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Gavdos (Greek: Γαύδος) is the southernmost Greek island, located to the south of its much larger neighbour, Crete. The island is situated at the southern tip of Greece, thus making it the southernmost point of the entire European continent. There is an islet called Gavdopoula ("little Gavdos") to the north west of Gavdos. Gavdos and Gavdopoula are covered with phrygana, low-lying shrubs. Both are important stops for migrating birds. Local birds include the Eurasian scops owl and the European shag. Gavdos also has a variety of other vegetation, such as maquis as well as forests of pines and junipers. Gavdos is the sunniest place in Europe. Gavdos has been identified as a possible site of the mythical Ogygia where Kalypso held Odysseus prisoner. Gavdos had approximately 8,000 inhabitants by 900 AD. During the Ottoman Empire's reign on the island, which lasted from 1665 until 1895, Gavdos was known as Gondzo. During this period the population decreased considerably to only 500 by 1882. In the 1930s the island was used as a place of exile of communists.
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