About Donoussa, Greece

Donoussa is an island in the Lesser Cyclades group. The highest peak of the island of Donoussa is Papas at 383 meters. Papas is located in the center of the island. The rest of the island is hilly, but nothing extreme. The island usually only sees greenery during the spring months. The winds are strong throughout the year on the island of Donoussa. The southern side of the island has coves for swimming and this is the area of the island that is most developed for tourism. The capital of the island is Stavros.

In Greek mythology, Donoussa is where Dionysus (the god of wine) took Ariadne to hide her from Theseus.

Two ancient settlements have been found on the island of Donoussa, which prove habitation during the Early Cyclade period (3,000 BC). The Cycladic civilization seems to have reached it peak in the Geometric era from 1,000 – 700 BC. The evidence supporting this was the found ruins of a fortified settlement and cemetery at Vathi Limenari.

During the Roman period, the island of Donoussa was a place to send exiles. It would late become a haunt for pirates. An oral tradition says that islanders had to pay a poll-tax during the Turkish occupation. The tax was collected by a Turkish ship anchored off the bay.

Around 1830, shepherds from Aegiali (on the island of Amorgos) would settle permanently on Donoussa. Before this they would come just for the summer. Now they would rent land and cultivate it. In the early 20th century, many people living on the island of Donoussa worked in the copper, aluminum, and iron mines of Kedros. These mines were shut down in 1938.

The island of Donoussa became known around the world during World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli. The event was known as the Dardanelles Affair. A German cruiser escaped pursuit and would take refuge in the harbor of Donoussa and refuel before entering Turkey to fight on the side of Germany.

Administrative Region for Donoussa Island, Greece

South Aegean

Area of Donoussa Island, Greece

13.750 km2 (5.309 sq mi)

Population of Donoussa Island, Greece

167

Top Attractions in Donoussa Island, Greece

Church of Holy Cross – Located near the port in Town. The church is white, with a blue dome, and a tall bell tower. The Church of Holy Cross was built in 1902 to host the icon of the Holy Cross.
Caves – The island of Donoussa has two isolated caves. One on the northwestern side of the island is the Cave of the Wall. Another cave is located between the capes of Xilobatis and Aspros Kavos. On the eastern side of the island there is the Cave of Fokospilia where seals used to live, but it’s more difficult to reach, but can be done so via boat excursion.
Church of Virgin Mary – Located in Town, the church is built on a hill overlooking the village of Donoussa. The church was built in 1892. From its location you can view the island and stay for an amazing sunset.
Port Beach – Just 500 meters from Town at the port of Donoussa. Lots of amenities around the beach make it a popular area. The beach features crystal water and a sandy coast.
Livadi Beach – 5 km east of Town. This beach is secluded, surrounded by large rocks, and nudist friendly. The beach can be reached by foot or boat from the port.

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