Agios Efstratios Island!

by Admin

The local people in Agios Efstratios Island or Saint Eustratius know their island as Ai-Stratis.

It is about 30 kilometres at the southwest of Limnos. The island stretches to 43 square kilometres and there are about 371 people in this island.

The residents rely on wind and solar generated energy and use bicycles and electronic cars.

The Development Minister in Greece Kostis Hatzidakis said in an international environmental conference in Athens in June 2009 the Island of Agios Efstratios would become a green island entirely powered by renewable energy sources.

The European Union listed the green island of Aghios Efstratios in its framework of the protected Natural areas of 2000.

The authorities used Agios Efstratios Island as a political exile in the 9th century. It takes the name of the first exiled Greek, Saint Eustratius.

It also became exile during and after the Second World War. The Greek musician Mikis Theodorakis and the Greek poets Kostas Varnalis and Giannis Ritsos were exiled here too.

The Island of Agios Efstratios is somewhat isolated but it receives few curious visitors sometimes, coming by the local ferry Aiolis or by the ferries that run between the beautiful Limnos Island, Kavala and Rafina to enjoy the beaches and walk in the green quiet island.

However, from the port of Aghios Efstratios on the northeastern coast ferries runs between the island and Sigri, Thessaloniki, Kymi, Samothraki, Psara and Lavrio via other islands on the Aegean Sea.

There are few roads, few cars and few beaches on the coast of the island. Many villagers emigrated from the hamlet of Ai-Stratis following the earthquake that hit it in February 21, 1968 to Australia and some other places.

There is a dark volcanic sandy beach in the hamlet. The second beach is the long beach of Alonitsi at the northeast of the islet. The third is the beach of Lidario on the west of Agios Efstratios Island. The hamlet has also some rooms for rent.

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