1. Location, geomorphology, flora

Islet of the eastern Aegean, also known as Marathonisi. It is one of the Αrkoi group islands, located northwest of Patmos and 9 miles away from the Skala port. It is actually located between Arkoi, the largest island of the group, and the smaller islets Strongyli and Gryllousa.

The eastern part of the island is the only accessible one, where the Marathi bay with a weatherproof port is also located. The bedrock is mostly shaly, while its shores are steep and abrupt, save the eastern part.

Bushy vegetation is dominant on the island, with its eastern part being the only arboraceous one. Marathi was named after the plant marathi (fennel), which one rarely sees nowadays due to excessive stock farming. A research station, constructed thus so that it could also work as an observatory for surrounding islands and islets, has been operating on the islet over the past years. At the same time, the islet is also a Marine Life Preservation Centre.

2. Archaeological remnants – current condition

The islet is also of archaeological interest. At its top, there is a quadrangular, vaulted building with an airway on its roof, dating from Byzantine times. Such buildings can also be found on other islands of the Dodecanese. Within the same area, one can also see remnants of houses, as well as of agricultural activities, e.g. a thresh and a subterranean, circular structure used as a storeroom. The islet’s settlement was located there up to the late 20th century, when it was moved to the east and to a lower altitude. The small church dedicated to Agios Nikolaos, also built at the same location, is probably the oldest one in the whole group of islands. Nowadays, Marathi’s resident population comprises of less than a dozen, but grows during the summertime.

The islet has been included in a special programme aiming to protect the ecology of the islands and islets of the Aegean and has been declared a Refuge of Wild Life.