Southeast of mainland Greece are the Cyclades, a part the Aegean archipelago that borders the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades is made up of 220 islands. Twenty-one are considered major islands, including Paros, Syros, Sifnos, Delos, Mykonos and Santorini. Our bases are on Paros, at Paroika Port, and on Syros, at the Foinikas Marina. Paros was originally known for its pure white marble and its well-known windmill at Paroika. There you will find golden beaches, antiquities, historical ruins, and the traditional narrow streets with white washed houses on each side. The city of Ermoupoli on Syros is the regional capital. A natural amphitheatre also known as the “City of Hermes,” Ermoupoli is known for its shipbuilding, silk trading, and early copper work. There are numerous churches on the island, including in the medieval town of Ano Syros. Early Minoans farmed many of the Cycladic islands. Visit Santorini’s volcanic caldera and the location of the legendary city of Atlantis; on Mykonos you will find vibrant nightlife. Delos is the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. No matter where you stop in the Cyclades, expect clear blue waters, breathtaking vistas and friendly people.
Ports & places of interest
The Cyclades islands represent the typical Greek islands of a thousand postcard pictures;
Kéa is the north western-most of the Cyclades islands and the first island you will reach if you travel from the mainland Attic coast. It is a typical Cycladic island with a fine ‘chora’ – the term used to describe the most important or principal town or village of a Greek island.
It is best to avoid Vourkari on Fridays and Saturdays due to the number of Athenian-based motor yachts which flock to this pretty harbour.
The island of Kythnos lies just to the south of Kéa. The island is famous for its cheese which is used in a lot of local recipes.
Mérikha lies on the western side of the island and so is the most directly accessible harbour. Mérikha is the principal port of the island and can be too busy for some.
Loutra lies to the north east of the island of Kíthnos and is known for its hydropathic institute based around the local hot springs that in past times gave the island the name of Thermia. Loutra is our favourite stop on the island.
Sérifos is the next island to the south of Kíthnos and is recognisable by its domed shape. Sérifos is the island of Perseus and the Gorgon’s Medusa’s head and it is said that the rock cliffs above Sérifos’ famous chora are the bodies of King Polydectes and his courtiers who were turned to stone by the Medusa’s gaze.
The main port of Sérifos is (Livadhi) to the south east of the island and is at the head of a spectacular bay. The quay is often crowded, but anchoring near the beach is no problem although sometimes two ‘hooks’ are advisable. The famous chora of the island should definitely be visited.
Sífnos lies just 9 miles to the south east of Sérifos across the Sífnos channel. The channel can often be ‘quite fresh’ as the north easterly wind funnels between the two islands.
Kamares on the north western side of the island is the main ferry port of the island and lies at the head of a large bay providing good shelter. Kamáres is a good place from which to visit the villages of Apollonia and Kastro inland.
Vathi sits on the northern side of a small circular bay on the south western side of Sífnos and is an example of what a Cycladic village should be. Few sailors fail to fall in love with the place.
Mílos, like the more famous Santorini (Thíra), is an old volcano and the bay of Órmos Mílou is a huge caldera. Like Santorini the bay is surrounded by cliffs of pumice and basalt and the island has numerous hot springs, all fed from the same underground source that once fed the volcano. It is certainly one of the Greek islands that should be visited having a fascinating past and spectacular landscape.
The main port of Adhamas is on the northern side of the caldera and provides an excellent point from which to explore the island.
Órmos Mílou is open to the north west and so does not provide good protection from the Meltemi which blows down through the entrance causing a swell, particularly through the entrance itself.