Cyclades

Cyclades is a group of islands located in the Aegean Sea. Considered the best vacation destinations worldwide, offering visitors a variety of features. All Cyclades islands have some common characteristics such as the traditional Cycladic architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, archaeological sites, historical, religious and Natural attractions. The picturesque seaside, mountain villages and endless beaches. Each island, however, is distinguished by certain elements that make it special and very unique.The Cycladic islands have numerous beaches and suitable weather for yachts. There are many harbors where they can set anchor and refuel, and many of the islands have separate marinas for private boats. Cyclades can satisfy all tastes, for both intense and exciting, quiet and relaxing holidays. You will surely find the island that best suits you, whether you like a family holiday, travel as group of friends, as a couple or alone.
The main Cycladic Islands are: Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Paros, Antiparos, Dilos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Milos, The Small Cyclades (Donousa, Folegandros, Koufonissia and Syros), Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos and Tinos .

Amorgos
Amorgos is the eastern island of the Cyclades. Amorgos, located at the Sailing Park of Small Cyclades and is ideal for an unforgettable experience with sailing yacht, both for beginners and for experienced sailors. It is a bridge to the Dodecanese, and is very close to Astypalea. Along the coasts has 112 km of rocky territory. On the one hand the wild beauty of the mountains and on the other green valleys give the island a unique beauty. The beaches of Amorgos are distinguished for their purity. The natural beauty combined with the deep blue Aegean Sea, and rough rocks create an ideal setting for escaping everyday routine. The island has two natural ports. One on the Bay of Katapola and the second one in Amorgos. Amorgos because of its geographical position,is facing Ionian cities (Ephesus, Halicarnassus, Militos), was one of the first stations for the Ionian tribes who passed the Cyclades. The ruins of three ancient cities of Arsekinis of Egialis and Minoa, reveal important aspects of the historic route of the island. Like all Cyclades experienced Venetians and Ottomans, and many pirates. However, the island has retained its identity and its unique Cycladic culture. Something that seems still in the architecture building of the villages, but also in the lifestyle of the island.

Milos
Located southwestern of the Cyclades, is the fifth largest island. Milos’s shape, is like a horseshoe, and the port, Adamas, considered one of the largest and safest natural harbors in the Mediterranean.
The volcanic soil of the island and the strange shapes of the rocks, the beautiful colors and wonderful beaches with the platinum sands and rocks carved mirrored the blue Aegean Sea, attract the visitors from all over the world.
Milos has rich mineral resources. Specifically, the extraction of obsidian, a black rock that looks like glass has contributed to economic prosperity of the island in ancient times. The island is one of the oldest mines in the Mediterranean. The ruins of ancient cities and archaeological findings reveal the ancient beauty of the island. Also the island with many calm capes, hosts especially during summer, many yachts that are sailing the Aegean routes.

Kimolos
Kimolos is an unexplored paradise. The small island with incredible natural beauty belongs to the complex of south-western Cyclades and is very close to Milos.
It is a volcanic island with a unique variety of rocks. Some of the rare rock found on the island is perlite, kaolin and impressive white rocks, called bentonite. In Kimolos there are deposits of semi-precious stones such as amethyst, quartz and opal.
But apart from the wealth of rocks, the island is famous for its flora. On the shores of Mediterranean is a refuge for seals, while you can meet the rare species of viper lepetina, the blue lizard and the golden owl.
Kimolos has beautiful beaches that meet all tastes. Fine sand, pebble and rocky beaches consist of unique coasts. The beaches of Aliki and Bonatsos are one of the largest sandy beaches on the island. The beach of Agios Georgios with its white sand is one of the most spectacular scenery of the island. The small ports with secret beaches are reached only by boat. You can anchor in the port of Kimolos, Psathi. You can tour around the island and visit the fantastic beaches of Panagia, Mersin, Mandra, Monastiria and Agioklima. You can also visit the impressive Gerakia sea cave.

Andros
Andros is an island with a very distinct identity. With natural beauty and important monuments that reveal aspects of glorious history, has gained international reputation and is a favorite holiday destination.
It is the northern island of the Cyclades and the second largest after Naxos. Andros unlike the other Cycladic islands is green and fertile. The endless olive trees and fields of fruit trees create wonderful landscapes not found in other island of Cyclades. Also Andros is famous for its many running waters. Has intensce cultural happenings all year long and the Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the sites worth visiting.
Andros is surrounded by the Aegean Sea with many dreamy beaches, with golden sand and clear waters, offering unforgettable times of relaxation. Many choose Andros for sailing. Because of the very active Yacht Club, Andros has established an international sailing race, that takes place the last weekend of August. By boat, you can anchorage in Gavrio and visit Gavrionisia outside Gavrio bay.

