Cyclades Islands, Greece: where they are, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

It may be a stereotype, but the image that everyone has of a beach holiday in summer is a white house with a blue roof, climbing on rocks that overlook the turquoise water and if we put a sunset in the background, it to say that you want Greece. Always favorite destination for sea lovers, of new graduates, of families looking for relaxation not too far from home, the Greek islands will always be able to satisfy every need.

The Cyclades archipelago, with its 220 islands, it is the most famous and visited in the Aegean Sea. A succession of contrasts, postcard landscapes and abandoned ruins, techno music and absolute silence, small shops and shopping centers, crowds and desolate spaces. Each island has its own peculiarity but the thin thread that unites them all is their millenary history protected by a wonderful sea.


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where are
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. Which island to go to?
  5. What to see: beaches and places of interest
  6. What to do in the Cyclades Islands: excursions and tours
  7. How much does a holiday in the Cyclades cost? Prices, offers and advice
  8. User questions and comments
  9. Request a personalized quote

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 119.549
  • Capital: Siro-Ermoopoli
  • Languages: Greek, widespread English
  • Local currency: EUR
  • Weather: Mediterranean, mild winters and hot summers.
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required
  • Entry requirements: identity card valid for expatriation or valid passport
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where are

    The Cyclades are a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, located south of Attica. The archipelago is made up of about 220 islands, divided into 20 municipalities, of which the main ones are Milos, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini. The name derives from their arrangement in a circle (kyklo = circle).

    How to reach us

    • From Italy: you can reach the main islands such as Santorini and Mykonos through direct flights provided by companies such as EasyJet, Ryanair, Vueling and Iberia, or by sea with ferries departing from Ancona, Bari and other port cities. To reach the smaller islands, you must arrive in Athens and from there move by sea or by internal flights (generally provided by companies such as Olympic Air and Aegen Airlines). Flights to Santorini from € 70,00 - Flights to Mykonos from € 56,00 - Flights to Athens from € 36,00
    • From the main European capitals: London, Berlin, Paris and almost all other capitals are connected via direct flights to Athens and the main Cyclades islands.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: The islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate with mild winters with little rain and hot, sunny summers. The wind often blows cold from the continent in the winter and constant and cool in the summer. The water temperature is always pleasant, but the sea can often be rough.
    • Best time: for beach life it is summer, from June to mid-September.
    • Period to avoid: in the winter months the temperature is never rigid and it is possible to go hiking, but the towns often empty even of the inhabitants themselves and it is difficult to find open services or basic necessities.
    • Advice: bring swimsuit and sunscreen, light clothes, a sweatshirt for the evening and comfortable shoes for excursions within the various islands. In pharmacies you can find all kinds of medicines and supermarkets are often open even at lunchtime. To visit the island you can rent cars, scooters and bicycles at reasonable prices.

    Which island to go to?

    The archipelago consists of about 220 islands and in addition to the most famous and worldly Mykonos, Milos and Santorini, Amorgos, Folegandros are also worth a visit, Naxos, Ios and Paros. A good idea is to rent a sailboat with a skipper to take a cruise on your own or go on day excursions by booking the boat directly in the tourist marinas; the choices are endless and suitable for all budgets. If you want to always stay on the same island, it is advisable to choose it carefully according to the type of holiday you want to do and the services offered.

    1. Mykonos: it is one of the most famous islands and is normally chosen by young people for clubs that organize parties all day, for themed parties on the beach, trendy discos and, of course, the beauty of the sea and the landscapes. On this island you never sleep and blaring music is a constant that always makes it cheerful and lively. Mykonos also offers the opportunity to visit small museums, typical farms and go shopping in the many shops in the narrow streets of the center. Mykonos has its own airport that connects it to Athens and Italy, but you can also arrive by ferry from Piraeus in about 5 hours for a cost of € 25,00 bridge passage.
    2. Santorini: usually chosen by couples for a romantic holiday or by families, it offers breathtaking sunsets, spectacular views overlooking the sea, crystal clear waters, boutiques and top-class restaurants where you can taste both typical and international cuisine. Suitable for those looking for the balance between fun and relaxation. Santorini has its own airport that connects it to Athens and Italy, but you can also arrive by ferry from Piraeus in about 7 hours for a cost of € 35,00 bridge passage.
    3. Milos: the island of Venus, here in fact the famous statue was found, is proposed as one of the most peaceful destinations of the entire archipelago. Good facilities and little confusion make it the ideal destination for those looking only for the sea and suggestive landscapes. Milos is suitable for those looking for culture as well as entertainment, in fact it is rich in archaeological sites and museums. The western part is still completely wild. From Piraeus you can arrive by ferry in 3 hours at € 55,00 and from Santorini in 2 hours at € 56,00
    4. Amorgos: a little hidden and sparsely populated, sometimes underestimated, with its pebble beaches and monasteries perched on the hills. Not suitable for children due to the difficult access to the water and the practically non-existent services, this island is chosen above all by those looking for quite. To get there, it is convenient to take the plane to Santorini and then the ferry that arrives in the island in 4 hours at a cost of about € 53,00.
    5. Folegandros: dotted with small beaches, most of them not equipped, and hidden bays along the coast, the island offers unique views and attracts couples looking for romance. Aghios Nikolaos beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the southern Cyclades, reachable on foot via a dirt path. To get to this tiny island, it is better to fly to Santorini and board the ferry for 1 hour of travel for € 50,00
    6. Naxos: the largest island in the Cyclades and one of the best choices for those traveling with children. Dotted with sandy beaches, shallow waters and crystal clear water, but also with traditional villages and ancient remains from the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Venetian periods. To see the statue of Kouros and the Temple of Demetrius. For a beach with services we recommend Agios Prokopios Beach. The most convenient airport is that of Mykonos, then by ferry you can arrive in less than 1 hour at a cost of € 35,00
    7. Ios: it is the island of young people, of fun, of discos and afterhours, of music blaring at full volume until 10:00 in the morning and then starting again at aperitif time. Chosen by a very young tourism, however, it also offers beaches suitable for families with shallow waters and turquoise water. Possibility also of excursions inside and trekking. Also to get to Ios it is advisable to make a stopover in Mykonos and then take the ferry, which with a crossing of 2 hours and an indicative cost based on the season of € 35,00, will take you to your destination
    8. Paros: this is the classic island suitable for all types of travelers, couples, young people, families with children, retirees. Its beaches are almost all easily accessible and equipped, all the activities are of a good standard as well as hotels and restaurants, nightlife and clubs are not lacking and the sea is obviously splendid. Paros is also a major hub for shipping traffic and therefore easily accessible from all the islands. For convenience, we recommend arriving by plane in Mykonos and then the ferry for a cost of about € 40,00 and a crossing time of 50 minutes

