The Northern Aegean region, as well as the entire Aegean region, already in the Mesolithic age ceased to be an obstacle and formed a bridge that united the peoples who lived in that region. Navigation, trade, economy, culture, social interactions developed within the Archipelago as well as its periphery and were based on communication and contact between its inhabitants, particularly those following the permanent colonization of the islands in the 5th millennium BC.
The million-year-long life and the millennium-long presence of the Northern Aegean region islands in the historical, social and cultural proceedings are manifested in the abundant and diverse monuments dispersed all over its area.
The Northern Aegean Islands are Chios , Ikaria , Lemnos, Lesvos , Samos , Samothrace, Tenedos and Thasos in Greece and Cunda and Imbros in Turkey .
Day 1 : Overnight ferry to Samos
Upon arrival transfer to the port of Piraeus for overnight ferry to Samos.
Day 2 : Samos
Samos is a Eastern Aegean Sea island, south of Chios, north of Patmos and the Dodecanese, and off the coast of Turkey, from which it is separated by the 1.6 km-wide Mycale Strait.
In ancient times Samos was a particularly rich and powerful city-state. It is home to Pythagoreion and the Heraion of Samos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Eupalinian aqueduct, a marvel of ancient engineering. Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, after whom the Pythagorean Theorem is named, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first known individual to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun.
Samian wine was well known in antiquity, and is still produced on the island. The island was an autonomous principality from 1835 until it joined Greece in 1912.
Overnight in Samos
Day 3 : Samos or Chios
Visit the sights, the beaches and the museums; discover old churches, ancient remains, the fascinating traditions and culture. Have a look at the wonderful landscapes and nature of Samos! Next to its wide choice of beaches, Samos is also an ideal destination for hikers!
What about a day tour to the sacred island of Patmos or to the smaller surrounding islands such as Ikaria or Fourni ?
Overnight in Samos or Chios
Day 4 : Chios
As per the ferry schedule, departure to Chios… Yet this could also be in the evening of Day 3.
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) off the Turkish coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. The island has a port for merchant shipping. The island produces a unique mastic gum. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages, and the 11th-century monastery of “Nea Moni”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the island.
Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios (town). Locals refer to Chios town as "Chora" ("Χώρα" literally means land or country, but usually refers to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island).
Overnight in Chios
Day 5 : Chios or Lesvos
What to do in Chios ?
Made from volcanic ground, the island of Chios emerges in the northern waters of the Aegean Sea. While the northern part is mainly covered with mountains and barren lands, the southern part is colored by fruits, almonds, olives, vines and uncountable mastic trees. These are the most characteristic trees of the island, a bush from whose fruits the Chian exclusively produce worldwide know products such as the mastic gum and a unique liquor that is served as an appetizer.
The main city, also called Chios, is built in a narrow plain with low hills opposite to the Minor Asian coast, in the same place where the ancient city was found. Today, it is a commercially active and lively city, with buildings of recent construction of more than one floor. However, the old flavor can still be noticed since big parts of the Genoese fortress with houses of the Ottoman period are conserved in good conditions, although this Byzantine fortress of the 10th century A.D. had to be repaired by various following conquerors.
It is worth to make an excursion to other villages such as Karyes. Ten kilometers from there stands Nea Moni, a monastery of the 11th century with spectacularly beautiful mosaics, ones of the best in Greece together with those in Dafnonas and Osiou Loukas.
On the southern part of the island you will find some medieval villages that you should not miss either, such as Mesta, Olympi and Pirgi, in the center of Mastichora. The most characteristic feature of these villages is that their houses are built one attached to the other in a way that their walls make up the village’s wall. The houses in Pirgi are engraved with interesting gray and white decorative drawings. Outside the village, in the southern coast of the island, in Kato Fana, lay the ruins of holy Apollo. In Emborios, partly hidden under the sea, there are some remains of what it used to be an ancient important commercial center of the Bronze Age.
The road heading North passes from Vrontados, a municipality with rich villas. Towards the end of the settlement the enormous historical rock of Daskalopetra, from where Homeros used to teach.
Overnight in Chios or Lesvos
Day 6 : Lesvos
As per the ferry schedule, departure to Lesvos… Yet this could also be in the evening of Day 5.
Lesbos is located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632 km2 (630 sq mi) with 320 kilometres (almost 200 miles) of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait.
The population is approximately 90,000, a third of which lives in its capital, Mytilene The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Plomari, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos (the ancient Mythymna). Mytilene was founded in the 11th century BC by the family Penthilidae, who arrived from Thessaly, and ruled the city-state until a popular revolt (590–580 BC) led by Pittacus of Mytilene ended their rule. In early middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and Genovese rule. Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462, who ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, when it became part of the Kingdom of Greece. Overnight in Lesvos
Day 7 : Lesvos
Excursions on Lesvos :
We leave the area of North Lesvos and we head to the centre of the island, to the area of Kalloni. We make our first stop at the Limonos Monastery. This is the biggest monastery on the island today; it was built in 1526 by a priest called Ignatios on the spot where an old monastery of Archangel Michael pre-existed. In Limonos we can visit the museum to see old Byzantine icons and the third richest collection of manuscripts in Greece from the 9th century to the 19th century. We continue towards the west and we stop in the village of Vatoussa, a mountain village with a picturesque square for a coffee or a breakfast of fresh farm eggs omelette and traditional Greek pastries. Later as we reach the west part, we drive through oak trees and finally we reach the “wild west”, the dry volcanic area and the Petrified Forest. We will head down to the petrified forest a natural miracle of 30.000 years. You can make a walk in the park and learn about the flora and fauna of the island in these ages. Last stop of the day is in Skala Eressos. Eressos has been the birthplace of Sappho, a famous poetess of the 6th century BC. Skala Eressos is famous today for its long, sandy beach, the crystal clear water and the tavernas where you can enjoy your lunch.
First stop will be in the sweet little traditional village of Kapi for a coffee stop in an old Greek kafenion. There you can try a real Greek Coffee or maybe you can have a taste of the home made Greek traditional sweets. We continue the journey to the tranquil monastery of Taxiarchis (Archangel Michael). The famed icon of the archangel found in the church is a rare Orthodox icon in relief. The carved icon was made by a monk using mud and the blood of his fallen comrades after being miraculously saved by Saracen pirates. In the mountain village of Mandamados, handmade ceramics are available. The journey ends in the village of Skala Sykaminia, where you can have lunch in one of the taverns in the harbor, known for their fresh seafood dishes and you can visit the tiny chapel of the Mermaid.
In the evening, as per ferry schedule, transfer to the harbor for overnight ferry to Athens.
Day 8 : Athens
Upon arrival in Athens early morning, transfer to your hotel. Activities at choice :
1. Sightseeing tour of Athens including the visit of the Acropolis
2. Half day tour (morning) to the canal of Corinth
3. Half day tour (afternoon) to Cape Sounion and the Poseidon Temple
4. Full day tour to Delphi or Argolis (Myceane)
Day 9 : Athens
Day 10 : Maybe feel to go on to Turkey ?
Time at leisure till departure to the Airport for home flight.
1. Depending the seasonality or some international events (congress, fairs...) prices of the proposed hotels may vary.
2. Due to closure days of some sites and museums, tours may be swapped to ensure the best running of your program. We have endeavored to show these in the program.