The islands of Eastern Aegean are located on the northeastern side of the Aegean Sea and close to the coasts of Turkey. Most of these islands are large in size and have many interesting places to see. This island group is not as popular as Cyclades, Dodecanese or Ionian islands, as it has kept a more family profile.
Island hopping to Eastern Aegean islands
Due to the close distance and the convenient ferry connection, a good island combination in the Eastern Aegean is island hopping to Samos, Ikaria, and Fourni. These three islands are close to each other and in summer there are daily ferry schedules. Samos and Ikaria are gorgeous islands with fabulous beaches and atmosphere. Fourni is a small island that can even be visited for a day from Samos or Ikaria.
Another convenient combination is island hopping to Chios and Lesvos. These two islands are connected by ferry and offer a truly relaxing, family atmosphere. They are both large in size and have many things to see, so better rent a car for a few days to explore the islands.
Things to do and see in Eastern Aegean islands
Excursions in the Eastern Aegean islands are many. As they are large in size and with interesting culture, the islands of Eastern Aegean offer many sightseeings worth to discover. With an important role in the Byzantine and Medieval times, these islands have evident remnants from this era. The Byzantine Castle of Chios, the Medieval Castle of Mytilene and the Castle of Molyvos in Lesvos are typical examples of fortification. Various smaller castles and watchtowers can be seen on your drive around the islands. In Chios, do not miss the Medieval villages, such as Pyrgi, Olympi, Volissos, and Anavatos, which still keep their Medieval architecture.
Important ancient sites can also be seen in Eastern Aegean islands, including the Sanctuary of Hera and the Tunnel of Eupalinus in Samos, the Roman Aqueduct in Lesvos and the Ancient Agora in Thassos. As nature in these islands is lush green, hiking is an interesting activity, especially in Samos, Ikaria, and Thassos. These hiking trails lead to secluded beaches, mountainous villages, old sightseeings, waterfalls, and caves.
Day trips to Turkey
As the Eastern Aegean islands are so close to the Turkish coasts, daily boat trips and ferries depart in summer from the Greek islands to Turkey. Boats from the port of Vathy in Samos arrive in Kusadasi Turkey and from there you can also visit Ancient Ephesus. The port of Chios Town is daily connected to the port of Cesme in Turkey, which is an only 1-hour drive from the cosmopolitan Izmir. The port of Mytilene in Lesvos is connected by ferry to the town of Ayvalik in Turkey.