Arki Apkoi

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Tiny Arki, 5km north of Lipsi, is hilly, with shrubs but few trees. Its only settlement, the litde west-coast port, is also called Arki. Islanders make a living from fishing and tourism.

There is no post office or police on the island, but there is one cardphone. Away from its litde setdement, the island seems almost mystical in its peace and stillness.

The Church of Metamorfosis stands on a hill behind the setdement. From its terrace are superb views of Arki and its surrounding islets. The cement road between Taverna Try-pas and Taverna Nikolaos leads to the path up to the church. The church is locked, but ask a local if it's possible to look inside.

Several secluded sandy coves can be reached along a path skirting the right side of the bay. To reach the path, walk around the last house at the far right of the bay, go through a litde wooden gate in the stone wall, just near the sea, and continue ahead.

Tiganakia Bay on the southeast coast has a good sandy beach. To walk there from Arki village, take the cement road that skirts the north side of the bay. Tiganakia Bay is reached by a network of goat tracks and lies at the far side of the headland. You'll recognise it by the incredibly bright turquoise water and the offshore islets.

Arki has three tavernas, two of which have quite comfortable rooms; bookings are necessary in July and August. First up, 0 Trypas Taverna & Rooms (§ 22470 32230; [email protected]; d €35) is to the right of the quay, as you face inland, and has 16 rooms available. Suggested dishes (mains €5 to €7) at the taverna are fasolia mavromatika (black-eyed beans) and pastos ton Tr)pa (salted fish). Nearby Taverna Nikolaos Rooms (§ 22470 32477; d €35) is the second option. The food (mains €5 to €7.50) is not much different here; try the potatoes au gratin or stuffed peppers with cheese, or the local goat cheese called sfina, which is like a milder form of feta.

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