The Southern Aegean, a region of Greece consisting of the island groups of the Cyclades and the Southern Sporades, borders Cape Sounion on the mainland in the north and extends to Cape Akburun on the Turkish peninsula. Etesia, the ancient Greek term for the warm Mediterranean winds around the Aegean Sea, characterizes the Mediterranean climate there. Thanks to the cooling winds, the hot summers are perfect for swimming and active holidays in the hotels of the Southern Aegean. Many of the hotels are characterized by their unique architecture in typical Greek style: Bright white sandstone buildings stretch along the natural coastal landscapes. Here, both culturally interested holidaymakers and those seeking relaxation get their money's worth.
The Southern Aegean is characterized above all by the sheer quantity of islands. The Southern Sporades alone are made up of over 170 islands and are ideal for boat tours to the islands of Symi, Patmos, Kos or Nisyros, among others. On a full day boat tour around Symi you can admire the flora and fauna as well as the architecture of the island from the sea. The individual islands can also be explored by bus or bike. Kos, for example, has more than 3000km of cycle paths and offers a variety of scenery due to the constantly changing altitude. One of the largest islands of the Southern Aegean is Rhodes. Here, travellers relax on Glystra Beach, which is surrounded by dunes, deep blue sea and untouched nature. The picturesque beach presents crystal clear and cooling water, while the island centre is marked by rock formations. But even the smallest municipality, Kea Island, offers an impressive landscape with numerous bays, sea caves and inland plateaus with lush vegetation. City lovers are recommended to visit the Cycladic architecture, which is characterized by its white buildings, blue windows and doors and square shape. A particularly beautiful example of this typical architecture can be found by tourists during a walk through the mountain village of Lefkes on Paros.
Probably the most famous building of the southern Aegean Sea is only present in memory today: the Colossus of Rhodes. A 30m high statue of the sun god Helios. This stood centuries ago in the capital of the island. It is believed to have stood at the entrance of the ancient harbour. Rhodes City itself is the centre of the island and the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But also, the small islands of the Mediterranean Sea have their objects of interest. The Tourlitis lighthouse standing on a rock off the coast of Andros, the lion statue on Kea and the rock monastery in the steep coast on Amorgos are just a few examples of the variety of the Southern Aegean. Furthermore, there are natural wonders to be experienced, such as the Chrysospilia, a 300m deep cave in the north of the island of Folegandros. Santorini's natural features such as craters and the cliff path are also highlights. On Sifnos, beautiful local pottery awaits the visitors. The island has a rich clay soil and has contributed to the development of ceramics in the Greek area. Friends of the cultural exhibitions will also get their money's worth in the various museums: shipping, folklore and archaeological museums, for example on Santorini or Mykonos, cordially invite visitors to the island and can be easily explored from the hotels of the Southern Aegean.
The hotels of the Southern Aegean offer the finest dishes of regional cuisine. This is influenced by both the Greek and Turkish mainland. The Cyclades have a high density of cheese dairies that produce excellent fresh cheese, feta and graviera, a Greek hard cheese. In addition, there are sausages and hams from regional cattle herds. Dried tomatoes, capers, aubergines and courgettes complete the meal and make the hearts of gourmet lovers beat faster. Such dishes, grilled on charcoal, are known throughout the country and can be rounded off with a white or red wine. Herbs thrive ideally in the mountain regions. The mountain slopes are littered with oregano, rosemary and thyme, while the farms produce olive oil from local olives. The islands of the southern Aegean are also famous for their fish. This is freshly caught in the Mediterranean and refined with local herbs. The pâtés made by nomadic shepherds are also unparalleled. Hot pies are served out of the wood-fired oven and offer a maximum taste experience. The sweetness comes from the sweet speciality Halva or one of the various wild citrus fruits.
The Southern Aegean is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. In some places the summer temperatures are more than 40°C. The months of June, July and August are characterized by dry periods. At this time, holidaymakers enjoy Mediterranean waters with mild temperatures of about 25°C, while the sun shines for almost half the day. However, travelling during the winter months is also an option in the Southern Aegean. Even in December, the thermometer can still show 17°C, which is perfect for an active hiking holiday. Although the probability of precipitation is somewhat higher, it is still quite low with seven to 14 days of rain per month. In summer, numerous festivals attract visitors to the various islands: On Rinia, for example, on Whit Sunday, the Trinity Festival is celebrated, a large public festival in honour of the Holy Trinity; on Karpathos, a festival in honour of John the Baptist is celebrated every year at the end of August in the bay of Vourgoúnda.
Some of the larger islands of the Southern Aegean have an airport. Rhodes, Kos, Samos and Crete have an international airport, while there are a larger number of national airports. Most of the islands of the South Aegean can only be reached by ferry from the Greek mainland.