Psara Island

Location: Town   

The island of Psara, close to Chios, Eastern Aegean: Psara is a cluster of seven small islands in the Aegean Sea, that lies 12 miles to the northwest of Chios. The largest of them is called Psara and it is the only inhabited island. The others are Antispara, Ai-Nikolaki, Prasonisi, Daskalio, Kato Nisi and Nisiopoula. Psara has a rocky terrain filled with hills and mountains, the highest of them being Prophitis Ilias.

Along its history, Psara has been the site for many important historic events. It has been inhabited since the ancient times but it became known in the recent Greek history, since it contributed a lot in the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century and in fact was the third strongest Greek naval force, after Hydra and Spetses. Psara gave birth to a number of notable revolutionists including Admiral Konstantinos Kanaris and Papanikolis.

In June, 1824, Psara faced a great tragedy. The Turks landed on the island and destroyed it, as a revenge for the participating to the Greek Revolution. Out of the 30,000 inhabitants, only 3,000 were saved in small boats of the French fleet. The Turks set the whole island on fire and made Psara one of the greatest tragedies of the recent Greek history. The island never managed to recover this destruction and today it is just a small, almost isolated island of the Aegean Sea with less than 500 permanent residents.

The rocky terrain of the island does not allow them to deal with cultivation, so they depend on fishing to make their living. What Psara has to offer to visitors is a lot of tranquility. It is a lovely destination for those who wish to practice hiking and mountain biking. In fact, the peak of Profitis Ilias gives amazing views of the island. Psara does not have much tourist amenities, except for some snack bars, cafes and rooms to let.

The most important tourist attractions are the house of Konstantinos Kanaris and some nice churches, such as the church of Agia Markella and the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin. Psara can be accessed by boat from Chios town and from Limnia, the port of Volissos.

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