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Home > Itineraries > The Cyclades


The Cyclades

EMBARKATION: ATHENS
DISEMBARKATION: ATHENS


Day 1

Athens - Kea (40 miles)

Day 2

Kea - Tinos - Myconos (49 miles)

Day 3

Myconos - Delos - Paros (28 miles)

Day 4

Paros - Ios (27 miles)

Day 5

Ios - Santorini (22 miles)

Day 6

Santorini - Sifnos (51miles)

Day 7

Sifnos - Serifos - Kithnos (33 miles)

Day 8

Kithnos - Athens (50 miles)


KEA: This exceptionally picturesque island of Kea lies 15 miles from the southeast coast of Attica. It is also known as Tzia, which has remained from the Venetian era. The island's capital is Chora or Ioulida.

The mountain masses, which are encountered in most of the Cyclades, are broken up by small valleys sparsely planted with vines and fruit-trees and run right down to the sea, opening out into pretty little bays. The basic occupation of the islanders was and still is raising cattle. Apart from dairy products (milk, cheese, butter etc.), Kea also produces vegetables, fruits and nuts of high quality. Pasteli is a specialty of Kea, made with sesame seed and honey. Kea is also known for its thyme honey. Kea offers those who are seeking a restful holiday clean and peaceful beaches at Pisses, Korissia, and Koundouros.

On the western side of the island is Agios Nikolaos bay and deep within it the port of Korissia, which is considered to be one of the safest natural harbors in the Mediterranean.

Visit a traditional taverna called "Kalofagadon" which translates to "those who know how to eat good". It is located in the capital city of Ioulida and offers a wide variety of dishes. Another great taverna is in Korissia and is called "Lagoudera" Here you can try dishes such as rice with clams, spaghetti with shrimp and fried kalamari. For entertainment the "Quiz" bar and disco is probably one of the best spots in Ioulida, which plays Greek music offering a friendly environment.

TINOS: Tinos is the Holy Island of the Cyclades. The island is the site of the Church of Evangelistria (Virgin Mary of annunciation). In this church there is a miraculous icon of the Annunciation that thousands of Orthodox Christians come to pay their homage to every summer around the feast day of August 15th. There are plenty of good beaches, too, notably at Agios Fokas near the town, Kionia, Porto, Panormos bay, Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis and Pahia Amos. The lunar landscape at the spot known as 'Volax', with its peculiar boulders, is probably unique anywhere in the world. An irresistible place to sit down and have lunch would be taverna 'Kapileio', so special is its plethora of dishes and plenty of food along with live music. Kapileio is located on Areisteidou Kontogiorgi street in the town center. Another great place for fresh fish would be taverna 'Dionysus' in the main town of Tinos.

In picturesque Pirgos, visitors can taste local sweets under the plane trees at the village's central coffee shop. Tinos has many quaint little coffee shops as well as cosmopolitan cafes where one can have a coffee in a pleasant ambiance. In Chora, there are the cafes 'Mesklie', 'Xembarko', and 'Zigos'. Club 'Pirsos', located in the main port, Pallada, opens early in the day for coffee and juices and later on the music moves intensely in mainstream rhythms, both Greek and International. No one should leave the island without having purchased, or at least tasted, high grade cheeses like "kopanisti" and "Mitzithra", which are made locally.

MYKONOS: One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos, has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Amongst them many intellectuals and well-known artists prefer Mykonos for their vacation. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.

One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island's sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, and has been called Petros since time immemorial, obviously many re-incarnations since the first edition. It can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port The beaches listed below are definitely ones a first timer to the island wants to see.

Paraga: Nice, small beach with beautiful landscape (Cape Drapanos) that the winds leave in peace. Body-builders, lovers, beautiful bodies and sea bicycles.

Agrari: One more of the numerous beautiful beaches of the island, the most secluded one, for those who do not like crowds.

Paradise (Kalamopodi): Beautiful and frequented beach, well known from the hippy years.

Super Paradise: Ravers, gays and wannabe-famous'. Nice beach, strong music coming from the bars and the other happenings.

