Makronisos (Greek: Μακρόνησος), or Makronisi, is an island in the Aegean sea, in Greece. It is located close to the coast of Attica, facing the port of Lavrio. The island has an elongated shape, 13 km (8 miles) north to south, around 500m (1,640 ft) east to west, and its terrain is arid and rocky. In ancient times the island was called Helena.
Today it is uninhabited but it was used as a prison island from the time of the Greek Civil War up until the restoration of democracy, following the collapse of the Regime of the Colonels in 1974. Because of its history, it is considered as a monument of the civil war era; therefore the island and the original structures on it are protected from alteration.
Open Water Swimming
- Makronisos is site of one of the Triple Break swims (Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims), where swimmers challenge themselves to escape by swimming at least 3 of the world's most well-known prison island swims including Le Château d’If, Fort Boyard, Devil's Island, Île de Gorée, Robben Island, Alcatraz Island, Spike Island, Rottnest Island, and Sainte-Marguerite.
- Jacques Tuset completed a prison island swim by swimming from Makronissos to Greece.