Cyclades, Greece

Travel Guide

Imagine a tapestry of sun-kissed islands, each adorned with gleaming white-washed houses cascading down hillsides and cobalt blue domes of traditional churches punctuating the horizon. You are diving into the crystal-clear embrace of the sea or finding solace under the shade of ancient trees, where cicadas provide the only interruption to blissful silence. You indulge in the simple pleasures of life, toasting with ouzo and savoring the freshest fish, as the waves playfully dance at your feet. And as the day gracefully transforms into twilight, you are swept away by the breathtaking beauty of a majestic sunset, accompanied by the taste of fine wine. 

This is the essence of the Cyclades. A place where the Greek summer spirit thrives, and where, the sun-drenched landscapes, the rhythmic ebb and flow of the sea, and the warmth of Greek hospitality combine to create a symphony of sensations that will forever linger in your heart.

Bucket List Experiences

Lesser Cyclades
Lesser Cyclades

The Small Cyclades weave a captivating tale of idyllic islands, each with its own unique character. Iraklia is a serene paradise that embraces visitors with rugged cliffs and hidden coves. Donoussa reveals its mystical allure through pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and a sense of seclusion.
Koufonisia, a duo of heavenly islets, captivates with its dazzling white sand, vibrant bougainvillea, and lively atmosphere. And Schinoussa unveils secret bays, lush greenery, and a rustic charm that invites peaceful exploration.


Succumb to the siren call of Folegandros as you journey through the medieval labyrinth of Castro, get swept away in the maze-like alleys of Chora, and stand in awe before the majestic Church of Panagia.
Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of Ano Meria, a village frozen in time, where traditions breathe life into every stone. Then, explore the rugged grandeur of Apsropounta lighthouse and surrender to the allure of the secluded beaches of Katergo and Livadaki.


Anafi is a hidden gem where untouched beauty and tranquility reign supreme. Explore the charming capital, Chora, with its whitewashed houses cascading down the hillside, cozy tavernas, and laid-back atmosphere.
Unwind on the island's exquisite beaches, from the secluded paradise of Roukounas to the enchanting shores of Kleisidi and the pristine sands of Agioi Anargiroi. End your day with a mesmerizing sunset at the summit of Mount Kalamos, a towering rock formation that offers panoramic views.


Unlock the hidden treasures of Sikinos, an island that remains off the beaten path. Ascend the ancient steps to Zoodochos Pigi monastery, revealing panoramic vistas of the Aegean Sea, and explore the ruins of Episkopi, where echoes of the past dance among weathered stones.
Wander Alopronoia port with its vibrant fishing boats bobbing in rhythm with the waves, and savor the artistry of winemaking at Manalis Winery as the sun sets over the vineyards. 


Milos effortlessly captivates with its romantic villages, hidden coves, and magnificent volcanic cliffs painted in vibrant hues. Lose yourself in Plaka's labyrinthine streets, soak in the vibrant beauty of Klima's fishing village, and discover hidden secrets in Mandrakia, Pollonia, and Trypiti.
Then embark on a boat excursion to legendary Kleftiko's towering cliffs, experience an otherworldly lunar landscape of smooth, white volcanic rocks at Sarakiniko, dive into Papafragas' emerald cove, and brave Tsigrado's secluded beach.


Let Paros bewitch you with its timeless charm. From the world-famous Golden Beach to secluded coves like Santa Maria and Kolymbithres, the island boasts stunning beaches where you can dive, snorkel, or simply unwind on powdery sands.
Explore the labyrinthine streets of Parikia and Naoussa, where traditional architecture mingles with stylish boutiques and waterfront tavernas. Then, venture into the island's rugged interior, discovering hidden chapels, ancient ruins, and panoramic vistas along the way.


