The North Aegean
islands are a wide spread group of islands also known as the
Northeast Aegean islands. They mostly belong to Greece some
of them however are Turkish. Compare the places like
Dodecanese or the Cyclades tourism still is slow but it is
growing. The seven larger islands of this group are Chios,
Lesbos, Limnos, Icaria, Samos, Samothrace and Thasos.
The larger islands also have an airport with a daily
connection to Athens; often enough there are direct charter
flights from the UK as well. To get to the northern islands
by boat you'd normally best go to Thessaloniki. As for
Icaria, Chios and Samos Athens (Piraeus) might be the better
choice. The islands in the north are sometimes also reached
from the next bigger settlement on the mainland.
Turkey claims most of these islands as theirs. Needless to
say that these claims repeatedly led to tension between
Greece and Turkey. On some of them the Greeks have large
military bases. You never know although you don't have to
expect any trouble. Since Turkey wants to join the EU they
calmed down a lot.
Samos is birthplace of the most famous
ancient mathematician Pythagoras. We all remember him and his
famous theorem. He is also known as the father of numbers. In
ancient times Samos was an important centre of the Greek
world. The museum in Samos capitol Vathy therefore worth's
visiting. If you go there to be on your own best stay south.
From Samos you can go directly to Turkey (Kusadasi).
Picture: © marekz99 - Fotolia.com
Chios is a relatively large island with a large population
and very little tourism. The capitol is not exactly pretty
and not particularly interesting either. A lot more exciting
is the "new monastery" 10 kilometres outside of the main
settlement. It hosts the most famous collection of mosaics in
Lesbos was an important centre of philosophy and poetry in
the ancient world. There a couple of very interesting museums
in the capitol. Highly recommended is the Archaeological and
the Theophilos museum. The latter is the most famous Greek
painter of the 20th century.
Lesbos and Chios are both to be reached from Athens; either
by boat or plain.
Tourism in Samothrace only developed in the past 20 years. It
has a few excavations and is hikers' paradise. To get there
take a boat from Kavala on the mainland.
Thasos is well known for its marble. It has beautiful
beaches und the locals are very hospitable. It is the ideal
destination for a family holiday. To get there take a boat
from Kavala. It is a 2 to 3 hour trip.
© m-pictures - Fotolia.com
Icaria is well known for the hot spring "Therma". Since an
airport was built tourism is growing. To get there take a
boat from Athens or Samos.
Lemnos is the eight-biggest Greek island but has very little
tourism. If you are looking for genuine island life this is
an interesting lace to check out. The airport is a little to
big but quite modern. Another way to get there is the ferry
from Kavala, Alexandroupoli or Thessaloniki on the mainland.