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||Introduction to Psara
Aerial view of the Northern Aegean island of Psara and the smaller Antipsara from the east.
The harbour of Psara, the island's only settlement, is at the neck
of the long headland on the southwest coast (centre left of the photo).
|Like some of the other small islands in the eastern Aegean, such as Agios Efstratios (which has a similar size), Psara is arid, windy and rugged, formed by volcanic rocks which rise steeply from the sea.
A poor place for agriculture, its inhabitants made their living from the sea as fishermen, sailors and merchants, and its history followed the ups and downs of other small communities at the mercy of successive invaders and pirates along the strategic sea routes between Anatolia (Asia Minor), Greece and the Black Sea.
The island has been inhabited since Neolithic times, and remains of a wealthy Mycenaean settlement (14th-12th centuries BC) have been discovered at Archontiki (Αρχοντίκι) on the west coast, as well as Hellenistic remains at Palaeokastro. Archaeological finds from Psara are in the small museum in the village and the Archaeological Museum of Chios.
In 1821 Psara joined the Greek side in the Greek War of Independence against Ottoman Turkish Empire, and the Psariot Constantine Kanaris (Κωνσταντίνος Κανάρης, circa 1795 – 1877, later prime minister of Greece) became one of the important naval commanders in the sea battles which followed (see also Samos gallery page 13).
On 21st June 1824 the Turkish fleet attacked the island and destroyed the town. An estimated 15,000 inhabitants were killed, and the survivors enslaved. Those who managed to escape the catastrophe resettled in Monemvasia in the Peloponnese and Eretria on the island of Euboea, where they founded the village of Nea Psara (Νέα Ψαρά, New Psara).
From 1864 some of the islanders returned home, and slowly repopulated the island. Psara became independent from Turkey and part of the modern Greek state on 21 October 1912, and in 1918 the community of Palea Psara (Κοινότητα Παλαιών Ψαρών, the Community of Old Psara) was founded at the location of the present village.
There is very little tourism on Psara, few roads, no public transport and not a lot of accommodation. Some peole may consider it paradise.
||Facts and figures
||Psara (Greek, Ψαρά)|
Its ancient name was Psyra (Ψύρα) or Psyrii (Ψυρίη)
||Psara is in the eastern Aegean Sea,|
81 km northwest of Chios town,
22 km from Melanios on the northwestern coast of Chios island,
150 km northeast of Athens
The small island of Antipsara (Αντίψαρα) is 3 km west of Psara.
Psara is also surrounded by several ininhabited islets and rocks,
the largest of which are Kato Nisi (Κάτω Νησί, Lower Island, length 1 km),
Ai Nikolakis (Αϊ Νικολάκης), Daskalio (Δασκαλειό), Mastrogiorgi (Μαστρογιώργη)
and Prasonisi (Πρασονήσι).
||(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.
The harbour village on the west coast is the only settlement.
||44.511 square kilometres|
length (north-south) 7 km, width 8 km
length of coastline 45 km
Antipsara is 3.5 km long
||Profitis Ilias (Προφήτης Ηλίας) 531 metres,|
at the north of the island
||458 (2011 census)|
Antipsara 4 (2011 census)
||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
||Mediterranean (temperate, with wet winters|
and hot, dry summers)
|Further information for Greece can be found
in our introduction to Greece pages.
There is almost no information available about
accommodation on the island, although there
are said to be a few rented rooms.
The Kato Yalos pension has 5 rooms.
Try contacting Psara Travel
for further information.
National Bank of Greece; post office Postbank
A small supermarket and a bakery
Eating and drinking
A kafenion and a few tavernas
with local fish and lobster specialities.
• the rugged, hilly, almost treeless landscape;
• the small island of Antipsara;
• beaches in sheltered coves;
• a monastery and a few churches;
• ruins of windmills, an old fort and other
buildings destroyed during the 1824
• monuments to Admiral Constantine Kanaris
and the Greek War of Independence;
• a small archaeological museum in the village;
• Archontiki Archaeological Park,
on the west of the island.
No information about opening times is available.
||Addresses & telephone numbers
Municipality of Psara
Tel: +30 22740 61101
website: dimospsaron.gr (Greek and English,
with information about the island's history,
sights and beaches)
Psara Travel, travel agency
82104 Psara, Chios, Greece
Tel: +30 22740 61351
website: psaratravel.gr (Greek and English)
Police Station +30 22740 61222
Coast Guard +30 22740 61336
Post Office +30 22740 61097
Archaeological Park, Archontiki
+30 22740 61355
||How to get to Psara
|Airport: there is no airport on the island, although there is a helipad.
Public transport: there are no buses or taxis on the island.
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 Psara are operated by NEL Lines www.nel.gr and SAOS Ferries www.saos.gr.
NEL Lines ferries to / from Psara
Lavrio (southeast of Athens) 2 per week (6 hour 30 minutes)
Agios Efstratios 2 per week (5 hours)
Kavala 2 per week (12 hour 40 minutes)
Limnos 2 per week (6 hour 50 minute)
SAOS Ferries to / from Psara
Lavrio - Psara - Sigri Lesbos - Limnos - Sigri Lesbos - Psara - Lavrio
Ferries to / from Chios
A small ferry crosses between Psara and Chios Town (3 hours 30 minutes) every day
except Saturday when it runs between Psara and Mesta Limenas (2 hours),
a small port in southwestern Chios.
Further information about Greek ferries:
|Saturday ferries between Psara and Mesta (2 hours)|
If you have further information about travelling to Psara, please get in contact.
Interactive map of the North Aegean islands
Colour key for Greek island groups (west-east)
See also our interactive map of Greece.
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