Skip to content
Hot summer deals


Discover the enchanting Cyclades, a cluster of idyllic islands nestled in the Aegean Sea. Whether you’re seeking the historical wonders of Delos or the stunning sunsets of Santorini, the Cyclades offer a paradise waiting to be explored. Ready to embark on your own Greek odyssey? Let’s dive into the Cyclades travel guide! What islands have you dreamt of visiting in the Cyclades?

Discover. Uncover. Thrill.

Prepare, choose your path, and start the adventure!

Understanding the Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades is a complex of islands located in the heart of the Aegean and includes some of the most famous Greek islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Naxos. The capital of the Cyclades is Syros, which is located in the northern part of the complex.

The Cycladic islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations for Greek and foreign holidaymakers. During the summer period, the Cyclades islands are flooded by travelers arriving from all over the world to enjoy the unique views and scenic landscapes, the remarkable historical and archaeological sites and, of course, the beautiful beaches and the crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

Each island of the Cyclades has its own unique charm, offering magnificent scenery and an unforgettable view stretching over the Aegean as the eye can see. Although some of the islands have modernized their infrastructure to encourage tourism development in the region, all the Cyclades still maintain their traditional style intact.

If you are looking for calm and relaxing holidays enjoying the magic of the natural landscape, or if you prefer spree and adventure, in the Cyclades you can have the choice you want.

Historical background of the Cyclades Islands

The strategic location of the Cyclades made it a crossroads of civilizations, fostering cultural exchange and shaping the islands’ unique character. The history of the Cyclades islands spans back many centuries and encompasses numerous civilizations and cultures that have shaped these beautiful Greek islands. Here are some of the most significant historical periods of the Cyclades Islands:

Early Cycladic Period (c. 3200-2000 BCE): This period marks the earliest known settlements on the islands, characterized by the development of a unique culture known for its distinctive marble figurines and artifacts.

Mycenaean Period (c.1450-1100 BCE): The Mycenaean Greeks, known for their powerful city-states on mainland Greece, established a presence in the Cyclades, evidenced by the remains of fortified settlements and tombs.

Dark Ages (c.1100-800 BCE): This period saw a decline in urbanization and cultural development across the Cyclades, with limited archaeological evidence available.

Archaic and Classical Periods (c.800-323 BCE): The Cyclades experienced a resurgence during this time, with the emergence of city-states and the establishment of trade networks.

Hellenistic Period (323-146 BCE): Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Cyclades came under the control of various Hellenistic kingdoms.

Roman and Byzantine Periods (146 BCE-1204 CE): Cyclades were ruled by Romans from 146 BCE and later joined Byzantine Empire.

Venetian and Ottoman Rule (1204-1821 CE): Cyclades were controlled by Venice until the Ottoman Empire’s takeover in the 16th century.

Modern Era: The Cyclades’ pivotal role in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1830) paved the way for Greece to break free from the grasp of the mighty Ottoman Empire.

Natural Beauty and Landscapes

Prepare to be mesmerized by the majestic cliffs that characterize the Cyclades. Towering rock formations, shaped by wind and sea, create an awe-inspiring backdrop. The jagged coastlines reveal hidden coves, sea caves, and secluded beaches waiting to be explored.The Cyclades Islands are home to charming whitewashed villages that exude a sense of tranquility and authenticity. Some of the Cyclades Islands are born of volcanic activity, leaving behind a captivating tapestry of unique landscapes.Unearth hidden gems such as moon-like terrains, intricate lava formations, and captivating calderas tell a tale of the island’s geological past.For the adventurous at heart, the Cyclades offer a wealth of hiking trails that traverse stunning landscapes.

Transportation and Accessibility

Reaching the Cyclades Islands is relatively convenient, with regular flights and ferry connections available. Most visitors arrive at the major airports in Santorini (Thira) Airport, Mykonos Airport, and Naxos Airport, which have direct flights from various European cities. Ferry services connect the islands within the archipelago, making island hopping a popular option for exploring multiple destinations. Once on the islands, transportation options include rental cars, scooters, and local buses. It’s advisable to rent a vehicle for better flexibility in exploring each island’s hidden gems. However, the island’s compact size and well-connected bus networks make public transportation a viable and budget-friendly alternative.

Cuisine and Gastronomy

The Cyclades Islands in Greece are not only known for their stunning landscapes and picturesque villages but also for their rich culinary heritage. Each island in the Cyclades has its own culinary identity, influenced by the local geography, climate, and historical factors. Olive oil, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and aromatic herbs like oregano and thyme are essential elements of Cycladic cuisine.

Given the islands’ proximity to the sea, seafood plays a prominent role in Cycladic gastronomy. Calamari, shrimp, and lobster are also popular choices, usually prepared in simple yet flavorful ways that allow the natural taste of the seafood to shine. Local farmers produce high-quality cheeses like feta, graviera, and xinotyro using traditional methods.

Wine production has a long history in the Cyclades, dating back thousands of years. The volcanic soil and unique microclimates of the islands contribute to the cultivation of distinctive grape varieties.

Activities and Attractions

Travelers visiting the Cyclades islands can indulge in a plethora of exciting activities and experiences. Here are some of the things you can do during your visit:

Explore Charming Villages: Wander through the narrow streets of picturesque villages like Oia in Santorini, Chora in Mykonos, and Naxos Town. Admire the Cycladic architecture, browse local boutiques, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique ambiance.

Admire the Cycladic architecture, browse local boutiques, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique ambiance.

Relax on Stunning Beaches: The Cyclades are renowned for their beautiful beaches.

