The Cyclades (/ˈsɪklədiːz/; Greek: Κυκλάδες, [cikˈlaðes]) are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς) the sacred island of Delos. The Cyclades is where the native Greek breed of cat (the Aegean cat) originated.
The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Eschati, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos, and Thira or SantoríniThe name “Cyclades” refers to the islands forming a circle (“circular islands”) around the sacred island of Delos. Cyclades Sailing. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.
Ermoupolis, on Syros, is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture.
The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini. The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile; agricultural produce includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and mainly do not receive wintry weather.
The Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete.
The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek: Ιόνια νησιά, Ionia nisia; Ancient Greek, Katharevousa: Ἰόνιοι Νῆσοι, Ionioi Nēsoi; Italian: Isole Ionie; Albanian: Ishujt e Jonit) are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e. “the Seven Islands” (Greek: Ἑπτάνησα, Heptanēsa or Ἑπτάνησος, Heptanēsos; Italian: Eptaneso), but the group includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones.
The seven islands are; from north to south:
Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα) usually known as Corfu in English and Corfù in Italian
Paxi (Παξοί) also known as Paxos in English
Lefkada (Λευκάδα) also known as Lefkas in English
Ithaki (Ιθάκη) usually known as Ithaca in English
Kefalonia (Κεφαλλονιά) often known as Kefalonia, Cephalonia and Kefallinia in English
Zakynthos (Ζάκυνθος) sometimes known as Zante in English and Italian
Kythira (Κύθηρα) usually known as Cythera in English and sometimes known as Cerigo in English and Italian
The six northern islands are off the west coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The seventh island, Kythira, is off the southern tip of the Peloponnese, the southern part of the Greek mainland. Kythira is not part of the region of the Ionian Islands, as it is included in the region of Attica.
The (Northern) Sporades (/ˈspɒrədiːz/; Greek: Βόρειες Σποράδες) are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea, in the Aegean Sea. They consists of 24 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited: Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. They may also be referred to as the Thessalian Sporades (Θεσσαλικές Σποράδες).
The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago in Greece, named after the Saronic Gulf in which they are located, just off the Greek mainland. The main inhabited islands of this group are Salamis (where the ancient Greek navy defeated the Persians in the Battle of Salamis), Aegina, Angistri, and Poros. The islands of Hydra and Dokos, which lie off the northeast tip of the Peloponnese (technically between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf), are sometimes included as part of the Saronic Islands.
Many mainland Greeks have vacation homes in the Saronic Islands, which are regularly served by ferries from Piraeus and the Peloponnese
The Dodecanese (/doʊdɪkəˈniːz/; Greek: Δωδεκάνησα, Dodekánisa, [ðoðeˈkanisa], literally ‘twelve islands’) are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the wider Southern Sporades island group. They have a rich history, and many of even the smallest inhabited islands boast dozens of Byzantine churches and medieval castles.
The most historically important and well-known is Rhodes, which has been the area’s dominant island since Antiquity. Of the others, Kos and Patmos are historically the more important; the remaining nine are Agathonisi, Astypalaia, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leipsoi, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos, and Kastellorizo. Other islands in the chain include Alimia, Arkoi, Chalki, Farmakonisi, Gyali, Kinaros, Levitha, Marathos, Nimos, Pserimos, Saria, Strongyli, Syrna and Telendos.
The Aegean Islands (Greek: Νησιά Αιγαίου, transliterated: Nisiá Aigaíou; Turkish: Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea, with mainland Greece to the west and north and Turkey to the east; the island of Crete delimits the sea to the south, those of Rhodes, Karpathos and Kasos to the southeast. The ancient Greek name of the Aegean Sea, Archipelago (ἀρχιπέλαγος, archipelagos) was later applied to the islands it contains and is now used more generally, to refer to any island group.
The vast majority of the Aegean Islands belong to Greece, being split among nine administrative regions. The only sizable possessions of Turkey in the Aegean Sea are Imbros (Gökçeada) and Tenedos (Bozcaada), in the northeastern part of the Sea. Various smaller islets off Turkey’s western coast are also under Turkish sovereignty.
Most of the islands enjoy warm Summer temperatures and cold Winter influenced by the Mediterranean climate.
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