North-East Aegean Islands
The North-East Aegean Islands of Greece are those islands in (naturally) the north and east Aegean, but which don't really belong to any other island group. They spread out in a sweep, mostly off the Turkish coast down the eastern Aegean, and include Lesvos (or Lesbos), the third largest of the Greek Islands, Thassos (or Thasos) off the Macedonian coast of Greece, the distinctive island of Chios (Hios), Lemnos (or Limnos), and Samos, probably the most popular of these islands for overseas holiday-makers.
These North-East Aegean Islands are much less visited than the Cyclades or Dodecanese islands, and so retain a much stronger Greek identity. There's still plenty to attract those looking for a relaxing vacation, with lots of good beaches, hotels and restaurants, but here you'll also find that elusive 'real Greece'.
Mytilini on Lesvos
Lesvos (or Lesbos) is well-known as the island of Sappho, the great Greek poet, and although it's the third largest Greek island after Crete and Evia, you could still drive around it in a few hours. Nevertheless, it has a great deal to offer the visitor, with deserted beaches, mountain walks and forests. It's also noted both for excellent bird-watching, and for the quality of its ouzo! Check out our separate page on Lesbos, including ferry and flight information.
Vineyards on Samos
Samos is one of the loveliest of this group, an island that is green and fertile, with wooded hills, great walking, olive groves, vineyards producing good wine (especially the superb Samos dessert wine), and lots of terrific beaches too. Read our separate page on Samos, including ferry and flight information.
Potamia on Thassos
Thassos (or Thasos) is the most northerly of the Greek islands, a short ferry ride from Kavala on the mainland in eastern Macedonia. It also has good beaches, pine-covered mountains, some archaeological remains, good walking, and is not yet over-developed for tourism. See our full page on Thassos.
Chios (or Hios) has a character all its own, and is a sizeable island with a mountainous north, lots of attractive wooded valleys, and plenty of trees. These include the native mastic tree, which produces a resin that was once in great demand for industrial use and is also now thought to have many health-giving benefits too.
Chios holds onto its Greek traditions, and despite its many attractions it doesn't attract visitors in huge numbers – which will add to its appeal for many people. See our separate page on Chios.
Limnos is the other notable island in this group, but like Chios it isn't over-developed for tourism. Partly this is because it has a large military presence, due to its proximity to Turkey and due to it having one of the largest natural harbors in the Aegean.
However, it does also have some good beaches, a few ancient sites, and plenty of agricultural land including vineyards that produce some fine retsina wine. See our separate page on Limnos.
The Smaller Islands
The smaller islands in this North-East Aegean group include Fourni, Ikaria and Samothraki.
Other North-East Aegean pages
Thassos is in the North East Aegean and on this page from the Greece Travel Secrets website you can also see information about flights and ferries to Thassos.
The A-Z Thassos travel guide, including Kavala and Philippi, is newly updated for 2022 and is the most comprehensive guide to Thassos available.
Samothraki (Greek) or Samothrace (English) is a small island in the north-east Aegean Sea with the closest Greek islands being Thassos and Lemnos.
Samos is in the NE Aegean islands of Greece with attractions including Heraion and Pythagoreio, and this page tells you what to see and how to get there.
A visit to the Museum of Samos Wine to learn about the muscat grapes that produce the best dessert wines in the world and also the Greek spirit, Metaxa.
The island of Lesbos or Lesvos is in the North East Aegean Islands in Greece, and on this page you can see information including flights and ferries.
The island of Lemnos (or Limnos) is in in the North East Aegean Islands and on this page you can see information about flights and ferries,
Ikaria (or Icaria) is an island in the North East Aegean Islands of Greece between Samos and Mykonos and is truly one of Greece's travel secrets.
The Greek island of Chios or Hios is a large island in the North East Aegean close to the Turkish coast, south of Lesvos and north of Samos, and famous for its mastic trees.
The best things to do on Thassos in the North East Aegean islands of Greece include its beaches, mountain hikes, and visiting its ancient archaeological sites.
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