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The Islands of North

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The Islands of North
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The second largest town is


LIMNOS Moudros, 25 kilometres east of
Mirina, one of the safest
anchorages in the Aegean.
During World War I it was used
In ancient times, according to as a base of the Mediterranean
myth, Limnos, a volcanic island, Expeditionary Force, which
was the home of the god launched its attack on the
Hephaistos and his most important Dardanelles from here in 1915.
place of worship. The island.s Taking Moudros as a starting
history is long; two of its cities, point, it is possible to visit all the
Mirina and Hephaistia, were island.s archaeological sites. A
extremely prosperous during dirt road to the northeast leads to
antiquity. a rocky promontory with the ruins
Today, the island.s capital, still of Hephaistia, Limnos.s leading
called Mirina, or Kastro, sits at the city in antiquity.
back of the bay in exactly the same Excavations have brought to light
location as its ancient namesake. A sanctuaries of the 5th and 4th
Venetian castle presides over its century B.C. and the necropolis
characteristic captains. houses with Greek, Roman and
adorned with wooden balconies. Byzantine tombs. Three
On the castle.s grounds live more kilometres farther north at a place
than 80 small deer that you may called Chloe there are the
encounter during your visit. Mirina Archaic and Hellenistic remains
has an important Archaeological of the Sanctuary of the
Museum with finds from the region Cabeirians.
as well as from Hephaistia, East of Moudros near Kaminia
Cabeiria and Poliochne. you will find the ruins of ancient
Representing every period from the Poliochne, where seven
prehistoric to the Hellenistic, they successive settlements have
consist primarily of relief works, been excavated, one dating back
idols, pottery and sculptures. 4 km. to the Neolithic, the others to the
east of Mirina is Therma, with a Early Bronze Age. Finally, north
hydrotherapy centre, while 3 km. of Moudros is the site of the
north of the village Katalako you Byzantine state of Kotsina with
will encounter an impressive dune its fortress. This is where
landscape, which is called the Maroula, the heroine of Limnos,
Limnos Sahara. died fighting the Turks in 1478.
On the east side of the island, at
Hortorolimni, there is a large stretch

The Islands of North


of marshland, a major habitat for
rare birds. The road continues from
here to the tip of Limnos and the
fishing hamlet of Plaka with its
monastery dedicated to Agios

Eastern Aegean 03
Haralambos.
At the southern tip of the island
there is another monastery, Agios
Sostis, where a big celebration is
held every September 7th.
The island.s inland road network,
asphalted as far as Moudros, leads
to picturesque seaside and
mountain villages, such as
Kondias, Livadohori, Atsiki with
its interesting view of the Gulf of
Pournia and tavernas serving fresh
fish, and Nea Koutali with its
marvelous empty beaches,
delightful tavernas and sponge-
fishing caiques anchored offshore.
Those not deterred by dirt roads will
want to explore still further.

HOW TO GET THERE


AGIOS
By air:
From Athens,
EFSTRATIOS
International Athens Airport .
El. Venizelos., tel.: 210 3530.000 This small volcanic island lies
From Thessaloniki, 18 n.mi. south of Limnos. It
Thessaloniki International Airport owes its name to Saint
Macedonia, tel.: 2310 985 000 Efstratios who lived and died
there in exile.
By ferry-boat: The monastery in its sole
From Piraeus settlement contains volumes
Piraeus port authority: 1440 from as far back as the 15th
From Rafina century in relatively good
Rafina port authority: 22940 22 300 condition.
From Lavrio Prospective bathers will find
Lavrio port authority: 22920 25 244 numerous lovely beaches on
From Thessaloniki the island, such as Agios
Thessaloniki Antonios, Lemonies, Frangou,
port authority: 2310 531504 Tripiti, Avlakia and others, most
From Kavala of which are reached by caique.
Kavala port authority: 2510 223 716 Agios Efstratios is a paradise
From Chios, Samos, Patmos, for visitors who appreciate the
Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and simple, healthy life away from
Rhodes crowds and close to nature. It is
linked by boat with Limnos,
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS Agios Konstantinos, Kymi and
Airport 22540 29400 Kavala.
Port authority 22540 22225
Police 22540 22200
First Aid 22540 22166,
22203 22433
Municipal Tourism Bureau 1. Limnos. Cabeiria
22540 22208, 22540 22935 2. Limnos. Mirina
4. Limnos. Mirina
LESVOS Of interest are the old town, the
Lesvos, Greece.s third largest Tarsi (market), the .House of

