The Greek Islands are an integral part of its culture and traditions and is the main characteristic of the country. Its 6000 islands and islets are spread out in the Aegean and Ionian seas but only 227 of them are inhabited. This phenomenon is extremely unique for the European Continent. The islands offer a landscape that is highly diversified from beaches that stretch over multiple kilometers, bays, coves, beaches with sand dunes, pebble beaches and coastal caves many of which have been given the award of Blue Flag under the Blue flags of Europe Program.
The activities that can be enjoyed on these islands include swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing. The Greek Islands have multiple archeological sites owing to the fact that many of Europe’s oldest civilizations were developed here such as the Cycladic and Minoan civilizations. This gives the islands a distinctive archeological heritage and local traditions that are centuries old. They are an extremely popular destination with both locals and tourists due to the ideal climate, safe waters and especially because of the small distances between the ports and coasts.
Most of the Greek islands are located in the Aegean Sea and are separated into seven groups, namely The Northeastern Aegean Islands which include Agios Efstratios, Thasos, Ikaria, Lesbos, Limnos, Inouses, Samos, Samothrace, Chios and Psara. The Sporades which include Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. Evia with Viotia on the east, Pagasitiko and Maliako Gulf on the north and northwest and the Evian Gulf on the west and southwest. Islands of Argosaronic include Angistri, Aegena, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Spetses and Hydras. The Cyclades include 56 islands with the most important ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Syros, Tinos and Folegandros. The Dodecanese include the islands Astypalaia, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Lipsi, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Rhodes, Simi, Tilos and Chalki. The last of the seven is Crete with Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi. The Ionian Sea has only one island complex which includes the islands of Zakynthos, Ithaca, Corfu, Kefallonia, Lefkada, Paxi, and Kythira.
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