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Home  /  Where to go  /  Destinations  /  Greek islands  /  Northeastern Aegean islands

Northeastern Aegean Islands

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, Ikaria, Samos, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios, and 8 smaller ones, Agios Efstratios, Agios Minas, Antipsara, Thymaina, Oinousses, Samiopoula, Fournoi and Psará. Hot springs, fortress villages, rich history, delicious seafood, some of the best beaches in the Aegean are waiting to offer you memorable, and authentic experiences. 

Take a ferry or an airplane, and visit some of Greece’s most remote islands, yet breathtakingly beautiful.

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. Today, apart from sun-drenched beaches, in Ikaria you can discover archaeological sites, natural monuments (included in the European network NATURA 2000), traditional settlements, thermal springs known since antiquity, and endemic species of fauna and flora. A wide variety of religious feasts, and sport events are also organised here throughout the year.

 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. In the town of Mýrina enjoy with the locals fresh fish dishes, and explore the town’s massive volcanic rocks. Visit the island’s museums and go on a tour at the Alikí and Hortarolímni lakes (also included in the European network NATURA 2000).


Lesvos.  Here, Sappho, a woman poet of ancient Greece, was born. Traditional settlements are scattered all over the island (Agiassos, Assomatos, Vatoussa, Eressos, Mantamados, Mithymna, Petra, Plomari, Polihnitos, Sigri, Sykamia). Plomari is famous for having the best ouzo, and the strongest. Accompany a drink of ouzo with Kaloni’s superb sardines. On the island you can also find a Zen centre and other spiritual and cultural forums. Kaloni is the bird-watching capital of Europe, also rich in wild flowers. Cure yourself at thermal spas at Thermi, Efthalou and Yera. Walk also along unspoiled, golden beaches.

Chios. Known as the “Mastic island”. Explore the famous Mastihohoria, 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 soumada, a traditional drink made of almonds. Rich history, numerous museums, and religious feasts reveal this island’s long tradition in history and culture. There are always long sandy beaches, secluded or not, as well as deserted coves waiting to be discovered.


 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. Follow their footsteps, and visit numerous archaeological sites –the Heraion of Samos is a monument of World Heritage–, old monasteries and churches, and attend cultural events and music festivals. The Philosophy Conference of the University of Athens is also organised every year at Pythagoreio. Samos is an island extremely rich in vegetation with white-sand beaches, and traditional villages. The island is also known for the “samiotiko krassí”, the sweet Samian wine. 


Samos, GNTO/Kontos

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. The whole island complex has been included in the European network NATURA 2000.

 Psara. The island was first mentioned in Odyssey, rhapsody III by the name of “Psyrie”. Being the birthplace of famous warriors of the 1821 Greek War of Independence, Psará became a symbol of the Greek history. The island also used to be the third nautical power in Greece, after Hýdra and Spétses. 

Antípsara: part of the Psará island group, it is located 48 miles west of Chíos. During the summertime, here you will enjoy lovely beaches and clean waters. In August, St. John’s small church becomes a place of religious pilgrimage. The island is also included in the community network NATURA 2000 as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and has been declared an Important Bird Area of Greece.

 Fournoi. Interesting flora and fauna – aromatic plants, thyme, savory, sage, lentisk, bearberry and dwarf juniper, mandragora and olive groves form a stunning landscape. Here Mediterranean monk seal populations, dolphin and sea turtle species find refuge.

 Agios Efstratios (called Ái Strátis) is a small volcanic island in the northeastern Aegean among Limnos, Lesvos, and Skyros. 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. 

Agios Minas: an islet of the eastern Aegean which lies east of Fournoi, and south of Samos. 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. 

Thymaina is an islet located between the western part of Fournoi and the eastern part of Ikaria, rich in aromatic plants, savory and sage, and home to rare species of flora and fauna.


A mastic-scented island with fascinating history Much as Chios is famous for its mastic, it is not the only “magic” one can find on this island. Alongside its rich history starting from the...
Mastic Villages

Villages made from mastic? Unveil the amazing world of Mastic Villages in Chios (Mastihohória) a fortified village complex of superb beauty. Villages’ existence is inextricably bound with the...

A medieval treasure hidden on the island of Chios Discover Mestá, the famous traditional medieval settlement on the south-western part of Chios!  Upon entering the gateway of the castle,...

Oinousses is a cluster of nine small islands and islets, namely Oinoussa, Panagia, Vatos, Gaidouronissi, Pontikonisso, Archontonisso, Pontikoudiko, Laimoudiko and Prassonisia. At the last census,...

When the Greek Revolution began, an island offered up its entire commercial fleet – the third largest in Greece after those of Hydra and Spetses – to the struggle for liberation. That island was...
The Little Gems of the NE Aegean Sea

Blue and Green Dots on the Map In the island complex of the NE Aegean Sea there are four tiny and precious gems that are worth discovering for their natural beauty, their strong tastes and aromas...

Agios Efstratios

A small island on the edge of the Aegean, marked by Greece's modern political history, as it was a place of exile, Agios Efstratios – Ai Stratis to the locals – is blessed with the beauty of its...

Beautiful Lesvos with many streams, rich flora and fauna, famous olives groves, the mild Mediterranean climate, charming traditional villages and remarkable examples of industrial architecture (olive...

The island of Hephaestus Serenely floating in the north of the Aegean Sea, Limnos (also spelt Lemnos) is a destination for a peaceful holiday in close contact with nature. Sheltered gulfs,...


There is only one way to travel back in time and experience old Greece up close: take a ship and get off at Fournoi! The place is pregnant with history: there are ancient finds scattered...

Ikaria is a place with rich mythological past, and it has connected its name with the mythical figure Icarus. Sandy beaches, running waters, mountains and lush green hillsides compose the majestic...
Nearby Excursions Samos

To Kokkari 9.5 km northwest from the capital. Kokkari was named after kokkaria (onion bulbs) which were cultivated in the area during older times. Built on a green landscape it is a traditional...
Pithagoreio Samos

Pythagoreio – the world’s port Pythagoreio is a cosmopolitan destination, bustling with life and teeming with visitors every summer. The small town is built on the south-eastern edge of the...

The island of Hera and Pythagoras Samos is an island ruled by legend and beauty. It is the island of the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus....
The Little Gems of the NE Aegean Sea

Blue and Green Dots on the Map In the island complex of the NE Aegean Sea there are four tiny and precious gems that are worth discovering for their natural beauty, their strong tastes and aromas...

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