Welcome to Sifnos, the "Island of Flavors," where ancient history, sun-drenched beaches, and gastronomic delights converge. Explore golden beaches like Platis Gialos and the secluded cove of Vathi, indulging in their sun-drenched beauty.
Delight your taste buds with Sifnos' culinary treasures, from mastelo cheese to chickpea soup. And uncover the island's storied past through visits to the Monastery of Chrissopigi and ancient ruins, while embracing its artistic spirit through pottery traditions.

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Island Hopping in the Cyclades

Although none of the six Cycladic islands with an airport are connected by flight to each other, island hopping in the Cyclades is still easy thanks to the extensive ferry network, particularly during the summer months. Traveling during the off-season is still possible, but it requires careful planning as ferry services to smaller islands are less frequent. 

When it comes to choosing ferries, there are three main types available: conventional ferries, high-speed ferries, and catamarans. Although the slowest, conventional ferries are the most affordable option and ideal for rough seas, with the added benefit of cabins for overnight journeys, ample space for cars, and an open deck for soaking up the sun and sea air. Catamarans, while the fastest, tend to be expensive and typically lack deck space or car capacity. They are also more prone to cancellations and may cause seasickness in rough sea conditions.

The major ferry companies operating in the Cyclades are Blue Star Ferries (conventional ferries), SeaJets (catamarans), and Hellenic Seaways (all three types), which usually commence their journeys from Piraeus, the primary port in Athens. Additionally, there are smaller local ferries such as Dionisios Solomos, which serves the Western Cyclades, Express Skopelitis, offering routes around the Lesser Cyclades, and Maistros Santorini, operating trips to the islands surrounding Santorini. 

This interactive map will help you craft the ultimate itinerary for exploring the Cyclades!


There are six airports in the Cyclades, two of which – Mykonos (JMK) and Santorini (JTR) – serve international flights. Siros (JSY), Naxos (JNX), and Milos (MLO) offer domestic flights to Athens (ATH), while Paros (PAS) is connected to both Athens and Thessaloniki (SKG). Another way to get there is by ferry from Piraeus Port in Athens. 

When to Visit the Cyclades

May & September ♡♡ ~ June to August ♡

For the ultimate summer holiday atmosphere, plan your visit in July and August, when the Cyclades see crowds and temperature soar, and tours and ferries are running full tilt. These months also coincide with various traditional festivals called “panigiria”, held in honor of the island´s patron saint, with the Feast of the Virgin on August 15 being the most significant celebration in all of Greece.

Keep in mind, however, that accommodation prices are at premium rates, and throughout much of July and August, the islands are also affected by “meltemia”, strong dry winds that blow in the southern Aegean as northwesterlies. They are at their strongest in the afternoon and often die down at night, but sometimes they last for days without a break.

On the other hand, if you don´t mind the reduced domestic flights and island ferries, visit during the shoulder season– late spring or early autumn. This is when you’ll experience island life at its most potent as life comes to a standstill or at least turns its back on tourism. The weather is softer, the crowds are slimmer, and the sea is a bit cool but more pleasant than you would hope for.

Cyclades Travel Essentials


~  Language: The official language spoken in the Cyclades and throughout Greece is Greek. Additionally, due to the islands’ popularity as tourist destinations, many locals also speak English and other languages.

~ Currency & ATMs: The currency of Greece is the Euro (€), with 1€ being equivalent to around 1.09 USD. Unless you visit remote areas or tiny islands, ATMs are readily available and you can also use your credit card to pay for most purchases. However, it´s still advisable to have some cash on hand for beach bars and small shops, as they may not have a working credit card machine.

~ Tap Water: While tap water on certain islands in the Cyclades may have a slightly salty taste, other islands like Paros and Naxos benefit from water springs, providing excellent quality water.  It is worth noting, however, that like the rest of the country, the water in the Cyclades adheres to the EU standards for water quality.

~ Tipping: Tipping is discretionary, but it is highly appreciated for good service. It is customary to leave a small amount of change at cafes, restaurants, and tavernas, usually rounding up the total bill to the nearest euro. For exceptional service, you may leave a tip of 5-10% of the total bill.

