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Pelagos - Northern Islands
The island of Pelagos or Kira Panayia - Κυρά Παναγιά, together with the so-called Northern Islands of Yioura, Psathoura and Piperi lie well within the National Marine Park of Alonissos (NMPANS), which was set up to protect endangered species of fauna as well as flora, both on land and in the sea. In particular the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus), Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), the Aegean Gull (Larus audounii) and the Yiaros wild goat (Apra hircus aegagrus) are among these. Because of the protected status, landing on the Northern Islands is either discouraged or even forbidden. Therefore sailing around these beautiful islands without landing is really the only option. Yet, Pelagos is the perfect base to either explore the Northern islands or to cross to Chalkidiki in the north (towards the ports of Porto Koufou or Sikias on the Sithonia peninsula)
The wooded island of Pelagos, was known in antiquity as Euthyra. Nowadays it is also called Kira Panayia, after the monastery of that name on its east coast, a dependency of Athos. The 12th c. monastic church contains a number of old icons and can be reached via Monastery Bay where a flight of steep winding steps lead up towards it. This old monastery was founded by the monks from Mt Athos in the Byzantine period. In recent years it was occupied by a solitary old monk but he passed on and it is now looked after by a friendly caretaker and his dog.
The former monastic island of Yioura is now a reserve for wild goats. On the south side of the island are the Caves of the Cyclops, traditionally believed to have been the home of Polyphemos. Yachts and other tourists are not to approach the island within 400 metres.
To the east lies Piperi (the Pepper pot), a nature reserve for - primarily - the Monk Seals, which should be kept at a distance of at least 3 nm.
The last in the string of the Northern Sporades is the volcanic island of Psathoura. Just of the north coast, under water, are the remains of buildings belonging to an large ancient city engulfed by the sea.
Northern Sporades Islands