The (Northern) Sporades (pron.: /ˈspɒrədiːz/; Greek: Βόρειες Σποράδες) are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea, in the Aegean Sea. It consists of 24 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited: Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros.
"Sporades" means "those scattered" (compare with "sporadic"), and was used from Classical Antiquity to refer to the Aegean island groups outside the central archipelago of the Cyclades. In modern geographical parlance, there are five different Sporades groups:
- Thracian Sporades (Θρακικές Σποράδες): Thasos, Samothrace, Imbros, Lemnos and Agios Efstratios
- Thessalian Sporades (Θεσσαλικές Σποράδες) or Northern Sporades. Since ca. 1960, the term "Sporades" refers mainly to these islands.
- Western Sporades (Δυτικές Σποράδες): Salamis, Aigina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses, and the other islands of the Saronic Gulf and the Myrtoan Sea.
- Eastern Sporades (Ανατολικές Σποράδες), i.e. the islands of the eastern and northeastern Aegean, partially overlapping with the Thracian Sporades: Samos, Ikaria, Lesbos, Chios, Lemnos, Agios Efstratios, Imbros, Tenedos, Psara, Oinousses and smaller island groups
- Southern Sporades (Νότιες Σποράδες), i.e. the Dodecanese, to which group Samos and Ikaria are sometimes appended.
The Sporades islands are divided over two regions: Thessaly (most islands) and Central Greece (Skyros and a few uninhabited islets). The Thessalian Sporades are organised in the regional unit of Sporades (Greek: Περιφερειακή ενότητα Σποράδων).
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Sporades was created out of part of the former Magnesia Prefecture. It is subdivided into 3 municipalities. These are:
- "Skyros - Britannica Concise" (description), Britannica Concise, 2006, webpage: EB-Skyros.
External links