Elia: Almost exclusively nudist and probably the best beach in Mykonos. And for those who love shopping. In Mykonos you'll find any name-brand piece of clothing you forgot to take with you, from Prince Oliver and Cinema to Kookai and Remember.

Mykonos has excellent restaurants, but for the best dining on the island, make reservations at 'Katrine's'. The food is superb, the waiters very attentive, and the atmosphere perfect. Aristotle Onassis favored 'Katrine's' and he would make a special trip by yacht just to have a memorable dinner there. You may sit inside or out, but outside is preferred if you want to watch the crowds pass by and eat the way the Greeks do.

'Sea Satin', which belongs to Christos with the far-out look left Ai-Yanni and moved to the corner of the Old Venice, beneath the windmills. He will serve you fresh fish and, if he's in the right mood, will be making some sculpture right next to you. 'Ithaki' restaurant located at paradise beach offers various delicacies from the sea, one thing for sure is that everything is fresh and the view , which overlooks the bay, is breath taking.

The 'Phillippi' restaurant is another excellent choice; here the seating is all inside, but the inside is a lovely, indoor garden. The island's entire "good crowd" goes there to enjoy very good quality in meat and seafood. Comfortable, friendly, and most of all, Chrisa is there getting the spirits up. All in all, the food in Mykonos is excellent. It is the custom here to go into the kitchen and choose your food, if you prefer.

For sunset 'Caprice', located in little Venice is probably the most popular of bars. Enjoy your pina colada as the sun sinks into the magical waters of the Aegean. For another drink 'Astra' bar maintains its good old reputation, but with a cooler attitude. Strong music and an older crowd At 'Pierro's' things become more alternative and you'll see all kinds of gays from around the Mediterranean. Great fun. And to top the night off head over to 'La Notte' at the end of the port for live Greek music and never-ending fun.

DELOS: was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Greek mythology recounts how Leto, one of Zeus's lovers, gave birth to Apollo on Delos, god of physical beauty and the fine arts. By 454 BC the Athenians had overtaken the Ionians, forcing Delos to pay taxes and provide ships to Athens. Delos greatest period was in the third to fourth century BC, when the tiny island had a population of 20,000 and was the chief financial center and slave market in the Mediterranean. Foreigners from Rome, Syria and Egypt built homes and coexisted tolerantly, despite the variety of religious beliefs.

Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions (7C BC), the theater (3C BC), and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. A flight of steps ascends the island's summit, Mt. Kynthos, the birthplace of Apollo. Research and restoration of these finds continues until today.

Well worth a visit, especially in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom. As a visitor you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the islands archaeological museum. All boats leave very early and must return from Delos in the early afternoon - no one is allowed to stay there.

PAROS: the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros and has developed into an important center of tourism in recent years. Gently rolling hills surround the centre and southeast of the island, which is predominantly agricultural and is occupied by endless vineyards, and lock within themselves the famous Parian marble.

The Monastery of Katapyliani is located in a wooded park just up the road from the harbor. Its name means "Church of a Hundred Gates" and is one of the most important Christian monuments in Greece. Paroikia (or Paros), the island's capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town - all of them painted white - are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle. Among the beaches near Naoussa, special attention should be made of Kolibithres were huge rocks eroded into strange shapes reminding the visitor of sculptures embedded in the sand. Langeri is a secluded sandy beach and can be reached easiest by sea. Ideal for picnics, but do take an umbrella with you for as there are no facilities.

Another great beach is Drios, which happens to have a fabulous fish taverna were one can have lunch. A bit further up you will find a lake full of colourful ducks.

For an afternoon coffee or a fruit filled cocktail in Paroikia is the 'Meltemi' café-bar, which is strategically located for sunset lovers while 'Apollo', which is located on the Market Street will offer the traditional friendly Greek environment. It was founded 15 years ago in the premises of what used to be the old olive oil press plant. The menu features Greek and International cuisine.

