ANAFI - THE GIBRALTAR OF THE AEGEAN
One of the islands that is a favorite destination for a few is Anafi, a Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea east of Santorini. According to mythology, Anafi was represented by the god Apollo from the sea to become the refuge of the Argonauts, when they were returning from Colchis. The island was named Anafi because it appeared in the sea and since then the god Apollo was worshiped as Anafaios. In the isthmus that connects the peninsula of Kalamos with the rest of Anafi in the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi are the ruins of the ancient temple dedicated to Apollo or Anafeios. The town of Anafi, which is built amphitheatrically, is a perfect example of Cycladic architecture. It is worth visiting the windmills that are built on opposite slopes from the 19th century, which were the oldest boundaries of the settlement. A trademark in Chora is the Venetian castle that in the past was an observatory to the Cretan Sea and Santorini.
Kleisidi is a seaside settlement, built on a slope near the port of the island overlooking the islands of Makra, Ftena and Pachia. Gialos or Agios Nikolaos is the Port of the island that is inhabited only during the summer months. It is built at the foot of a steep rock and owes its name to the church of the same name. The areas of Kalamos and Roukounas belong to the Natura 2000 network as well as the whole island is an important area for rare birds. The rock of Kalamos that looks like a head is especially popular with climbers for its unique trails. On the rock of Kalamos and on the rocky islets of Ftena, Makria and Pachia, the black peregrine falcon, a migratory hawk that lives in Madagascar, make nests. Also on the island nests the Aegean gull, the only seagull in the Mediterranean.
On the south side of Anafi the beaches are sandy, windless and more popular in contrast to the north side of the island where the beaches are rocky and quieter. Kleisidi is a golden beach with crystal clear waters while the most popular beach is Megalos Roukounas, with a vast sandy beach chosen by many free campers. Agioi Anargyroi with the homonymous white chapel at the top is a choice for nudists and "hermits". The beach of Mega Potamos is equally isolated, while the beautiful pebble beaches of Kalagathi, Kyparissi, Kaltsouni, Flamourou, Vagia and Prassa are a little more inaccessible. Katalimatsa beach is a beach that impresses with its red rocks while it shrinks when the sea swells. Other famous beaches of Anafi are Agios Ioannis, Monastiri, Halara, Vrisi and Livoskopo.
The local cuisine of Anafi has a variety of traditional food and sweets. Every guest should try lobster spaghetti, saffron, red mullet and local baked goat. The buns and sausages are made from pork and aromatic herbs. For lovers of sweets are offered stuffed (pies with honey and sesame), xerotigana, candy (with almond and honey, offered at weddings and christenings), sesame honey and honey. The island produces excellent products, such as thyme honey, capers, balothia, saffron bread, oil cheese, thyme, oregano, sage, thyme, caper leaves, stamnagathi and kritama. In Anafi, a rare variety of wine, the Strofiliatiko, is also produced, while the saffron, the well-known yolk, which naturally gives a unique taste to the dishes used, thrives naturally.