The Argosaronic is formed between the east coast of Peloponnese and the west coast of Attica encompassing the peninsula of Argolida where Mycenae, one of the world’s greatest Bronze Age civilisations rose with its great citadel still inspiring awe to this day. The region comprises of two Gulfs, the Argolic and the Saronic,which include the inhabited since the Neolithic Era islands of Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Aegina, Agistri, and Salamina along with the Methana peninsula and many other smaller islands and islets.

Limited arable land led island residents turn to the sea from early on, while close proximity to each other and to neighboring coasts facilitated the development of a strong maritime tradition.

The Argosaronic Gulf, played a crucial role in the ancient world, notably hosting the pivotal Battle of Salamis in 480 BC where the outnumbered Greeks defeated the Persians during the second invasion of the latter to Greece during the Persian Wars. In late antiquity and Byzantine times, the islands faced pirate raids, prompting coastal abandonment and inland fortification.

By the 13th century, Venetian rule began, later overtaken by the Turks in the 16th century. During Greece’s War of Independence in 1821, islanders contributed significantly, particularly ship owners and captains who made their ships available for the struggle. The islands saw decline after Greece’s capital moved to Athens, but recovered post-World War II with tourism as a key economic driver.

Proximity to Piraeus port, natural beauty, archaeological sites, and vibrant cultural traditions have made the islands popular tourist destinations, fostering community growth.

Mountainous terrain plunges into the waters of the Aegean Sea, which in the heart of the gulf reach almost a kilometre deep. Around the coast, hillsides covered in forest and diverse Mediterranean shrubs are interspersed with small valleys mostly cultivated with citrus and olive orchards.

Coastal lagoons and wetlands form important fish nurseries and breeding and feeding grounds for hundreds of species of migratory birds. In the deep waters of the gulf, shoals of sardines, tuna and other species are pursued by dolphins, seals and other top marine predators.

While this incredible concentration of biodiversity is currently under pressure from a variety of human activities, there is no reason that the region’s natural capital must be sacrificed for the sake of economic development. Indeed, only by protecting the former can we ensure the latter.

We support the transition to a new age of sustainability in the region by funding programs that promote beneficial practices in several key areas:

The Argosaronic Environment Foundation supports projects in the following areas:

  • Biodiversity Conservation

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  • Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems

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  • Sustainable Resource Management

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  • Sustainable Tourism

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