Here is Naoussa, the second largest town to the north, at a glimpse: For noon or early evenings go for coffee or ouzo at the small port to 'Tsahpinis' or 'Papadakis'. Dinners at 'Barbarossa' - offers all kinds of seafood including lobster, seashells and fresh fish. Then off to the bars for a drink, 'Kavarnis' (60's and 70's), 'Sofrano' (60's-80's), 'Ranta' (mostly Greek), 'Cafe del Mar' (90's), and the 'Agosta Bar'. After 4am the place to be is 'Linardo' nightclub with progressive house music. But for Greek music lovers 'Nestos-Club' or 'Vareladiko' is another option. Right after the club and before you fall asleep for the night go to 'Viktoras' and try his cheesepie straight out of the oven or ask for his patented croissant "Croissant Emvolo".

IOS: Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. In the north of the island according to Herodotus, the 'poet of poets' and the 'godlike' Homer was buried at Plakotos. Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet's interment on Ios, which was the homeland of his mother, Chymene. The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, a ruinous Venitian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos.

Exploring Chora means, first of all, walking. Choose a cool morning, wear your most comfortable shoes and get ready to set off. One hour is enough for the ones who just want to have a look at this whitewashed village, perched on the slope of the hill between the port and Mylopotas. The more demanding ones will need the whole morning to discover the hidden beauty of Chora. That's because Chora was built up for the sun and it's the sun that reveals the village to the visitor or hides it from him.

Lovers of the sea will be enraptured by the superb beaches of Ios, the long sandy beach of Kalamos is a natural reserve on the eastern coast of the island. It is usually very quiet and very often one has the chance to enjoy it alone. South of Kalamos lies the beach of Papa. There are many seaside taverns where you can taste fresh fish. Lord Byron, located in the center of town is one of the most unique and celebrated restaurants in the Cycladic Islands. Come and explore the local Island produce, meat, fish and the excellent Ios cheese listening to Rembetico, music of an era gone by.

At Koumbaras' beach, near the port, lies the famous taverna "Polidoras", while "Barba Manolis" offers delicious snacks and excellent local wine. 'Filippas': also in Koumbara, with fish so fresh they will talk to you and vegetables straight from the garden (from production to consumption). In general, remember that the surroundings in Koumbara are perfect for full-moon nights (and eating of course).

The best way to enjoy your night with the latest dancing hits and the most famous hits and the most famous oldies is 'Disco 69' which also happens to serve more than 50 different cocktails. 'Ios Club' is the absolute choice for early in the night, in the main town but with a great view of the seaport providing classical music, funky cocktails all in excellent style. And for those into, the after hours 'Scorpion Disco' is the hottest disco on Ios, sooooooo dance till you drop. Other action places on Politechniou St. include 'Downtown', with live jazz and folk and 'Borzoi', very popular, which plays some Greek music.

On the far western end of the port there are some of the most popular loud clubs. 'Remezzo', is noisy, sociable and fun. Other bars on the waterfront worth trying are 'Kahlua' and 'Kavos'. Later at night, discos take over. One of the loudest, and therefore most popular, all-night discos is 'Scorpio'. You can have a wild time at 'La Piscine Club', on Evangelistrias St. 'BBC', on the waterfront, is probably the best disco in town, features rave and other fast-paced music and rocks till dawn.

SANTORINI: As you approach Santorini by the sea, it's easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. The boat edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent shaped remains of the volcano, today's Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 metres out of the sea. Santorini consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi.

Between Skala (the main port), at the base of the cliff, and Thera (the main town), a narrow path has been etched into the cliff-face in a series of zigzags. To the left of the path there are the prosaic lines of a cable car, the first hint of the island's connection with the twentieth century and tourism. There are three ways to get from Skala to Thera - mule, foot or cable car. The most popular, colourful, and suicidal is by mule.

Besides the interesting architecture of the houses in Thera, it is worth visiting the two cathedrals (the Orthodox and the Catholic) and the Monastery of the Dominican nuns. The Catholic monastery of Panagia of Rodari which was built in the area of Skaros where the medieval capital of the island used to lie surrounded by a strong fortress on the edge of a steep hill and the Venetian building Gizi are worth a visit. From the gulf of Thera boats can take you to Nea Kammeni. There you can see the volcano's crater where hot air and sulphuric steam still rises. The land is warm and you should wear athletic shoes and have plenty of water. Hot springs exist at the nearby Palia Kammeni where the sea is sulphur-blue.