Try your hand at windsurfing in Paros or Mykonos, kiteboarding in Naxos, or snorkeling and diving in various locations to explore the vibrant underwater world.

Discover Historical Sites: Delve into the rich history of the Cyclades by visiting ancient sites.

Embark on Hiking Adventures: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Cyclades.

Sample local specialties such as fava, and a creamy split pea dip, and accompany your meal with a glass of raki, a traditional alcoholic beverage.

Witness Spectacular Sunsets: The Cyclades are renowned for their enchanting sunsets.

Immerse in Local Festivities: Discover the vibrant culture of the Cyclades by participating in local festivals and events.

Best time to visit Cyclades

The Cyclades enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and interests.

Here’s a breakdown of the seasons:

Summer (June-August): The peak tourist season with warm temperatures, vibrant nightlife, and bustling beaches. It’s ideal for sun-seekers and those looking to experience the lively atmosphere.

Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-October): These shoulder seasons offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and a more relaxed ambiance. It’s a great time for exploring historical sites, enjoying outdoor activities, and experiencing local culture.

Winter Season (November to March): Experience a serene ambiance with fewer crowds and enjoy the pleasantly cool weather. Discover the tranquility of the islands as they embrace a quieter atmosphere, providing an ideal opportunity to avail of attractive prices and engage in authentic interactions with the local community.

Cyclades Weather and Climate

The Cyclades enjoy a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

During the summer months, from June to August, the mesmerizing Cyclades embrace a delightful climate. Temperatures graciously fluctuate between 25°C to 35°C (or a cozy 77°F to a sizzling 95°F). This splendid time invites you to relish in a plethora of outdoor activities and indulge in the exploration of these wondrous islands. Basking in the glorious sunshine, you’ll find yourself immersed in a symphony of beachside tranquility and the allure of traditional village wanderings. Don’t miss the opportunity to seize the summer in the Cyclades, where the weather is kind and the sun gleams with unmatched radiance. It’s the perfect time for beach activities and outdoor exploration.

As nature awakens from its wintry slumber, the delightful seasons of spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) grace the Cyclades with their enchanting presence. During these idyllic times, a gentle tapestry of mild temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (or a cozy 59°F to a comfortable 77°F) embraces the islands, inviting visitors to revel in the splendors of sightseeing and partake in a myriad of outdoor activities. Spring brings blooming flowers, while autumn offers a quieter atmosphere.

As the season of winter settles in (November to March), we witness a shift in the atmospheric conditions. Experience winter’s wonders (Nov-Mar) with cool temperatures of 10-15°C (50-59°F) and refreshing rain.

Accommodation Options

The Cyclades Islands provide a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Luxury resorts and boutique hotels can be found in popular tourist destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, offering top-notch facilities, stunning views, and exceptional service.

Staying in a family-run guesthouse or traditional villa allows you to forge meaningful connections with the locals. The hosts are often passionate ambassadors of their region and love to share stories and anecdotes about their heritage.

Budget travelers can find affordable accommodations such as hostels and budget hotels in most islands’ main towns.

Booking ahead guarantees availability and often gets you better prices, as well as allows you to pick amongst top choices.

It’s recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and trip cancellations.

Respect the local culture and customs by dressing appropriately when visiting religious sites and conservative areas.

Lastly, familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and local regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Sail Away to Paradise: Cyclades' Island Hopping Adventure

Get ready for the ultimate island-hopping extravaganza! Embark on a thrilling journey across the Cyclades’ archipelago, hopping from one paradise to another.

One of the best ways to explore the Cyclades is through island hopping. With a well-connected ferry network, you can easily hop from one island to another, discovering their unique charms along the way. To optimize your island-hopping experience, we offer valuable recommendations to enhance your journey:

  • Strategize your itinerary: Conduct thorough research on the islands of your preference and curate a meticulously flexible plan tailored to your unique interests and the allotted duration of your expedition.
  • Choose the right ferry: Select the appropriate ferry type based on your preferences, whether you prioritize speed, comfort, or affordability.
  • Don’t rush: Allow yourself enough time on each island to truly experience its beauty and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  • Discover hidden gems: Alongside well-known islands, make sure to explore lesser-known destinations for a truly authentic experience.

Sustainability and Responsible Tourism

To protect the environment and reduce tourism’s impact, various measures are implemented. As a responsible traveler, you can contribute to these efforts by following sustainable travel principles. Respect the local environment and wildlife by avoiding littering and participating in beach clean-ups. Opt for eco-friendly activities and support local businesses that prioritize sustainable practices. Conserve water and energy by being mindful of your usage. Also, make sure you learn about the local customs and traditions and show respect for how the islanders live.

Famous Filming Locations

Filmmakers worldwide have been captivated by the Cyclades Islands, which serve as backdrops for various movies and TV shows.

Santorini: Known for its iconic blue-domed churches and whitewashed buildings perched on cliffs overlooking the sea, Santorini has attracted numerous filmmakers. Notable movies such as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Summer Lovers” have prominently featured this captivating Greek island.

Renowned for its pulsating nightlife and stunning coastal vistas, Mykonos has also garnered acclaim as a prominent filming location. The movie “Shirley Valentine” was partially filmed here, capturing the island’s charm and scenic beauty.

Paros: With its traditional Cycladic architecture and quaint villages, Paros has been featured in films such as “The Big Blue” and “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.” Its picturesque towns of Naoussa and Parikia offer excellent filming locations.

Naxos: Naxos boasts diverse landscapes, including mountains, beautiful beaches, and ancient ruins. It has been featured in films like “The Island” and “Zorba the Greek.” The island’s main town, Chora, with its Venetian architecture, is a popular filming location.

