During antiquity it was known as Thenousa or Denousa. Foreign sailors had named it Stenosa and Spinosa while Vergulius referred to it as “Viridem.”
We know it as Donousa, a constituent of the Small Cyclades which along with Amorgos compose the eastern most islands in the Cyclades.
Donousa covers 13,5 km² in area and its tallest peak is 385 metres.
The last national census in Greece in 2001, reported 163 permanent inhabitants.
Travel from Amorgos is 24 nautical miles and 8 nautical miles from the eastern coast of Naxos to reach Stavros, the island’s main port and capital adorned by its protected bay and tranquil beach.
The island was first inhabited in the 3rd century B.C., during the Early Cycladic Period. We have no reason to doubt these findings as the ancient settlements unearthed here have confirmed the speculations.
Donousa flourished during the Geometric Period. Inhabitants at Vathi Limenari specifically, had enjoyed the splendor of this island from the 10th century B.C. This is where a Geometric Settlement and cemetery were discovered.
From that time on, signs of island civilization are unclear. According to some, it was a place for exiles during the 2nd century B.C. when Romans occupied the Cyclades as well as being a hideaway for pirates.
Donousa was under the jurisdiction of the Venetian Duke from the 13th to 16th centuries A.D. until its seizure from the Ottomans.
During the Ottoman Empire, once a year, a Turkish ship would moor in order to collect taxes.
At the turn of the 19th century our island became a summer grazing ground for many shepherds from Aigiali, Amorgos, and eventually by about 1830, these shepherds remained permanently and began cultivating the land.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were 3,000 inhabitants most of whom were working in the mines that were operational up until 1938.
Today there are few inhabitants yet they are the epitome of less is more.
Despite the small population, island has an elementary school, a junior high school and senior high school.
The principal occupations are animal husbandry, fishing and tourism.
Although Donousa is a small island, there are abundant beaches and each one has its own wonderment.
Some of them are reachable by footpaths.
The only way to reach all of them is to have a boat at your disposal.
It’s always nice to save something for your next visit just to have an excuse to come again knowing you have some unfinished sightseeing to do…
Otherwise each beach demands ample time.
The Others Islands: