National Marine Park
The National Marine Park of Alonnisos Northern Sporades was founded by Presidential Decree on May 16, 1992. It was the first of its kind in Greece, and is currently the largest marine protected area in Europe (approximately 2.260 km2).
Besides the sea area, the park includes the island of Alonissos, six
smaller islands (Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Piperi and
Skantzoura), as well as 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops.
Administratively, the Sporades Islands belong to the prefecture of Magnesia.
The National Marine Park has collaborated with an environmental organization called MOm (Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal). MOm is an official member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Summer excursion boats and charter craft visit the sheltered bays and
sandy beaches of Kyra Panagia, Peristera, Psathoura and Skantzoura.
Visits to Gioura have now been stopped since the impostition of a 400 metre exclusion zone around the island.
The islands are covered with vegetation and have steep rocky coastlines with mountainous interiors. The exception is Psathoura which is the only volcanic island and where you will find one of the brightest lighthouses in the Aegean.
More details on the flora and fauna of the Marine Park and a description of the most important islands with their characteristics can be found on the pages: "Marine Park Fauna", "Marine Park Flora" and "Marine Park Islands".