The wine distillery of the 'Boutari' firm, open from 8:00 a.m. until late the evening, is also worth visiting. The island produces especially excellent dry white wines (a wide choice of over sixty local brands), dry red wine (in very small quantities) and sweet dessert wines (vinsanto). Do not neglect to try them at the restaurants, the local wineries, the coffee shops and the bars of the island.

Santorini has magnificent beaches. Out of the ordinary "tropical style", the island has to offer unique places to swim. Beaches where the sand is black, red, or white, the sun is hot, and the sea is deep blue and crystal clear. Vlihada, located in the Perivolos area, offers a perfect spot for those wishing to avoid big crowds. There also happens to be a taverna called 'Vlihada', which is a great place for a light lunch.

Not too far from the ancient site of Akrotiri is the red beach with the same name. You shouldn't ask for a more breathtaking setting for a swim. Souring red lava cliffs, which drop right to the black sandy shore and into the clear blue sea, make for a majestic setting. For some ouzo and Greek mexedes (appetizers) try taverna 'Delfinia'. Ammoudi and Armeni are two beautiful beaches, which are frequented by visitors to Oia, that fascinating town built on the edge of a cliff. Ammoudi is situated directly below Oia on the northwest tip of the island while Armeni is a little further on. Words are poor to express this feeling. You have to enjoy for your own the most famous Aegean sunset, as seen from Oia village, and you will applause along with the other visitors as the sun sinks deep in the blue sea beneath the volcano.

The 'Blue Note' restaurant is located in Imerovigli is waiting for all of you wishing to get to know the unique flavors of breathtaking Santorini. In a wonderful and relaxing Cycladean environment with a view of the deep-blue Aegean Sea, you will have the opportunity to try 'Blue Note's' famous exquisite seafood, fresh fish and lobster. Another superb place is the restaurant '1800' which is located in a unique mansion which was entirely renovated since it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1956.The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine with the emphasis laid on traditional plates of Santorini and of Greece in general. For an afternoon drink visit the 'Franco' bar located in Thera while you enjoy excellent music and the very best view of the volcano. Then off to the trendy 'Enigma' club, were they play mainstream rhythm till the early morning.

SIFNOS: is a mountainous island with fertile valleys, beautiful beaches and several towns. It has a long history and has been inhabited since 3000 BC. Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and is actually a collection of villages of which Apollonia is one. The first inhabitants of Sifnos were the Kareans and the Phoenicians. The island was famous in ancient times for the wealth, which came from its gold and silver mines and the quarries of Sifnos stone. It enjoyed great prosperity in Classical times, as can be seen from its Treasury, dedicated to Apollo at Delphi.

Kastro, (3 Km from Apollonia), Sifnos' capital from the 14th to the 19th century, retains some of its medieval character. It is built on a rocky outcrop with an almost sheer drop to the sea on three sides. There are Venetian coats of arms and ancient wall fragments in some of the older dwellings. There is also a small Archaeological Museum, which exhibits a collection of Archaic and Hellenistic sculpture of ceramics to the Byzantine era.

There are clean and attractive beaches all over the island. Platygialos is a large sheltered beach, Vathi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece with fine sand and the well know 'Manolis' taverna, and Apokofto is a sandy beach with a rocky shelf near Chrysopigi. Herronissos is another traditional fish village situated on the north part of the island. Herronissos is well known for the handmade ceramics, which are produced there. One can also find a small beach for relaxation.

A popular meeting point for all the "yachties" of all Sifnos Island is the 'On the Rocks' café, which is situated in the middle of the bay of Faros. It is on the top of the rocks and has a panoramic view of the entire port.

