THE NORTHEAST AEGEAN ISLANDS


Northeast Aegean Map

Built on the ruins of the ancient city of the same name, Mirina, the capital of Limnos with the delightful houses of the seacaptains with their wooden balconies, with pebbled streets, and kind people. Picturesque villages dot the island. Nea Koutali is an enchanting pine-forested area with wonderful water. Moudros, the island's second major town, has pretty houses and nice beaches. Poliohni has ruins dating from neolithic times and a few remnants from a bronze age settlement.

Between Limnos, Lesvos, and Siros, is a virgin island with only one village and great beaches; Agios Efstratios. The third largest Greek island is Lesvos. Olive groves that go on forever, thick pine forests, sandy beaches, monasteries, pretty traditional houses and old mansions. The truly ancient history of the island is visible everywhere on Lesvos. Starting out from the capital Mitilini,which is built on top of the ruins of the old town, one begins to get acquainted with the unending beauties of the island. Northeast of town Lesvos is the Roman aqueduct, further north Pirgi Thermis with traditional old houses, and the Loutra Thermon. Scenic seaside villages with wonderful beaches, like Plomari, known for its ouzo, are everywhere. The mountain village of Agiassos, on the foothills of Mt. Olympus, has charming houses and little streets. Sandy beaches at Vatera, Kaloni, Mithimna, and famous Molivos; a picturesque place with special colour, a long tradition in folk art, intense night life in the summer, it is a meeting point for artists. A Byzantine castle looks down on the village and the lacy beaches of Eftalous to the north and Petra to the south. The sights continue to be impressive, from the fossil forest at Sigri to the antiquities at Eressos.

South of Lesvos lies one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean: Hios, where the green of the trees and the aquamarine of the sea are within kissing distance. Here the verdant valleys embrace the pretty towns redolent with mastic from the countless chewing gum trees (actually, mastic-trees). The millennia-old history of the island disappears into the recesses of mythology. Multi-coloured houses, fishing boats, and nets spread out in the ld harbour. Modern houses and busy shops in the new harbour, opposite the castle. Large old stone houses decorate the plain with the lush gardens and orange groves. Charming little fishing villages such as Vrontados, Pantoukios, and Lagadas. Good beaches at Limnos Kardamila. Alpine scenery with rare beauty at Volissos, such as the Venetian fort and the historic monastery of Agios Georgios. Enchanting scenery just before Nea Moni. Villages unchanged since the middle ages at Anavato and Mesta. Pottery workshops at Armolia and painting compositions at Pirgi. Pretty pebble beaches and sandy shores and then by caique to Psara, the small but historic island.

A rocky island with fine sandy beaches and only one village, with a strong Cycladic flavour, Inousses, lies to the east of Chios.

Samos, the easternmost island of the Aegean, is within swimming distance of Asia Minor. Images of the island are framed by bunches of Samian grapes, vine leaves and vineyards. The capital, Samos, is built like an amphitheater at the end of a deep bay, next to the harbour of Vathi. Plane trees, springs, and neoclassical buildings coexist harmoniously with modern elements at Karlovassi. Gorgeous beaches at Kokari, pebbled ones at Potami, busy ones at Tsamadou and the best one on the island at Hrissi. Fishing villages with sandy beaches, mountain villages with picturesque alleyways and houses in the charming local style. There are many monasteries on the Samos, such as Megali Panagia, Agia Zoni, Vronta, Panagia Spiliani, Zoodohou Pigi. Finally, to the south is the Pithagorio or Tigani with the ruins of the ancient acropolis and Evpalineio aqueduct, and further south still is the Heraio, dedicated to the worship of Hera.

Southwest of Samos is Ikaria, which boasts an incredible range of scenery. Steep and naked rocks to the south, a calm and serene landscape to the north, where one encounters fabulous beaches. The island's capital, Agios Kirikos, is decorated with several old two-storey captains-houses. The radioactive springs at Therma have been used as a spa since antiquity. At Karavostamo, on the north coast, the white washed houses peek through the vegetation reaching almost to the water's edge. The small, pretty harbour of Evdilos is next to some fine beaches with charming tavernas on them. A dense pine forest is host to several streams that flow onto a spectacular beach at Armenistis. Many villages scattered amid the verdant countryside. To the north, Fanari is of special archaeological interest in a place of great natural beauty.



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