The six tiny islands that lie between Naxos and Amorgos have gone through millennia of civilisation and upheaval, from being densely populated trading centres in the days of antiquity and then fortified Venetian outposts to pirate havens and impoverished fishing backwaters during WWII before recently remerging in the spotlight as increasingly fashionable getaways. Today, only four have permanent populations – Iraklia, Schinousa, Ano Koufonisi (Koufonisia) and Donousa – and they remain very distinct from one another in character and topography, with Koufonisia in particular welcoming sun-worshippers, Schinousa and rugged Donousa appealing to hikers, and Iraklia famous for its cave pilgrimage.
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