Agios Minas

1. Location and geomorphology

Islet of the eastern Aegean. It is one of the Fournoi complex islands and is located at the east of Fournoi island and south of Samos. Agios Minas is the third largest island amongst the other islands of the complex, right after Fournoi and Thymaina.

Geologically it belongs to the Cycladic group, with shaly beds of rock at its lower parts and limestone beds of rock at its higher parts. The coasts of the island are steep and abrupt, with a lot of creeks and coves. This is why the length of the islet’s coastline is disproportionally long vis-à-vis its size.

2. Flora and fauna

Agios Minas, as well as the whole Fournoi complex, has been included in the “Natura 2000” programme, because of the specialness of its fauna and flora. The rich bushy vegetation completes the rocky scenery. Aromatic plants with savory, thyme and sage dominating, are abundant on shaly ground, as well as genista and maquis.

The fauna of the island is of equal importance. A lot of bird species, like Eleonora’s Falcon (a kind of hawk), Benelli’s Eagle and the shag, reproduce on its grounds. Agios Minas, as well as the rest of the islands of the complex, is also included in a station network of great importance to migrant species. This is why it has been included in the 196 Important Bird Areas of Greece (I.B.A.G.). The Mediterranean Monachus monachus seal, which is threatened with extinction, as well as several dolphin and sea turtle species, proliferate within this marine region characterized of small depths and relatively small pitches. This particular morphology also favors the development of particularly varied coastal habitats. There is a fish farm with a fish-breeding unit operating on the island, which conducts experiments in the culture of various marine organism species.

Now, shepherds inhabit Agios Minas only circumstantially. The isle has been declared a Special Protection Area.