How to Get There
You can reach Donoussa by ferry boat in the following ways:
With the Blue Star Ferries that depart from the port of Piraeus. The frequency of service depends on the season, but it is not available every day (usually three times weekly). Travel time: 7 - 7 ½ hours Approximate ticket price: 33.50€ per passenger and 76.50€ per car Stops: Piraeus - Syros - Paros - Naxos - Iraklia - Schoinoussa - Koufonisi - Donoussa - Amorgos (Katapola)
With the legendary Skopelitis, which for years now has provided year-round daily connections between the islands of the Small Cyclades and Amorgos (Katapola/Aegiali) and Naxos. There is room for 11-12 cars in the small garage of the ship, but be sure to make reservations well in advance, and get to the port on time, because in the summer spaces are measured down to the centimeter!
Travel times and prices: Iraklia - Donoussa 2 hours and 15 minutes, price 8€/person, Schoinoussa - Donoussa 1 hour and 55 minutes, 8€/person, Koufonisi - Donoussa 1 hour and 10 minutes, 5.90€/person, Donoussa - Katapola 2 hours and 15 minutes, 6.90€/person, Donoussa - Aegiali 1 hour and 15 minutes, 6.90€/person, Donoussa - Naxos 3 hours and 40 minutes, 8€/person. Approximate price per car: 22.50€. Stops: Naxos - Iraklia - Schoinoussa - Koufonisi - Donoussa - Amorgos (Aegiali) - Amorgos (Katapola)
The most remote island of the Small Cyclades, without the protection of the mountain range of Naxos that the other islands enjoy, Donoussa is most likely to be excluded from a ship’s itinerary when it is very windy. For this reason, there is also no connection via high speed ship.
Find more information about schedules and reservations at www.digitickets.gr.
The island has a Helicopter Landing Pad.
Donoussa has an 11 kilometer paved road network that starts at the port of Stavros and ends up at Kalotaritissa. A bus that departs regularly from the port of Stavros covers this route, with intermediate stops in Kedros, Messaria, and Mersini.
But what makes Donoussa special is the comprehensive network of well marked paths that covers a significant portion of the island. In this regard, it resembles Iraklia. Indeed, there is also a very meticulous cultural association in Donoussa that had (by 2014) described five signposted trails on the island in detail. (This description can be purchased in shops on the island. We bought it at the travel agency for 5€). With a total length of 9,200 meters, these trails constitute the island's Network of Paths of Cultural Interest. Most of them used to be part of the old mule roads that covered the island and united its four villages, Stavros, Mersini, Messaria, and Kalotaritissa. A more detailed description of Donoussa’s trails can be found [here][TID:].
Other Means of Transportation
Tour boats offer daily routes (five a day during the summer months) from the port of Stavros to the exquisite beaches of Kedros and Livadi. Some of the trips (usually at 11:30 and 1:30) include a visit to the impressive Fokospilia caves in the middle of the eastern side of the island and a short swim there.
The island has many mountains, with two peaks 390 meters above sea level on Mount Papas and in Vardia. The top of Mount Papas, with its fantastic views of the Aegean, can be reached by following Path 1 toward Kalotaritissa. The climb begins to our right when we reach the highest point of the trail before the downhill walk toward Kalotaritissa. The ascent is about 450 meters, the elevation difference between this point and the peak about 100 meters.
There are not many beaches (as in Schoinoussa and Koufonisia); we recorded about ten, but they are all unique and gorgeous. Most noteworthy are the large sandy beaches in Livadi and Kedros, but also the quaint sandy beach in Fykio, the solitary and difficult to access beach in Vathy Limenari, the sandy beach of Trypiti near Kalotaritissa, and of course the main beach of Stavros, next to the port, which is ideal for an afternoon swim until sunset.
The island does not have a gas station.
There are no vehicles for rent on the island.
There is not a pharmacy on the island.
The island is wonderful for campers. There are two free campsites, in Kedros and Livadi. At both you will enjoy two magnificent beaches. Kedros is close to Stavros and to the beach, which you can reach on foot (distance from Stavros Beach 1,000 meters). In addition to the beach there is a cafe - bar, so you can easily find water and something to eat. You need your own transportation to Livadi, unless you take a bus from Mersini and then head down Path 3 (leaving the climb for the way back...) or go by boat from the port. There is no café at Livadi Beach, but food can be found in two very good tavernas in Mersini. Despite these difficulties, the beach of Livadi is unique; it is worth spending a few days of your stay there.
The island does not have many accommodations for its size (less than 30), and especially for July and August, be sure to make reservations well in advance (at least by June).
Useful Telephone Numbers
Community of Donoussa 22850-51600
Citizens’ Service Center of Donoussa 22850-29107
Regional Health Clinic 22850-51506