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A picture of the old monastery on Strofades island, looking north to the direction of Zakynthos.

Excursion boats from Zákynthos sail the 37 nautical miles south to the two islets, Arpyía and Stamfáni of the Strofádes (also known as the Strofádia or Strómphides), passing over the deepest point in the entire Mediterranean Sea, where you would have to dive 442m (1,449ft) down to reach Davy Jones’ locker.

Strofádes means ‘turning’ in Greek: according to myth, the Harpies, those composite female monsters with human heads, hands and feet, winged griffon bodies and bear ears, were playing their usual role as the hired guns of the gods, chasing the prophet Phineas over the little islets, when Zeus changed his mind and ordered them to turn around immediately and come back.

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Ionian Islands

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Martinehp