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BlackFriday

Extended! Travel at cost prices until December 7th. Book NOW!

Cyclades Greek Islands: Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and Paros

The Cyclades are renowned for their beaches and their white villages that seem to be perfect postcards, from which extraordinary views are contemplated. The most famous is Fira, which can be seen on a trip to Santorini.

For its part, Mykonos is a recognized beach destination, but also less popular islands, such as Naxos and Paros, have good beaches. Greek island travel packages are crowded in June, July, and August, and these generally arid islands are covered in a beautiful blanket of flowers in spring.

The identity of the Cyclades is very diverse: some, like Santorini, are peaceful, others, like Mykonos, live the night intensely.

The Cyclades also offer the richness of their history, with the ruins of Delos attesting to it. For its part, Mykonos and Santorini have international airports and Paros and Naxos receive only domestic flights.

Mykonos

On a trip to Mykonos you can get to know this arid and abrupt island. Mykonos is one of the smallest of the Cyclades, but one of its most popular. Only 16 kilometers long and 11 wide, its two highest peaks do not reach 360 meters above sea level. According to an ancient myth, the rocks scattered throughout its arid landscape are the solidified remains of the giants killed by Heracles. Despite its desert appearance, Mykonos became one of the most famous (and expensive) of the Aegean islands. Tourists from all over the world flock to it, attracted by its sandy beaches and the bars and restaurants that crowd the port, also called Mykonos. The whitewashed streets of this island, the cubic houses and the churches with their blue or light blue touch of the doors or domes constitute the stereotype of classic Cycladic architecture.

Mykonos fame lies on its beaches as it is not particularly a green island. The best of them are on the south coast of the island; Platys Gialos, 3.5 km south of the city, is the quintessential family beach, with water sports and a long stretch of sand. Those who want to get a full tan can head to the famous nude beaches: the first is Paraga, or Agia Anna, a quiet corner with a good tavern; the next is Paradise, with camping, disco and water sports. Elia, also a nudist, fills up in high season. If you like to go out at night, they are unmissable places on a trip to Mykonos.

Kastro, the oldest part of the city, is further up the port area. The excellent Ethnographic Museum, one of the best in Greece, was built on a section of the old castle wall; it occupies an elegant ship captain's mansion and houses a valuable collection of ancient and modern Mykonos pottery, embroidery and textiles. One of the most striking pieces is the genuine Petros pelican, now dissected, which was the island's pet for 29 years.

The Vonis mill, from the 16th century, was restored and is operation; it was one of the 30 windmills that the families of the island used to grind corn.

Santorini

According to the Greeks, Santorini is the most fantastic island in the Aegean. Also called Thera –which was the main one of the Doric colonies, founded in the 9th century BC–, it is a picturesque island crowned by the white towns of the cities Fira and Oia, with its narrow streets and stairs that climb along the hillside. A trip to Santorini is ideal to enjoy nature, laze around in a beautiful way and entertain yourself with the great tourist and commercial activity that takes place there.

Santorini is the southernmost of the Greek Cyclades islands, and shaped like a crescent moon is the edge of an ancient submerged volcano that erupted around 1500 B.C. Only the splendid views of the caldera would be worth it, if it did not also have archaeological museums, magnificent excavations, villages with radiant white, ancient palaces and monasteries. The city Fira, capital of the island, is located, with its typical buildings, on a cliff from which it dominates the bay and you can see a magnificent panorama of the volcano, especially at sunset.

A trip to Santorini is unique, and even more so knowing that there has been much speculation about the possible identification of this island with the mythical Atlantis, mentioned in Egyptian papyri and of which, thousands of years ago, Plato wrote about. But the matter is still under discussion.

Naxos

This island stands out for its great sweetness and tranquility. According to its tourists, the first impression that is perceived when getting off the ship is of abundance, prosperity and serenity. This island is the greenest and most fertile of the Cyclades, with its potato crops, livestock, cheese, fruit and olive industries in the pyramidal shadow of Mount Zas (998 meters), it is practically self-sufficient.

Inhabited for 5,000 years, the island offers visitors memorable landscapes, such as steep ravines, hidden valleys, long sandy beaches, and towns ranging from a Cretan bastion in the mountains to its capital, on the seafront, which strongly evokes its Venetian past. Cora is its capital, highlighted by its white houses on a hill topped by the only surviving tower of a Venetian castle. At the end of the port, stands the most famous monument in Naxos: la Portara. This is a massive cover that leads nowhere.

Paros

Paros lacks the Mykonos distinction and has fewer top-notch hotels, but when the season is in full swing, it tends to receive numerous visitors who found no accommodation on other more touristic islands. Its prices are lower and its golden sandy beaches attract visitors. Although it is a quiet island, the ports of Parecia and Nausa offer an active nightlife.

Along the pier, heading east, you will find a long line of bars, fast food restaurants and cafes, mostly properties from Athenians that come to Paros in summer to take advantage of tourism. The commercial area and the best places to eat are located in the interior of Parecia, where it is easy to get lost in the maze of narrow, cobbled alleys that perpendicularly cut the streets of the quiet residential areas.

Not to be missed ,there are two important monuments in Parecia located very close to each other: the Church of Our Lady of the Hundred Portals and the Archaeological museum.

Find all of our packages to the Greek Islands here, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience with Greca Travel!

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