Saronic Gulf
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The Saronic Gulf (
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is ...
: Σαρωνικός κόλπος, ''Saronikós kólpos'') or Gulf of
Aegina Aegina (; el, Αίγινα, ''Aígina'' ; grc, Αἴγῑνα) is one of the Saronic Islands The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, ...
in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
is formed between the peninsulas of
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek ''Attikḗ'' or , or ), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital city, capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the ...
and
Argolis Argolis or Argolida ( el, Αργολίδα , ; , in ancient Greek and Katharevousa) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of ...
and forms part of the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In t ...
. It defines the eastern side of the
isthmus of Corinth An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo A tombolo is a sandy is ...

isthmus of Corinth
, being the eastern terminus of the
Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal ( el, Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, translit=Dhioryga tis Korinthou) connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti ...
, which cuts across the isthmus. The
Saronic Islands The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islan ...
in the gulf have played a pivotal role in the
history of Greece The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or ...
, with the largest,
SalamisSalamis may refer to : Places and battles * Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece ** Salamina (city), former municipality on Salamis Island ** Salamis Naval Base, a Greek naval base on Salamis Island ** Battle o ...
, naming
a significant naval battle
a significant naval battle
in the
Greco-Persian wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. The
Megara Gulf
Megara Gulf
makes up the northern end of the Saronic Gulf. The capital of Greece,
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
, lies on the north coast of the Saronic Gulf.


Etymology

The origin of the gulf's name comes from the
mythological Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, p ...

mythological
king Saron who drowned at the Psifaei lake (modern Psifta). The Saronic Gulf was a string of six entrances to the
Underworld upThe legs of the god seven_realms_of_the_Hindus.html" "title="Patala#Hinduism.html" "title="Cosmic_Man.html" ;"title="Vishnu as the Cosmic Man">Vishnu as the Cosmic Man depict earth and the Patala#Hinduism">seven realms of the Hindus">Hind ...
, each guarded by a
chthonic The word chthonic is derived from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...

chthonic
enemy in the shape of a thief or bandit.


History

The
Battle of Salamis The Battle of Salamis ( ; grc, Ναυμαχία τῆς Σαλαμῖνος, Naumachía tês Salamînos) was a naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water ...

Battle of Salamis
, just to the west of modern-day Piraeus, took place in the Saronic Gulf. This naval battle off
Salamis Island Salamis ( ; el, Σαλαμίνα, Salamína, grc, label= Ancient and Katharevousa Katharevousa ( el, Καθαρεύουσα, , literally "purifying anguage) is a conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social ...
saw the Athenians defeat
Xerxes
Xerxes
, assuring
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
its place as the cradle of modern European culture. The ancient port of
Cenchreae Kechries ( el, Κεχριές, rarely Κεχρεές) is a village in the municipality of Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese (r ...
used to be situated here.


Geography

The gulf includes the
islands upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ;"title="Great Britain">Ireland (l ...
of
Aegina Aegina (; el, Αίγινα, ''Aígina'' ; grc, Αἴγῑνα) is one of the Saronic Islands The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, ...
,
SalamisSalamis may refer to : Places and battles * Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece ** Salamina (city), former municipality on Salamis Island ** Salamis Naval Base, a Greek naval base on Salamis Island ** Battle o ...
, and
Poros Poros ( el, Πόρος) is a small Greece, Greek island-pair in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, about (31 nautical miles) south from Athens' port of Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a wide sea channel, with the town of Galata ...

Poros
along with smaller islands of Patroklos and Fleves. The port of
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a Port#Ancient Greece, port city within the Athens urban area ("Greater Athens"), in the Attica (region), Attica region of Greece. It is located in the Athens Riviera, southwest ...

Piraeus
, Athens' port, lies on the northeastern edge of the gulf. The site of the former
Ellinikon International Airport Ellinikon International Airport, sometimes spelled ''Hellinikon'' ( el, Ελληνικόν) was the international airport of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicki ...
is also in the northeast. Beaches line much of the gulf coast from
Poros Poros ( el, Πόρος) is a small Greece, Greek island-pair in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, about (31 nautical miles) south from Athens' port of Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a wide sea channel, with the town of Galata ...

