GOING TO ARKIOU
a small rock island on aegean water near the island of LEROS. A mini Greek island for a heavenly holiday in the middle of the DODEKANISOS in Greece.
ARKIOU forms a handful of small islands with serrated beaches. It is located in a kind of Fjord forming a unique coastline in the western part of the island. We’re going to Arki to escape the tourist hubbub of the big islands around. We’re going to THE island of ARKIOU to walk, admire the view of the Aegean Sea wherever you are and for calm.
You can take a small ferry from the surrounding islands which are LIPSI (5 kms), PATMOS (16 kms) and LEROS (17 kms). The island is only 40 kms from the Turkish coast.
It is a tiny arid island of 7 kms covered with olive trees, guarrigue and scrub. His side is pretty rough. It has 40 permanent inhabitants near the port. It has a long shape and is located east of the island of PATMOS. It is an island surrounded by other smaller islands that are not inhabited except the island of MARATHI at 600m (15 min by boat). These smaller islands are the islets of Aryeloussa, Kalovolos, Spolato, Makronissi, Stroggili, Avaptsisto, Koumaros, Psathonissi, Tsouka, Smineronissi and Tsoukaki. So it’s calledARKIOUComplex.
The inhabitants live there from goat farming, fishing and tourism. At ARKIOU,there is no doctor or school. There is only a small paved road network of about 2.5 kms. That’s all. In winter, the inhabitants are cut off from the rest of the world sometimes for three weeks. There are old stone houses, two tavernas, a mini-market and private rooms for rent.
A little bit of history. Neolithic ceramics were found at TIGANAKIA in the south. The Ionians of Milet used the island as a stopover between SAMOS and KOS.
And then a small fortress is built to the northwest at the 4th sc BC. During the Roman occupation, Emperor Julius Caesar had the castle destroyed, but at the beginning of the Byzantine period he had his reconstruction rebuilt. The Arki complex was then donated in 1087 by the Byzantine emperor Alexis I Comnène to the monks of the Patmos Monastery. In the following centuries, the island was used by the monastery for grazing goats.
An extraordinary WILDLIFE in Arki, ARKIOU and the surrounding islands are considered one of the ten most important bird sanctuaries in Greece according to the Greek Bird Protection Organization. There are Audouin gulls, Easter puffin, Moro nozzle, cormorants and falcon Eleanor. ARKIOU is part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network
The port of Avgousta on the island of ARKIOU is a cute little port like everything in a narrow bay with its small fishing boats but also and above all its pleasure boats floating on the surprisingly clear water of the island. Also to the west of the island, on the hill overlooking the port (at 110m altitude) are the ruins of an acropolis.
The island festival of August 23. In the port, the inhabitants of ARKIOU celebrate on August 23the nine days of PANAYIA (the great Saint-La Virgo) with lots of popular music, dances and local dishes. In fact, on this day, all the taverns join their tables and celebrate together until the morning.
The beaches of the island. At the southern end of the island, a 45-minute walk from the harbour, you arrive at the best beach on the island called TIGANAKIA. It has a nice view of the islets next to it. It is located in a small bay. Half of the beach is sandy and the other half quite rocky. Anyway, it’s ideal for swimming. It is also easy to swim and reach the surrounding islets. The only problem is that in July but especially in August and every day from 11am to 7pm, excursionists from the island of LIPSI and the island of PATMOS come to occupy this beach. There are other small beaches next door such as Patelia and Ampelaki and two others in the north of the island, Kapsalismeno and Limnari.
The Italian prison of ARKIOU At the other end of the island, towards SAMOS,one can visit what is called the “ITALIAN JAIL“. During the Second World War, the building was said to have served as a prison by the Italian army. It should be added that from 1912 to 1943, the island of ARKIOU was under Italian tutelage.
THE CAVE OF ARKIOU Also at this end of the island, in Chalaro, one can see a large cave comprising a number of stalactites and stalagmites. From the port, to get there, you’ll have to walk about an hour. However, the cave is not easy to find as it is hidden by olive trees and various bushes. This is where the inhabitants took refuge in 1943 when the island was going to be bombed by the Germans
The churches of THE island of ARKIOU. The island has three churches: Panagia Pantanassa, Aghi Anaryiri and Sotira. They are all very beautiful especially with sea views.