The Northern Aegean islands are a widely scattered bunch that lie near the Bosphorus.
These islands don't get the visitor numbers of other Greek island groups but they do suit tourists who favour quieter beaches and forested hills lined with good walking trails.
LEVOS or Lesbos, also called Mytilini, is probably the best known and lies off the north Turkish coast. It is the third largest of the Greek islands and has plenty for the tourist while retaining a traditional small Greek island charm.
SAMOS is another big and mountainous island and noted for its many architectural wonders, beautiful scenery, muscat wine and native flora.
Among the other islands, IKARIA is also famous for its dark red wine, thermal springs and tranquil beaches.
CHIOS is a mountainous island, known for natural mastic production and with many traditional villages.
LEMNOS or Limnos is very traditional with relatively little tourist development but boasting vast, sandy beaches and great windsurfing.
The island of THASSOS, just off the Macedonian coast, is a growing in popularity. This small circular island has dozens of sandy beaches and extensive inland pine forests.