The Islands of North


island, has a long history, a Menandros. (Roman villa), the Yeni
varied, fascinating scenery and Tzami (mosque), as well as some
some of the loveliest beaches of interesting churches: the Cathedral
Greece. It is well known for its dedicated to St. Athanassios, Agios
production of oil, soap and wine. Therapontas and Agii Theodori,

Eastern Aegean 04
The birthplace of the illustrious which has wonderful wood carvings
ancient poets Sappho and and icons. In the town.s southern
Alkaios, the guitarist Arion, the suburbs, Sourada, Avlidou and
musician Terpander and Pittakos Varia, there are some of the most
of Mitilini, one of the Seven beautiful houses of the island (end
Sages of antiquity, it continues 19th . beginning 20th century).
even today the tradition of Moreover, Varia is the site of the
producing famous artists, poets Theofilos Museum with works by
and writers. Greece.s best-loved naf painter
The island.s capital is Mitilini, Theofilos and the Teriade Museum-
built like an amphitheatre above Library housing the .Great Books.
its ancient namesake and with its and art magazines published and
Byzantine castle (14th century) donated by Lesvos. famous art critic,
towering over it from the top of a Stratis Eleftheriades (Teriade). Its
pine-covered hill. On the walls are hung with lithographs from
northeast edge of the town there the Great Books done by Picasso,
is a Hellenistic theatre with Matisse, Chagall, Leger and other
superb acoustics which once famous 20th century artists.
accommodated an audience of Six kilometres away at Moria there is
10,000, while to the east of it you a section of Roman aqueduct
can see a section of an ancient erected in the 2nd century A.D.
polygonal wall. The In the northeast part of the island,
Archaeological Museum contains after passing a series of charming
a wealth of finds and the coastal villages, the first major place
Byzantine Museum has exhibits you should visit is Mantamados,
from both the Byzantine and known for its characteristic stone
post- Byzantine periods. houses, fine pottery, wood carvings,
and delicious local cheeses. Don.t
miss a stop at the Monastery of the
Taxiarch, which possesses the only
relief portrait of the Archangel in the
Orthodox world.
Farther north you come to Sikamia,
the birthplace of the famous novelist
Stratis Myrivilis, and its port Skala
Sikamias, a picturesque fishing
harbour with a chapel dedicated to
the Virgin Gorgona (Mermaid)
described in Myrivilis. novel of the
same name.
The next stop is Molivos or
Mithimna, the island.s best-known
resort and artists. colony, whose
mediaeval castle and traditional
architecture give it a distinctive
atmosphere. Among its sights are its
archaeological museum, library and
a small picture gallery. From
Mithimna, it is worthwhile to visit the
areas of Eftalou and Petra.
Another of Lesvos. well known
places is Agiassos, near the middle
of the island.
This attractive village 5 has kept its old
flavour and the fame of its pottery and

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wood carving has traveled well beyond
Greece. It also has an Ecclesiastical
and Folk Art Museum and a Reading
Society with a theatre and a goodsized
library. Don.t miss the Church of the

