Rising like rough diamonds from the azure Aegean Sea, the islands of the Cyclades are justifiably famous. Characterised by their sprinkling of white cubist buildings, blue-domed Byzantine churches and sun-kissed golden beaches, there is no surprise visitors to these Greek icons find them truly irresistible.
Thirty naturally beautiful islands make up the picture-perfect portrait that is the Cyclades, beckoning travellers to their sun-drenched expanse between Athens and the Dodecanese. Some are island superstars while others are bare specks in the ocean, but each offers something a little bit different and always with the same splash of Greek charm. By yacht is the ideal way to explore these glittering treasures, anchoring off the small, almost-deserted islands for peace and quiet, and docking at the larger ones for endless activities and luxurious offerings.
Santorini could easily be called one of the most romantic destinations on earth; blessed with unbelievable sunsets, deeply enchanting cliff-top towns and intimate seafront restaurants. Visited for its world-class views, unique hotels, intriguing historic ruins, and iconic donkey rides, Santorini is a favourite of honeymooners and sun-worshippers alike.
Mykonos is Santorini’s louder and flashier but equally as famous island neighbour. Buzzing with an energetic party atmosphere day and night, Mykonos is the Cycladic centre for beach sports, designer boho-fashion, luxurious resorts and pulsating nightlife.
The remaining islands don’t carry the same big-name allure as Santorini and Mykonos but more than make up for it with delightfully peaceful beaches and attractive towns bursting with local traditions and ocean-front views.
Ios and Paros
Proudly carrying its reputation as a youthful party capital is Ios, whose lovely swimming beaches and compact main town attract a loud and lively crowd. Paros too is home to an active lifestyle, although on a somewhat more subdued level. An idyllic point of call for sunbathing and fishing, Paros offers excellent water sports and the unbelievably picturesque seaside village of Naoussa.
Folegandros and Delos
Rocky Folegandros boasts a helipad on its shores and is home to a dainty white-cube village whose prettiness would rival that of any in the Aegean, while Delos is the uninhabited spiritual centre of the Aegean and a must-see archaeological site for history-buffs.
Naxos, Siros and Tinos
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades, noted for its soft, glowing beaches, startling greenery and lovely swimming spots, and along with medieval Siros and Tinos, is still embedded with a distinctly local flavour.
Andros, Milos, Sifnos, and Kithnos
Andros and Milos are culture rich, home to some wonderful museums, fine beaches, mineral springs and scenic sea caves. The island of Sifnos is an attractive mix of Cycladic architecture, atmospheric towns and quiet beaches, but head to tiny Kithnos for absolute beauty and quiet.