Gokceada (formerly Imbros), Turkey – 108 sq. mi.; population 9,000
Westernmost point of Turkey, at the entrance to Saros Bay; mountainous; limited tourism facilities; large military presence; noted for winemaking, windsurfing, healing mud from the salt lake and migratory pink flamingos.
Bozcaada (or Tenedos), Turkey- 11 sq. mi.; population 2,500
Located close to the entrance of the Dardanelles; limited tourism facilities and reachable only by ferry from mainland Turkey; noted for winemaking, red poppies; 2nd place in world’s most beautiful island list in 2010 Conde Nast Reader’s Choice Awards.
Main Greek Islands in the North Aegean:
Lesvos (also called Lesbos) – 629 sq. mi.; population 91,000
Located in the eastern central Aegean Sea; separated from Turkey only by the narrow Mytilini Strait; third largest Greek island; famous for bird-watching – on the migratory pathway with a large number of local birds too; limited package tours and hotel facilities; also visited for medieval castles, hot springs, and a petrified forest.
Chios – 324 sq. mi.; population 55,000
Located in the eastern central Aegean Sea south of Lesvos ; 7 miles off the Anatolia Coast of Turkey, across the Chios Strait ; fifth largest Greek island; famous for a UNESCO World Heritage site – an 11th century monastery called Nea Moni; also famous for a unique Easter celebration known as the “rocket war”; also visited for its beautiful beaches and historical villages.
Lemnos – 184 sq. mi.; population 16,000
Located in the northern center of the Aegean Sea, halfway between Greece and Turkey ; mostly flat with numerous sand beaches, but some mountains in the west; famous for the mythology of Hephaestus; limited tourism facilities; visited for the beaches, ancient ruins, and just getting away from the normal mass tourism.
Samos – 184 sq. mi.; population 34,000
Located in the central eastern Aegean Sea, south of Chios; separated from Turkey by the very narrow Mycale Strait; just north of Patmos and the Dodecanese Island group; famous as an ancient Greek city-state and being the site of Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos, a UNESCO World Heritage site including an ancient aqueduct; relatively mountainous with numerous muscat-producing vineyards; growing tourism industry; also visited for the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani with its church in a cave, and for the beaches.
Thassos – 147 sq. mi.; population 13,000
The northern-most Greek island, located at the very northern end of the Aegean Sea off the coast of Thrace; primary industry is tourism; visited mostly for beautiful beaches and interesting monasteries and ancient sites.
Icaria (or Ikaria) – 99 sq. mi.; population 8,000
Located in the eastern central Aegean Sea, southwest of Samos and north of the Dodecanese island group ; famous for their “panygiria” or frequent summertime festivals of all-night feasting, dancing and drinking; also noted for having one of the highest longevity rates in the world; visited for the festivals and for the beaches.
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