Greece has over 2,500 islands, of which only 165 are inhabited. The most populous of which are:
Most islands are located in the Aegean and they are divided in seven complexes (from north to south):
- Northeastern Aegean Islands: Agios Efstratios, Thasos, Ikaria, Lesbos, Limnos, Oinousses, Samos, Samothrace, Chios, Psara
- Sporades: Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros
- Saronic Islands: Agistri, Aegina, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Spetses, Hydra
- Cyclades: A complex of 56 islands, mainly Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Tzia (Kea), Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Syros, Tinos, Folegandros, and the “Small Cyclades”, consisting of Donousa, Irakleia, Koufonisia, and Schoinousa
- Dodecanese: Astypalaia, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Leipsoi, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Rhodes, Symi, Tilos, Chalki
The Ionian Sea features only one island complex:
Ionian Islands: Zakynthos, Ithaki, Corfu, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Paxoi and Kythira which are located opposite the Peloponnese, are that largest of Ionian Islands and they constitute the Eptanese. Antipaxoi, Antikythira, Ereikousa, Kalamos, Kastos, Mathraki, Meganisi, Othonoi, Skorpios, Strofades are the rest of the Ionian Islands.
Not included in any island complex, but still boasting incomparable natural beauty, are the islands Gavdos, south of Crete, Elafonisos, in the Laconic Gulf and Trizonia in the Corinthian Gulf.
Some of the oldest European civilizations have developed in the islands of Greece (Cycladic, Minoic, etc). The islands feature unique archaeological sites, a special architectonic heritage and charming local traditions of a multifaceted long lasting culture.