North Aegean Islands
Discover the Emerald Treasures
Although many of the islands are relatively well known, all of them are an ideal holiday destination with a Greek character. Among them are Chios, Lesvos, Samos, Thassos islands with immense beaches, crystal clear waters and unique natural landscapes.
Each island has its own beauty and charm and offers its guests an alternative proposition, against the crowds and a wide variety of suggestions that have the biggest and popular islands.
These are the most popular islands of Greece, where the visitor can enjoy a peaceful holiday, and relax away from the stress of everyday life.
Also known as the Northeast Aegean islands, they are the closest to the Turkish coast to the East and although they do not a have a ‘strong’ common physical connection, they are often grouped together for tourist or administrative purposes.
Limnos or Lemnos is the northernmost, with a mountainous landscape intercepted by expansive lush valleys. The island also boasts a lacy coastline, while the islet of Agios Efstratios to its Southwest features golden beaches and the only desert in Europe. Myrina, crowned with a wonderful castle (Kastro) is the principal town in Limnos and the center of all trade thanks to its excellent harbor. The island’s most famous product is a dry table wine with an unusual semi-sweet flavor.
The largest island of the group and the third largest in Greece is Lesvos or Lesbos. It’s often called the Emerald Island, due to its variety of flora, mainly olive and fruit trees, pine and oak forests. On its western part, one can visit the world’s second largest petrified forest of Sequoia, which has been declared a Protected Natural Monument. The fossilized plants are silicified remnants of a sub-tropical forest that existed there some 20-15 million years ago.
The island’s capital city is Mytilini, with a beautiful port and an impressive old fortress. The town of Eresos was the birthplace of the ancient poetess Sappho, whose verses address emotionally the same sex, and are therefore interpreted as expressing homosexuality (hence the word lesbian).
Just seven kilometers off the Turkish coast is situated the island of Chios, world famous for its unique mastic gum. Chios also claims to be the fatherland of Homer. Its arid and mountainous landscape forced its people to turn to seafaring, so the island today has a strong merchant’s shipping community and is the home of some to one of the biggest ship-owning fraternities in Greece. The island’s main town is also called Chios or Chora.
Further to the South is the remarkably fertile island of Samos, covered to a large part with vineyards which produce the famous local wine of the Vathy variety, with a dry Muscat taste. Samos is the fatherland of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras, of Aesop, author of the famous ancient fables, the philosopher Epicurus and the astronomer Aristarchus. The island’s biggest town is Samos City, with the biggest port Vathy at a close distance. The name of Ikaria to the south-west of Samos was derived from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who fell into the sea nearby while attempting to fly away from Crete with wax made wings. The island is offered for relaxation, with wonderful beaches and small villages, while there are two sites worth visiting, the temple of Artemis at Nas amidst a splendid natural setting and the ancient spa town of Therma with hot mineral springs of miraculous healing powers.
Northeast Aegean Islands Attractions
The north Aegean islands consist of the islands of Samos, Chios, Ikaria, Fournoi, Oinousses, Psara, Lesvos, Agios Efstratios and Limnos. This group also includes Thassos, which from a geographic point of view is part of Eastern Macedonia of southern Greece.
The beautiful natural scenery, the crystal clear waters, the traditional villages with the stone houses, the dense vegetation, transform all the northeast Aegean islands into an ideal destination for a calm and relaxing holiday. The beautiful lacy beaches with the clean seas, the hospitality of the residents and the enchanting natural landscape will offer you endless memories and unforgettable moments.
You can visit archaeological museums, castles, monasteries, and chapels that will take you back to old times. It should be noted that the islands of the Northeast Aegean were the threshold of the union of Asia Minor Hellenism and Greece. The story begins centuries back when the islands of the North East Aegean were the center of economic and cultural development. Chios Island is a very popular island that attracts visitors from all over the world to enjoy authentic Greek holidays. Samos is also a destination ideal for the whole year. It has many interesting places where one can have fun and experience unforgettable moments.