The Greek islands are grouped in various clusters. Probably the best – known cluster of Greek islands is the Cyclades, in the central Aegean. Most of the islands typically follow the traditional architecture of white – washed buildings and blue domes. The capital of the Cyclades is Ermoupolis in the island of Syros; other islands in the Cyclades include Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Naxos.
The Dodecanese are a cluster of 12 large and 150 small islands in the Eastern Aegean Sea; 26 of them are inhabited. The best – known Dodecanesian island is Rhodes, which once housed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus. Other important islands include Kos, Patmos, Karpathos and Nisyros, among others.
The Saronic or Argo – Saronic Islands consist an archipelago in the Saronic Gulf, just off the Greek mainland and very close to Athens. The main islands of this cluster are Salamis (where the famous ancient naval battle took place in 480 BC), Aegina, Angistri, Poros, along with Hydra and Dokos.
The North Aegean Islands are a number of disconnected islands belonging to Greece and Turkey. Some of the main islands of this cluster are the Greek islands of Samos, Ikaria, Chios, Lesvos, and Lemnos.
The Sporades or Northern Sporades are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of Evia. 24 islands comprise this cluster, but four are inhabited. These are Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos and Skyros.
The final cluster of Greek islands is located in the Ionian Sea and is therefore named Ionian Islands or the Heptanese, which means “Seven Islands”. Although the main islands in this cluster are indeed seven, many smaller ones also belong to this cluster. The main Ionian Islands are Corfu (or Kerkyra), Paxi (or Paxos), Lefkada, Ithaki, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira. The first six islands are off the west coast of Greece, while Kythira is south of the Peloponnese.