Folegandros
Folegandros is between Milos and Sikinos. It is a mountainous island with rocky soil and is characterized by the alternation of landscapes. Wild mountains, idyllic beaches, green landscapes and white houses compose the original beauty of the island.
Its history is lost in time, the island although it has no archaeological sites and monuments, has a nobility and a radiation that you will not find elsewhere.
The country with the Venetian castle and the traditional village, the picturesque harbor of the island Karavostastis. Agali and Ano Mera, small villages with personality and flare. The beautiful beaches of the island and the landscapes that look calm and relaxing. Agali is a safe place for anchorage for all the northern winds. Great attention to Garbi. Often when the weather turns, catch by Bounatsa in the afternoon and night, the sea swells.

Syros
Syros, is the capital of the Cyclades, is an ideal destination for short or long vacations and offers visitors a variety of choices. In addition, the distance from the port of Piraeus is 80 nautical miles.
Syros or Syra, has on the north east the islands of Andros, Tinos , Mykonos, Naxos and Paros. On the southwest side to the west are the islands of Sifnos, Serifos, Kythnos and Kea.
The main port of Syros, Ermoupoli, was the first commercial port in Greece. The capital city of the island is built on two hills. The magnificent neoclassical buildings, well-preserved mansions of the past century, churches and traditional houses, are the first images that will fill your eyes. If you have a boat will anchor in Ermoupolis, Finika or Vari.The tour of the island is full of surprises. Syros is characterized by the alternation of landscapes. Villages with traditional architecture and the seaside resorts with magnificent mansions, revealing the uniqueness of this island. Syros is a cosmopolitan island with tourist development. It is also the shipbuilding center of the Cyclades. All vessels and boats around the islands targeted for lifting and technical support services go to the shipyards of Syros.

Sifnos
Sifnos, the island with endless natural beauty, white traditional houses, numerous churches and friendly people. Sifnos combines the authentic Cycladic islands with its own identity. The rich history of the island is revealed in every street of the island. Archaeological sites, churches and monasteries, landscapes and wild mountains, endless beaches and small coves protected from the waves of the Aegean Sea.
This special island belongs to the complex of the western Cyclades. Located between the islands of Serifos, Kimolos and Antiparos. Sifnos in recent years has gained a strong reputation. The port, Kamares, during summer is full of travelers arriving on the island to spend their holidays and to experience its beauty.
Among other things, in Sifnos you will enjoy food. It is the home of Nikos Tselementes, famous for its traditional recipes. The main port of the island is Kamares. Other small ports are Vathi and the port of Chersonissos, Faros and Fasolou .The main sea routes are from Kamares to the monastery of Poulati, sailing south. The route passes through beautiful small beaches.

Ios
Ios or Nios as the locals call their island is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades and is located between Santorini, Paros and Naxos. It is a small island, which is distinguished for its natural beauty.
This fantastic island in the Aegean Sea has it all. Rich history, reflected in the archaeological sites of Ios. Wild landscapes and endless beaches. This is the main feature of the island. It has 86 km of coastline of which 32 km are beaches with the crystal clear waters.
Ios has evolved into a tourist resort with international reputation. Each year thousands of travelers all over the world arrive to spend their holidays in the idyllic island of the Cyclades. Ios is also famous for it’s nightlife. The intense entertainment options suit every taste. Ios offers sailors the opportunity, to anchor at the safest natural harbor in the Cyclades (also known as “Little Malta”) and also the opportunity to discover dozens of beautiful bays and beaches.

Santorini
Santorini or Thira is a unique island. Created by volcanic activity, impresses with its great beauty.
As the ship enters the port the visitor is facing this miracle of nature. On the one hand the wild side of the volcanic rocks and on the other Cycladic charm of villages create a unique image that fascinates every visitor. The island of Santorini consists of Thera, Therasia, Aspronisi, Palea and Nea Kameni. Located at the southernmost of the Cyclades and at a distance of 63 nautical miles north of Crete. Thira is one of the islands that sailors love, and sailing tours reveals striking coastlines with unique colors and geological formations. Yachts can anchor in the port of Athiniou, or marina Vlihada on the southern tip of the island. You can also anchore in Gialos the old port of Fira. Safe harbor is Nea Kameni in the bay Kakaki and Armeni in Oia. While keeping the traditional color of the Cyclades, is different from the other islands because of it’s history. Santorini was destroyed and reborn from the ashes because of the volcanic activity. The island is known around the world for it’s amazing sunsets. Every summer, thousands of travelers visiting from all over the world and enjoy their holidays in a place truly unique and unrepeatable.