Poros
to
Epidaurus Epidaurus ( gr, Ἐπίδαυρος) was a small city (''polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human ...

Epidaurus
, Galataki to
Kineta Kineta ( el, Κινέτα) is a beach town in West Attica West Attica ( el, Δυτική Αττική) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Attica (region), Attica. The regional unit covers ...
and from
Megara Megara (; el, Μέγαρα, ) is a historic town and a municipality in West Attica, Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mill ...

Megara
to
Eleusis Eleusis ( el, Ελευσίνα ''Elefsina'', Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided ...

Eleusis
and from Piraeus down to
Anavyssos Anavyssos ( el, Ανάβυσσος) is a town and a former municipality in East Attica, Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
. Athens' urban area surrounds the northern and the eastern coasts of this gulf. Bays in the gulf include
Phaleron Bay Phalerum or Phaleron ( ''()'', ; ''()'', ) was a port of Ancient Athens, 5 km southwest of the Acropolis of Athens, on a bay of the Saronic Gulf. The bay is also referred to as ''Bay of Phalerum'' ( el, Όρμος Φαλήρου '').'' The ...
, Elefsina Bay to the north, Kechries Bay in the northwest and Sofiko Bay in the east. The volcano of
Methana Methana ( el, Μέθανα) is a town and a former Communities and Municipalities of Greece, municipality on the Peloponnese peninsula, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Troizinia-Methana, of which it is ...

Methana
is located to the southwest along with Kromyonia at the Isthmus of Corinth, Aegina and Poros. Methana is also the youngest most active volcano center and forms the northwestern end of the cycladic arch of active volcanoes that includes Milos island, Santorini island and Nisyros island. A hydropathic institute at Methana makes use of the hot sulphurous water that still surfaces in the area. The most recent eruption was of a submarine volcano north of Methana in the 17th century. The gulf has refineries around the northern part of the gulf including east of Corinth and west of Agioi Theodoroi, Eleusis, Aspropyrgos, Skaramangas and Keratsini. These refineries produce most of Greece's refined petroleum products, a large proportion of which are then exported. Commercial shipping to the refineries, Piraeus, and to and from the canal make the gulf quite a busy area with commercial shipping. Fault lines dominate especially in the northwestern part.


Tributaries

*Kechries Bay *Saronic Bay Coast (basin) **Lower Galataki Basin **Upper Galataki Basin **Examilia Basin **Athikia Basin *Loutro, Chania, Loutro Basin *Megara Bay/
Megara Gulf
Megara Gulf
*Cephissus River (Eleusis) *Cephissus (Athenian plain) between
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a Port#Ancient Greece, port city within the Athens urban area ("Greater Athens"), in the Attica (region), Attica region of Greece. It is located in the Athens Riviera, southwest ...

Piraeus
and Phaliron.


Capes

*Cape Lomvardi - SW of Vouliagmeni


Sailing

Sailing is popular in the Saronic Gulf which, like the neighbouring Argolic Gulf, benefits from the Attica, Attic mainland's partial shelter from the summer Meltemi, Meltemi wind that can reach Beaufort scale, Force 7 and above further to the east in the Aegean islands. The Gulf boasts two particularly notable archaeological sites: the Epidaurus, ancient theatre at Epidaurus and nearby asclepieion and the Aphaia, Temple of Aphaia on Aegina.


Other

The Saronic Gulf is one of congregating areas for short-beaked common dolphins in Aegean Sea. On recent occasions, more of large whales such as fin whales have been sighted in the gulf due to improving environmental conditions.A rare Fin Whale visit in the Saronic Gulf
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See also

*


References

{{Authority control Saronic Gulf, Gulfs of Greece Gulfs of the Aegean Sea Landforms of Corinthia Landforms of Peloponnese (region) Landforms of Islands (regional unit) Landforms of Attica Landforms of Argolis Landforms of West Attica Landforms of East Attica Landforms of South Athens (regional unit)