"Touring The Cyclades" Top 5 Page for this destination Prefecture of the Cyclades by steventilly
Prefecture of the Cyclades Travel Guide: 4,091 reviews and 12,867 photos
The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean that encircle Delos. OK, that circle is not too circular and is a little off-centre, but the idea is there, the reason being that Delos was one of the most sacred places of ancient Greece and it remains one of its most important archaeological sites.
There are more than 20 inhabited islands in The Cyclades and each has something different to offer. While there are similarities between them such as their typical architecture - towns and villages of sugar cube white buildings, built in a confusing maze of streets and alleyways - there are big differences to be found too. Some are virtually untouched by tourism, offering a glimpse of "real Greece"; some have great beaches; some have buzzing nightlife; some have mountains, agricultur and lush vegetation; one, Santorini, is utterly unique with its caldera-hugging towns offering a striking setting that is often featured on calendars, cards and guide book covers, making us all think of that as being "typically cycladic".
The islands' number, diversity and proximity both to the mainland and to each other makes them probably the most rewarding and easiest group to undertake as an "island hopping" trip.
Having had our appetite for this group of islands whetted by our trip to Santorini a couple of years back we decided to visit a few more of them this year.
Being not the kind to travel light, especially wife who will never take one pair of shoes when 3 will do, we decided not to do the "island to island to island" sort of trip that most backpackers would expect to make, picking up what accommodation we can as we arrive or booking just ahead as we move on. Instead we booked two "bases", a week at each, and then travelled out from those bases to other nearby islands. Two of these trips took the form of 2-night stays while 2 others were simply day-trips (you couldn't stay on Delos even if you wanted to). This fulfilled our needs entirely - we saw 6 islands in the two weeks, having enough time on most of them to see enough to satisfy us, while still leaving us with a desire to go back at some time to see more. Or indeed to see it all again!
The experience of catching ferries, getting to and from the ports and seeing the quality of the ships that were used whetted our appetite even further. Next time we do it we'll do an island-to-island-to-island type of trip.
We flew into Mykonos and immediately went to the port for a departure to our first "base", Paros.
From Paros we made a day trip to Antiparos.
After 3 nights on Paros we moved on to Naxos for a 2 night stay.
After a further 2 nights on Paros we moved on to our second base, Mykonos.
From Mykonos we made a day trip to Delos.
After 3 nights on Mykonos we moved on to Tinos for a 2 night stay.
After a further 2 nights on Mykonos we flew home.
This itinerary involved 10 ferry crossings in total.
- Pros:Diversity; Food & Drink; Beaches; Scenery; Nightlife; Ease of Travel
- Cons:Some islands overcrowded in peak season
- In a nutshell:Island-hopper's Dream
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