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Virgin (Panagia) with its collection of
old icons, which includes an icon of the
Mother and Child (Vrefocratoussa)
attributed to St. Luke.
Farther west, Agia Paraskevi, a
market town with old mansions, is
known for its curious Festival of the
Bull, celebrated since 1774. Near here,
at Klopedi, are the remains of the
ancient Aeolian temple of Napaios
Apollo, while Messa, also nearby,
boasts the ruins of a big Ionian temple
(late 4th-early 3rd century B.C.),
possibly dedicated to deities Zeus,
Hera and Dionysos. A monument from
a later date, the Early Christian basilica
of St. George, restored by the noted
mediaevalist, professor A. Orlandos,
may be seen at Halinados, not far
away.
Just a short distance from Agia
Paraskevi, in the island.s centre, is
Kaloni, a modern town and
transportation hub, famed for the
anchovies and shellfish caught in its
bay. Its port, Skala Kalonis, is a
thriving summer resort with a long
sandy beach.
Things to see in the vicinity of Kaloni
include the Limonos Monastery (1527),
whose church dedicated to St. John
contains interesting 16th century
frescoes, a library with 2,500 volumes
(450 of which are manuscripts) and a
ecclesiasticalfolk art museum.
Sigri, at the western tip of Lesvos, is a
pretty fishing port with a lovely beach
and an 18th century fortress. Not far
from here is the island.s celebrated
Petrified Forest, dating back some
fifteen million years. The fossilised
trunks, some fallen, some still erect,
some in the sea, are unusual for the
brilliance and diversity of their colours.
Also near Sigri are Eressos, the
birthplace of Sappho and
Theophrastos, and its port Skala
Eressou, which has a magnificent
beach and full facilities for tourists.
Worth seeing here are the
archaeological collection and the
ruined 5th century basilica of Agios
Andreas with its stunning mosaics.
On the south coast, other resorts
have sprouted alongside superb
beaches. These are Vatera and

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Plomari, Lesvos. second largest
town, famed for its exceptional ouzo
and interesting architecture. It is also
worthwhile to visit the scores of
industrial buildings (olive presses,

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soap factories, tanneries, et al.) that
are scattered all over the island.s
villages and towns.
Lesvos abounds in mineral springs,
where health spas have been
developed, as at the Gulf of Gera,
Thermi, Lisvori, Eftalou, Polichnitos,
etc.

HOW TO GET THERE


By Air:
From Athens,
International Athens Airport
El. Venizelos, tel.: 210 3530.000
From Thessaloniki,
Thessaloniki International Airport
Macedonia, tel.: 2310 985 000
From Limnos,
Limnos International Airport,
tel.: 22540 29 400
From Chios,
Chios International Airport,
tel.: 22710 81 400

By ferry-boat:
From Piraeus
Piraeus port authority: 1440
From Thessaloniki and Kavala
Thessaloniki port authority:
2310 531504
Kavala port authority: 2510 223 716
From Lavrio
Lavrio port authority: 22920 25 244
From Chios, Samos, Patmos,
Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and
Rhodes.

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS


Regional Directorate
for the North Aegean 22510 28935
Fax 22510 27601
Directorate for Tourism of the
North Aegean 22510
42511.3
GNTO Information Office
22510 42510, 22510 42513
Fax: 22510 42512, 22510 42513
Womens Tourist Cooperative 5. The castle of Mitilini
at Petra 22530 41238, 6. Mitilini
fax 22530 41309 7. Lesvos. Plomari
Port authority 22510 40827 8. Lesvos. Molivos
Police 22510 22776 10. Lesvos. Eressos
First Aid 22510 57700 11. Chios
12. Chios. Anavatos
Ambulance 22510 41111
Airport 22510 38700-1
CHIOS In addition, the Korai Library, one of

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the most important in Greece, contains
Chios, south of Lesvos, claims to 130,000 volumes, including the
be the birthplace of Homer. Its founder.s collection of rare books, and
landscape is very varied and its an exhibit of local costumes.
main crop is mastic, the .chew. in The south part of the island is where

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.chewing gum., produced by trees the mastic trees grow in abundance.
that grow nowhere else in the An unprepossessing, bush-like plant,
world. Its capital and chief port, its sticky sap forms crystals, which are
also called Chios, is a lively town gathered for use in many products,
on the east coast of the island, including pharmaceuticals.
opposite the shores of Ionia in Asia The villages in this district, the
Minor. A happy blend of traditional socalled mastichohoria or mastic
and modern, Chios has a large villages, have retained their vivid
mediaeval castle which dominates mediaeval character. The first one you
the harbour. Its walls enclose the come to is Armolia (24 km), known for
old section of town, whose houses its pottery and its ruined 14th century
are embellished with lattice Genoese castle.
windows and balconies. The Pirgi (30 km.) is the second in line. It
traditional commercial street is looks as though it has emerged intact
called Aplotaria and leads to the from the Middle Ages, with its narrow,
central Vounakiou square. often roofed alleyways and its house
The town also has two faades covered with the unique
distinguished museums, the .xysta. decorations, geometric patterns
Archaeological Museum with finds in grey and white.
from the island, the Homerian Eight kilometres from Pirgi there are
Cultural Centre, where theatrical traces of a 6th century B.C. temple of
and musical performances are Apollo at the archaeological site of
held, and the Byzantine museum. Phanes.
Emborios, 10 km. south of Pirgi, is a
typical seaside village, whose
wonderful beach consists of black

