Island-hopping in Greece: The Cycades


Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and a haven of long beaches, Medieval towers, and culinary delights. As you enter the harbour you will be greeted by the ancient Portara – a huge marble gate and the single remaining part of an unfinished temple of Apollo from 530 BC – and the sight of the imposing Medieval castle above the town.  

It is the perfect place to visit if you want to sample the best of traditional Greek village life and indulge in some culinary delights. Try the cheeses of Naxos, which are highly prized by the Greeks, and include graviera, a similar cheese to the Swiss gruyere, and kefalotyri, which is made with pasteurised sheep and goat’s milk.


For those seeking a lively atmosphere and a touch of Greek luxury, Mykonos is the place to go in the Cyclades. Known for its 5-star service and chic bars and cafes, it is a great stop to have fun. Hora, the island’s capital, is a maze of cobblestoned streets that were originally designed to confuse raiders but are now packed with boutiques, top design houses and world-class galleries. Artists recognised by the greatest museums in the world often select the island as the place to present their latest work so be sure to research the latest exhibitions before you go.

For those who want a bit more action, the island has the perfect coastline for enjoying watersports such as water-skiing, wakeboarding, jet skiing and windsurfing. No-one can deny that Mykonos is a hive of activity that will keep even the most restless happy.


The uninhabited island of Delos, at the centre of the Cyclades archipelago, is said to be the birthplace of Apollo, and is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is home to a collection of impressive monuments and mosaics dedicated to the Gods. Being just a short hop from Mykonos makes it the perfect destination to soak up the beauty of Ancient Greece and earn its place as a must-see on your itinerary.

Take some time to climb the steps carved by the ancient Greeks up Mount Kythnos, the highest point on this island, and you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the islands that form a circle around Delos.


Santorini is famous for its spectacular views and traditional blue-and-white towns overlooking the sea, making its sunset one of the most photographed in the world. These views are well worth the trip alone, but there is so much more to this beautiful island.

Wine-making can be traced here to before the eruption of its legendary volcano, more than 3,000 years ago, so make sure you visit some of its exceptional vineyards and try some local flavours for yourself. More than 50 grape varieties grow here, including Santorini’s famous, crisp white award-winner Assyrtiko and the sweet Vinsanto, made with sun-dried grapes and served as a liqueur. 

Santorini is also known for its incredible local cuisine made from the best ingredients, thanks to its nutrient-rich volcanic soil, so settle down in one of the many coastal restaurants and sample specialities such as fava beans (pureed split peas), domatinia (world-famous sundried cherry tomatoes) and white aubergines.

After sampling the delights of Santorini, you can make a short trip to the small island of Palia Kameni and take a dip in the thermal waters of its natural volcanic spa. The water there has a temperature of about 33 degrees Celsius and contains sulphur, which is said to be good for the skin. The perfect way to unwind.


Sometimes overlooked amongst its counterparts, this beautiful island is steeped in history and boasts some of the most breath-taking landscapes and coastal scenery in this area. Ancient volcanic activity has given this island a variety of stunning landscapes, none of which are more spectacular than the wonderful red, pink and orange of the rock formations that can be found at its sandy beaches. These are even better seen from the water, so take your time to explore the coastline from your boat and take in the views that are often unseen by those on land. The formidable pirates of the Middle Ages had their hideouts in Milos, so keep an eye out for traces of their existence in Kleftiko, where the bollards of their ships can be found sculpted on the rocks around the caves.

If you are looking for a taste of what the Greek islands have to offer, the Cyclades has it all, history, stunning beaches, lively atmosphere and fantastic cuisine. All ready and waiting in the stunning turquoise Aegean Sea.

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