Those who want to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the Greek Islands – but are not too excited about the usual crowds – will surely enjoy the Northern Aegean islands. These islands offer a serene escape from the masses without sacrificing spectacular scenery and fabulous beaches. With several islands to choose from, you can easily change surroundings and find a variety of experience you may be craving.
One of the most popular destinations in the Northern Aegean area is the island of Chios. It is also only 5 miles from the Turkish coast so you won’t have to worry about day excursions while you are there.
Okay, Chios is not exactly devoid of tourists considering that it is the 5th biggest of all Greek islands. However, it still has so much to offer visitors that it is certainly worth visiting. You can hang around the picturesque beaches of Komi, Daskalopetra and Agia Markella.
If you get tired of the sea and the sand, you can go visit more than 30 monasteries scattered all over the island. Nea Moni Monastery is the most awe-inspiring of all and a perfect place for those who are looking for a bit of tranquillity on the island. You can also check out the opulent displays in the Palace of Ioustiniani, the pieces of interest in the Maritime Museum or a glimpse of history in the Archaeological Museum.
An exploration of the fortified old town is also a must. If you need to take a break from all the walking, sit by the cafes on Aegiou Street and enjoy the waterfront view along with your frappe. Finally, don’t miss verdant Kampos where you will find lush greens, citrus groves and centuries-old mansions.
If you are looking for another scenic and beautiful destination for your holiday, then Thassos is a perfect choice. The island is naturally endowed with so much beauty from its splendid beaches to its picture-perfect mountain villages. Archaeological ruins are also plentiful on the island for those who are history buffs.
If you love markets and fresh produce, make sure to visit the Prinos Street market on a Monday morning for great buys and lively atmosphere. Of course, Thassos beaches are a sure delight – especially Tripiti and its natural bathtub, Pefkari as well as lively nightlife, family fun at the Golden beach and spectacular scenery at the nudist Paradise beach.
A good nature getaway destination in Northern Aegean is the beautiful island of Samothraki. This island is the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts who seek for springs, waterfalls and lush forests. Visit the Sanctuary of the Great Gods whose ruins are a pleasant surprise after you have hiked through a densely wooded area. The archaeological site is not just an awe-inspiring piece of history but also provides breathtaking views.
Those looking for easy treks will delight in the trail along Fonias River which ends in the dramatic view of a waterfall cascade. Not far away from the ruins can be found the hot springs of Loutra, where you can take a rejuvenating dip to keep you energized for the rest of your days on the island.