THE CYCLADES are known for their white cube houses, brilliant blue seas, stone alleyways, and barren landscapes. This is the most famous archipelago. It’s home to tourist hotspots like Santorini and Mykonos, but also smaller islands that you’ve never heard of, like Schinoussa and Ios. There are over 200 islands islands here, making it a great place to island hop (although only a small percentage of these islands are inhabited with tourist facilities.) These ancient islands were first inhabited around 3,000 BC, and then by one seafaring civilization after another. Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and now famous archeological site next to Mykonos, was once the spiritual center of this part of the world.
General Information about the Cyclades
The most touristy islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros. Santorini and Mykonos are particularly crowded, so much so that the local governments have considered limiting tourism. Naxos and Paros are less crowded but there’s still a feeling of inauthenticity. On Paros everything is a little TOO cute. Like straight out of Pottery Barn cute. Amorgos, Folegandros, Milos, and Tinos have managed to find a nice balance between being tourist destinations and maintaining the island’s original culture. If you want to get really lost, try Donoussa, Serifos, or Kythnos.
Travel Information for the Cyclades
THE MAIN FERRY DEPARTURE POINT to the Cyclades is from Piraeus, Athens
AN ISLAND HOPPING ITINERARY could start and end on one of the islands with the most departure options, like Milos, Naxos or Paros. Then include a relatively unknown island like Folegandros or Kimolos, as well as one of the medium-sized islands like Kea, Syros or Tinos.
You can browse the individual islands through the main menu above or through the gallery below.