Information about Agios Efstratios
- Agios Efstratios belongs to the North Eastern Aegean cluster
- Agios Efstratios covers around 592,022 square km
- Inhabitants approximately 108,046
- Capital is Agios Efstratios City
- Coastline of 217 km
- Connection with the ports of Igoumenitsa and Patra
- Connection by ferry with the other North Eastern Aegean s
- Agios Efstratios has its own International Airport with daily flights from Athens and thessaloniki
Agios Efstratios (Eustratios) is a small volcanic island located in the northern Aegean Sea between the islands of Lesvos and Limnos. Its rocky land of 45 square km is populated by 370 residents approximately, who live in the homonymous capital- which is also the only settlement of the island. Its terrain is composed by rocky hills covered by sparse vegetation and some oak woods, the plain of Alonitsi, sea caves, peaceful coves and pristine beaches. The island is a good option for those who look for serenity in an absolute unspoiled island.
Agios Efstratios is an ideal destination for nature-lovers, since it has been listed in European Natura 2000 as a “Site of Community Importance”, for breeding sea birds and sea monks and also for passage migrants.
Comparatively to its neighbouring islands, Agios Efstratios does not offer outstanding architectural edifices or significant archaeological sites. Nevertheless, its unembellished nature, the friendly locals, the authentic, healthy way of life and the feeling of being relaxed in a tranquil place, are the strong points of this small island.
No cars existing on the island, yet you do not need to worry since distances are small and in the capital you will find several descent accommodation facilities, taverns and bars at the edge of the sea.
A boat trip round its coastline is a beautiful experience; its caves shelter monk seals and dolphins playing in the open sea are frequently seen.
Archaeological finds prove that Agios Efstratios has been inhabited since Prehistoric Times and remnants of an Early Bronze Age and of the ancient city have been uncovered in the hills of Agios Alexios and Agios Minas accordingly.
The island, also called Ai- Stratis by its locals, was named after Saint Eustratios who lived in a cave here, when Iconoclasts persecuted him for his beliefs during the Byzantine Times. According to historical sources in the 15th century the island had already been deserted due to the frequent pirated raids and was inhabited anew in the 16th century.
From 1928 to 1963 and due to its remoteness from the rest islands, Agios Efstratios was used as a place of political exile. Military camps were set up housing more than 3,500 dissidents; among them significant persons of Arts and Letters, such as the poets Giannis Ritsos and Nikos Karouzos, the composer Mikis Theodorakis, the actor Manos Katrakis and the writer Menelaos Loudemis.
In 1968 a devastating earthquake demolished almost all of the old buildings, and a new settlement was built in the northwest part of the island.
The settlement of Agios Efstratios is the island’s capital and also its port. Simple houses with neat courtyards, narrow alleys and a fine square dominated by the Church of Christ compose the tranquil picture of the capital. Old churches with most impressive the 17h century basilica of Agios Vasilios (St. Basil), the outstanding Marasleios –Logotheteios (Maraslios-Logothetios) School built in 1906,(the only building that survived the earthquake) are the most important sights of Agios Efstratios.
In the surrounding area, the delightful chapel of Agios Minas crowns the homonymous hill offering a fascinating view to the Aegean. Nearby the cemetery of the exiled and the ruins of the ancient city can be seen.
At the waterfront you can taste delicious dishes of fresh fish (for which the island is famed) in one of the traditional taverns and also to enjoy your coffee or drink viewing majestic sunsets.
The capital has its own beach with clean and crystalline waters.
The beaches of Agios Efstratios are quiet and pristine with crystal clear waters, ideal for enjoying sun and sea in a tranquil natural environment and also for sea sports, fishing and sea bird-watching.
At the northwest part are found the beaches of Agios Efstratios (near the capital). The beaches of Mouroulia, Kalami, Panagia and the long-stretched beach of Alonitsi, all with fine waters, are also Worthing a visit.
The beaches of Agios Antonios, Agios Dimitrios, Agios Nikolaos, Tripiti, Gournia, Kalami, Trigari and Ftelio are situated at the southwester part of the island and are accessible only by boat.
There are scheduled trips via ferries to Agios Efstratios from Piraeus and Lavrio Ports.
The island is also connected with the islands of Lesvos, Limnos, Samothraki and with the Port of Thessaloniki, Kavala (Prefecture of Kavala) and Alexandroupoli (Evros prefecture) with intermediate stops to other islands.
From Agios Efstratios you can visit the islands of Skopelos, Skiathos , Alonisos (Alonissos) and Skyros.
Olympic Airlines (Athens): 210/9292111, 9666666
Olympic Airlines (Agios Efstratios): 26610/386994/6
Patras Port Authority: 2610/341002
Agios Efstratios Port Authority: 26610/32655
Igoumenitsa Port Authority: 26650/22235
Bus Terminal (Athens): 210 5124910-1, 5132601
Bus Terminal (Agios Efstratios, urban transport): 26610/32158
Bus Terminal (Agios Efstratios, inter-island transport): 26610/39862/31595
Bus Terminal Salonica: 2310/536260