Have you ever wonder which are the secret ingredients of happiness? Nothing else than small moments of joy in our everyday, simple but hidden beauties. The islands that lie on the northeastern Aegean Sea, challenge you to discover their hidden beauties and to lose yourself in moments of happiness that they can offer you through their harmonic touch. Would you dare?
At the junction of West and East, only a breath away from the Minor Asia’s shores, you will find Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Lemnos and Ikaria as well as the five smaller islands of Inousses, Fournous, Psara, Thimena and Agios Efstratios. All together, they fulfill, in an ideal way, the picturesque image of the Aegean mosaic. The dominant element of all those places is the unique combination of historical tradition with mythology, dressed up with rich vegetation.
A walk in the historical alleys of the hometown of Sappho’s and the Nobel-awarded poet Elytis, with the melody of the lyrical poetry sounding in both your mind and ears, will definitely convince you that Lesvos is exactly what she promise: a magical place, flooded from the scent of Ouzo. Travel at the era of Homer, while Chios will be leaving a sweet taste of mastic in your mouth. Samos, with its tall mountains, sculpted by the hand of goddess Hera, and hometown of Pythagoras, will get you drank with sweet scented wine. While being in Lemnos, you may feel god Hephaestus still playing with the fire and the metal. In Ikaria, try to find out the secret of long living of the descendants of mythical Ikaros. Fourni and Thimena, the islands of pirates, will steal your heart, while Ιnousses, the island of seamanship, and the glorious Psara will travel you right to the heart of the Greek Revolution, giving life to nautical memories. At the small island of Agios Efstratios as well as Thimena, you will meet the Mediterranean seal monachus- monachus, hiding in the rich biodiversity of the area.
The turquoise waters are mixed with the green of nature, fondly embracing the cliffs, revealing coves and beaches of distinct beauty. The dense pine forests, natural caves, waterfalls and hot springs that exist in most islands, make them a dream-land. Swim in Mavra Volia of Chios, with its idyllic waters and volcanic black pebbles, at the 9 kilometers long beach of Vatera in Lesvos or even at the exotic "Seychelles" of Ikaria. If you find yourself there, in the enchanting island of Ikaria, then go for a walk at the Ranti Forest of towering old trees, pass through the Chalari canyon to the green area of Nash, or make the walk of Raches by following the marked with red footprints path. On Lemnos, the impressive vast area sand dunes will make you feel like you are in desert!
The important geological sites such as Faraklo of Lemnos and the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, reveal the morphological uniqueness of their land. Wondering how can the image of such a wild beauty cause such peace? The strange, yet compelling beauty of the nature of those islands is the secret. Wetlands and areas integrated in the European project NATURA 2000, will tempt you to indulge in hiking, bird watching and various outdoor activities will give you the opportunity to get close to nature. Maybe this way, you are lucky enough to discover all the well-hidden beauties, among cliffs and steep slopes, such as Panagia Krifti of Lesvos.
The islands of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, share a common history, since they have been sites of pirates and overrun by invaders, without ever forgetting their historical roots and their common tradition. This element, the one of tradition, is widely met in their inhabitants’ daily life and peak during the Easter through the customs of the pile, of the "Rocket War" in Vrontados of Chios and the "Guns" in Marathokampos of Samos. The traditional events, with the "Festival of Taurus" that takes place in Lesvos standing out, each and every one is inextricably bonded to the religious tradition.
In the alleys of traditional villages with stone-built houses, make a walk in their past and discover the rich history of the islands through the museums and archaeological sites located there. In Samos, you will be amazed by the Tunnel of Eupalinos, which is widely considered to be the eighth wonder of the antiquity, as well as the temple of Hera. Make a visit at the monument of Daskalopetras in Omiroupoli (Homer’s town) of Chios and at the hill of "Mavri Rachi" (Black Ridge) of Psara, the places where the most significant part of their history during the Greek Revolution of 1821 was written.
Wander in the Maritime Museum of Inousses and meet its glorious naval history. Remarkable is also the religious tradition of the islands, with most of the religious monuments located in Lesvos. Saint Raphael, with his remarkable history, Archangel of Mandamados, with the sculpted image of Arcangel Michael made of blood and soil and of course Holy Mary of Zion, a temple located in Agiasos, with the miraculous image of Holy Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms. Miraculous is also Saint Markella of Chios.
At this point of the map, nature is mixed with tradition, offering their pureness to the virgin goods produced there, daring you to taste. The sweet wine of Samos has marked its own path through the centuries as well as the famous ouzo of Lesvos, the Pramnios wine of Ikaria, the strong wine of Lemnos and of course the well-known since antiquity wine of Inousses, Of fine quality are also the honey produced in Thimena, the fresh fish you can taste in Fourni and the delicious sardines of Kalloni, the sweet acorns and beans of Agios EFstratios, the sweets and the spicy cheese. Taste "Kalathaki" of Lemnos, "Oil-Cheese" of Mytilene, cheese of Eresos and "Mastelo" of Chios. You can also taste the traditional dishes of "Kiskek" at the Taurus Feast or the Samian recipe "Giorti", which has its roots to Minor Asia. The traditional hand-made fabrics that you can find in all of the islands will impress you by their beautiful style.
This trip will be etched in your memory with the indelible blue of the Aegean Sea and calm your thoughts as the bright sun ripens for centuries now the rich soil of those islands. With the eye facing tradition, the islands compose the ideal way to escape from the urban centers, offering the visitor quality vacations.
Immerse yourselves in the unique flavors and aromas you will meet there, taking with you a piece of the East…