~ Safety:  The Cyclades are considered safe for tourists but it’s advisable to keep an eye on your belongings, especially in busy tourist areas and beaches. Be cautious when renting scooters or ATVs as the roads can be narrow and winding and follow any local guidelines or warnings, especially regarding weather conditions. 

What to Eat

“ Kalí Órexi” = Bon Appétit

As the locals have tended to seek their livelihoods at sea, there is no shortage of fresh fish and seafood prepared in various ways: boiled, baked, fried, or grilled over charcoal, drizzled with a simple sauce of olive oil and lemon. Particularly cherished is Kakavia, traditionally the “fisherman’s soup”, made by combining various kinds of fish or parts of fish, with tomatoes and plenty of egg-lemon sauce.

Pork also reigns supreme in Cycladic cuisine, tracing its roots to the ancient tradition of annual pig slaughtering. In the absence of refrigeration, every part of the animal was utilized, resulting in a bounty of sausages and cured louza ham. 

Sheep and goats grazing on the rocky, arid lands offer their milk for tantalizing cheeses. From mild mizithra to sharp xynomizithra, beloved graviera, and flavorsome San Michali, these cheeses also serve as inspiration for delightful pies, both sweet and savory, taking on unique styles across the islands. 

And while the Cyclades are predominantly arid, green exceptions emerge where natural springs foster crop farming. Indulge in must-try ambelofasoula beans, boiled into a refreshing salad, relish chickpeas that are slow-cooked in a clay pot for revithada soup, and savor the velvety yellow fava, skillfully crafted from split peas, and crowned with caramelized onions and capers.


How much to Budget for the Cyclades

While hopping the Cyclades, the most significant cost you’ll encounter is the ferry fare, which will differ based on whether you opt for catamarans or conventional ferries. 
Once you reach an island, accommodation becomes your primary expense, with prices depending on the time of year you visit. Come from June to August and prices will be at least twice as high. Fortunately, getting around by bus is affordable, and beach hopping comes at no additional cost, but activities such as boat tours and water sports can quickly add up.




Destination Guides

A Complete Guide to the Beaches of Schinoussa, Greece

When it comes to idyllic beaches to visit in Greece, the Cyclades are among the first to pop into your head. But if you go with the heavy-tickers, you will barely find an empty spot on the most popular ones during July and August. To truly get away from it all, look beyond Cyclades’ usual suspects and discover the beaches of a far lesser-known escape: Schinoussa!

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The Best Hotels to Stay at in Schinoussa, Greece

Still off the beaten track, Schinoussa has far fewer amenities than some of its more famous neighbours. But this only allows it to retain the romantic, ramshackle feel of a more secluded retreat.

Small as it might be, it is divided up into three different settlements: the atmospheric capital known as Chora or Panagia, the small rural village of Messaria, and the port of Mersini. Most accommodation is found at Chora and the nearby beaches of Tsigouri and Livadi, while there are also a couple of nice hotels at Messaria. Mersini is not the ideal place to base yourself as there is not much to do there, and the daily uphill to Chora will wear you out.

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The Best Hotels to Stay at in Folegandros, Greece

Thirteen meters long and with just one main road running its spine, no one would expect that Folegandros has no less than six villages. And when it comes to choosing where to stay, it all depends on what fits you best.

Couples and everyone who wants to enjoy the island when the sun comes down better stay in the captivating Chora. Those with a car and after unbeatable views and authentic island life will love every second of their stay in Ano Meria. And families with young children will find that Karavostasis and Agali offer both beaches and taverns at their doorstep.

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A Complete Guide to the Beaches of Folegandros, Greece

Bustling and chichi but at the same time mysterious and rugged. That’s what you’ll think when you first behold the captivating Chora of Folegandros, and the island’s beaches are no different.

Some of them are easy-to-access and offer every commodity for a perfect day at the beach. Others are remote, pristine, hidden away between towering cliffs, with no trace of civilisation for miles.

But guess what! The latter is our favourite and will become yours as well.

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