Useful Information About the North Aegean Islands
Total Area (Square KM): 3,836
Just a breath away from the Asia Minor coast, in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, we find an impressive collection of 5 big islands, Ikaría, Sámos, Límnos, Lésvos, Chíos, and 8 smaller ones, Áyios Efstrátios, Áyios Minás, Antípsara, Thýmaina, Oinoússes, Samiopoúla, Foúrnoi and Psará.
Ikaria. Here, according to the mythological tradition, Icarus, ignoring his father’s, Daedalus, advice, flew very high towards the sun; his wax feathers melted, and he fell and drowned in the sea.
Limnos. Since the 4th-3rd millennium BC, Límnos has had a remarkable network of settlements: some of them faced the Troad, while others faced the northern islands of Greece.
Lesvos. Also known as “Mytilíni”. Here, Sappho, a woman poet of ancient Greece, was born. Traditional settlements are scattered all over the island (Agiássos, Assómatos, Vatoússa, Eressós, Mantamádos, Míthymna, Pétra, Plomári, Polihnítos, Sígri, Sykamiá).
Chios or Hios.Known as the “Mastic island”. Explore the famous Mastihohória, a series of fortified villages built in the 14th century during Genovese rule. Amongst them, Mesta is a medieval treasure with preserved castle towers, ancient churches and magnificent stone houses tightly joined together with arches. Here you can enjoy delicious dishes cooked with mastic, or have a sip of soumáda, a traditional drink made of almonds.
Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Sámos, the first to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun.
Samiopoúla is the largest islet surrounding Sámos, visited by tourists mostly during the summertime.
Oinousses is a complex of nine islands, located between Híos and the Erythraia Peninsula of Asia Minor. Here, the Naval Museum is dedicated to the century-long nautical tradition of the islands.
Psara. The island was first mentioned in Odyssey, rhapsody III by the name of “Psyrie”.
Antípsara: part of the Psará island group, it is located 48 miles west of Híos. During the summertime, here you will enjoy lovely beaches and clean waters.
Fournoi. Interesting flora and fauna – aromatic plants, thyme, savory, sage, lentisk, bearberry and dwarf juniper, mandragora and olive groves form a stunning landscape.
Ayios Efstratios (called Ái Strátis) is a small volcanic island in the northeastern Aegean among Límnos, Lésvos, and Skýros. Due to its ruins of ancient cities, and serene unspoiled landscapes, the island has been declared as a Site of Community Importance (SCI), and an Important Bird Area of Greece.
Ayios Minás: an islet of the eastern Aegean which lies east of Foúrnoi, and south of Sámos. The island has been included in the European Community network NATURA 2000 as a Special Protection Area. It is also one of the Important Bird Areas of Greece.
Thýmaina is an islet located between the western part of Foúrnoi and the eastern part of Ikaría, rich in aromatic plants, savory and sage, and home to rare species of flora and fauna.