'Kambourakis' or 'Meropi' in Kamares serve authentic food from Sifnos along with the freshest meat and fish. If a late afternoon ouzo with octopus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese while gazing at the fishing boats gently swaying in the breeze is what you came to Greece for, you've found it. On the beach called Apakafto next to the monastery of Chrysopigi is the restaurant 'Chrysopigi'. Try the roast lamb and the famous lamb mastella, which Sifnos is known for. Instead of roasting it is cooked in a clay pot.

SERIFOS: As your vessel glides into the port of Livadi and you catch your first glimpse of the towering hills of Serifos flecked with the white, sugar-cube houses of Chora, you know you have made the right decision!

The curious rock formations resemble human figures, which call to mind the myth of Danae, Perseus and Medusa, as if these prehistoric inhabitants of the island had been turned to stone. Perseus, the mythological hero that killed the medusa, the terrible monster with a woman's face and hair as serpents was born on this island.

The fortress-like monastery Moni Taxiarchon near the village of Galani, which houses some fine wall paintings and important books and manuscripts, is of special interest. The village of Panagia commands a panoramic view of the whole island. The island's market provides tourists with local products of top quality, such as fresh honey, wine and the infamous local chickpeas.

The greatest attraction of Serifos is its magnificent beaches. The magnificent beach of Psilli Ammos, lies about 2 km to the east of Livadi, beckons with the softest and whitest sand. Psilli Ammos is sheltered and complete with two tavernas were one can enjoy a delicious lunch. We recommend the picturesque 'Manolis' taverna.

Also visit the long golden sandy beach of Livadakia and the remote, sandy and pebble beach of Sikamia. Close to the monastery of Moni Taxiarchon, there is a small village on the north coast named Platis Gialos with Platis Gialos bay, which consists of about three rather small beaches. Koutalas is a nice village with a beautiful bay and lovely beach, secluded from the winds. It is also the site of the old mine delivery cranes, rusted remnants of which are found on the left side. Taverna 'Takis' in Livadi has exceptional service and a delicious cousine. Right beside the waterfront come and taste fresh fish, catch of the day, traditional Greek dishes and most of all, the best customer care around.

KITHNOS: The island inherited its name from Kithno, king of its first settlers, the Dryopians. Thermia is its second name, which has to do with the thermal springs of Loutra, and is used mostly of the locals. The small island of Kythnos is mainly mountainous but full of pretty little bays, which relieve the harshness of the bare earth. Chora or Messaria is the island's capital noted for the beautiful churches with their fine wood-carved, sanctuary screens and icons. At the south of the island lies the island's former capital Driopida and in the north-eastern lies Loutra , a resort with warm sulphurous spa-waters with its curative qualities.

Sightseeing on Kithnos involves the church of Panagia. The Church of Panagia Flambouriani stands in the village of Flambouria, southwest of the town of Kithnos. According to tradition, there are traces from the steps of the Virgin all the way from the beach to the church. In summer, lilies blooming in the area give off their sweet smell. In the souvenir shops, one can find beautiful folk art objects, shells, leather products, ceramics and wood-carved objects, as well as woven fabrics with beautiful designs, in vivid colours.

Kithnos is ideal for quiet holidays. One can have coffee or ouzo along with tidbits at Messaria's few quaint coffee shops while enjoying the lovely landscape. The island's tavernas and restaurants in Merihas, serve fresh fish, tasty seafood and local delicacies, such as sausages, white cheese, and "tyrovolia". At "Tzogos" and "Steki" in Chora, as well as at "Molos" in Loutra, one can eat fish and taste traditional specialties like "tiganies", "frigadelia", and "kopanisti" cheese, as well as fine local wine. Visit the pebbly beach of Agia Irini close to Loutra, Kolona, which only has access by sea or by foot and Kanala, which is a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water. Although Kithnos is the ideal island for those who want a serene vacation away from the everyday hustle and bustle its few bars are in Merihas, Chora, and Loutra. In Merihas, there is the lovely "Remezzo", where one can have a drink while listening to the sounds of foreign music. In Chora, there is the most frequented "Chora-Bar", which attracts tourists and locals alike.

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