Alonnisos rises from the sea in a mountain of greenery, with stands of Aleppo pine, kermes oak, mastic and arbutus bushes, vineyards, olive and fruit trees, threaded with perfumy patches of wild herbs. The west and north coasts are steep and rocky, while the east is speckled with bays and pebble-and-sand beaches. Alonnisos has had its share of bad luck; in 1952, a thriving wine industry collapsed when vines imported from California were infested with phylloxera insects. Robbed of their livelihood, many people moved away. Then, in 1965, an earthquake destroyed the hilltop capital of Old Alonnisos. Inhabitants were rehoused at Patitiri, which has since evolved into a quaint island port; 11km to the north is the seaside village of Steni Vala. The most recent trouble was in early 2017, when storms destroyed a third of the island's trees; many inhabitants decamp to Athens for the surprisingly harsh winter season. Blessed with rugged natural landscapes, and surrounded by small islands scattered around the archipelagos, Alonnisos is an island ideal for those you want to unwind and enjoy leisure walks surrounded by pine forests, olive groves and orchards. The island is the most remote of the Northern Sporades island group, and plays host to the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades, a refuge for rare seabirds, dolphins and the Mediterranean monk seal, monachus monachus. “Ikos”, as was named the island in antiquity, was first inhabited by Stafylos (meaning grape), the son of Dionysus and Ariadne. This myth explains the island’s strong bonds with viticulture from ancient times until today. Urns bearing the stamp “IKION” were exported all around the ancient world confirming the island’s great fame as excellent wine-producing region. According to the myth, Pileas, the father of Achilles, was buried on Alonissos. This is the reason why the island’s second name is “Achilliodromia”. Different versions of this name have survived throughout the years: “Hiliodromia”, “Liadromia”, “Diadromia”.