Donousa, an unspoiled paradise

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
Image Credit @perezaki Instagram

Donousa (Δονούσα) is an emerald island located in the southeastern Cyclades of Greece, with only 150 residents.

Although it’s small, this spectacular island is continuously featured in international media as it has one of the most beautiful beaches around the world.

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
Image Credit: Olga Charami

As tiny as it may be, there are lots of things to see and do, and if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and in need of a peaceful and authentic Greek island getaway, Donousa is for you!

*Tip: To get around, we recommended walking, catching buses or hiring a scooter, but not that there isn’t a gas station on the island.

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise

How to get to Donousa:

-From Piraeus Port (Athens): The ferry takes around 7 hours, and leaves 2 times per week by Blue Star ferries. 

-From Naxos: There is a boat called ‘Express Skopelites’ that goes to Donousa and other small islands 3 times per week, and takes around 4 hours.

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
Image Credit: Olga Charami

See and Do: 

  • Stavros beach: One of the best beaches you will find in Donousa. The water is crystal clear, the sand is beautiful and soft and the colour of the sea is green, turquoise and blue. Stavros beach also has a beach volley court, a beach bar and a few tavernas.
Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
*Stavros Beach
  • Kedros beach: This sandy, stunning beach was featured in Forbes’ 2018 list of “Top 8” most beautiful beaches around the world. It is usually protected from strong winds, and the view is gorgeous! Behind the beach, there is a family taverna and a little bar/cafe. It was at this beach, that the WW2 German ship Orion sunk, which visitors can see up close while snorkelling. Kedros beach is the only beach on Donousa where nudism and camping are also allowed.
Donousa, an unspoiled paradise 1
*Kedros Beach
  • Agios Stavros Church: Blue-domed Agios Stavros is a beautiful church worth visiting. It was built in 1902 to replace an older church that was destroyed by a heavy storm. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of the island and is the protector of the island. 
Donousa, an unspoiled paradise 2
*Agios Stavros Church
  • Fokospilia: In Greek, ‘Fokospilia’ literally means seal cave and it was named after the seals that used to find shelter here. The sea cave beneath the steep cliffs of the Cape of Moschona, is one of the most popular sights of Donoussa due to the colouring of the deep blue waters under the sun rays. It is located at the east side of the island which is only accessible by boat, and the cave is decorated with corals and stalactites. It is definitely worth the visit and dive into the turquoise waters
  • Fishing: Donoussa is filled with great fishing spots. Especially the reefs around Skoulonisi.
Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
*Fokospilia
  • Hiking: Donousa is also ideal for hiking and allows you to get acquainted with the island. You can walk almost anywhere, as it unveils its secrets, such as a robust natural spring spouting out of the rocks, an orchard in a valley, disused industrial mines, and abandoned traditional houses. Some of the old paths that connected different parts of the island have been revived again, thanks to the efforts of the local Cultural Club. There are 5 trails, which have been marked, sign posted and are easy to follow.

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise

Donousa, an unspoiled paradise
*Avli
Dining/drinks
  • Avli: One of the best restaurants on the island, serving the freshest and tastiest dishes that are prepared with a lot of imagination and flair. The atmosphere and the views are also fantastic.
  • Vegera: All day cafe located in an old stone house, in the heart of Stavros village. With Cycladic architecture, the cafe has a cosy atmosphere where visitors can enjoy a coffee, tea, fresh juices, baked pies, salads, sandwiches, traditional sweets and so much more. As the sun sets on the island, you can also enjoy a glass of selected wine or Raki, accompanied by Greek meze. Be sure to enter this cafe on an empty stomach.
  • Corona Borealis: This is a very cozy bar just in front of the beach in Stavros. It is a great place to enjoy a Frappe, go swimming at the beach, and then return for more drinks and food, as you soak up the Aegean sun and watch the sunset over the beach. 
Donousa becomes first island of the Aegean to ban all disposable plastics

In 2019, Donousa became the first island of the Aegean to ban all disposable plastics, under the SeaChange Greek Islands program.

*More on GCT: Why the Greek island of Kalymnos is the cultural treasure trove you need to visit