunity to visit another monastery.
Best beaches of Anafi
Roukounas beach: This beach is the most famous on the island. It is no organised so you will need to bring all the days bits and pieces with you.
It is a large, sandy beach with crystal clear waters. To go to the beach, take the road from Chora to the eastward coast. If you want to walk to the beach, it will take around an hour.
Kleisidi (Klisidi) beach: Located just 20 minute walk (2km) from the port of Agios Nikolaos, this beach has beautiful crystal clear blue waters. It is a sandy beach and just opposite Kleisidi are the islands of Makra, Ftena and Pachia.
The beach is sand and is also no organised, so umbrellas, towels and food supplies are BYO.
Flamourou beach: Located 3km southeast of Chora, Flamourou Beach is a secluded cove situated boasting crystal-clear waters and unspoiled surroundings.
The beach is accessible either by foot, through a scenic trail, or by boat.
Livoskopos beach: Small and secluded, with crystal clear turquoise waters and a shoreline of pebbles and rocks leading to the sea.
This hidden gem can be easily accessed by foot along a path that takes about 5 minutes or by car along a nearby road.
If you're an avid hiker, you can take path No. 5, which leads to a scenic route from Stavros to Vigla and Panagia Vouvon, and then onto the area of Drapano, where you can explore Livoskopos, about 4 kilometers away.
From Chora, you can reach this hidden cove by taking either the road or path No. 4, which leads to Stavros.
The beach is a must visit as its untouched by mass tourism (like most of the island!)
Best places to stay on Anafi
Ypseli Hotel: Located in Roukounas, the hotel is situated 4 km from the port and 300 m away from the beach.
The hotel boasts a chic ambiance with top-notch amenities, offering guests a delightful experience. The suites are exquisitely designed with contemporary decor, featuring warm, natural hues.
They are generously sized and include furnished outdoor seating areas. The hotel provides suites that can accommodate 2 to 6 guests, depending on your preference.
Apollon Village Hotel: Situated on Klisidi Hill, is a haven for those who wish to enjoy a peaceful and serene holiday, combining breathtaking views of the hilltop with a golden sandy beach.
With 20 units available, all of which overlook the mesmerising Cretan Sea, guests are offered the perfect blend of contemporary living and traditional Cycladic design, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.
Best places to eat and drink on Anafi?
Margarita's Restaurant: Located in Kleisidi, the restaurant started as a cafe but soon turned in to a cafe restaurant due to popularity amongs the locals.
The restaurants verandah has a excellent view of the Aegean sea. Perfect spot for a drink and meze.
To Steki: Located in chora, this restaurant serves traditional Cycladic Greek food boasting fresh seafood and local vegetables. The view at this restaurant is also spectacular.
Pou Pas Karavaki?: Located in Roukounas, this place is perfect for an afternoon cocktail or beer served along side with some Greek snacks. Again, as with most places on the island, the view here is worth the visit!.
Getting around the island
The best way to get around the island is by car. If you can hire car before getting to the island, this would be your best bet!
There are buses and the odd taxi service, but they are virtually not existent, so I would not rely on them to get around the island.