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The Sporades are probably the least known of the Greek island chains, which is remarkable in that they are so close to Athens and the mainland. Evvoia, the second largest island of the Aegean after Crete, is normally included among the Sporades for its proximity to them, but is actually a land mass unto itself, and close enough to the mainland that a casual glance at the map suggests it's not an island. Evvoia is a pastoral island, most of it given over to agriculture. But the towns do have a lively nightlife, with many, perhaps most, revelers being Athenians off for a weekend. Skopelos is the place for quiet and reflection. Small as this ...

The Sporades are probably the least known of the Greek island chains, which is remarkable in that they are so close to Athens and the mainland. Evvoia, the second largest island of the Aegean after Crete, is normally included among the Sporades for its proximity to them, but is actually a land mass unto itself, and close enough to the mainland that a casual glance at the map suggests it's not an island. Evvoia is a pastoral island, most of it given over to agriculture. But the towns do have a lively nightlife, with many, perhaps most, revelers being Athenians off for a weekend. Skopelos is the place for quiet and reflection. Small as this island is, it has more than 300 churches and monasteries. Many are small or abandoned, but a pilgrimage to the island is worthwhile. Skiathos is beach party central, often called the Mykonos of the Sporades. There are all of 60 beaches on this little island. Some are just 100 feet long and tucked into little coves or inlets. Others rival the major resorts of greater islands. While the seashore teems with tourists, the interior is surprisingly tranquil, and well suited for a bike ride or a hike.

Richard Sterling
About the Expert

Richard Sterling is the author of Lonely Planet's World Food: Greece, Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam, and many other books.

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Richard Sterling for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea, in the Aegean Sea. It consists of 24 islands.
  • Language: Greek (Demotike), French and English
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Sporades Islands | Evvia Island | Evvia
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Less crowded but still vibrant in the fall