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Nikolaos Katrakazos, Regional Vice Governor of Tourism, Region of North Aegean

NorthAegean-Nikolaos KatrakazosPhiloxenia 2014 greeting.

The northeast edge of the Aegean is dominated by the islands of Lesvos, Limnos, Agios Efstratios, Chios, Oinousses, Psara, Samos, Ikaria, Fournoi and Thymaina.

A core strategic objective of the North Aegean Region’s development policy is the expansion of its productive base, through enhancing its attractiveness and openness, in order to boost and promote primarily high quality tourism services and agricultural products, in combination with environmental protection, full use of cultural heritage and implementation of innovations.

Our islands have the potential to accomplish the diversification of their tourist products, by orienting towards the modern profile of tourists-visitors who seek to live the experience of the destination by participating in local activities, exploring the natural environment and discovering the culture and history of the places they visit.

The North Aegean islands are distinguished by their significant historical and cultural heritage, including numerous archaeological finds, Byzantine monuments, castles, monasteries, etc. In this region of the eastern end of Europe, two UNESCO world heritage sites are found, Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos, and Nea Moni of Chios, while Lesvos is member of UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. On Limnos, Poliochni, the most ancient organised city of Europe, is found, while all over the North Aegean islands there are 75 significant settlements, such as Molyvos on Lesvos, Karlovasi on Samos, the medieval settlements of Pyrgi and Mesta on Chios, Evdilos on Ikaria.

Their extraordinary natural environment and the variety of their landscape make the North Aegean islands unique, and drive the visitor to paths of exploration and recreation; wetlands with rare flora and fauna, sand dunes, waterfalls, pine, chestnut and oak forests, olive groves, mastic trees.

The islands of the North Aegean, so different from one another, have something that connects them and yet makes them stand out. They have managed to preserve their local culture and natural environment, offering visitors unique images, flavours and scents of times past.

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