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Paros (Greek: Πάρος ,Venetian name)is an island of Greece in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 km (5 mi) wide. It lies approximately 100 nmi (185 km) south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets totaling 196.308 km² of land. Its nearest neighbor is the municipality of Antiparos, lying to its southwest.
Historically, Paros was known for its fine white marble, which gave rise to the term "Parian" to describe marble or china of similar qualities. Today, abandoned marble quarries and mines can be found on the island, but Paros is primarily known as a popular tourist spot.
Paros is a popular destination, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. This place has many things to offer to the visitor: beautiful landscapes, golden sandy beaches with clear water, small traditional white villages with cubic houses, fishing harbours, churches, archaeological sites...
Paros is also famous all over the world for its ideal weather conditions for windsurfing
Naxos ([in Greek, Νάξος, pronounced [ˈnaksos]) is a Greek island, the largest island (429 km2 (166 sq mi)) in the Cyclades island group in the Aegean. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture.
The island comprises the two municipalities of Naxos and Drymalia. The largest town and capital of the island is Hora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census). The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.
Naxos is a popular tourist destination, with several easily accessible ruins. It has a number of beautiful beaches, such as those at Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Agios Georgios, most of them near Hora. Naxos is the most fertile island of the Cyclades. It has a good supply of water in a region where water is usually inadequate. Mount Zeus (1003 metres) is the highest peak in the Cyclades, and tends to trap the clouds, permitting greater rainfall. This has made agriculture an important economic sector with various vegetable and fruit crops as well as cattle breeding, making Naxos the most self-sufficient island in the Cyclades. Naxos is also known within Greece for its potatoes.
Naxos Greece is considered one of the most beautiful and authentic island of the Cyclades and attracts more and more visitors every year.
Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη, pronounced [sadoˈrini]), classically Thera ( /ˈθɪrə/), and officially Thira (Greek: Θήρα [ˈθira]), is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast from Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2001 census population of 13,670. The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.
Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements, on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The caldera being 400m deep makes it possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is, however, a newly built marina in Vlychada on the southwestern coast. The principal port is called Athinias. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a notably small presence of hornblende.
It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long and 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 mi) wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri.
The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (68 mi) to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. This theory is not, however, supported by chronology, in that the collapse of the Minoan civilization did not occur at the date of the tsunami, but some 90 years later. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.
Santorini is the most beautiful Greek island the jewel On the crown for Aegean sea , has one of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece and in the world. The traditional villages of the island, built on tall cliffs, offer a breathtaking view over the submerged volcano. They represent the beautiful Greek cliche you have always dreamed about! Among them you mustn't miss Oia, the place gifted with the most famous and stunning sunsets.
The island of Cephalonia, also known as Kefalonia, Cephallenia, Cephallonia, Kefallinia, or Kefallonia (Ancient Greek: Κεφαλληνία; Modern Greek: Κεφαλονιά or Κεφαλλονιά; Italian: Cefalonia), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, with an area of 781 km². It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli.
From the 16th to the 18th centuries, it was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world together with Zakynthos and owned a large shipping fleet, even commissioning ships from the Danzig shipyard. The towns and villages mostly were built high on hilltops, to prevent attacks from raiding parties of pirates that sailed the Ionian Sea during the 1820s.
French, Ionian state period and British Rule
From 1797 to 1798, the island was part of the French départment Ithaque. From 1799 to 1807, it was part of the Septinsular Republic, nominally under sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire but protected by Russia. After a second period under French control (1807–1809), it was conquered by Great-Britain in October 1809 and became a dependency of the British Empire, named the United States of the Ionian Islands from 1815 to 1864.
Union with Greece
In 1864, Cephalonia, together with all the other Ionian Islands, became a full member of the Greek state.
World War II
Further information: Axis occupation of Greece during World War II
In World War II, the island was occupied by Axis powers. Until late 1943, the occupying force was predominantly Italian - the 33rd Infantry Division Acqui plus Navy personnel totalled 12,000 men - but about 2,000 troops from Nazi Germany were also present. The island was largely spared the fighting, until the armistice with Italy concluded by the Allies in September 1943. Confusion followed on the island, as the Italians were hoping to return home, but German forces did not want the Italians' munitions to be used eventually against them; Italian forces were hesitant to turn over weapons for the same reason. As German reinforcements headed to the island the Italians dug in and, eventually, after a referendum among the soldiers as to surrender or battle, they fought against the new German invasion. The fighting came to a head at the siege of Argostoli, where the Italians held out. Ultimately the German forces prevailed, taking full control of the island, and five thousand of the nine thousand surviving Italian soldiers were executed as a reprisal by German forces. While the war ended in central Europe in 1945, Cephalonia remained in a state of conflict due to the Greek Civil War. Peace returned to Greece and the island in 1949.
The Great Earthquake of 1953
Main article: 1953 Ionian Earthquake
Cephalonia is just to the east of a major tectonic fault, where the European plate meets the Aegean plate at a slip boundary. This is similar to the more famous San Andreas Fault. There are regular earthquakes along this fault.
A series of four earthquakes hit the island in August 1953, and caused major destruction, with virtually every house on the island destroyed. The third and most destructive of the quakes took place on August 12, 1953 at 09:24 UTC (11:24 local time), with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre was directly below the southern tip of Cephalonia, and caused the entire island to be raised 60 cm higher, where it remains, with evidence in water marks on rocks around the coastline.
This 1953 disaster caused huge destruction, with only regions in the north escaping the heaviest tremors and houses there remaining intact. Damage was estimated to run into tens of millions of dollars, equivalent to billions of drachmas, but the real damage to the economy occurred when residents left the island. An estimated 100,000 of the population of 125,000 left the island soon after, seeking a new life elsewhere.The largest of the seven Ionian islands (700 sq km2 about). It's highest peak is Ancient Mount Aenos, 1628 m (5341feet) In Greece's west coast, Cephalonia has only 32,000 resident islanders. With Lefkas to the north and Zakynthos to the south the island is firmly on a tourist trail and grows each year as more accommodation becomes available and big tour operators move in. Despite the annual influx of visitors, mainly Italians, the island is so big it is still possible to get away to places where you are unlikely to meet a soul for days. Vast tracts of forest cloak the rugged limestone landscape, with ten peaks topping 5,000 feet.
Mykonos (English: /ˈmiːkənɒs/, Greek: Μύκονος [ˈmikonos]) is a Greek island, part of the Cyclades, lying between Tinos, Syros, Paros and Naxos. The island spans an area of 85.5 km2 (33 sq mi) and rises to an elevation of 341 m (1,119 ft) at its highest point. There are 9,320 inhabitants (2001) most of whom live in the largest town, Mykonos, which lies on the west coast. The town is also known as Chora (i.e. the Town in Greek, following the common practice in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town). Tourism is a major industry.
Believe the postcards! Mykonos is so beautiful, it is no accident that it has become one of the most desired destinations in the world. And if you add the cosmopolitan lifestyle, the sophisticated nightlife and the historic treasures of the nearby Delos to its stunning natural beauties and picturesque villages, you’ll have the recipe for an unforgettable holiday.
Although one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades complex, Mykonos is definitely the most famous, thanks to its treasure of natural beauty, rich history, cosmopolitan character combined with a wild nightlife, as well as plenty of local color.