A Symphony of White and Blue

This iconic architectural style, known as the Cycladic architecture, has become the hallmark of the region. The stark white facades reflect the abundant sunlight, keeping the interiors cool during the hot Mediterranean summers. One of the most enchanting aspects of the Cyclade’s architecture is the distinctive cubic design of the houses. As you explore the Cyclades Islands, you will encounter the iconic windmills that stand as silent sentinels of the past. Prepare to be mesmerized by the harmonious blend of Byzantine, neoclassical, and Ottoman influences that adorn these picturesque settlements.

Mykonos Town

Best islands in the Cyclades

The Cyclades consists of several beautiful Greek islands that offer visitors stunning scenery, rich history, and diverse culture. Each island has something unique to offer, making it hard to choose just one as the “best.” Here are some notable islands:

  • Santorini – This volcanic island offers stunning views of the caldera, unique black sand beaches, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Santorini, with its iconic blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings, and breathtaking sunsets, is truly a jewel of the Aegean Sea.
  • Mykonos – This island boasts picturesque windmills, charming narrow streets lined with boutique shops and quaint cafes, and stunning sandy beaches. Mykonos seamlessly blends traditional Cycladic architecture with a modern and lively vibe, making it a must-visit destination for party-goers and culture enthusiasts alike.
  • Naxos – Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and offers a diverse range of attractions. From ancient ruins, such as the Portara and the Temple of Apollo, to beautiful beaches and scenic mountain villages, Naxos has something for everyone.
  • Paros – Its picturesque villages, such as Naoussa and Parikia, are adorned with traditional white houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Paros is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and traditional Cycladic chapels.
  • Milos – Its coastline is dotted with magnificent beaches, including the famous Sarakiniko with its lunar-like white rock formations. Milos is also known for its charming fishing villages, colorful sea caves, and the intriguing ancient statue of Aphrodite, the Venus de Milo.
  • Ios – Ios strikes the perfect balance between tranquility and vibrant nightlife. This island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, such as Mylopotas and Manganari, and its energetic nightlife centered around the main town of Chora.
  • Tinos – Tinos is a spiritual and cultural hub, famous for its grand pilgrimage site, the Church of Panagia Evangelistria. This island combines traditional architecture, stunning landscapes, and a thriving arts scene.

Explore the Enchanting Mykonos

In Mykonos, the pulsating heart of the Cyclades, time seems to stand still. Whitewashed houses line the streets like sentinels, personifying the island’s indomitable spirit. The winding alleys, like arteries, connect vibrant squares where laughter and music intermingle. Mykonos, a charismatic island, embraces visitors with open arms, inviting them to partake in its lively dance of life.

Renowned for its vibrant nightlife, pristine beaches, and luxurious resorts, Mykonos promises an unforgettable experience. With its stunning beaches, upscale clubs, and internationally acclaimed DJs, this island offers an unforgettable experience. Elia, Paradise, Super Paradise, and Psarou are among the popular beaches where you can soak up the sun and party to your heart’s content. Apart from its famous nightlife and beaches, Mykonos also boasts picturesque villages, charming shops, and excellent dining options. Take a stroll through Mykonos Town (Chora) to explore its narrow alleys, traditional white-washed houses, and iconic windmills. Don’t forget to visit the island’s beautiful churches, such as the Paraportiani Church.

Santorini: A Breathtaking Beauty

An island of awesome beauty, Santorini or Thera, along with its nearby islets, are the fragments of a volcano that massively erupted about 1625 BC. Although Santorini is an active volcano, rest assured that it is closely monitored, and the last eruption occurred in 1950. As you wander through Santorini’s labyrinthine streets, you can sense the presence of ancient gods, their touch lingering in the air.

The sun, an all-seeing eye, casts its gaze upon the caldera’s imposing cliffs, foreshadowing the volcanic forces that once shaped these islands. It is a reminder that beauty often emerges from chaos, just as the phoenix rises from its own ashes. The picture-perfect white churches with blue domes, set against the backdrop of the deep blue Aegean Sea, create a postcard-worthy scene that will leave you breathless. Take a leisurely walk from Fira to the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli, and immerse yourself in the local charm. Visit the iconic village of Oia, famous for its blue-domed churches and postcard-perfect views. Indulge in world-class cuisine, sample local wines in traditional wineries, and relax on the volcanic black sand beaches. Don’t forget to visit the mesmerizing beaches of Santorini, such as the Black Beach with its volcanic black sand, and the Red Beach, named after the striking red cliffs surrounding it. If you’re up for an adventure, embark on a boat trip around Nea Kamini, a volcano, and take a dip in the hot springs.

Pro Tip: For an unforgettable experience, indulge in a rejuvenating dip in the volcanic hot springs of Palea Kameni. The therapeutic waters and stunning surroundings will transport you to a state of pure bliss.

Syros - A Captivating Blend of Culture

Influenced by the Venetians, it boasts neoclassical homes and mansions lining its narrow cobblestone streets. Classy and elegant, Syros never fails to charm its guests, full of beauties and surprises: from its beautiful Ermoupolis, the capital of the Cyclades, amphitheatrically built with a plethora of neoclassical mansions and historical buildings, to its picturesque settlements, and from its stretchy beaches to the diversity of its inland.

Paros: The Island of Contrasts

Less than 40 nautical miles from Naxos lies the captivating island of Paros, always popular among the younger ages, and a windsurfer’s paradise. Stroll through the narrow streets of Parikia, the island’s capital, and discover its beautiful churches and quaint shops. For a beach escape, head to the golden sands of Kolymbithres, where uniquely sculpted rock formations create natural pools perfect for a refreshing swim.

