The Greek territory comprises 6000 islands and islets, scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea which make one of the most beautiful and interesting cruise areas in the world. Bounded by the Greek mainland to the west and north, the Turkish coast to the east, and the island of Crete to the south, the Greek islands represent a truly unique phenomenon on the European continent. As the cradle of some of the most ancient European civilizations these islands boast unique archaeological sites, an outstanding architectural heritage and centuries-old, fascinating local traditions. The Greek Archipelago offers a highly diversified landscape: sheltered bays, beaches stretching along many kilometers, coastal caves with steep rocks and black sand typical of volcanic soil, golden stretches of sand with dunes, pebbly beaches, coastal wetlands etc. Many Greek beaches have been awarded the blue flag under the programme Blue Flags of Europe. Apart from swimming, they lend themselves to scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing. All this, combined with the ideal climate, the safety of Greek waters and the short distances between ports and coasts, make cruising these waters an unforgettable experience which is why the Greek islands are so popular among Greek and foreign visitors.
The most popular Greek islands are divided in several groups:
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The Greek territory comprises 6000 islands and islets, scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea which make one of the most beautiful and interesting cruise areas in the world.
The islands situated in the Saronic Gulf southwest of Athens are among the most beautiful and interesting of all the Greek islands.
The Northern Sporades is the proper name for what people usually call the Sporades.
The Dodecanese is the most southerly group of islands in the Southern Sporades, lying east of the Cyclades, west of the coast of Asia Minor, and north-east of Crete.
One of the many enchanting groups of islands surrounding Greece is the Cyclades group. Their name comes from the Greek word kyklos for rings or circles, because of the way they seem to surround the sacred island Delos, the birthplace of Apollo.