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The Northern Aegean Islands Travel Guide

  • Photo: DOPhoto / Shutterstock

Plan Your Northern Aegean Islands Vacation

Quirky, seductive, fertile, sensual, faded, sunny, worldly, ravishing, long-suffering, hedonistic, luscious, mysterious, legendary—these adjectives only begin to describe the islands of the northeastern Aegean. This startling and rather arbitrary archipelago includes a sizeable number of islands, such as Ikaria, Samothraki, and Thassos, but we focus only on the three largest—Lesbos,

Chios, and Samos. Closer to Turkey's coast than to Greece's, and quite separate from one another, these islands are hilly, sometimes mountainous, with dramatic coastlines and uncrowded beaches, brilliant architecture, and unforgettable historic sites.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Samos Block Party Math genius Pythagoras, freedom-loving Epicurus, and the fabled Aesop were just a few of this island's brightest stars, and their spirits probably still haunt the ancient Heraion temple.
  2. Mesmerizing Mastic Villages Pirgi in Chios is known for the resin it produces, but with its Genoese houses patterned in black and white, it's the Escher-like landscape that's likely to draw you in.
  3. Sappho's Island If it's poetic truth you seek, head to one of Lesbos's oldest towns, Molyvos—a haven for artists and an aesthete's dream.
  4. Sailing to Byzantium Colorful Byzantine mosaics make Chios's 11th-century Nea Moni monastery an important piece of history—and a marvel to behold.
  5. Dizzyingly Good Ouzo Though you can get this potent potable anywhere in Greece, Lesbos's is reputedly the best—enjoy it with famed salt-baked Kalloni sardines.

When To Go

When to Go

Like everywhere else in the world, Greece is affected by the climate change phenomenon, which guarantees unpredictable weather; sometimes periods t...

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The Northern Aegean Islands Itineraries



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