Pro Tip: Venture inland to the village of Lefkes, nestled amidst lush hills and olive groves. Lose yourself in its labyrinthine streets and savor the tranquility that envelops this charming oasis.

Naxos: Where History Meets Paradise

Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, beckons with its majestic mountains, mythical valleys, and magical beaches. Start your exploration in Naxos Town, where the imposing Portara, a monumental marble gate, stands as a reminder of the island’s ancient past. Naxos exemplifies a harmonious fusion of cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty, characterized by its profound historical significance, exquisite beaches, and picturesque landscapes.

Naxos is also home to stunning beaches, including the renowned Mikri Vigla Beach, where golden sands meet crystal-clear waters, creating a paradise for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Don’t miss the iconic Portara, a massive marble gate standing proudly at the entrance of the harbor, believed to be the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. One of the highlights of Naxos is the beach of Mikri Vigla, a true paradise for beach lovers. Explore the fascinating archaeological site of Grotta, where you can delve into the island’s ancient past. For a glimpse into traditional island life, venture into the inland villages of Apeiranthos and Halki, with their well-preserved architecture, quaint squares, and charming tavernas serving local delicacies. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or the famous Naxian Kitron liqueur, made from the citron fruit grown on the island. Explore the island’s rich gastronomic culture and savor the renowned Naxos Graviera and arseniko cheeses.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the famous local cheese, and graviera, and sample the delicious Naxian wine.

Tinos - An Authentic Greek Heritage

Tinos is a beautiful Cycladic island that offers a combination of hiking trails and stunning beaches. The island boasts 18 marked trails of various lengths and difficulty levels, ranging from easy to moderate. You can easily plan your hikes by getting the Andros hiking map from one of the souvenir shops. For more information about Tinos and its hiking trails, you can also check the Andros Route website. In addition to hiking, Tinos has several other attractions worth exploring.

The island’s port, Gavrio, welcomes visitors with its restaurants and boutiques. Batsi, a charming seaside resort, offers a lovely beach where you can relax and soak up the sun. Apikia serves as the starting point for many hikes, making it a convenient location for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a picturesque shingle beach, head to Felos Beach, which is located in a bay and offers a spacious area to enjoy. It is famous for its religious significance as well, being home to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, a major pilgrimage site. Some of the best places to visit in Tinos include: Tarambados, is known for its famous pigeon towers. Kolimbithra, boasts two lovely sandy beaches.

Ios - Where Paradise Meets Party

Considered as Mykonos’ little sister, Ios is a Cycladic island known for its vibrant nightlife during the summer months, typically from June to September. Besides its nightlife, Ios offers numerous beautiful beaches where you can relax and unwind. Some of the notable beaches on the island include Mylopotas Beach, Kalamos Beach, and Manganari Beach.

Perched on a hilltop, the island’s main town, Chora, exudes a captivating charm. Don’t miss the Panagia Gremiotissa Church, perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and breathtaking sunsets. For those seeking outdoor adventures, Ios is a hiker’s paradise.
The trail to the highest peak of Ios, Pyrgos, rewards intrepid explorers with mesmerizing vistas across the island and beyond.

Sifnos - the most delicious island

Sifnos is an island renowned for its ceramics and exceptional cuisine. It’s a food lover’s paradise, as the island is known for serving some of the best dishes in the Cyclades. Another picturesque village worth visiting is Artemonas, known for its typical Venetian houses. Kastro, a medieval village, offers a glimpse into the island’s rich history.

Additionally, Plati Gialos Beach, the longest sandy beach in the Cyclades archipelago, provides a scenic spot to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Other attractions in Sifnos include: Artemonas, one of the most beautiful villages on the island, features typical Venetian houses. Kastro, is a medieval village with fascinating history and architecture. Faros, is a small fishing port that offers stunning coastal views and a pathway leading to the Chrisopigi Monastery.

Serifos - The Serene Gem of the Cyclades

Located near Milos, Serifos is renowned for its raw and remote beaches that showcase untouched natural beauty. If you’re seeking peace and tranquility during your visit to the Cyclades, Serifos is the ideal destination. Unlike some of the more touristy islands, Serifos offers a serene atmosphere where you can fully immerse yourself in the island’s mountains and arid hills.

While on Serifos, be sure to visit the port of Livadi, which serves as the gateway to the island. Livadakia Beach, a beautiful beach with turquoise waters, is another must-visit spot. Hora, the capital of Serifos, boasts a picturesque old town and offers panoramic views from its hilltop location.

Andros - A Cycladic Haven

If you’re looking for a destination that combines hiking opportunities with beautiful beaches, Andros is the perfect island for you. It boasts 18 marked trails covering over 60 miles, making it a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. Some highlights of Andros include: Gavrio, the port where you’ll arrive, offers a range of restaurants and boutiques.

Batsi, is a charming seaside resort with a lovely beach. Andros, the capital city, where you can take a leisurely stroll along the main street, leading to the bridge and a small island. Apikia, is a great starting point for many hikes. Felos Beach is a large and picturesque shingle beach nestled in a bay.

Folegandros: A Hidden Paradise

Situated between Paros and Santorini, Folegandros is a tiny island known for its unspoiled, natural beauty. It features remote and secluded beaches, making it an ideal choice for those seeking tranquility and raw nature. With its unspoiled beauty, charming villages, and breathtaking vistas, Folegandros

offers a peaceful retreat from bustling crowds.

Pro Tip: Indulge in the local specialty, matsata—a delicious pasta dish served with succulent rooster or rabbit.

