Things to do in Psara include exploring its rocky coastline, visiting its churches and museums. Other sights worth seeing include the house of Konstantinos Kanaris and the historic rock of Mavri Rachi.
The beautiful beaches on Psara, such as Kato Gialos and Lakka are not organised so bring your own umbrella, towel and food for the day. You can also visit the beach of Palaiokastro, with its impressive ruins and Holocaust memorial.
1. Visit the Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary
The monastery of Dormition of Virgin Mary is the most important ecclesiastical site on Psara. Its most significant heirloom is the icon of Virgin Mary signed by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and also known as the Virgin of Psarians. The monks that saved it from destruction during the catastrophe of 1824 took it to Syros and now it can be seen in the church of the Assumption there.
The sole inhabited village on the island has a charming character with low ceilinged houses spread around its homonymous port. Wander through the narrow streets of the village to admire its beauty. Other interesting sights are the House of Konstantinos Kanaris and the church of Agios Nikolaos. Moreover, Psara offers quiet and empty sandy beaches which can be found to the northwest of the village. Snorkelling and spearfishing are popular activities on the island.
2. Take a Hike
Hiking is a great way to explore the natural beauty of an area. It is also a great exercise.
Psara and its uninhabited sister island Antipsara are part of an island cluster that features the isles of Ai Nikolaki, Daskalio, Kato Nisi, Nisiopoula, and Prasonisi. The sole inhabitant isle of Psara resides within this cluster and its residents make their living from fishing, as the rocky terrain of the island prevents cultivation.
A good hiking route starts from the village of Psara and leads to the south coast of the island, towards the peninsula of Paleokastro and the hill of Mavri Rahi. A second great route begins at the northern shore of the island and leads to the Monastery of the Dormition of Virgin Mary. The pristine beaches of the island are also suitable for snorkelling and spearfishing lovers.
3. Visit the Monastery of Varvakis
Psara is a unique island with a mystical atmosphere. It is known for the role it played in the Greek Revolution and the heroes that were born there. Despite its historic importance, the island sees very little tourism and has few roads, no public transport and limited accommodation.
A popular attraction on the island is the monastery of Varvakis. The church, dedicated to Agios Nikolaos, was built from 1785 until 1793. It houses an icon that was saved from the catastrophe and a library with rare books.
Another highlight is the Palaiokastro castle, which was built in the 15th century. It offers stunning views over the island and is worth a visit. While on the island, make sure to try some of the mouthwatering seafood and traditional local delicacies, such as stuffed goat and the delicious cheese kopanisti.
4. Visit the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos
Psara may be a tiny dot in the sea, but it has more than enough attractions to keep travellers busy. For a start, visit the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos and admire its 16th-century wall paintings. The monastery played a major role in the revolution of 1821, and it was lovingly restored after its destruction.
The monastery is also home to a number of holy relics, including the jaw of Agios Kosmas and the thigh of Saint James. Other notable landmarks on the island include the House of Konstantinos Kanaris, which is located near Chora, and the monument to the massacre at Mavri Rachi.
If you are a fan of nature, make sure to spend a day on the neighbouring islet of Antipsara, where you can swim in crystal-clear waters. You can even camp on a deserted beach and enjoy the starry night sky from your tent.
5. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
Psara is a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to enjoy traditions and relaxation combined with beautiful virgin beaches. You can also try local delicacies such as mizithra and Kopanisti cheese or the lobster in the island’s taverns. Also, don’t miss trying the thyme honey and the sweet of marriage which are traditional recipes of the island.
The main town of the island is called Chora and it spreads around the homonymous port. While strolling the narrow alleys you will see houses with low roofs and traditional decorations. You should also visit the house of Konstantinos Kanaris and the Monastery of Stavros. The monastery has an impressive katholikon and a library with old manuscripts.
During your stay on the island you should also take a day trip to the rocky islet of Antipsara. The beach on this island is famous for its crystalline waters.
6. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
The evocative island of Psara offers visitors a precise dose of serenity and splendour. Its residents have a helpful disposition and the quiet sandy beaches are hardly ever crowded. One of the best is Kato Gialos, a beach that is popular for its local beach volley tournament. Another stunning beach is Lazaretta with its fine sand and seashells, which is located south of the village.
The sole inhabited village is located on the west side of the island and spreads around its homonymous harbour. Visiting it is a must, as its architecture maintains its traditional character and the cobblestone alleys are lovely to walk on. Other interesting sights are Palaiokastro, the Church of Agios Nikolaos and the House of Konstantinos Kanaris. In addition, one cannot miss a visit to the beach of Mavri Rahi, which has a special significance for Psara and its people.
7. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
With the only inhabited village on the island, Psara offers an authentic experience. Its calm beaches are scattered around the port, while the western coast is home to Lakka beach, which boasts fine sand and shallow waters.
The rocky landscape of the island makes it difficult for cultivation, so locals make a living from fishing and tourism. Visitors will find the taverns offering fresh fish and lobster pasta incredibly tasty. They will also enjoy mizithra cheese and kopanisti dip, as well as thyme honey which connoisseurs consider to be the pinnacle of the Mediterranean region.
You can take a day trip to Antipsara, a rocky island that is home to one of the most amazing beaches in Greece. It is also possible to kayak around the island and visit other nearby islets, or even spend a night in one of the deserted beaches.
8. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
At the monastery, visit a gilded wood-carved pulpit and impressive throne. The monastery also houses an impressive library of old books and letters.
You can find some beautiful calm beaches on Psara, but the best ones are located northwest of the village. Lakka beach is one of the largest on the island and it has fine sand and shallow waters. The beach of Fteliou is another popular choice as it has a unique beauty with sand and pebbles.
If you are up for a challenge, rent a kayak and explore the rocky islands of Psara. You can also spend the night on a deserted beach, which will be an experience you won’t forget. Be sure to try some of the local thyme honey, which is famous for its exquisite taste. It makes the perfect souvenir. You can also try some of the traditional local delicacies, such as stuffed goat.
9. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
A monastery dedicated to the Holy Cross. Its name, Stavrovouni, combines two Greek words: ‘stavros’ (cross) and ‘vouno’ (mountain). The monastery is located on the peak of a rocky mountain. Its view is stunning.
Other attractions of the village include the house of Konstantinos Kanaris, a hero of the Revolution of 1821 and later prime minister and admiral. A church dedicated to Saint Nikolaos is also worth visiting. It was built between 1785 and 1793.
Psara also offers beautiful calm beaches. Katsouni beach is located next to the port and is popular among families. Another beautiful beach is Lazaretta, which is larger with fine sand and crystal waters. It is also located on the western side of the island. A trip to Psara is not complete without trying the local thyme honey. It is known to have a divine taste.
10. Visit the Monastery of Stavros
The small island cluster of Psara includes the deserted isles of Antipsara, Ai Nikolaki, Prasonisi, Daskalio, and Kato Nisi. You can rent a boat and spend the night on one of these beaches, or simply swim in their crystal clear waters.
The only village on the island is called Psara, and it will take you back in time with its narrow streets and stone houses. You should visit the church of Agios Nikolaos, as well as the house of Kanaris, a hero of the Greek Revolution.
Psara is also home to some beautiful beaches, including Lakka beach, which has fine sand and shallow water. Snorkelling is another popular activity on the island, with its crystal clear waters and rich marine life. You can hire snorkelling equipment in one of the local shops.