greek islands

Greek Islands History

The seeds of Greek Civilisation began on the southern island of Crete around 2600BC with the founding of the advanced Minoan Civilisation. Throughout antiquity mini city states flourished throughout Greece and its islands. This spawned Greek culture which ultimately shaped the Roman Empire which arrived in Crete and the other Greek Islands in 69BC. Byzantine rule replaced Rome’s throughout the archipelago and many islands, including Crete fell to the trade minded Venetians in the 1200’s. Ottoman Turks captured Rhodes in 1522 and expelled the Venetians from Crete in 1669 completing their conquest of Greece’s Aegean islands. In 1832 the Cyclades Islands joined mainland Greece in independence. In 1912 Italy took Rhodes and the Dodecanese Islands and a year later Crete and the rest of the Greek Islands were freed from Ottoman control. In WWII Germany and Italy conquered Greece with Crete being famously captured by German airborne forces. Following the war Greece gained the Dodecanese Islands.

Our Pick

Greek Islands

The pulsating heart of the Greek Islands must surely be romantic Mykonos. And no accommodation beats the luxury Santa Marina Resort, overlooking the idyllic waters of the Aegean. European Country more info

Right Now

Greece has more than 6000 islands of which 227 are inhabited. They’re made up of five groups, the Ionian Islands off Greece’s mainland and the sundrenched holiday islands in the Aegean Sea. The Argo-Saronic Islands near Athens, the North Aegean Islands, the Dodecanese and the ever popular Cyclades Islands. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the advent of cheap package tourism from the UK and northern Europe transformed the sleepy fishing and agricultural islands of Greece into holiday magnets. Perpetual sunshine, unbelievably blue seas, fine wines and cuisine and unending parties and romance have reshaped these islands into one of the world’s top holiday destinations. Ecomonic woes of late, make the Greek Islands an even more affordable destination than ever before.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player