Milos - Unveiling the Mills of Milos

With its beautiful beaches and romantic ambiance, Milos is a favorite among Greeks. Sarakiniko Beach, with its white volcanic rock formations and turquoise waters, is particularly captivating. Despite its small size, the island offers over 40 stunning beaches, perfect for beach hopping.

Delos - Birthplace of Apollo and Artemis

Sailing towards Delos, the birthplace of Apollo, the sense of anticipation reaches a crescendo. The island, a true hyperbole of archaeological treasures, unveils its ancient past with each step. Marble statues stand frozen in time, their elegance and grace casting a spell upon those who behold them. Delos, a sanctuary of history and myth, whispers its stories through the ages.

Delos holds historical and religious significance and was once the religious, financial, and commercial hub of the region. While Delos doesn’t offer overnight stays due to its dedication to preserving the site, it remains a popular destination for day trips. Wander through the ancient city, marvel at the impressive Terrace of the Lions, and immerse yourself in the stories of Greek mythology that permeate every corner.

Pro Tip: Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide to bring the history of Delos to life. Their insights will make your visit even more captivating.

Anafi - Aegean Tranquility

Anafi is a tranquil island with a small population, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
Explore the charming town of Chora, which is nestled around the remnants of an ancient Venetian Castle. You’ll be captivated by the traditional Cycladic architecture and the stunning views that surround you.

If you’re in Athens, you may notice the influence of Anafi on the settlement of Anafiótika, located in the heart of the city. This picturesque neighborhood was inspired by the beauty and charm of Anafi, showcasing the island’s lasting impact. While visiting Anafi, be sure to spend time on the island’s beautiful beaches. Relax on the golden sands and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters. Anafi offers a peaceful and unspoiled coastal experience. As you explore the island, you’ll also encounter other hidden gems, such as the picturesque town of Mersíni, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Amorgos. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Kédros Bay and Livádi, easily accessible on foot from Stavrós. These beaches will reward you with their natural beauty. If you plan your visit around September, you might have the chance to experience the festive atmosphere at the Chapel of Timios Stavrós.

Cyclades Off-the-Beaten-Path

While the popular islands of the Cyclades are undoubtedly captivating, venturing off the beaten path reveals hidden treasures and authentic experiences. Consider these lesser-known destinations:

Amorgos: Known for its beauty, Amorgos offers peace, stunning hiking trails, and a chance to experience the local way of life.

Kimolos: This small, peaceful island boasts secluded beaches, traditional architecture, and a serene atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

Dive into Turquoise Tranquility: The Ultimate Beaches of the Cyclades

Are you ready to dip your toes into crystal-clear waters and unwind on picturesque shores? We unveil the Cyclades’ best-kept secrets when it comes to beaches. From the golden sands of Mykonos to the secluded coves of Naxos, each island offers a unique beach experience. Prepare for breathtaking sunsets, thrilling water sports, and a sun-kissed glow that will make your friends green with envy!

Here’s a list of some of the best beaches in the Cyclades Islands along with their short descriptions:

Red Beach, Santorini: A unique gem in Santorini, Red Beach features striking red cliffs and volcanic sand, providing a captivating backdrop against the Aegean Sea.

Perissa Beach, Santorini: Located on Santorini’s southeastern coast, Perissa Beach enchants visitors with its black volcanic sand, lively beach bars, and a backdrop of dramatic cliffs.

Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos: One of Mykonos’ most famous beaches, Super Paradise offers a vibrant atmosphere, thrilling water sports, and a lively beach club scene.

Psarou Beach, Mykonos: A favorite among celebrities, Psarou Beach exudes luxury and glamour, with its crystal-clear waters, upscale beach clubs, and vibrant social scene.

Agios Ioannis Beach, Mykonos: Escape to Agios Ioannis Beach in Mykonos, where paradise awaits. Discover breathtaking panoramic views, sink your toes into golden sands, and immerse yourself in the relaxed and carefree atmosphere.

Ornos Beach, Mykonos: located in close proximity to Mykonos Town, presents an exceptional choice due to its unparalleled clarity of the waters, diverse water sports activities, and an exuberant dining experience along the bustling beachfront.

Kolymbithres Beach, Paros: With its sculpted granite rocks, crystal-clear waters, and secluded coves, Kolymbithres Beach is a nature lover’s dream and an ideal spot for relaxation.

Agia Anna Beach, Paros: Agia Anna Beach allures visitors with its soft sand, calm waters, and charming seaside tavernas, creating a perfect spot for relaxation and Greek cuisine.

Sarakiniko Beach, Milos: Step foot onto Milos’ lunar landscape at Sarakiniko Beach, where dazzling white volcanic rocks and turquoise waters create a surreal and otherworldly experience.

Elafonisi Beach, Milos: Experience the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Elafonisi Beach, a hidden gem renowned for its pink sands and pristine waters.

Kleftiko Beach, Milos: Accessible only by boat, Kleftiko Beach greets you with towering cliffs, sea caves, and crystal-clear waters, making it a haven for snorkelers and explorers.

Plaka Beach, Naxos: Plaka Beach stretches along Naxos’ coastline, offering long stretches of golden sand, shallow waters, and a tranquil atmosphere perfect for unwinding.

Agios Prokopios Beach, Naxos: With its long stretch of golden sand and inviting turquoise waters, Agios Prokopios Beach is a postcard-perfect destination offering a mix of tranquility and water sports.

Livadi Beach, Serifos: A tranquil and secluded paradise, Livadi Beach on Serifos Island features golden sand, azure waters, and a peaceful atmosphere that beckons for relaxation.

