Strofades (in Latin Strophades; also Stamphane Islands; Strivali) is a group of two small Greek islands in the Ionian Islands. They lie about 44 km (27 miles) south-southeast of the island of Zakynthos. Administratively they are part of the Municipality of Zakynthos. The larger island, Stamfani, is inhabited by one person, a monk who lives in the islands’ only real structure, an impressive old monastery. The smaller is Arpia or Arpyia. Both are sparsely vegetated and rocky. The islands currently belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, which has prohibited hunting on the islands. There is a strong avian presence on the islands. Species include Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) and migratory passerines. There is also a large spring migration of Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur). During the ancient times they were known as “Plota Nisia” (floating islands), because it really looks as if they were floating. A ledge links the two islets together. In Arpyia you will find the majestic Metamorfoseos monastery (13th century) surrounded by high walls. The patron-saint of Zante Aghios Dionysios lived here.

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