National Marine Park of Alonissos & Northern Sporades
The National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades was the first marine park established in Greece and is currently the largest marine protected area in Europe. The National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades is member of the MedPAN (Network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean). Founded in 2003 and funded within the framework of the “Environment and Sustainable Development” operational program, its management body is responsible for the preparation and implementation of the management plan relative to the Marine Park.
The efforts to protect this area began in the early 1970s. In 1986, the Prefecture of Magnesia signed the first resolution aiming to the protection of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus Monachus) and its natural habitat. These efforts were followed by a series of ministerial decisions on the protection of the local nature reserve. In 1992, the area was finally declared a “National Marine Park”. In 2007, properly trained scientific and technical staff was hired by the management body of the National Marine Park, registered in Alonissos, for the implementation of protection and research programs, as well as public awareness and sensitization campaigns. A five-year management plan is also in course of preparation.
The National Marine park is the nature reserve for a series of terrestrial and marine species living in the Mediterranean Sea, including hundreds of plants and animals, as well as remarkable archaeological and historical monuments.
From both a scientific and a cultural point of view, this is an area of great interest given the archaeological finds (shipwrecks, old monasteries and churches) dating back to the prehistoric era, the classical period or the Byzantine Empire.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy swimming and diving, take pictures, record videos, go sightseeing, walk around or observe the wildlife in areas where public access is permitted.
There are also specific marine areas where fishing is allowed for amateur fishermen. Hunting is allowed only on the island of Gioura, subject to special permission.
For detailed information on the specific regulations that are in effect to N.M.P.A.N.S. the visitor is advised to contact the Management Body of the Marine Park in Patitiri, which is the competent authority for giving permits to enter the Park as well as permissions for activities within the Park. Next to the Management Body’s office there is also the Information Center.
For any clarification, please contact the offices of the Management Body of N.M.P.A.N.S.