How to Get to the Cyclades Islands

To reach the Cyclades, there are airports on some of the larger islands like Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Syros, and Milos, which can be accessed via Athens.

Dodecanese Islands map

By Air : From Athens, you can get by plane to the four islands where there are national airports. In the summer time, there are also many charter flights flying directly to Mykonos and Santorini. During that period there are also flights connecting Mykonos with Santorini. The flying time from Athens to Santorini is of 40 minutes. Most of all international flights arriving in Athens allow the connection with a flight to Santorini. 

By Ferry : The islands can be reached by ferries, flying dolphins, hydrofoils, or catamarans that leave from Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrion. You can travel by a “normal speed” ferry, but there is also a variety of faster vessels (high-speed ferries) to choose from if you want to cut the trip time to almost half.

Sailing Adventure

Another alternative for exploring the Cyclades islands is to rent a yacht and embark on a sailing adventure. This allows you to set your own pace, stop at multiple islands along the way, and indulge in the freedom of customized island hopping.

Exquisite Choices for Honeymooners in the Cyclades

Indulge in the allure of the Cyclades as you embark on your journey of love. Immerse yourself in captivating landscapes, witness breathtaking sunsets, and savor the embrace of luxurious accommodations. The Cyclades beckon, inviting you to experience an enchanting honeymoon like no other.
Here are a couple of idyllic spots for a memorable honeymoon:

  • Santorini: Renowned for its romantic ambiance, Santorini showcases stunning vistas, upscale accommodations, and intimate dining options.
  • Milos: This lesser-known gem boasts secluded beaches, picturesque villages, and a serene atmosphere, making it perfect for couples seeking privacy and tranquility.

Taste the Cycladic Gastronomic Delights: Indulge in the Flavors of Paradise

Calling all foodies! Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with the flavors of the Cyclades. From traditional dishes bursting with local ingredients to fresh seafood delicacies that will make your mouth water, Cycladic cuisine is a gastronomic paradise. Explore quaint tavernas, savor the tangy feta cheese, and experience the joy of dining like a Greek god!

A journey to the Cyclades is incomplete without savoring the delicious local cuisine. The islands have delicious food that uses fresh ingredients, traditional recipes, and different flavors.
Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Souvlaki: This Greek street food favorite features grilled skewers of marinated meat, usually served with pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and a side of salad.
  • Fava: A specialty of Santorini, fava is a creamy puree made from yellow split peas, drizzled with olive oil, and often topped with onions or capers.
  • Seafood: With the Aegean Sea at their doorstep, the Cyclades are known for their fresh seafood.
  • Try grilled octopus, fried calamari, or the local specialty of lobster pasta.

Cyclades Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

The clear waters of the Cyclades are perfect for diving and snorkeling. Explore vibrant underwater ecosystems, ancient shipwrecks, and unique marine life.

Here are some popular diving spots:

Amorgos: Known for its beauty, Amorgos offers peace, stunning hiking trails, and a chance to experience the local way of life.

Paros: Discover an underwater world teeming with colorful fish, octopuses, and even ancient amphorae near the islands of Paros.

Mykonos: Dive into the depths surrounding Mykonos to explore fascinating dive sites, including underwater caves and rocky reefs.

“How is it that I’ve lived 49 years on this planet but never been to the Greek Islands before. So beautiful. Yassou Mykonos I will return . . .”

Cyclades Accommodation


With its stunning sunsets, white-washed houses, and breathtaking views, this Greek island is a dream destination for travelers. Are you ready to explore its hidden gems, indulge in delicious cuisine, and relax on pristine beaches? Let’s embark on a Santorini travel guide journey together!


With its vibrant nightlife, charming alleys, and picturesque beaches, this Greek island is a must-visit destination. Have you ever danced until dawn at a beach club or wandered through the narrow streets of Mykonos Town? Join me on a Mykonos travel guide adventure and let’s discover the magic together!


Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich history, Ios offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Have you ever witnessed a breathtaking sunset from the hilltop of Chora or swam in the crystal-clear waters of Mylopotas Beach? Get ready for an incredible adventure with our Ios travel guide!


With its untouched landscapes, charming villages, and cultural treasures, this Greek island offers a unique and enriching travel experience. Have you ever hiked through the lush trails of Andros or explored the ancient ruins of Palaiopoli? Get ready to uncover the secrets of Andros with our comprehensive travel guide!


Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure? Look no further than Folegandros, a hidden gem nestled in the Aegean Sea. With its picturesque villages, breathtaking landscapes, and pristine beaches, this Greek island is a dream destination for travelers seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Curious about Folegandros?

Cyclades Attractions


Almost at the northernmost end of the Cyclades, Andros is an island with natural beauties and rich history ...
Read More


The beautiful Amorgos is perhaps one of the least known islands, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful ...
Read More


The picturesque Anafi belongs to the Cyclades and is a quiet and beautiful island, far from the noise of the city ...
Read More


The picturesque Antiparos is one of the most beautiful islands in the southern Aegean at the heart of the...
Read More


Donousa is a beautiful small island in the southeastern Cyclades, situated 10 miles north of Amorgos and east ...
Read More


Iraklia between Naxos and Ios, belongs to the Small Cyclades and is one of the most beautiful islands ...
Read More


Ios is one of the smallest yet famous and favourable island destinations in the Aegean Sea. Discover all the ...
Read More


Milos or Melos is a volcanic Greek island in the Aegean Sea, just north of the Sea of Crete. Milos is the ...
Read More


Mykonos is one of the most famous islands in Greece and a favorite holiday destination since it offers ...
Read More


Naxos is located in the center of the Cyclades and is the largest of them. It is an island with a great history ...
Read More


It lies approximately 150 km (93 miles) south-east of Piraeus...
Read More


Santorini is the most famous island not only of Greece but also of the Mediterranean. Wonderful ...
Read More


Got a Question?

