Off the south eastern coast of Greece lie some of the most stunning islands of the Aegean Sea – the Cyclades Islands. Meaning “encircling”, the archipelago is named such because they form a rough circle around the island of Delos, the legendary birthplace of Zeus’ children, twins Artemis and her brother Apollo. As stated on the Visit Greece tourism site, Delos is the head priest of the Cyclades, the birthplace of immortals. Delos is not a museum. It is not there to tell a story. It is history itself.
Comprising of around 220 islands, only about 24 are actually inhabited. The two most famous are Santorini and Mykonos, however the lesser known islands are equally intriguing. A sailing adventure is a spectacular way to see the islands.
Here are several you visit on a 7 night Northern Cyclades itinerary:
MYKONOS and DELOS
Named after Apollo’s grandson, Mykonos is Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island. It is most for its beaches and party atmosphere. But don’t be fooled – the island offers plenty of history and tradition for visitor who wish to explore. Visit the capital town of Hora, with its beautiful white washed buildings and narrow marble streets, a lively waterfront and museums to take in some history.
Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a short boat ride from Mykonos. The island’s only activity is the archeological experience – the magic of it makes it an experience of a lifetime.
Amorgos is the eastern most island of the Cyclades, boasting idyllic villages, spectacular beaches, azure seas and excellent hiking. A step off the beaten path, Amorgos has a long cultural history. The island’s most iconic landmark is the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, built in the 11th century. For splendid panoramic views, take a hike on one of marked trails.
Spetses is best known for its contribution to the 1821 War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire (centered in present day Turkey). It has a long naval tradition, and holds a re-enactment of a naval battle during September. The island has retained much of its original character, including well maintained mansions and narrow cobbled streets.
A major pilgrimage site, Patmos is where Saint John wrote the book of Revelation. The cave where he was said to have lived is now the site of the Monastery of the Apocalypse, a castle built in 1088. It is comprised of ten chapels, 99 cells and library of handwritten codes and documents. Museum and library are not to be missed. The island is also ideal for nature lovers, with beautiful landscapes and beaches.
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Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder