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Forming part of the Dodecanese group of islands, the Greek island of Kalymnos lies in the south east Aegean Sea, to the west of the Bodrum Peninsular between the Greek islands of Kos and Leros. Kos is around 12 km to the south of Kalymnos and Leros is around 2 km to the north. After the islands of Kos and Rhodes, Kalymnos is the third most populous island in the Dodecanese and is known for its affluent population.
The island's terrain is characterised by many mountains and a coastline littered with sheltered coves which make it the perfect destination for a sailing holiday. The island has also been referred to as the "Sponge divers island" because sponge diving has taken place in the islands crystal clear waters for many years. The trade in sponges has brought a significant amount of wealth to the island and has made it famous throughout the Mediterranean.
The island's capital is called Pothia and is also home to the island's port. It is a colourful town that is spread out over the foot and slopes of two hills and the valley between them. There are regular ferry services to Piraeus, Rhodes, Samos and to the other islands in the Dodecanese and the Cyclades.
The Greek island of Syros is one of the Cyclades group of islands and is unusual in that the island's architecture is more medieval rather than the more typical Cycladic. The island's capital is Ermoupolis and has some fine examples of Venetian mansions to see. In the Vaporia quarter of the capital visitors will find some lovely large churches and impressive neoclassical buildings, such as the Town Hall and Apollo Theatre in the central square. Also popular with visitors are the island's beaches which are well equipped for tourists and have a good range of facilities.
The island can trace its history back to the 3rd millennium BC where signs of inhabitation have been found in the Halandriani and Kastri parts of the island. Artefacts found indicate that there was some kind of metal workshop on the island which possibly had a trading relationship with Asia Minor. The Samians occupied the island in the 6th century BC and is when many of the island's inhabitants moved to the island. At that time, the important physician and philosopher Pherecydis was born in Syros and some years later he went to Samos and became the teacher of Pythagoras.