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Cyclades islands Greece

The Cyclades are a cluster of dozens of islands in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, between mainland Greece and Asia Minor. Naxos is the largest island of the complex. The name Cyclades is ancient and is handed down by Herodotus, Thucydides and many other sources. According to Strabo, this was the name of the islands of Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Milos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Paros, Naxos, Syros, Mykonos, Tinos and Andros, which formed a circle around the sacred island of Delos.

The Cyclades islands are one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. The trademark is the bare rocks and the contrast of the white of the houses and the endless blue of the Aegean. But apart from the picturesque white towns, villages and the beautiful beaches, each island of the Cyclades offers its own package of experiences, from the cosmopolitan life of Mykonos to the relaxed, sophisticated rhythms of the inland of Tinos and from the gastronomic pleasures of Sifnos to the romantic dream for two of Santorini. In general, the Cyclades are identified with secular vacations, romantic getaways for two,or with family, casual outings and trips on the barren line.

However, most Cycladic islands, especially the larger ones, are not limited to a single holiday profile and offer different proposals depending on your style and budget. Some of the larger islands, such as Syros, are alive all year round and are an ideal destination for weekends, while the smaller and more remote ones, such as IrakliaAmorgos , Folegandros or Anafi, are aimed mainly at lovers of the alternative tourism and have a short season, which limited mainly to the summer months. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday enjoying the magic of the natural landscape, or if you prefer spree and adventure, in the Cyclades you can have the choice you want.
Donoussa, SikinosAntiparos and Kimolos are perhaps the least known islands of the Cyclades, but an ideal destination for those seeking peace and tranquility. On the contrary, islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Ios offer intense holidays and spree until morning.

Apart from their natural beauties, the Cyclades have great historical wealth. This is evident from the wide variety of museums, galleries and archeological sites that you will find scattered on many islands.
Another feature of the Cyclades is the hundreds of whitewashed churches, some of which are majestic churches and monasteries worth visiting, such as the famous church of Megalohari located on the island of Tinos.
In the Cyclades the visitor has the opportunity to experience the beauty, the history, the adventure, the spree but also the peace. Difficult choice, but if you search among the many islands, you will definitely find what you are looking for.

GEOGRAPHY

The Cyclades were once the peaks of the Aegaides mountains, a continent that sank into the Aegean 5 million years ago. Many of the islands, especially those that lie southwest of Attica and Evia, are rich in crystalline rocks, such as granite, gneiss, marble and slate. Conversely, the southernmost islands, located on the volcanic arc of the southern Aegean (Milos, Thira, Kimolos), have an abundance of volcanic rocks, such as andesite and obsidian. Other sources of mineral wealth, exploited at various times in history, include the copper deposits of Kythnos, and the lead and silver deposits of Sifnos.

The Cyclades are generally arid, with limited flora and fauna and small areas suitable for cultivation and animal husbandry. The climate is dry with lots of sunshine and little rainfall. The strong winds, however, which dominate most of the year (and especially in summer) keep the temperature low and favor coastal sailing.

The soil of the Cyclades is mountainous, as it consists of mountain tops of a land that sank. The height of the mountains is small.

Mountains:

In Naxos extends the Zia mountain range (1,004 m.), In Andros the mountains Agioi Saranda (714 m.), Petalo (1,003 m.) And Kouvaras (975 m.), In Tinos the Tsiknias (713 m.), In Paros the Prophet Elias (750 m.), In Kea the Prophet Elias (568 m.), In Milos the mountains Profitis Elias (751 m.) And Chondrovouno (620 m.), In Amorgos Krikellos (826 m.) in Ios the Tower (737 m.), in Syros the Tower (442 m.), in Kythnos Petra (333 m.), in Mykonos the Anomeritis (364 m.), in Sifnos the Agios Ilias (695 m.), In Thira the Prophet Elias (565 m.), In Sikinos the Troullos (600 m.) And in Anafi the Vigla (484 m.)

Plains

The territory of the Cyclades is mountainous. Thus there are no plains, but only small valleys and plains.

Thermal Springs

In the Cyclades there are many thermal springs. The most important are Sariza of Andros, whose waters are bottled and Thermia of Kythnos which are two springs known since antiquity.

Mineral Wealth

The Cyclades islands are rich in mineral wealth. The most famous are the marbles of Naxos, Paros and Tinos and the emery of Naxos.

Climate

The climate in the Cyclades is the characteristic climate of the Aegean, with mild winters and cool summers.

ECONOMY

The Cyclades are barren islands and so arable land is limited. The soil and climate of the prefecture are suitable for arboriculture, mainly olive cultivation. Livestock breeding of small animals (sheep and goats) is also developed in the prefecture, because there are no pastures for large animals. There are several mines in the Cyclades, as almost all the islands are rich in ores and minerals. Fishing is another serious economic factor for the islands, whose sea is home to fine fish. Finally, tourism plays a serious role in the economy of the prefecture, both because the islands are beautiful and for the antiquities they have.

HISTORY


Human presence is witnessed in the Cyclades as early as the 9th millennium BC. and it is connected with the numerous indications we have of obsidian mining of excellent quality from Milos. The hard volcanic material was one of the most sought-after raw materials for the manufacture of tools and weapons throughout the Aegean during the Neolithic era and did not stop being used until the end of the Bronze Age (12th century BC).

Thira, Ios, Sikinos, Folegandros, Amorgos, Anafi along with some islands of today’s Dodecanese were usually included in the southern Sporades. These testimonies, of course, date from the Classical period onwards. For this reason, we cannot know if the Cyclades of the 3rd millennium BC. – who left no written evidence – used the same or similar names for their islands.

According to archeological findings, the Cyclades were first inhabited in prehistoric times. Its greatest economic and cultural development is presented in the Ancient Times, during which they developed the famous Cycladic Culture. In Historical and Classical Times they were allies of the Athenians. In the middle of the 2nd century BC. came under Roman rule and fell into decline. In Byzantine times they belonged to the Aegean Theme and were tested by many pirate raids. In the 12th c. were conquered by the Venetians and experienced particular prosperity. In the 16th c. fell into the hands of the Turks, from whom they were liberated and united with the Greek state in 1830.