Cycladic Islands



The island of Mykonos belongs to a group of Aegean islands called the Cyclades: the most visited and famous islands in Greece. It was the ancient Greeks who named this group of islands the Cyclades since, when joined up, they formed an imaginary circle around the island of Delos. This circle starts in Kea (Tzia) and ends in Andros, and is made up of the following islands: Amorgos, Anafi, Sikinos, Folegandros, Ios, Santorini, Milos, Kimnos, Sifnos, Serifos, Kythnos, Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Delos, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos and some other small islands such as Koufonissi, Schinousa, Iraklia and Donoussa.

These islands have dry, Mediterranean climate, with little rain. There are several cultivated expanses on these islands. Vines, fig trees and olive trees grow prolifically on their lands.

Cycladic architecture is typical of the Aegean Sea: white houses with courtyards and balconies, narrow streets with painted stones, innumerable blue domed churches, a spattering of Venetian castles, wonderful beaches and hills dominated by mills. cyclades-1


cyclades-2 Today, it is Greece’s most popular and cosmopolitan island and, despite its dryness and lack of vegetation, it is one of the most popular destinations simply because of its amazing beaches and nightlife. Its capital or Chora impresses and captivates visitors from the moment they arrive, because of its location and its architectural style.

The fame of the island and the large number of visitors, sometimes important personalities from all around the world, provided the economic boost that made of Mykonos a famous trading centre.

The capital of Mykonos is the most beautiful cities of all the Cyclades. It is also the best preserved chora, which makes it a perfect example of its kind. Its active port, constructed amidst a labyrinth of narrow streets in order to protect it from the wind and against pirates, is one of the most photographed in Greece. cyclades-3

In the castle area, where the medieval and old centre of the town is located, the Paraportian group of churches, consisting of five chapels, preserves its magnificent white colour, impressive for its natural plasticity. These churches, together with the picturesque windmills, have become a symbol of the island’s authenticity.

The Little Venice is one of the most picturesque corners of the Cyclades. This artists’ neighbourhood, full of houses with colourful balconies, looks out towards the sea.

cyclades-4 Nightlife in Mykonos is famous worldwide. Thousands of young people dream of spending a few nights on this cosmopolitan “island of love”. Here, the good times and the dancing go on until dawn, often kicking off in the evening on one of the island’s beaches, these nights raise spirits in a place where people can enjoy themselves free of prejudices or taboos. In the island’s most famous bars and coffee shops, strangers and friends all mix in together, as well as the young and the old people, the gay community and the straight community, the more carefree and the more conservative, workers and businessmen, politicians and artists.

In Mykonos you can taste the authentic flavours of Cycladic and Mediterranean cuisine, which has evolved to use fish, local meat, vegetables and seafood, as well as the island’s popular dairy products and sweets. The most popular local dishes are: louza, a spiced pork sausage; kopanisti the typical white cheese of Mykonos; kremmydopita, a pie with onions and local cheese; melopita, a pie with sweet cheese and local cheese, honey, cinnamon and eggs; and the very popular macaroons, called smygdalota, sweets with almond powder and icing sugar.


Delos Island is very close to Mykonos, daily boats and ferries connect them. Nowadays the island, covering an area of ​​3.5 km2, is uninhabited. Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. According to legend, it was here that Leto gave birth to Artemis and Apollo. The Ionians that arrived in 1,000 BC brought with them the cult of Apollo and Delican parties (with songs and games in his honour).

In 700 BC, Delos was already one of the most important religious centres. From place of pilgrimage later on it became a commercial port, particularly during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. Today, it is an archaeological open-air museum with mosaics and marble ruins covered by wild flowers during spring. cyclades-5



cyclades-7 Santorini is considered one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. It is located in the south region of the Cyclades and has an area of 78 km2. It is a volcanic island with high cliffs on the western side, whereas on the eastern side there are various sand and pebble beaches.
In the 16th century BC, there was a major volcanic eruption, which caused the collapse of a large part of the island and the creation of a large, unique crater (Caldera). This crater is precisely one of the main reasons that the island has attracted thousands of Greeks and tourists. Some researchers liken the island to Atlantis. The highest point on the island is called Profitis Ilias (556 m.), where the Monastery of the Prophet Elias (whose holiday is on July the 20th) is located. cyclades-6
cyclades-8 The greatest attraction of Santorini is her well-preserved architecture; the white houses built on black volcanic land and perched on the cliffs give the island a sense of elegance. From the capital, Tera (Fira, in modern Greek), you can appreciate the vastness of the Aegean Sea and contemplate the islands of Therasia (Thirasia), Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. It is common to see large numbers of people gathering to enjoy the sunset in Santorini because it is something you will never forget.

The Ancient Thera, an important archaeological site, is divided into two by a sacred path. It is located on the top of the Messavouno Mountain, about 396m above the sea level, between the beaches of Kamari and Perissa. Founded in the 9th century BC by the Dorian colonists, whose leader was Theras, it remained inhabited until the Byzantine period. The ruins over the sea are from the 3rd century BC and the results of Ptolemaic influence, with remnants of Hellenistic and Roman civilizations.

The Minoan City of Akrotiri is an ancient underground Minoan city of great archaeological interest. Located in the south of the island, it is probably one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It has been called “the Pompeii of the Greek islands”. Discovered in 1866, it has been linked to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Excavations are still going on.

The Church of Panagia Episkopi. Located near the village of Duna Gonia, this church was founded by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. On the 15th of August a festival in the honour of the Virgin is celebrated and islanders and visitors from all around the world join in.