LivingTravelCyclades Islands Map and Travel Guide

Cyclades Islands Map and Travel Guide

The Cyclades are the most famous group of islands; the islands that everyone refers to when they talk about island hopping in Greek. The island group is located just southeast of mainland Greece and Athens, as can be seen on the map. Some of them have heard a lot: Santorini is known for its laid back attitude and beautiful surroundings, and Mykonos is known for its nightlife and the beautiful people who can afford it. There are around 220 islands in total, many of them too small to put on the map. They are the submerged mountain peaks, except for Milos and Santorini, which are volcanic islands.

Tinos, a lesser known Cycladic island, is the religious center of Greece. The pilgrims come to seek spiritual comfort in the church of Panayia Meyalóhari.

Little Kea has the largest oak forest in the Cyclades. Bird watching is popular there.

Ios takes its name from the Greek word for the violet flower. Homer’s mother’s birthplace and grave site are said to be somewhere on Ios.

Arriving at the Cyclades islands

In summer, the Cyclades islands are served by several ferry companies that will take you from Piraeus, the port of Athens or Rafina to the islands and between islands. Fewer ferries run in the low season. Each year the times are “adjusted” to align with expected traffic, so be sure to check the year of any times you find on the web. The fastest boats arrive from Piraeus to the larger islands in just a few hours, contributing to the great popularity of the Cyclades islands in Greece.

To the smaller Cyclades islands, such as Donousa, you can get around Caiques , a kind of water taxi that can be rented from the small ports on the islands.

The best and most comprehensive resource for ferry schedules in Greece is DANAE ferry tickets online.

There are airports in Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini that host charter flights from Europe. Smaller airports are located in Paros, Milos and Syros.

See a map of Mykonos showing the beaches and the airport.

Cycladic culture

The ancient Greeks called the Cyclades kyklades , envisioning them as a circle ( kyklos ) around the sacred island of Delos, the site of the holiest sanctuary for Apollo, according to the timeline of art history. The early Cycladic culture began in the 3rd century BC and developed metallurgy rapidly due to the rich mineral deposits on the islands. Stone carvings, mainly of female forms in white marble, are famous throughout the art world.

Recommended Cycladic Museums

The Cylcadic Museum of Art in Athens is a good source of information on culture.

The Milos Mining Museum addresses the mineral wealth on the island of Milos.

Ancient Thera (Thira) in Santorini and the Museum of Prehistory Thera are some of the most popular attractions in the Cyclades.

The island of Delos, near Mykonos, is itself an open-air museum. Delos is considered by experts to be the birthplace of Apollo and is home to some of the most important archaeological ruins in Greece.

On the island of Andros you will find the Cycladic Olive Museum, an old and well-preserved olive mill made with animals that has been renovated and turned into a museum. You will find it in the town of Ano Pitrofos.

Cycladic island guides

Greece Travel offers a quick guide to the Cyclades islands, which will give you an idea of each of the charms of the island. deTraci Regula also recommends a visit to the smaller Cyclades Islands.

What is the likely climate? The climate is generally dry and temperate. For historical weather maps, as well as current weather, see Santorini Travel Weather.

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