General Information on Psara
Psara island is situated in the Aegean Sea, west of Chios, has a surface area of about 43km² and is inhabited by approximately 400 people.
Psara is the largest of an island cluster that includes seven islets. The smaller islands include Antipsara, uninhabited today, Kato Nisi, Aye Nikolaki, Daskalio, Psaronisi and Nisopoula. Together, they make a suitable place for peaceful and relaxing vacation. Psara is nowadays a popular holiday destination in Eastern Aegean, with a lovely selection of accommodation, traditional hotels, rooms to let and excellent taverns.
History of Psara
The island has been inhabited since the Mycenaean period, and its inhabitants have always relied on the sea to make a living. Little is known about the ancient history of the islands but it seems that for a period of time, during the Middle Ages, the islands were deserted. Some Greek families from Thessaly and other islands settled here in the 15th and 16th centuries in an attempt to avoid the Turkish raids. Later, Psara became the third force in the commercial navy, after Hydra and Spetses.
During the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman occupation, the island played a key role. People of Psara destroyed many Turkish naval units under the command of captains such as Papanikolis, Kanaris and Pipions. Psara paid a heavy price for the help they provided during the Revolution. Unable to beat them at sea, the Turks destroyed the island, slaughtering or capturing the population, despite their heroic resistance, on 24 June 1824. The few inhabitants who escaped found shelter in Monemvassia.
After the liberation of Greece many of them returned to the island to live there permanently. For the first 100 years after the liberation of Greece, Psara had the privilege to elect two parliamentary members, in acknowledgement of its offer during the War of Independence. Since 1946, this privilege was withdrawn; however, to honor the island, the town is a Municipality despite its size.
Towns & Villages in Psara
There is only one inhabited settlement on the island of Psara. It is a small seafront village and the port of the island, very quiet. The houses are built according to local traditional architecture, with public buildings that reveal the glorious past of Psara. Visitors may find a few hotels and rooms to rent, as well as some taverns and traditional cafes.
Beaches in Psara
The island has a few nice beaches. None of them is organized but all of them are quiet and have crystal clear waters.
Top Things to Do in Psara
1. The archaeological Museum: The museum is located in the small fishing village of the island and contains findings from excavations on the island. Among them are pots and amphorae that were used in the ancient city that is believed to be beneath the village.
2. The Church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas): The church is situated at the top of a small hill in the village of Psara. Construction of this uniquely shaped basilica church started in 1785 and was completed in 1793. The panoramic view from the church is amazing.
3. Dormition of Virgin Mary: This monastery was built in the 16th century and played an important role in the revolution of 1821. One year after the break of the revolution, the Turks destroyed it. However, monk Athanasios restored it in 1880-90. Every year on 1 August, the inhabitants of the island bring the icon of Dormition to the town, and conduct prayers in their houses.
Getting Around in Psara
There is no bus service and no taxis.
Weather in Psara
Psara have a typical Mediterranean climate, with strong north and northwest winds and mild temperatures which do not exceed 29 degrees Celsius. Winter is short and rainy, and summer is hot with few rainfalls.
Top 10 Destinations in Psara
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Map of Psara