The Islands of North


pebbles (Mavra Volia). 10 kilometres
west of Pirgi lie Olymbi and Mesta,
another wellpreserved medieval
village. Many of its traditional houses
have been converted by the GNTO

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into guest houses, where visitors can
stay.
4 kilometres north of Mesta is the
fishing hamlet of Limenas where
there are delightful beaches for
bathing. In the northern half of Chios
the first stopping point is the village of
Vrondados (5 km.), which boasts the
famous .Daskalopetra. (.Teacher.s
Rock.), where legend maintains
Homer used to teach.
Langadas (15 km) is a picturesque
fishing village not far from Delfinio, an
ancient naval and military base
founded by the Athenians in 412 B.C.
Kardamila and Marmaro are two
more typical fishing villages set at the
back of little bays with a variety of
delightful places to swim. Continuing
northwest, you will arrive at Volissos
(40 km.), one of Chios.s most
beautiful villages, spread over the For a new taste experience
lower slopes of a hill where the apart from the famous mastic,
remains of a Byzantine castle stand try some of the traditional Greek
sentinel. Tradition has it that this is .spoon sweets., preserves
one of the many possible birthplaces made from a plethora of fruits,
of Homer. The road to Volissos for which the island is famous.
passes through impressive mountain
scenery with wonderful views towards HOW TO GET THERE
the sea. By air:
Two kilometres away, the fishing From Athens,
hamlet of Limnia is where you can International Athens Airport
board the caique that sails to Psara El. Venizelos, tel.: 210 3530
and the monastery of Agia Markela (5 000
km.).
Finally, 13 kilometres to the west of By ferry-boat:
the capital, stands Nea Moni, one of From Piraeus, Mitilini, Mikonos,
Greece.s most important Byzantine Tinos, Siros, Samos, Kos,
monuments, which was proclaimed by Ikaria, Rhodes, Patmos,
UNESCO a Monument of Cultural Limnos, Alexandroupoli,
Heritage. Founded in the 11th century Thessaloniki, Kavala.
by a monk named Constantine, the
monastery contains extraordinary USEFUL TELEPHONE
frescoes and mosaics. NUMBERS
In the same area, the evocative Port authority 22710 44433
buildings in the semi-abandoned Police 22710 81537
mediaeval villages of Avgonima and First Aid 22710 44302-6
Anavatos transport the visitor to Municipal Tourism Office
another era. 2710 44389,22710 44344
Swimmers will find a variety of lovely fax: 22710 44343
beaches on Chios. These include the Tourist Police 22710 81539
resort of Karfas, not far from town, Airport 22710 81400 15 16
Agia Ermioni, Komi, Vrondodo, Agia
Markela and others.
13. Chios. Mosaic, Resurrection
from Nea Moni, (11th century)

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14. Chios. Fresco from house of
Pirgi.
15. Chios. Mesta.
16. Psara.

Eastern Aegean 09
INOUSSES
This group of nine tiny islands lies
9 n. mi. east of Chios. Only one,
Inoussa, is inhabited. The island
was home to some of the
wealthiest Greek ship owners,
which is the reason why in the
only settlement you will encounter
many outstanding mansions and
captain.s houses. Of special
interest, moreover, is the Nautical
Museum and the Evangelismos
(Annunciation) Monastery (5 km.
northwest of settlement). The
beaches are deserted and the
landscape completely unspoilt.
One can reach Inousses by boat
from Chios and, in summer, from
Piraeus as well.

