The Cyclades – The Quintessential Greek Islands.
The best known of the Cyclades Islands need little introduction – Mykonos and Thira or Santoríni, Paros and Naxos, the largest of the Islands. However, some of the lesser-known offer a truly authentic Greek experience and are becoming more popular with the discerning traveller, providing a less busy and less crowded experience and more of what the islands are known for: memorable Greek hospitality, delicious simple cuisine with pristine beach backdrops and Greek blue skies. Here are some of our favourite Cyclades Islands – the Quintessential Greek Islands, tried, tested and highly recommended:
Milos is best known as the Island where the statue of the Venus of Milo was found in 1820 amid the ancient ruins of Melos. The island has it all: beaches of unbelievable beauty, eerie settings, catacombs, volcanic craters, Cycladic hospitality, and a sensational sunset. Plaka, the island’s capital, is the most elegant and pivotal village on the island and an ideal place for relaxed outings and the island’s best sunset experience, from the Venetian castle. It features small Cycladic-style houses, narrow cobbled alleys, hidden squares with cafes and small tavernas, as well as exceptional land and sea views. A boat ride to Klima, a gorgeous fishing village made unique by its colours and row of seaside fishermen’s houses with storage space for boats, is truly enjoyable. The most extraordinary beach on the island with its white rock formations is Sarakiniko beach, the result of volcanic activity that occurred on the island in the past. The combination of white cliffs, large sea caves, blue sea and sky is spectacular. Don’t miss Milos with its dreamy, sun-drenched landscapes surrounded by the bluest waters, with the most delectable food and the prettiest of Cycladic architecture.
Kimolos: The little neighbour of Milos, Kimolos can be enjoyed as a day trip or for a couple of days in its own right. It’s a scaled back version of Milos with stunning crystal-clear waters and small fishing villages with colourful boat houses like its neighbour. Tourism hasn’t invaded the island making Kimolos a perfect destination to get away from everything. Chorio, the only village and capital of the island, is the centre of the action. There, you will find many hotels, restaurants, traditional taverns and all kinds of facilities for a convenient stay. The must-visit places in Chorio include the Folk & Maritime and the Archaeological Museums.
Amorgos: An island for hikers and walkers with numerous hill villages and hidden beaches, this island is becoming popular among those seeking an authentic Greek island which offers day trips to shipwrecks and ancient hillside monasteries. Amorgos has two of the most spectacular and oldest monasteries in the country – the Monastery of Hozoviotissa on the eastern part of the island and the monastery of Agios Georgos Valsimitis above the Chora. The former, Hozoviotissa, is the second oldest of its kind in Greece, built in 1017, and although quite a trek to clamber up to is well worth the effort.
Folegandros: Tranquil and simple, Folegandros is a place for visitors to unwind. It is a tiny island, about 14km long. With virtually empty beaches and boats giving access to those that are hard to reach, the underdeveloped Folegandros is for those who wish to have an unspoiled experience without the fuss and finesse of some of its neighbouring islands. What you will find here is an island that time and tourism seem to have forgotten with very little to do by way of nightlife. Instead, discover coastal and cliff hikes and the historic Church of Panagia in Chora. The charming capital Folegandros Town is traffic-free with relaxed eateries offering traditional local Greek dishes and tree-lined, floral squares adding to the charm. This captivating piece of paradise really is an untouched part of Greece, offering a relaxed vibe, warm hospitality and gorgeous beaches. Think lazy days and dreamy sunsets.
Delos: Day trippers arrive to the ancient Delos Island by boat from Mykonos which takes about 40 minutes, usually staying for about three hours as you are not permitted to stay overnight on this archaeological site. Delos is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port. Delos was preserved through the centuries due to the fact that it remained uninhabited since the 7th century AD and also because of its remote location. Nowadays, the entire island is designated as an archaeological site. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning more about Greek mythology.
Mykonos: The most popular and cosmopolitan island in Aegean Greece and one of the top destinations worldwide, Mykonos offers a luxurious holiday, exceptional beaches, endless fun, deluxe yachts, 5-star services, awarded restaurants and iconic experiences. Explore typical Cycladic architecture, narrow-cobbled streets of the main town of Mykonos (Hora). The whitewashed houses with blue doors and window frames, the beautiful bougainvillea bushes which are spread all over the island and the famous windmills, are some of the best things that you can enjoy while visiting Mykonos island.
FROSCH Irelands’ top accommodation recommendation: Myconian Ambassador Relais & Chateaux Hotel
The Ambassador is a luxury hotel in Mykonos, capturing the essence of Myconian charm and the celebrated ‘art de vivre’ of Relais & Châteaux. Mere steps from the fine sand of Platis Gialos, and built in sympathy with the slope, its architecture blends contemporary chic with tones and textures borrowed from the local vernacular. Interiors that embody the clean line and cool sophistication of high design flow into the quiet comfort of luxurious bedrooms, or spill out onto the spectacular terrace that is the heart of the hotel, all without ever breaking the spell of magnificent Aegean views. Ask our Luxury Travel Advisors for details of our exclusive amenities.
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Sarakiniko Beach on Milos Island, one of Greece’s Most Beautiful Beaches.