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Regions for Greek islands
Regions for Greek islands

Greece has many islands,[Note 1] with estimates ranging from somewhere around 1,200[1] to 6,000,[2] depending on the minimum size to take into account. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166[3] and 227.[2]

The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea. The second largest island is Euboea or Evvia, which is separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, and is administered as part of the Central Greece region. After the third and fourth largest Greek islands, Lesbos and Rhodes, the rest of the islands are two-thirds of the area of Rhodes, or smaller.

The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters: the Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic Gulf near Athens; the Cyclades, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea; the North Aegean islands, a loose grouping off the west coast of Turkey; the Dodecanese, another loose collection in the southeast between Crete and Turkey; the Sporades, a small tight group off the coast of Euboea; and the Ionian Islands, chiefly located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. Crete with its surrounding islets and Euboea are traditionally excluded from this grouping.

This article excludes the Peloponnese, which has technically been an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, but is rarely considered to be an island.

Islands of Greece by size

NASA image of Crete
NASA image of Crete
NASA image of Rhodes
NASA image of Rhodes
Ithaca is to the upper right of the larger Kefalonia island in this picture. The small island in the top-right corner is the uninhabited Atokos island (NASA World Wind satellite picture).
Ithaca is to the upper right of the larger Kefalonia island in this picture. The small island in the top-right corner is the uninhabited Atokos island (NASA World Wind satellite picture).

The following are the largest Greek islands listed by surface area. The table includes all islands of over 96 square kilometres (37 sq mi).

Island Greek name Area
(miles2)
Area
(km2)
Cluster
1 Crete Κρήτη 3,219 8,336 Cretan
2 Evia Εύβοια 1,417 3,670 Euboean
3 Lesbos Λέσβος 630 1,633 North Aegean Islands
4 Rhodes Ρόδος 541 1,401 Dodecanese
5 Chíos Χίος 325 842.3 North Aegean Islands
6 Cephalonia Κεφαλονιά 302 781 Ionian Islands
7 Corfu Κέρκυρα 229 592.9 Ionian Islands
8 Lemnos Λήμνος 184 477.6 North Aegean Islands
9 Samos Σάμος 184 477.4 North Aegean Islands
10 Naxos Νάξος 166 429.8 Cyclades
11 Zakynthos Ζάκυνθος 157 406 Ionian Islands
12 Thassos Θάσου 147 380.1 North Aegean Islands
13 Andros Άνδρου 147 380.0 Cyclades
14 Lefkada Λευκάδα 117 303 Ionian Islands
15 Karpathos Κάρπαθος 116 300 Dodecanese
16 Kos Κως 112 290.3 Dodecanese
17 Kythira Κύθηρα 108 279.6 Ionian Islands
18 Icaria Ικαρία 99 255 North Aegean Islands
19 Skyros Σκύρος 81 209 Sporades
20 Paros Πάρος 75 195 Cyclades
21 Tinos Τήνος 75 194 Cyclades
22 Samothrace Σαμοθράκη 69 178 North Aegean Islands
23 Milos Μήλος 58 151 Cyclades
24 Kea Κέα 51 132 Cyclades
25 Amorgos Αμοργός 47 121 Cyclades
26 Kalymnos Κάλυμνος 42.5 110 Dodecanese
27 Ios Ίος 41.7 108 Cyclades
28 Kythnos Κύθνος 38.4 99.4 Cyclades
29 Astypalaia Αστυπάλαια 37.2 96.4 Dodecanese
30 Ithaca Ιθάκης 37.1 96.2 Ionian Islands
31 Salamis Σαλαμίνα 37.1 96.2 Argo-Saronic

Islands of Greece by population

Islands of the Aegean Sea

Main articles: Aegean Sea and List of Aegean Islands

Argo-Saronic Islands

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Main article: Saronic Islands

Aerial view of the port city of Hydra on Hydra Island
Aerial view of the port city of Hydra on Hydra Island

This list includes Argo-Saronic islands, which are located in the Saronic Gulf. The largest Argo-Saronic island is Salamis. The main islands are in bold. Uninhabited islands are indicated, including those that may have been inhabited in the past:

Cretan islands

The two lists below show the islands, islets, and rocks that surround the island of Crete that are in the Aegean Sea or Libyan Sea.

Cretan islands of the Aegean Sea

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The islet of Leon, on the left, next to the larger islet of Souda, within Souda bay
The islet of Leon, on the left, next to the larger islet of Souda, within Souda bay
Spinalonga (Kalydon)
Spinalonga (Kalydon)
The islet of Pontikonisi (mouse island) which has the shape of a mouse.
The islet of Pontikonisi (mouse island) which has the shape of a mouse.

Cretan islands of the Libyan Sea

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The islet of Trafos in the Libyan Sea
The islet of Trafos in the Libyan Sea

Islands on the south coast of Crete are considered in the Libyan Sea.

Cyclades islands

Main article: Cyclades

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Cyclades islands
Cyclades islands
Iconic windmills of Mykonos
Iconic windmills of Mykonos

The Cyclades islands comprise around 220 islands and islets. The main islands are indicated in bold below.[7][8]

Dodecanese islands

Main article: Dodecanese

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Dodcanese Islands
Dodcanese Islands
Harbor of the island of Astypalaia
Harbor of the island of Astypalaia

There are 164 total Dodecanese Islands of which 26 are inhabited. There are 12 main islands, as listed in bold below:

Euboea and surrounding islands

North Aegean Islands

Main article: North Aegean Islands

There are also two North Aegean Islands in the Thracian Sea:

Sporades islands

Main article: Sporades

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Northern Sporades
Northern Sporades

The 30 islands in the Sporades are listed below with the four major islands in bold. The largest Sporades island is Skyros.

Ionian Sea islands

Main article: Ionian Islands

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Main Ionian Islands
Main Ionian Islands
Echinades islands
Echinades islands

Islands in the Ionian Sea are listed below. The seven largest and most popular islands are listed in bold.[13][14]

Islets close to mainland

The following islands are close to the mainland and not part of a sea:

Islands not in the sea

Lake and river islands

Ioannina island in Lake Pamvotida
Ioannina island in Lake Pamvotida

Islands in an island

Lagoon islands

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In Greek: Island-Νησί (Nisi), Islet-Νησάκι (Nisáki)

References

  1. ^ John S. Bowman; Sherry Marker; Peter Keraislands siotis; Heidi Sarna (2010). "Greece in depth". Frommer's Greece (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-470-52663-7.
  2. ^ a b "Islands". Visit Greece - Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation. Hellenic Organization of Tourism (EOT; Ελληνικός Οργανισμός Τουρισμού). Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  3. ^ Poffley, Frewin (20 December 2012). Greek island hopping, 23rd ed. 2013. Thomas Cook Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-84848-569-3. OCLC 827800689.
  4. ^ Google Maps
  5. ^ a b "Islands of Greece". GeoNames. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Nisida Agio Pantes". GeoNames. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Tageo Worldwide Index for Greece Islands". Tageo, www.tageo.com. Retrieved 24 March 2020.(in English)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq "Islands of the Cyclades". GeoNames. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Glaronisi, South Aegean". GeoNames. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Mikro Glaronisi". GeoNames. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Mikro Sofrano". GeoNames. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Nerónisi". GeoNames. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Ionian Islands of Greece". GeoNames. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  14. ^ Kruse, Hellas, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 455, seq.; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 30, seq., 50, seq.; Mure, Tour in Greece, vol. i. p. 104.