Just a breath away from the Asia Minor coast, in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, five big islands (Ikaria, Samos, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios) and some smaller ones (Agios Efstratios, Agios Minas, Antipsara, Thymaina, Oinousses, Samiopoula, Fournoi and Psara) offer you exciting holiday options.
Despite their distance from mainland Greece, they have grown into popular destinations thanks to frequent ferry and flight connection.
Discover fascinating green landscapes, crystal clear waters, beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, traditional villages and a rich history on each island.
According to the myth, Daedalus (father) and Icarus (son) flew over the Aegean Sea wearing waxed feather wings. During the flight, Icarus ignored his father’s advice not to fly close to the sun. When he approached the sun his waxed wings melted, he fell and drowned in the sea off the island coast.
Apart from sun-drenched beaches, Ikaria has a great variety of archaeological sites, natural monuments (part of the European NATURA 2000 network), traditional villages, hot springs known since antiquity, and endemic species of fauna and flora for the visitor to explore. Open air festivals and sports events take place here throughout the year, so don’t miss the chance to live this experience.
Learn more about Ikaria Island here.
The island of Hephaestus (god of fire and protector of blacksmiths) is the ideal laid back holiday destination. Visit Myrina, which is the island capital and port, learn more about its interesting history and enjoy fresh fish dishes. Explore the volcanic areas and visit the island’s museums. Visit Alyki and Chortarolimni Lakes, the areas are part of the European NATURA 2000 network.
Learn more about Limnos Island here.
Sappho, one of the most famous lyric poets of ancient Greece, was born on the island of Lesvos. You will find grand beautiful houses in Mytilene, the island capital, and traditional villages across the island (Agiassos, Assomatos, Vatousa, Eresos, Mantamados, Mithymna, Petra, Plomari, Polichnitos, Sigri, Sykamia). Plomari Village is known for its top quality ouzo, which is famous across the country and around the world. Accompany your ouzo drink with sardines from Kaloni. Enjoy the hot springs at Thermi, Eftalou and Gera or walk along unspoilt, golden beaches.
Learn more about Lesvos Island here.
Chios is known as the mastic island because of this unique natural resin collected from mastic trees cultivated at the south part of the island. Explore the Mastichochoria, a group of fortified villages of great beauty built in the 14th century when the island was under Genovese rule. Mesta is a medieval heritage town with preserved towers, ancient churches and magnificent stone houses joined together with arches. Taste delicious dishes cooked with mastic, or have a sip of soumada, a traditional drink made of almonds.
Quite a few museums and traditional open air festivals reveal the island’s long history and interesting culture. Long sandy beaches, secluded or not, as well as quiet coves are also there for the visitor to explore.
Lean more about Chios Island here.
Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first to suggest that the Earth revolves around the sun.
Visit the UNESCO monuments of Pythagoreion, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments, as well as the Heraion, the temple of the goddess Hera. Attend cultural events and music festivals. Stroll around Vathy, a traditional village, and learn more about the island’s history.
Samos is a green island with many white-sand beaches and picturesque villages. The island is also well-known for its top quality natural sweet wine.
Learn more about Samos Island here.
Oinousses is a cluster of nine islands, located between Chios Island and the Erythraian Peninsula of Asia Minor. It is a quiet summer destination, an idyllic place for those who prefer underwater activities such as exploring the colourful seabed. Learn more about the centuries-old maritime tradition of the islands at the Maritime Museum. The whole island complex has been included in the European network NATURA 2000.
Learn more about Oinousses island cluster here.
The island was first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Despite its size, it played an important part during the Greek War of Independence (1821) as the local competent mariners with their ships fought for the cause next to other Greek revolutionaries. The island’s maritime power ranked third after that of Hydra and Spetses Islands. As a result, Psara holds a special place in recent Greek history. Follow the hiking trails and explore beautiful churches and monuments. Don’t forget to try the local lobster pasta dish (at affordable prices).
Learn more about Psara Island here.
Fournoi is a group of small islands that used to be a pirate hideaway. The aromatic plants and olive groves are part of a land of pristine beauty. Mediterranean monk seals, dolphins and sea turtles find refuge in the clear waters of the island.
Learn more about Fournoi islands here.
It is a small volcanic island in the northeastern Aegean Sea surrounded by Limnos, Lesvos, and Skyros islands. Visit the ruins of ancient towns surrounded by serene unspoilt nature.
The island has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI), and an Important Bird Area of Greece.
Learn more about Agios Efstratios island here.