Welcome to my travel guide on Arkoi! My name is Elena Vafeiadi and I’m a 28 year old citizen of the world currently living in Athens (where I also grew up). I’m a Yoga Teacher and Marketing Content Creator, and I couldn’t imagine ever spending my summertime away from the Greek Islands. For many years, my passion has been to island hop in these beautiful islands.
My parents have been vacationing in Arkoi for six years and they inspired me to visit. Recently, I wanted to spend some time with my loved ones enjoying this slice of paradise. So this was my fourth time visiting Arkoi and I stayed for a week – enjoying the peaceful vibe of the island, relaxing in the sun, and spending time at the beach sunbathing and swimming.
Of course, Greek food is always a plus on the island with delicious fresh fish and homemade cuisine available at the couple of little tavernas. Arkoi is considered to be one of the smallest Greek Islands, and so my favorite experience this year was exploring the island from side to side by boat.
What Makes Arkoi a Unique Island
The island of Arkoi is situated near Patmos (a bigger island in the Aegean) and what makes it unique is the location. Surrounding yourself by the sea is a must for those who want to recharge and enjoy a picturesque spot.
My favorite place in Arkoi is Tiganakia Beach. It’s one of the two main beaches that the island has to offer. Here you can enjoy the sun, the stillness of time and spend your days swimming in clear waters. What makes it even more special is that it’s walking distance from the main center of the island – hence isolation under the trees and hot Greek sun.
Top 6 Things To Do in Arkoi
Visiting Arkoi is always a unique experience but there isn’t a massive list of things to do here as the island is small and it’s made more for relaxation. If I could name just six of the best things to do, they would be the following:
- Enjoy a Meal at Trypas Taverna: Pronounced “trepas”, this taverna offers all the traditional goodies that Katrina and Maria cook including fresh fish, local meat dishes and cheese directly from their own farm.
- Tour the Island by Boat: You can either choose the tourist boats that go around Arkoi daily or you can rent your own boat from Patmos and then explore nearby islands, swim away from the coast and enjoy a day of sightseeing at some of the most amazing places in the Aegean.
- Walk around the Island: Because of its small size, Arkoi is quite an easy place to enjoy a walk around the whole island. If I could share just one tip in regards to this it would be to walk around the island during sunset – the most amazing time of the day on any Greek Island.
- Have a Cup of Greek Coffee at Periklis Faliraki: One of the new tavernas on the island that is located near the port where you can enjoy a hot cup of Greek coffee and homemade sweets. Do this while gazing at the boats and blue scenery that this Dodecanese island has to offer.
- Go Swimming at the Beach: This island only has two main beaches but they are both amazing! They are called Tiganakia Beach and Patelia Beach and both have the bluest waters you will ever see. Rest under the shade of the trees, meditate in the sun, go swimming and read a book.
- Spend a Night on the Island: Many people chose to visit the island on a day trip but this paradise deserves at least one overnight stay. I would highly recommend spending the night here so you can experience the traditional Greek nightlife with good music, food and wine.
Local Life on this Dodecanese Island
During the winter months there are only 20 locals who stay on the island permanently but in summer the island is full of life again. Since Arkoi is tiny, you can only find three places to stay and they are more like Greek style houses/rooms than luxurious hotels. There are no villages but you can find everyone at the Platia which is the center or Chora of the island.
Arkoi also has a few small churches (like every Greek Island), attractions such as the Italian Fort (Arkoi Ruins) and a boutique selling handmade products and jewellery. In fact, this is the only shop located on the island!
Where to Stay in Arkoi
My favorite place to stay in Arkoi is Evdokia’s Rooms – known as Petrina of Evdokia (which translates to “small rocky houses”). This place is located at the highest point of the island with epic sea views. These small rooms made of rocks are decorated and ready to welcome guests for their stay.
Evdokia, the lady who manages the rooms, is very kind. She will offer you handmade koulourakia (Greek dessert) and other goodies, and help you get set up in your rooms. Evdokia will even pick you up from the port to her accommodation. Did I mention that cars are pretty much forbidden on the island? This makes the island so much more peaceful.
My Best Experiences in Arkoi
My best experiences in Arkoi are when I take trips to the islands of Marathis and Lipsi – going by boat, exploring the islands and practicing meditation during sunset by the sea. Patelia Beach is where I go in the afternoons to clear my mind and breathe fresh air. After that, moments with family and friends in tavernas eating food and drinking wine are special.
Need to Know Before you Go
Prepare yourself for quiet and peaceful moments away from crowds and luxurious things. You can travel to Arkoi by ferry from Patmos, which is reached from the Port of Piraeus. That whole trip takes around 11 hours. Otherwise, you can fly by plane from Athens to Samos and then take the ferry to Arkoi. It sounds like a huge trip but trust me it’s worth it!
Bear in mind that cars on the island are useless. The roads are narrow and distances are small, meaning you can easily walk from one place to another. As I mentioned, you won’t find any luxury hotels but rather traditional Greek houses/rooms which make the experience authentic.
It can get chilly and windy even during summer, so make sure you pack a jacket but not too many warm clothes because you will need your swimwear and flip flops. Ensure you have everything you need before leaving Patmos or Samos as the island only has one mini market with a minimum amount of products. Locals can help you with stuff if need be.