Anafi island has been ignored by most holiday makers for a very long time, but has become quite popular the last years. It is very small, harsh island with steep cliffs offering spectacular views of the sea and unforgettable sunsets.
Anafi is a great place for recreation and relaxation. Here, time stands still, and you can enjoy the friendly atmosphere and little taverns without the pressure of doing and seeing lots of things.
According to mythology, the island was created by the god Apollo and he was probably worshipped here. There are also connections with Jason and the Argonauts, since Anafi was said to be a gift to Jason from Apollo. In classical years, Anafi belonged to the Athenian league, but the contacts were scarce and the island was left alone as long as it paid its tribute.
The island was often tormented by pirates through history and there are stories about hidden treasures here and there.
In the 13th century the Venetians arrived, and they were to rule the island and its surroundings until the 16th century when the Turks invaded. Not that there was much to rule: most of the people had left the island because of the harsh living conditions. Anafi was liberated in 1832, eleven years after the War of Independence had started.
Anafi is first and foremost an island for walking around on, since the roads are very bad and there are no opportunities to rent a car. The capital is the village Chora, which is a small, idyllic place with little cafes and tiny chapels.
Kastelli is an ancient settlement from the 9th century BC.
The monastery Zoodochou Pigis (Life-giving Source) is a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary which is worth a visit. It is often closed though, and make sure you are wearing a long skirt and covering your shoulders if you are woman, and wearing long trousers if you are a man.
One can visit the few cafe and pastry shops of the island and enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshment at any time of the day, while at the small tavernas the original Greek cuisine is served. The island’s specialty are the delicious seafood snacks that the local fish which are found in abundance in all the tavernas. At the central “kafeneio”(coffee shop), especially, delicious homemade food is served in a beautiful and traditional environment.