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Argo saronic Gulf & Islands
Argosaronic Nisi

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  The Argosaronic gulf in reality is the combination of the Saronic and the Argolid gulfs. The gulf Ranges from Pireas ( Athens main port) along the coast of the Peloponnese and down around the argoid peninsula. Being the main sea route into places such as Argos, Athens, Corinth, Epidauros, and Mycenae. This gulf has played a significant role in the trading prosperity and numerous invasions of the land we call Greece.

   The gulf at one point (most likely shortly after the last ice age) was a mountainous land bridge connecting Attica to the Argoid peninsula. However, the waters came back in, covering over most of the mountains until only the peeks remained forming lush islands in the middle of blue water.

   One report I read says that there are at least 88 islands in the gulf. Which is very likely since the islands are the top of a submerged mountain chain. However, for this page I am only interested in 4. Those are this islands of Aegina, Poros, Idra and Spetses. (The fifth major island is the industrialized Salamina)These islands share a lot of history and development with each other. At one time all of the islands were lush with pine forests which meant that they got a lot of water as well. Enough water that underground cisterns trapped enough water for the islands to grow substantial populations. (A rain shadow has enveloped Idra and part of Spetses so they need water brought in now) With the wood from the pine forests these islands were able to become sizable maritime trading powers and gain great wealth. The islands have all played varying roles in Greek history. The most notable are Idra and Spetses (two of the few islands never to be taken over by the Turks) lent their fleets to assist in the liberation of Greece.

   The islands all vary in terms of character. I have found that the further away from Athens, the more of the original character they have been able to retain. By far the most enjoyable to visit are Spetses and Idra. Spetses for its sparse population and massive pine forest and Idra for its swimming and homes. Poros lends itself for a very scenic bike ride and a nice place to watch tourists bustle around. Aegina, once you escape the one million Athenians that are not in Athens can have hidden pleasures, especially the Temple of Aphaia. I also speak about each island in more detail in that section of my gallery.

Copyright 9/15/97, Updated 12/8/03