Agios Efstratios, The 'Green' Island of the Aegean

Agios Efstratios, also known as Ai-Stratis, is an island in the northeastern Aegean Sea with 270 inhabitants (2011 census). Administratively, it belongs to the Lemnos regional unit in the North Aegean region. From 1912 until the implementation of the Kallikratis plan (2010), it was part of the Lesbos regional unit, with Mytilene as its capital.

It is the most isolated island in the archipelago and is located 18 nautical miles from Lemnos, 38 from Skyros, 42 from Lesbos, and about 48 nautical miles from Halkidiki. The island has an irregular triangular shape, an area of 49.6 square kilometers, and a coastline length of 51.6 kilometers.

Agios Efstratios is a pure and pristine place: a majestic fortress that also serves as an ideal relaxation destination. Without bustling ports, mass tourism, and beaches dominated by umbrellas and sunbeds, it will calm and captivate you. Moreover, it is an island that combines long sandy beaches with oak forests, making it appear lush.

At the same time, Agios Efstratios is a place that became widely known during the difficult years of the country's major political conflicts, as it was chosen as a place of exile.

The volcanic island, which appears to rest in the embrace of the northeastern Aegean, is an ideal refuge for those who want to escape the noise of the big cities, wishing to find themselves in a landscape with an 'exotic' feel but with a Greek signature. Upon your arrival at the quiet little harbor, where the boat will bring you from Myrina, Lemnos, you will immediately experience this sense of peace of Agios Efstratios, along with the sounds of nature and the sea. Visible wilderness and tranquility together.

The old settlement of the island was destroyed by 80% during the earthquake of 1968. Some ruined houses with red-tiled roofs, featuring a simple yet nostalgic island architecture, are undergoing renovation as some romantic and passionate owners (both new and old) wish to see the Old Town come back to life.

The new settlement, again, is located right by the sea, characterized by well-maintained small houses, courtyards with vine-covered pergolas, almond trees, lemon trees, and geraniums. This place maintains a unique luxury: simplicity. So, don't expect to find a big market here. You've arrived in a picturesque fishing village that relies on the essentials and the daily necessities.

Employment-wise

The island's residents are primarily involved in agriculture, fishing, and livestock farming, with a few businesses in the tourism sector. Agricultural activities are mainly for self-consumption (vegetables and a few pulses), and there is limited vine cultivation. Regarding fishing, there are about 15-20 professional fishermen who fish in the surrounding fishing grounds. Their boats are small (less than 12 meters), and their production amounts to around 40 tons of high-quality catches.

Despite its significant potential, livestock farming remains the main occupation for a very limited number of residents, with exclusively extensive practices, and there have been no efforts to standardize the exceptional quality products. Besides extensive self-consumption, mainly live animals are traded (there is no slaughterhouse), and traditional dairy products are produced (there is no dairy). As for tourism, there are a total of 9 businesses on Agios Efstratios that operate in the broader tourism and catering sector.

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