PSARA
This small, rocky island lies 44 n.
mi. northwest of Chios. Its single
settlement, also called Psara, has
a Cycladic look. Visitors wishing
to stay here will find comfort in
addition to peace and quiet in the
traditional buildings which the
GNTO has renovated and
converted into guesthouses.
Psara is linked by ship with
Piraeus and Rafina (Attica) and
with Chios, (the town of Chios
and Volissos).
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Eastern Aegean 10
the islands chief ancient site;
and the Byzantine Museum with

SAMOS heirlooms
monasteries.
from Samian

Samos, one of the most easterly From Samos Town, if you take
Aegean islands just a stone.s throw the road heading south, your
from the coast of Asia Minor, is first stop will be Pithagorio
renowned for its wines, particularly (familiarly known as Tigani, 14
for the white muscat wine found km.), a small, picturesque port
nowhere else. occupying the site of the ancient
The birthplace of many philosophers capital. The presentday jetty has
and mathematicians of antiquity, been constructed on top of the
such as Epicouros, Aristarches, ancient foundations.
Pythagoras and others, Samos The area abounds in important
delights today.s visitors with its lush ruins: the Polycrates Wall (2nd
greenery, varied landscapes and half 6th century B.C.), the
fascinating archaeological sites. ancient theatre, and the famous
Among the island.s first inhabitants Eupalinos Tunnel, a technical
were the Pelasgians, who marvel dating from the 6th
established the worship of the century B.C. which used to
goddess Hera on Samos. supply the town with water. The
Samos reached its greatest small archaeological museum
prosperity during the reign of the houses local finds.
tyrant Polycrates, becoming one of To the right of the port the castle
the most powerful city.states of of Lycourgos Logothetis can be
Ionia, dominating the seas with its seen atop a hillock. This 19th
famous samaines, boats with five century edifice most probably
tiers of oarsmen. rests on the ruins of the former
The capital, Samos Town, is built on acropolis. Within its walls are
the verdant slopes that surround the two Roman colonnades as well
island.s deepest bay. It has retained as the remains of Early Christian
its individual appearance with its churches.
attractive neoclassical houses, old Not far from Pithagorio is the
mansions with pastel faades, while archaeological site of the
it is also worthwhile to make a trip to Heraion, with its sanctuary to
nearby Vathi, where traditional Hera of Samos, one of the
architecture has been preserved for biggest of antiquity. Within its
a large part. The town boasts two precincts, where tradition
major museums: the Archaeological maintained that the goddess
Museum with displays of ancient was born and raised, are the
sculptures, including the celebrated ruins of a temple dedicated in
Kouros of Samos, vases and objects her honour, Hellenistic and
from the Geometric and Archaic Roman buildings, the Sacred
eras, most of which were found at Road as well as part of an Early
the Heraion (Sanctuary of Hera), Christian basilica.
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Eastern Aegean 11
Karlovassi, on the north coast of HOW TO GET THERE
the island, is its second largest
harbour, composed of three By air:
districts, Old, New and Middle From Athens,
Karlovassi. International Athens Airport
Here, too, you will find imposing El. Venizelos, tel.: 210 3530.000
neoclassical houses, reminders of
earlier prosperous times, while 2 By ferry-boat:
kilometres away bathers will love From Piraeus
the sandy beach of Potami, rimmed Piraeus port authority: 1440
with luxuriant greenery. From Kavala
The drive between Samos (Vathi) Kavala port authority:
and Karlovassi runs along the 2510 223 716
magical coastline, cutting through During the summer months the
riotous vegetation and picturesque island of Samos is also linked by
villages. 24 kilometres east of boat services to the Dodecanese.
Karlovassi is the picturesque village
of Kokkari, one of the most popular USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
tourist resorts of the island, while six Port authority (Vathi)
kilometres to the south, set in 22730 27318
marvelous surroundings, is the Port authority (Pithagorio)
village of Marathokambos, which 22730 61255
acts as a .balcony. over the island.s Port authority (Karlovassi)
southern beaches and has both old 22730 30888
churches and caves to explore. At a Police (Vathi) 22730 87315
small distance from the village is the First Aid 22730 83100
cave of Pythagoras. Tourist Police 22730 81000
Still farther south is the tiny harbour Tourist Directorate of Support
of Ormos, good for fishing and Office in Samos 22730 28582
swimming, while beyond it lies a Fax: 22730 28530
string of lovely beaches . Airport 22730 87800
Votsalakia, Hrissi Amos, Ai Yianis
Eleimonas.
If you return to Samos by the inland
road, you will come to the village of
Mitilini, a market centre for the
island. Here there is a very
interesting paleontological museum
filled with the fossilised remains of
early horned beasts, mammoths 17. Samos. Heraion.
and carnivores. The island is well 18. Samos. Tsamadou beach.
endowed with all kinds of tourist 19. Samos. Karlovassi.
facilities. Accommodation 20. Samos. Pythagorio.
possibilities range from luxury hotels 21. Samos.
to family-style pensions and
camping sites.
and hamlets with houses made of
IKARIA drystone walls until the road ends in
Ikaria, a mountainous, densely the wooded village of