The must-visit islands in the Cyclades are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, and Milos.

These islands offer beautiful beaches, charming towns, stunning sunsets, and rich cultural experiences.

For an ideal visit to the Cyclades, consider planning your trip during the late spring (May and June) or early autumn (September and October).

During these months, the weather is pleasant, with warm temperatures and less crowded tourist areas compared to the peak summer season.

Additionally, the sea is still warm for swimming, and you can enjoy a more relaxed and authentic experience on the islands.

To travel between the Cyclades islands, you have several options available: Ferry: Ferries are the most common and popular mode of transportation in the Cyclades.

Multiple ferry companies operate routes connecting the islands, offering both regular and high-speed ferries.

It’s advisable to check the ferry schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons.

Catamaran: Catamarans are a faster alternative to ferries, providing quicker travel times between the islands.

They are available on select routes and offer a more efficient way to explore multiple Cyclades islands within a shorter timeframe.

Flying: Some of the larger Cyclades islands, such as Santorini and Mykonos, have airports with regular domestic and international flights.

If you prefer a quicker mode of transportation or want to reach specific islands faster, flying can be a convenient option.

Hydrofoil: Hydrofoils are another fast transportation option, especially for shorter distances.

These vessels glide above the water, providing a smooth and swift journey between the islands.

It’s recommended to research the schedules, availability, and prices of different transportation methods before planning your trip to ensure a smooth and enjoyable island-hopping experience in the Cyclades.

Here is a list of popular activities and attractions you can enjoy in the Cyclades: Explore the iconic blue-domed churches in Santorini: Visit the picturesque villages of Oia and Fira, known for their stunning architecture and breathtaking views of the caldera.

Relax on the beautiful beaches of Mykonos: Enjoy the vibrant beach clubs, crystal-clear waters, and golden sands of popular beaches like Paradise, Super Paradise, and Platis Gialos.
Wander through the narrow streets of Naxos Town: Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of Naxos Town, where you’ll find charming shops, traditional tavernas, and the imposing Portara, a marble gate from an ancient temple.

Take a boat tour to the volcanic islands: Join a boat excursion to the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, located near Santorini.

You can hike to the crater, swim in the hot springs, and witness the unique volcanic landscapes.

Enjoy the nightlife in Mykonos and Ios: Experience the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos, with its trendy bars, clubs, and beach parties.

Ios is also renowned for its lively party scene, attracting young travelers from around the world.

Explore the traditional villages of Paros: Visit the charming villages of Parikia and Naoussa in Paros, where you can wander through the whitewashed streets, admire the Cycladic architecture, and enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

Go hiking in Tinos: Tinos offers fantastic hiking trails with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

The trail to the summit of Mount Exobourgo is particularly popular, providing panoramic vistas of the surrounding islands.

Experience authentic island life in Folegandros: Folegandros is known for its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere.

Explore the traditional Chora, hike to the Church of Panagia, and relax on secluded beaches.

Yes, there are budget-friendly accommodation options available in the Cyclades.

While the Cyclades are known for their luxurious resorts and high-end accommodations, there are also affordable alternatives for travelers on a budget.

Check it out here!

Moussaka: A layered dish made with eggplant, minced meat (usually beef or lamb), potatoes, and béchamel sauce, baked to perfection.

Fava: A puree made from yellow split peas, typically served with olive oil, lemon juice, and various toppings like capers or onions.

Octopus: Grilled or boiled octopus, often served with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.

It’s a popular seafood delicacy in the Cyclades.

Tomatokeftedes: Tomato fritters made with fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs, and flour, usually served as an appetizer or meze.

Taramasalata: A creamy dip made from fish roe (usually cod or carp), bread, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, often enjoyed with bread or pita chips.

Saganaki: Fried cheese, typically made with Greek cheese like kefalotyri or graviera, served hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Baklava: A sweet pastry made with layers of filo dough, nuts (usually walnuts or pistachios), and honey syrup, a delightful dessert option.

These are just a few examples of the traditional dishes you can try in the Cyclades.

Each island within the Cyclades may have its own specialties and variations, so be sure to explore the local cuisine and discover more delicious dishes!

The Cyclades have a rich and vibrant local culture with a set of customs that reflect the island’s way of life.

Here are some aspects of the local culture and customs in the Cyclades: Hospitality: Greeks, including the people of the Cyclades, are known for their warm hospitality.

Festivals and Celebrations: The Cyclades have a calendar full of festivals and celebrations throughout the year.

These events often involve music, dance, food, and religious ceremonies.

Festivals like Apokries (Carnival) and Panigiria (religious celebrations) showcase the islanders’ strong sense of community and tradition.

Visitors may witness church services, processions, and rituals, especially during important religious holidays.

Traditional Architecture: The Cyclades are known for their distinct traditional architecture, characterized by white-washed buildings with blue accents, narrow streets, and cube-shaped houses.

Fishing and Farming: Due to their geographical location and maritime heritage, fishing is a significant part of the local culture in the Cyclades.

Fish and seafood are staple ingredients in the traditional cuisine.

Exploring local shops and markets provides an opportunity to appreciate and purchase these unique creations.

Island Time and Relaxation: The Cyclades are famous for their laid-back and relaxed atmosphere.

The locals embrace a slower pace of life, known as “island time.” This encourages visitors to unwind, enjoy the natural beauty, and embrace a more leisurely lifestyle during their stay.

