Lichadonisia: The Greek Bahamas

Lichadonisia

Lichadonisia or Lichades (Λιχαδονήσια) is a utopian complex of small, serene, deserted islands in Northeast Evia.

The unspoiled nature and pristine beaches of Lichadonia make it an exotic paradise waiting to be discovered, beckoning those travellers with a desire to escape and explore.

Located just off Evia, this relatively lesser-known archipelago is a picturesque treasure with emerald waters and lush, green landscapes.

History and Mythology

Sometimes known as the Greek Bahamas or the Greek Seychelles, the cluster consists of seven islands and islets along with some small reefs known as Pondikonisia. It was formed by an earthquake in 426BC when the land between them sank into the Euboean Sea.

According to Greek mythology, the name of the island cluster comes from Lichas, the servant of Hercules. When Hercules’ wife Deianira became jealous of his lover Iole, Lichas brought the poisoned Shirt of Nessus to Hercules on her behalf to the mythical hero, ultimately causing his death. Upon realising what Lichas had done, Hercules hurled him into the ocean, whereby Poseidon, god of the sea, turned his scattered parts into the small islands of Lichadonisia.

The islands are one of the suggested locations for the Battle of the Echinades (322 BC), one of the naval battles of the Lamian War (323–322 BC), fought between the Macedonian and the Athenian naval forces, which ended the reign of the Athenian thalassocratic empire.

Greek Bahamas Lichadonisia or Lichades
Hercules and Lichas (Pavel Sorokin, 1849).

The Lichades Islands

The largest of the Lichades islands is called Manolia and the remaining six islands are Strongyli, Mikri Strongyli, Steno, Vagia, Vorias and Limani.

Although the largest in the complex, the island is tiny so it can quickly become quite busy in peak season.  It boasts a beautiful, organised beach and a busy beach bar.

Manolia is the only one of the islands that was inhabited in the past, however the tiny settlement has since been forsaken. Traces of houses and walls remain, along with the remnants of an ancient Christian basilica that lie on the island’s seabed, as well as the church of Agios Georgios on the northeast of Monolia isle and the churches of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Grigorios on the northeast side of Megali Strongyli island.

Strongyli is the second largest island and atop there stands a large lighthouse that has been in operation since 1910.

LichadonisiaLichadonisia

Lichadonisia Strongyli lighthouse
Strongyli lighthouse

Sailing and Glass Bottomed Boat Tours

Many tourists chose to take the 20-minute tour around the island in a glass-bottomed boat to observe and admire the marine wildlife and the occasional Monk seal.

Lichadonisia

Shipwreck and Diving Tours

The rich marine life of the waters of Lichadonisia makes it a sought after destination for diving and some spearfishing. Scuba divers can explore the shipwreck of Lichadonisia, which lies at a depth of 6 metres from the surface.  A variety of diving excursions can be organised through the Lichadonisia Lichadonisia Diving Centre in Agios Georgios, Euboea.

Lichadonisia

Mediterranean Monk Seals

Visitors to Lichadonisia are often fortunate enough to sight the beloved family Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus Monachus) who have chosen Lichadonisia as their permanent residence for the past few years. The appearances of the graceful seals are frequent during the day,  their poses for skilled photographers particularly impressive. The Monachus Monachus are among the most endangered mammals in the world.

Alonissos monk seal

Getting There

Lichadonisia can be reached easily by boat from either Kamena Vourla on the mainland of Greece or from Kavos  on the nearby Greek island of Evia

Lichadonisia

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