The Islands of North


forested island, perpetuates the Hrissostomos.
myth of Ikarus and his fall into the Returning to Agios Kirikos and
sea near its shores after his bold taking the road to the northeast this
attempt to reach the sun with his time, your first stop might be
waxen wings. In antiquity the Therma, known since antiquity for

Eastern Aegean 12
island was called Makri (Long) its radioactive springs. There is little
and Aeoliki because of its trace of the ancient settlement.
rectangular shape, and Continuing in this direction, you
Ichthyoessa because of its next come to Evdilos, Ikaria.s
abundant fish. The south coast of second port and its former capital.
the island is barren with steep The little village of Kambos, 2.5
cliffs, while the north is somewhat kilometres from Evdilos, is of
more gentle. Its scenery is wild interest thanks to its small
and rugged, with the Atheras archaeological museum with finds
mountain range running the from the area. It occupies the site of
length of the island, furrowed by ancient Oinoe (Inoi), once
lush ravines, gorges and gullies renowned for its grapes and,
that descend all the way to the according to some myths, the first
coast. place in Greece to cultivate the
Agios Kirikos, the island.s vine. All that remains of it today are
capital and chief port, is built on a the ancient walls, an aqueduct and
hillside, the balconies of its a building known as Palatia (the
houses almost invisible amongst Palaces).
their flowers. Though small, its In the mountain hamlet of
archaeological museum, Kossikia, the 10th century castle
containing Neolithic, Geometric of Nikaria is a typical example of
and Roman finds, is of Byzantine architecture. The next
considerable interest. stops are Yaliskari, one of the
Southwest of the capital, the first loveliest seaside locations with a
village you come to is Lefkada, beautiful beach, Armenistis, a
where mineral springs bubble up region of thick pine forest with an
through its sands. Beyond it, abundance of fresh water and a
there is a string of sheltered ports superb beach.
Hristos tis Rahis, a village jutting into
the open sea like a stone balcony, is
also picturesque. If you continue,

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don.t miss the 11th century
monastery of the Virgin of Mound ,
which has frescoes and a panoramic
view. Not far from Armenistis is the
miniature port of Nas, once the site

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of one of antiquity.s most celebrated
sanctuaries dedicated to Artemis.
Today nothing is left but traces of the
quay and parts of the temple floor.
To visit Ikaria.s other charming
villages and beaches, particularly
those on the south coast, you will
have to take a caique from Agios
Kirikos.
There is a yacht refuelling station at
Agios Kirikos.

HOW TO GET THERE


By air:
From Athens,
International Athens Airport
El. Venizelos, tel. 210 3530 000

By ferry-boat:
From Piraeus
Piraeus port authority: 1440
From Kavala
Kavala port authority: 2510 223 716

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS


Port authority 22750 22207
(Agios Kirikos)
Police (Ag. Kirikos) 22750 22222
First Aid 22750 22236 - 22330
Airport 22750 32216
22750 32197

FOURNI
This cluster of small islands lies
between Ikaria and Samos, a short
caique trip from Agios Kirikos. It has
one village and many deserted
beaches and coves. From the village
of Fourni you can take a small boat
to visit the beautiful beach of
Hryssomilia, as well as the closeby
island of Thymena.

22. Ikaria.Agios Kirikos


23. Ikaria. Therma
24. Ikaria. Yaliskari
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Eastern Aegean 14
The Islands of North
Eastern Aegean 15
The Islands of North
Eastern Aegean 16