Located between the Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, the Aegean Sea is actually a arm of the Mediterranean Sea. The Aegean can actually be found most easily between Greece and Turkey and is joined to the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea in the north.
Aegean Sea Islands
The Aegean Sea is home to a few islands that include Crete and Rhodes. Interestingly, the sea was originally known as the Archipelago, and while the term is still used, the Aegean generally referred to as a sea today.
Origin of the Name
The Aegean Sea is a sea that has many explanations where its name is concerned. Many have said it was named after the Greek town of the Aegae, while others have said that it was named after the queen of the Amazons, and others claim the Aegean was given its name after the Aigaion, which was a sea goat.
Of course, there is also the theory that the Aegean Sea was named after Aegeus, who was the father of Theseus, who drown himself in the sea when he was told that his son had died. Most today give more credit to the sea being named after the Greek word aiges, which means waves. The Bulgarians also take credit with naming the Aegean Sea as it translates into “white sea” and legend has it that the Bulgarians found the Aegean a great way to travel when compared with the Black Sea.
The Aegean Sea has a maximum depth of 11,624 feet and covers more than 214,000 kilometers in area. The sea has many different islands, which are actually just continued mountains on the mainland. For this reason, navigating around the islands in the Aegean can be quite difficult. While some of the islands have safe harbors or bays, many are difficult to get to because the waters can be shallow near shore, there are rocks and volcanic materials, and many of these things cannot be seen through the water.
The Aegean Sea actually has 1,415 islands with 1,395 of them belonging to Greece and two belonging to Turkey. The islands have been an area of tension between Turkey and Greece, with both of them wanting to lay claim to the water as well as the islands in the Aegean. The conflicts over the sea and islands is something that has been ongoing since the 1970s, resulting in continued strained relations.
Despite conflicts and legends about the Aegean Sea both the people of Turkey and Greece and those that live near continue to use and enjoy the water and the islands to the fullest extent possible. The Aegean is known for cool and calm waters, many fishermen claim that the Aegean Sea is one of the most enjoyable seas to travel through.