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.

Each island of the Cyclades has its own unique charm, offering an enchanting setting and an unforgettable view that stretches over the Aegean as far as the eye can see. Although some of the islands have modernized their infrastructure in order to favor the tourism development in the area, all the Cyclades still keep their traditional style intact.

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

Kimolos, Donoussa, Schinoussa and Heraklia are perhaps among the lesser known islands of the Cyclades, but an ideal destination for those looking for peace and tranquility.

On the contrary, islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Ios and of course Syros with its popular cosmopolitan nightlife offer entertainment lovers intense holidays and revelry until morning.


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.


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.)


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.


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


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.


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.

List of the islands of the Cyclades


amorgos Amorgos is the easternmost island of the Cyclades which is located 16 nautical miles southeast of Naxos and 133 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus.The capital of Amorgos is the beautiful Chora, built on top of a hill where you will find a remarkable Venetian castle.

The island played an important role in Greek history especially during the revolution of 1821 where many residents of Amorgos fought alongside the rest of the Greeks in the Peloponnese and in other regions of the country. Also the fleet of Amorgos helped significantly in the naval battles against the Turks.

Visitors will have the opportunity to admire many Byzantine churches and monasteries scattered across the island and to walk through its picturesque alleys among the whitewashed stone houses of the Aegean.

The island has many accommodations for accommodation such as hotels, rooms for rent and apartments all fully equipped and with excellent facilities for their occupants. Visitors can rest in the traditional taverns and cafes of the island, enjoying their coffee and tasting some of the local delicacies.


anafi Anafi is a small island located at the southern end of the Cyclades and with a history that dates back to ancient times. It is a peaceful island of unique beauty, which is why, although it is not very developed for tourism, it attracts many visitors from all over the world every year.

The landscape that prevails in Anafi is a source of inspiration for every traveler. The vaulted one-room houses with the round roofs are different from the usual square or triangular ones found on other Cycladic islands, and in combination with the picturesque windmills compose scenes from a fairy tale that will remain indelibly in your memory.

The capital of Anafi is Chora, amphitheatrically built on the spot where there are today the ruins of the old Venetian Castle and at a distance of about 3 kilometers from Chora you will see the small picturesque port of Agios Nikolaos.

The island has interesting attractions such as the ruins of the ancient city at the top of Kasteli hill parts of which are still preserved today, ruins of the Temple of the god Apollo, the traditional windmills and two remarkable monasteries of Zoodochos Pigi and Panagia Kalamiotissa which dates back to about 1710 AD


andros Since ancient times, Andros has shown great economic growth and prosperity as it was known as the island of shipowners. During your tour of the island’s capital, Chora, you can admire the well-kept mansions with their special architecture, a typical example of the aristocratic society that lived in Andros.

In Andros there are many traditional villages and important attractions to visit, such as the cosmopolitan resort of Batsi and the mountain village of Aprovato from where you will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique panoramic view of the entire island and the sea.

We also suggest to visit the cave of Aladdin with its impressive stalactites and stalagmites and to tour the old part of Chora, the Medieval City, where the picturesque cobbled streets, the well-preserved mansions and the central square give a special touch to the landscape of the capital Andrew.

In the eastern part of the island, at a distance of about 5 kilometers from Chora, you will find the village of Apoikia, where the Sariza spring is located, which is known for its mineral water and its healing properties.


antiparos Antiparos with its fairytale natural landscape, whitewashed houses, crystal clear seas and historical treasures that start 5000 years ago, is a small paradise on earth which, in recent years, has attracted many holidaymakers.

The capital of the island is Chora, a picturesque fishing harbor with colorful fishing boats, taverns and hospitable residents, the most habitable settlement in Antiparos. The main road across from the pier is the commercial center of the area with many small shops for locals and tourists.

In Chora you will find picturesque white houses with flowered courtyards and the ruins of the old Venetian castle which includes four special churches of Christ, Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Nicholas.

Antiparos is surrounded by many small islands that are worth visiting. We recommend the islet of Despotiko which is a site of great archaeological importance and which you can reach by boats departing from the coastal village of Agios Georgios in the southern part of Antiparos.


donoussa Donoussa is the largest island of the small Cyclades, a place of incredible tranquility, an ideal destination for relaxing holidays.

Due to the small size of the island, the visitor can walk around it from one end to the other, enjoy the wonderful natural scenery and be inspired by the panoramic view of the blue Aegean.

Donoussa is also popular with those who travel the Aegean Sea by boat or charter yachts for their holidays.

The capital of the island is called Donoussa and it is also the only port. If you go about 10 kilometers to the north of Kalotaritissa you will come across a small settlement with a very picturesque beach to enjoy your swim.

The island has no hotel units, but there are several rooms for rent for accommodation. Although new tourist accommodation has been constantly being built in recent years, it is not easy to find availability especially during the high summer season.


Iraklia one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades, is located between Ios and Naxos and belongs to the Small Eastern Cyclades complex.

Like most of the surrounding islands, Iraklia also has quite an interesting history to which the visitor is transported when gazing at the ruined Castle that rises on the hill near Livadi beach.

In Heraklia there are only two settlements, Agios Georgios which is the port of the island and Chora or Panagia which are connected to each other by a 5 kilometer road.

The island has an idyllic landscape with rich vegetation and beautiful lacy beaches. You can swim at Livadi, Pigadi, Karvounolakkos, Spilia, Alimias beaches, some paved with sand and others with pebbles. Access is mainly on foot, but some beaches can only be reached by boat.

Some excursions are organized on the island which go around Heraklia so that the visitor can get to know it better and stop at some isolated coves for swimming. Heraklia, due to its very small size, is ideal for walking and exploring.