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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Northern Aegean > Agios Efstratios
Agios Efstratios, Greece Introduction to Agios Efstratios  

Aerial view of Agios Efstratios, Northern Aegean islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Aerial view of the Northern Aegean island of Agios Efstratios from the north.

The harbour of Agios Efstratios, the island's only settlement, can be seen on the right (west).
introduction facts and

The triangular island of Agios Efstratios (Άγιος Ευστράτιος) has several steep hills, ravines, caves and cliffs (particularly on the north coast). It is also quite windy and arid, with little rainfall and almost no natural water reservoirs. Despite its volcanic soil, the climate makes it unsuitable for agriculture. There are few trees, although there are some splendid oaks, poplars and willows, and some places are quite green in spring and early summer.

Most of the islanders live from fishing and raising livestock, although tourism is slowly increasing due to the island's attraction as an isolated, unspoiled and easy-going place, with some good sandy beaches and hiking opportunities, few roads and very little traffic. It has also earned the distinction of being Greece's first green island by supplying all its electricity requirements with wind and solar generating devices.

Archaeological finds point to settlements on the island established at various locations in different periods since the 3rd millenium BC, including a Mycenaean settlement, the ancient city of Alonissos (Αλόννησος, mentioned by the Athenian orator Demosthenes) and a necropolis.

The island's modern name is due to Saint Efstratios (Όσιος Ευστράτιος ο Θαυματουργός, Saint Eustratius the Miracle Worker), a monk who was exiled here in the 9th century because of his opposition to the iconoclastic policy of Byzantine Emperor Leo the Armenian.

During the 15th century, as with other Aegean islands such as Samos, the island was abandoned because of pirate raids, and was repopulated at the location of the present village in the mid 16th century, during the time of the Ottoman Turkish occupation of Greece.

During the 20th century Agios Efstratios was one of several islands used by successive Greek governments as a place of exile and imprisonment for political opponents, mostly socialists, communists and trade union activists. Prisoners were held in inhuman conditions, and many died of hunger here. Among the internees were intellectuals, artists, writers and musicians, including the composer Mikis Theodorakis and the poets Menelaos Loundemis, Giannis Ritsos and Kostas Varnalis.

On 19th February 1968 many of the old houses, churches, windmills and other buildings were destroyed or severely damaged by a powerful earthquake of 7.2 on the Richter Scale. A reconstruction programme organized by the military junta, which ordered traditional buildings to be demolished rather than rebuilt, altered the character of the village.
Facts and figures  
name: Agios Efstratios (Άγιος Ευστράτιος),
locally called Aistratis (Άη Στράτης)

country: Greece

location: Agios Efstratios is in the eastern Aegean Sea.
30 km southwest of Lemnos,
80 km northwest of Lesbos,
60 km northeast of Skyros,
200 km northeast of Athens


(administrative region) North Aegean Region
(Greek, Περιφέρεια Βορείου Αιγαίου)

For further information about Greece's administrative regions,
see our introduction to Greece, Greece page 4: Facts and figures.

regional unit: Lemnos (also includes a number of islets)

municipality: Agios Efstratios


Agios Efstratios

The harbour village on the west coast,
at the northern end of the island,
is the only settlement.


43.325 square kilometres

Length 11 km; width 6 km at its widest point.

highest point:

The island has a number of peaks between 200 and 300 metres,
although maps and other sources do not agree on exact heights.

Lemoni Rachi (Λεμόνι Ράχη, Lemon Ridge) 298 metres
Simadi (Σημάδι) 296 metres.
Isomata (Ισώματα) 292 metres
Prophet Ilias (Προφήτης Ηλίας) 280 metres

population: 270 (2011 census)

local time:

Eastern European Time (EET)

Daylight Saving Schedule:
Summer (from last Sunday in March) GMT/UTC +3 hours

Winter (from last Sunday in October) GMT/UTC +2 hours

currency: Euro (€)

climate: Mediterranean (temperate, with wet winters and hot, dry summers)

language: Greek

post code: 815 00

telephone code: +30 22540
Further information for Greece can be found
in our introduction to Greece pages.
Practical information  

Accommodation: 200 beds; one hotel and
rented rooms (early booking advised)

Bank: post office postbank

Shops: 3 small general stores (groceries)

Restaurants: due to the abundance of marine life around the islands, tavernas offer a variety of fish as well as lobster. Local specialities include cheeses such as mizithra, roast lamb dishes and chestnut desserts.

Petrol station: 1, near the port

Healthcare: a small medical centre in the village
is staffed by a doctor and paramedic.
  Addresses & phone numbers

Municipality of Agios Efstratios

(Δήμος Αγίου Ευστρατίου)

Tel: +30 22540 93210

website: (Greek only)

Police Station +30 22540 93201

Port Authority +30 22540 93393

Medical Centre +30 22540 93222
How to get to Agios Efstratios  

Airport: there is no airport on the island, although there is a heliport.
The nearest airports are on Lemnos and Mytilini (Lesbos).

Public transport: there are no buses or taxis on the island.

Yachting: the island's only port has berthing facilites with electricty and water.


Due to the Greek economic crisis, ferry schedules and fares are changing constantly,
with reduced services and higher prices. There are usually fewer ferries in winter.

Ferries to Agios Efstratios are operated by NEL Lines
and SAOS Ferries

NEL Lines ferries to / from Agios Efstratios

Lemnos 4 per week (1 hour 30 minutes)

Kavala 4 per week (7 hours 20 minutes)

Lavrio (southeast of Athens) 4 per week (9 hours)

Psara 2 per week (5 hours)

SAOS Ferries to / from Agios Efstratios

Lavrio - Andros - Syros - Tinos - Mykonos - Chios - Mytilini - Agios Efstratios -
Lemnos - Samothraki - Alexandroupoli

Alexandroupoli - Samothraki - Lemnos - Agios Efstratios - Mytilini - Chios -
Mykonos - Tinos - Syros - Andros - Lavrio

Lemnos - Agios Efstratios - Kimi Evia - Agios Efstratios - Lemnos

SAOS Ferries used to operate ferrries between Kavala and Agios Efstratios,
although this service appears to have been suspended.

Further information about Greek ferries:

Day trips to / from Lemnos

It is possible to visit Agios Efstratios on 1 day boat excursions
from the larger neighbouring island of Lemnos (30 km, 1.5 hours).

The excursion offered by Petrides Travel on Lemnos
runs every Saturday and Sunday in summer
and costs 20 € per person.


A small ferry runs from Agios Efstratios every morning to Lemnos,
returning in the afternoon.
We currently have no further information about this service.

If you have further information about travelling to Agios Efstratios, please get in contact.
Area map  
Interactive map of the Northern Aegean islands at My Favourite Planet

Interactive map of the North Aegean islands

Colour key for Greek island groups (west-east)

    Argo-Saronic       Sporades       Cyclades       Northern Aegean       Dodecanese

See also our interactive map of Greece.
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See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays and articles
about Greece:

Athens 1 (street life)

Athens 2 (Aristotle's Lyceum)






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