    What to see: beaches and places of interest

    1. Akrotiri: in Santorini, it is an ancient Minoan city buried by the ashes of a volcanic eruption in 1613 BC The archaeological site has historical and humanistic importance like our Pompeii. About 40 buildings, a lot of pictorial material and perfectly preserved handicraft artifacts have been found. Admission is subject to a fee.
    2. Red Beach: in Santorini, it is perhaps the most famous beach of the island due to the red color due to the volcanic rocks that plunge into the water. Equipped and easily accessible, it also offers many typical restaurants in the area where you can have lunch.
    3. Sarakiniko beach: on the island of Milos, this white rock beach looks like a lunar landscape. There is no such beach in all of Greece, with the white of the volcanic rocks and the shapes, shaped by the wind and sea waves, it looks like a magical space out of time.
    4. Kalafatis: 12 km from the center of Mykonos, it is a well-organized beach, with all kinds of services and easily accessible. Chosen by many young people who love to practice water sports and extreme sports. Due to the large turnout, it is not suitable for families with small children.
    5. Windmills of Mykonos: dating back to the th century, they were fundamental for the economy of the islands. Here the wheat was ground and then shipped and shipped to be sold. The panorama from the cliff is suggestive and in summer it is possible to visit the small museum housed in one of the mills.
    6. Mykonos Archaeological Museum: built over the harbor around 1900, it offers a rich collection of ships, artifacts, sculptures and ceramics. Open every day, from 8:30 am to 15:00 pm, except Mondays and public holidays.
    7. Kastro: it was the ancient capital of Sifnos and one of the best preserved medieval villages now. Absolutely worth a visit to admire the typical houses, the monasteries, the castle tower and the archaeological museum. Around the historic center, many shops and shops where you can buy classic souvenirs.
    8. Paros Park: in addition to the 33 beaches on the island, Paros offers the possibility of a visit to this park created to preserve the environment and then expanded to host cultural events, theatrical performances, sensory experiences. Splendid sea and services of all kinds will accompany anyone who wants to spend a few hours on this site a little out of the ordinary.

    What to do in the Cyclades Islands: excursions and tours

    How much does a holiday in the Cyclades cost? Prices, offers and advice

    A holiday in the Cyclades can be moderately economical if planned carefully. If you choose to arrive by air, low cost airlines such as Vueling, Easyjet and Ryanair offer fares from € 119,00 in return to book well in advance of the departure date. With the Anek and Minoan ferries, departing from Ancona or Bari to Patras, you spend € 157,00 in the return seat in the seat, € 570,00 in the cabin and € 180,00 more if you decide to embark also the automable. The Zante, Seajets and Goldenstar ferries connect all the islands to each other with daily trips. The cost of living is slightly lower than in Italy. There is certainly no shortage of hotels and prices can vary a lot according to the season; to save money, you can book at guest houses or Bed & Breakfasts starting from € 40,00 per night. For restaurants, the same rule applies as for hotels and if you want to save money, taverns are recommended, perhaps not in the most fashionable places, where a meal can cost around € 20,00 per person. To move around the islands, you can rent cars for € 35,00 per day or scooters and bicycles at local agencies. All the tourist ports of the islands offer the possibility of day boat excursions for about € 50,00 per person or sailing boat rental with or without skipper from € 1.100,00 per week. For nightlife it is advisable to stop in the bars of the larger centers to ask for free admission tickets to parties and discos. If you contact an agency for an all-inclusive, Veratour offers all-inclusive packages, including flight and insurance, from € 1.720,00 per couple. Those who aim for savings and want a good quality / price ratio can still decide based on the type of holiday they want to do: Ios is definitely the first choice for young people who want parties and discos but also affordable B & Bs and street food; for couples looking for romance, if you leave out the more expensive Santorini, Folegandros is recommended, with well-kept restaurants and hotels, small crowds and excellent prices; families can opt for Naxos, where you can find all comforts, equipped beaches and all kinds of shops.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
    • starting from € 60,00 -
    • 7 days / 6 nights from € 400,00 per person -

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