The North-Eastern Aegean Islands are, geographically, closer to Turkey than to the rest of Greece. Further apart from each other than the other island complexes, zigzagging down the coast of Asia Minor from the North Aegean all the way to the Dodecanese; island hopping is not as straightforward here. A paradise for nature lovers, these islands have much to offer.
THASOS is the northernmost island, its lofty mountain and planes covered with white pine trees, perfect for making ship masts.
SAMOTHRAKI, small wild and beautiful, has an imposing mountain with soothing waterfalls and rock pools. Way off the track, it is a cool surprise and definitely worth a stop. The beaches on the south coast of the island are only accessible by boat.
Heading south LIMNOS is next. Not a tourist destination, its charms are not immediately obvious and its landscape not as dramatic as other Greek islands. Moudrios Bay is one of the largest natural harbours in the Mediterranean.
LESVOS is a fertile island, reportedly producing the best olive oil in Greece. The third largest island in Greece; it has become a package-holiday destination and has many good hiking trails.
CHIOS, only 8 miles from Turkey, is famed for its fragrant mastic trees and medieval villages. Two smaller islands, INOUSSES and PSARA, make up a complex well-worth discovering by boat.
Birthplace of the philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, SAMOS is the most southerly island of the group and closest to Turkey. A popular destination, the mountain villages and vistas, and its tropical atmosphere are enchanting.
To the west of Samos is the rocky and mountainous IKARIA, where Icarus dropped into the sea from his fatal flight towards the sun. It is a peaceful, beautiful place well-known for its therapeutic springs.
Between Ikaria and Samos, lie some small islands known as the FOURNI. Simple and majestic places, ideal for anchorage– perfect to relax and enjoy the sea.
The Northern Aegean is fully exposed to the ‘ meltemi’ summer winds and, although sailing can sometimes be challenging, it is mostly good and steady. Here the ‘meltemi’ blows in a northeasterly to northerly direction; it’s at its strongest in the afternoon and often dies down at night. It can blow for days without a break as much as Force 7-8. This region is best suited to competent to experienced sailors, or a skippered charter. It is recommended to sail in a southerly direction through the Northeastern Aegean in the summer months.