Paros-Antiparos
Paros, the beautiful and cosmopolitan Aegean island is a popular summer destination.
Located in the center of the Cyclades and considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque islands in Cyclades, is the third largest island after Naxos and Andros.
Paros was a commercial center of the Aegean and the crossroad of many cultures.
Experienced periods of great prosperity and suffered a lot from conquerors that periodically dominated the island. It has magnificent Byzantine churches and monasteries and countless natural beauties. The idyllic beaches and crystal blue waters with endless sand, suitable for swimming and water sports. Paros is also famous for the beach of Pounda, witch every year attracts windsurf and kitesurf lovers from all over the world . By boat you will anchor in Parikia, Naoussa, Piso Livadi and Drio. Fuel you will get from Parikia and Naoussa. Antiparos is located in the center of the Cyclades island complex, within walking distance from Paros, part of which was divided. The port is called Antiparos or Castle on the northern coast.
Antiparos in ancient times was known as Oliaros and it was actually green. An unknown disaster has changed the topography of the island. West of Antiparos are three, now uninhabited, islands of great archaeological interest: Despotico, Tsimintiri and Strogilo. The excavations in the island Despotiko, revealed parts of an ancient temple of the classical era, an archaic Doric column, marble sections buildings, figurines and many other items. Despotico and Strogilo are two islands with pristine nature and endangered species, therefore included in the network Natura 2000. These two small islands are perfect sailing destinations.

Mykonos
Mykonos is the most cosmopolitan island of the Cyclades. The most famous island of Greece and the most popular holiday destination worldwide. The island of winds, as it is called, is located in the center of Cyclades islands and between Tinos and Naxos. It is the nearest island to Delos.
Mykonos is one of the first Greek islands, which used the natural inhabitant to attract tourists, and that was nothing more than the sun and sea. Visitors were impressed by the authentic beauty of the island and the wonderful beaches. This is why Mykonos was established as the island of celebrities. All the major personalities of the international jet set, spent their holidays in Mykonos. However, every year the reputation grows. Travelers wishing to experience the rhythms of the island, flooding the streets of the island and the picturesque villages. Mykonos is the queen of clubing. An endless party starts with the arrival of visitors at the port and ending with their departure. There are two strong incentives to choose to explore Mykonos by boat. The hidden beaches where you can not reach by car and many islets. Another great asset of Mykonos is the short distance from Delos and Rinia but you should take serious note of the strong winds that often beat the island especially during summer time.

Naxos
The beautiful Naxos is the largest and most fertile island of Cyclades and borders several Cycladic islands . To the west is Paros , located in the north is Mykonos and Delos, in the south, the Small Cyclades (Heracleia, Syros, Keros, Koufonisia) and east of the small island of Donousa, Strogyli and Agia Paraskevi.
Feature of Naxos is unusually fertile from the other islands of Cyclades. It is no coincidence that in mythology, Naxos was the homeland of Dionysus. From ancient times until today the island produces oranges and lemons and it is also known for it’s vineyards producing great wine. Touring the island is a pleasant surprise for every visitor, and options offered meet all tastes. Tours in archaeological sites and monuments, travel to the fertile valleys and the mountains of Za, revealing the beauty of Naxos in all it’s glory. Sailing on the southern side of the island which is the most interesting, a journey of nearly 40 nautical miles and back, is better during summer because it is not affect from the winds.Sailing south from the main city, about a mile from the mainland you will find the reef Frouros. Two and a half miles from the mainland, in the bay of Agios Prokopios is the wreck, a merchant ship, which stands out from the surface of the sea. Set sail to the north to get close to the famous beach of Agios Prokopios and then continue to Agia Anna where there is a small harbor.

Tinos
Tinos is one of the northern Cyclades and is the third largest island in the cluster after Naxos and Andros. Located between the island of Syros, Andros and Mykonos. Tinos island is a major religious center of Greece. Every year the island of Virgin Mary, is visited by thousands from all over Greece and abroad.
The island, which has become famous for the miracles of the Virgin Mary, has a unique natural beauty and major attractions. Characteristic of Tinos is the long sandy beaches, authentic Cycladic landscape and small traditional village with its many chapels. Also, the ruins of the ancient temple of Poseidon and Amphitrite, reveal aspects of the island’s past and its role as a religious center in each historical period.
By boat you can anchor at the main port of Panormos Bay and Isternion.

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This post was written by Christoforos Karydis