The Aegean Sea, a great bay of the Eastern Mediterranean situated between Greece to the west and Asia Minor to the east, lying north of Crete, is nothing less than the cradle of western culture. It was here, that Aegean Civilization arose in the Bronze Age; Minoan culture in Crete and Mycenaean culture in the Peloponnese.
The Aegean is also the birthplace of western democracy as developed by the Hellenistic city-states, of which Athens was pre-eminent. Hellenistic culture spread out by sea, as far west as modern Sicily and the south of France. The Aegean is also indescribably beautiful as well as culturally fascinating.
Alternate bands of granite and limestone produce dazzling island landscapes, with characteristic white-cubed dwellings and blue-domed churches. The rugged islands set in this azure sea are more or less arid and rain showers produce a riot of flowers on the hillsides.
Introduced species like bougainvillea and hibiscus decorate the villages and charge the air with scent as do the orange and lemon groves in season. Small, irregular fields of wheat, olives and vines make up an Aegean gastronomic trinity that has been the foundation of the good life on the islands for millennia.
Aegean & Ionian Seas Nautical Chart
Official Nautical Chart of Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service of Aegean & Ionian - Messina Straights to Sea of Marmara