Arki island - Greece - maybe on the 2009 list...
Arki is an island, or actually more a group of small islands, east of Patmos in the Dodecanese group, between Patmos and Agathonissi / Turkey. On the largest of these islands (7 km2) about 50 people live and some more live on the nearby smaller island of Marathi. You can reach the island from Patmos and it is also on the ferry on the route Samos - Agathonissi - Arki - Patmos - Leros - Kalymnos - which makes a stop here at around three times a week on the way up and the way down. From Patmos there are daytrips to the island, and for the people that like it very much there is a limited number of rooms for rent (about 20 on Arki and about 15 on Marathi). On Arki and Marathi there are a couple of beaches, some taverna's and a very small mini market. If you want to rent a room you best ask at the taverna's. Most of the people live from fishing or goat herding, and a few people live from the tourism / the taverna's. The island of Arki is quite dry and not many trees grow on it. There are the remains of an antique acropolis on the hill overlooking the main harbour, and there is an interesting cave on the north side of the island. On the island there are also quite a number of small churches (not uncommon in Greece...) also because Arki was, just like neighbouring Lipsi Island, in the hands of the Monastery in Patmos Island for a long time. On the island except from peace and quiet there are also a couple of nice beaches, all within walking distance (there is no bus service on the island). Tiganakia in the south of the island is the most beautiful beach of them all. It is situated in a sheltered bay and surrounded by rocks. Other beaches are Limnari, Padelia and Kapsaliasmenos which are in the east of the island. Besides these beaches there are also many small but charming bays and here are two small beaches to the left of the port. The beach of Tiganakia is set in a cove and separated into three parts by rocks. It is a mixed pebble and sand beach. Some people swim to the nearby small islands across the bay. The beach is on a 45 - 60 minutes walking distance away from the town, with no paths and with only one sign to direct you. To reach it, leave the town along the main road. On the right hand side you will pass a couple of bays. When you reach the end of the road keep walking in a straight line until you reach a sign and walk in the direction of the island you can see in the distance. The best thing about the island of Arki is its complete lack of tourists (exception: August - but this is the busiest month everywhere), especially after all the day-trippers from nearby islands have left again. This is the time to experience the old fashioned and real authentic Greek island life.
Nearby Marathi Island.|
Even smaller than Arki island is the closeby island of Marathi. You can ask one of the fishermen to take you there. Sometimes there is the occasional daytrip from the island Lipsi or Patmos. On Marathi there are a couple of rooms for rent at the two tavernas. On Marathi only a few people live (two families) and it is very, very quiet. There is a good beach on the island. This beach is situated in a large and shertered bay. You migh want to walk and wonder around Marathi in which case you will find a couple of coves / cliffs on the other side of the island. A lot of people seem to be reluctant to leave the island and concider it a little gem. Nightlife? There is none. Most of the visitors stay at home with a glass of wine or spend some time in one of the two tavernas, so pretty much what you would do for entertainment on the other island, Arki. Sights?? The sights are the views of the nature and the sea. On top of the hill there is a small picturesque church that you maybe want to take a look at. Pantelis Taverna is set in a garden and it is praised for its food. The food is home made, from the bread to the dessert. Greek-Australian Toula and Manolis run the place and if you rent one of their rooms you will also have the opportunity to have breakfast there, which includes home made jams, fresh eggs and fruit.
If you are looking for accommodation here are the numbers: Pantelis. tel: + 30 22470-32609 (to the right on the beach) and Mihalis, tel: +30 22470-31580 (to the left on the beach).
The 5 pictures below were send to me by Dirk Slegers who visited the island of Arki during a sailing trip. According to him it is a very quiet island (maybe even too quiet?...he wonders) and there are only three taverna's. It's a good place to totally relax though.
Accommodation on Arki Island.|
Better safe than sorry: there is not much for rent on the island of Arki, and I have only seen one. Nikolaos from the taverna on Arki rents out the rooms. Every room has a bathroom, refridgerator, TV as well as the terrace with a view of the sea, the hill and the sunset. All the rooms are new and very neat. There are rooms for two or for three people and the prices of these rooms vary from € 30 to € 45 depending on the date and the number of people (2008). These prices are for June until the end of August. Outside these months prices can be discussed.
Contact : Nikolaos Kavouras Phone : +30 22470 32477 Mobile phone : +30 6972 923367 Fax : +30 22470 31983
How to get to Arki by ferry|
You can reach the island from Patmos and it is and also on the ferry on the route Samos - Agathonissi - Arki - Patmos - Leros - Kalymnos - which makes a stop here at around three times a week on the way up and the way down. In Samos you het on board of the Nissos Kalymnos in the village of Pythagorion. Tickets can be bought in the main street (leading from the harbour up - on the left side of the street) there. From Patmos there are daytrips to the island.