Greece (officially, the Hellenic Republic) comprises numerous islands that are further grouped into different island clusters. The island clusters include the Argo-Saronic Islands, North Aegean Islands, Ionian Islands, Cyclades, Crete, Dodecanese, and the Sporades. The term Sporades literally means “scattered” and refers to their geographical location, as these islands are scattered in the north Aegean Sea. Out of the total 24 islands in the Sporades Island group, only four of these islands are permanently inhabited.
Often referred to as the Thessalian Sporades, the Sporades Island group is made up of 24 islands that are positioned in the northern Aegean Sea. This group of islands is situated along the eastern coast of mainland Greece and to the northeast of Euboea island. The Sporades Island group collectively occupies a land area of 275.7 km2. There are different groups of Sporades Islands.
- The Northern Sporades includes the larger islands of Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skyros, Skopelos, and the smaller islands of Kyra Panagia, Peristera, Piperi, Gioura, Skantzoura, and Tsougria.
- The Thracian Sporades includes the islands of Agios Efstratios, Imbros, Lemnos, Samothrace, and Thasos.
- The Western Sporades includes the islands of Aigina, Hydra, Poros, Salamis, and Spetses as well as other islands that are located in the Myrtoan Sea and the Saronic Gulf.
Covering an area of 209 km2, Skyros is the largest island in the Sporades island group that is located in the Aegean Sea. The northern portion of the island is covered by forests whereas the southern part of the island has relatively rough terrain. Mount Kochila is the island’s highest point which rises to an elevation of 792 m. Linaria is the main port of the island, located on its western coast. There are several popular beaches on the island. Skyros is also well known for its indigenous Skyrian ponies. The village of Chora, sometimes called Skyros in English, serves as the capital of Skyros Island. A Byzantine castle and the Monastery of Saint George are also found on the island.
Skiathos is a small Greek island that is located in the northwestern Aegean Sea and forms the westernmost island in the Northern Sporades island group. The island is bordered on the west by the Skiathos Channel and the east by the Skopelos Channel. The island’s coastline is highly indented and consists of many capes, inlets, bays, and peninsulas. The northern part of the island has rugged terrain and Mount Karafiltzanaka, which rises to an elevation of 433 m is the island’s highest point. The island’s principal town also named Skiathos is located on the eastern part of the island. The island’s wooded landscape along with its numerous sandy beaches make it a notable tourist destination.
Covering an area of 96 km2, the island of Skopelos is located in the western part of the Aegean Sea and forms a part of the Thessaly administrative region of Greece. The island is roughly shaped like a saxophone and features two major mountains, namely Delphi and Palouki. Situated on a bay in the northern part of the island is Skopelos, which serves as the island’s principal port and its municipal center. Other major settlements on the island include Glossa, Elios (Neo Klima), Agnondas, Ananias, Atheato, Stafylos, and Klima.
Covering an area of 64 km2, the island of Alonnisos is a part of the Northern Sporades group of islands. Situated on the island’s southern part is the village of Alonnisos. Patitiri, the principal port, is located in the southeastern part of the island. The Alonnisos Marine Park was established in 1992 to protect the Mediterranean monk seal and other fauna that are found on the island.