It’s important to note that customs and traditions may vary from island to island within the Cyclades.

It includes a diverse program of music concerts, theater performances, dance shows, and art exhibitions.

The festival aims to promote local artists and cultural heritage while attracting visitors from all over.

Andros On Foot Festival: Andros, one of the Cyclades islands, hosts the Andros On Foot Festival, which celebrates hiking and outdoor activities.

The event offers guided hiking tours through the island’s beautiful landscapes, showcasing its natural beauty and encouraging eco-friendly tourism.
The festival provides a platform for filmmakers to present their work and encourages dialogue and discussions about various topics addressed in the documentaries.

Planning an island-hopping itinerary in the Cyclades can be an exciting adventure.

Here are some steps to help you plan your island-hopping trip: Research and choose your islands: The Cyclades consist of numerous islands, each with its own unique character.

Research the islands and decide which ones you would like to visit based on your interests, preferences, and available time.


Popular choices include Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios, and Milos.

Determine your travel duration: Decide on the duration of your trip.

Keep in mind that travel between islands can take time, so factor in transportation logistics.

Plan your route: Once you’ve selected the islands you want to visit, plan your route accordingly.


Consider the ferry connections between the islands and create a logical sequence.

It’s often best to follow a circular route to minimize backtracking.

Allocate time for each island: Allocate a suitable amount of time for each island based on your interests.

Some islands may require more time to explore due to their size or the number of attractions they offer.

For example, Santorini and Mykonos are popular tourist destinations and may warrant more time compared to smaller, quieter islands.

Consider transportation options: The primary mode of transportation between the Cyclades islands is by ferry.

Research the ferry schedules and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Keep in mind that ferry schedules may vary depending on the season, so check for any updates or changes closer to your travel dates.

Book accommodations: Look for accommodations on each island you plan to visit.

It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season when availability may be limited.


Consider staying close to the main town or port for convenience.

Be flexible and allow for downtime: While it’s tempting to squeeze in as many islands as possible, remember to allow for some downtime.

Island hopping can be tiring, and it’s essential to have a balance between exploration and relaxation.

Leave room in your itinerary for spontaneous activities or simply unwinding on the beach.

Pack appropriately: Pack light, breathable clothing suitable for the Mediterranean climate.

Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes.

If you plan to visit religious sites, carry modest clothing to respect local customs.

Check for island-specific attractions and activities: Research and note down specific attractions, beaches, or activities unique to each island you plan to visit.

This will help you make the most of your time and experience the highlights of each destination.


Stay informed: Stay updated on any travel advisories or regulations related to the Cyclades islands.

Check with official sources, such as the Greek National Tourism Organization or your country’s embassy, for any travel alerts or entry requirements.

Remember that island hopping in the Cyclades offers a chance to explore a diverse range of destinations.

There are several lesser-known gems in the Cyclades that are worth exploring.

Here are a few: Naxos: Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades but is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors.

It boasts stunning beaches, charming villages, and a rich history.

Explore the picturesque old town of Naxos, visit the ancient Portara monument, and hike to Mount Zas, the highest peak in the Cyclades.

Serifos: This tranquil and unspoiled island is perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

Serifos offers pristine beaches, traditional Cycladic architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere.

Explore the main town of Chora, visit the hilltop castle, and take a boat tour around the island’s hidden coves.

Syros: Syros combines the charm of a traditional Cycladic island with a touch of elegance.

Its main town, Ermoupoli, is a cultural and architectural gem with neoclassical buildings, narrow streets, and a lively atmosphere.

Discover the beautiful beaches, explore the Vaporia neighborhood, and visit the Apollo Theater, a miniature version of La Scala in Milan.

Amorgos: Amorgos is a rugged and mountainous island known for its dramatic landscapes and crystal-clear waters.

Explore the impressive Chora with its labyrinthine alleys, visit the 11th-century Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa perched on a cliffside, and enjoy hiking trails that offer breathtaking views.

Anafi: Anafi is a small, remote island located east of Santorini.

It offers a serene atmosphere, untouched beaches, and a slower pace of life.

Explore the traditional village of Chora, visit the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, and hike to the top of Mount Kalamos for panoramic views.

These are just a few of the lesser-known gems in the Cyclades.

Each island has its own unique charm and attractions, making them perfect for exploration and relaxation away from the crowds.

The Cyclades have several airports that cater to both domestic and international flights. The most significant airports are Santorini (Thira) Airport, Mykonos Airport, and Naxos Airport. These airports offer frequent flights during the tourist season, connecting the islands with Athens and other major European cities.

Ferries: Ferries are the primary mode of transportation between the Cyclades islands and the mainland of Greece. The major ports for ferry connections are Piraeus (Athens), Rafina, and Lavrion. The frequency of ferry services varies depending on the season, with more frequent sailings during the summer months.

High-speed boats: In addition to traditional ferries, high-speed boats (also known as flying dolphins or catamarans) operate between some of the Cyclades islands. These boats are faster than regular ferries and can shorten travel times between certain islands.

Bus services: Once you arrive at your chosen Cyclades island, local bus services are available to help you get around. The frequency and coverage of bus routes can vary depending on the island and the time of year. Buses generally connect major towns, villages, and popular beaches, making it relatively convenient to explore the island without a car.

Taxis and rental vehicles: Taxis are available on most of the Cyclades islands, particularly in the more tourist-oriented areas. Having your own vehicle provides the most flexibility to explore the islands at your own pace.

Accessibility considerations: While efforts have been made to improve accessibility, it’s important to note that some Cyclades islands, particularly the smaller and more traditional ones, may have limited infrastructure for individuals with mobility challenges.