The Cyclades Travel Guide

The Cyclades is the most popular island group in Greece. Located relatively close to Athens, the Cyclades islands can be reached by ferry or by plane, either from the Greek mainland or from a foreign country. The Cyclades is an ideal summer destination for all types of travelers, from couples to groups of friends and families. The most popular islands of the Cyclades are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Naxos, and Sifnos. Nevertheless, all the Cyclades islands are incredibly beautiful and photogenic!

Among others, the Cyclades island group is famous for its characteristic minimal architecture, picturesque villages, idyllic beaches, and breathtaking landscapes. No wonder they are in the bucket lists of millions of people all around the world! Explore The Cyclades Travel Guide and plan your vacation to paradise.

The Clyclades Weather (When to Visit)

The best time to visit is The Cyclades is spring and early summer (mid-Apr to mid-June) or autumn (Sept to mid-Oct). This way, you'll avoid the summer high season, with its inflated prices, hordes of tourists and high temperatures (heat waves of 100°F are routine). Avoid August, unless you really like scorching heat, crowds, and overbooked planes, ferry boats, and hotels. Of Course the popular islands of Mykonos and Santorini are going to be the most crowded. In the spring, you’ll see more wildflowers than you could have imagined—and swim in a sea that’s a bit cool but still pleasant. In the autumn, you will enjoy warm days with still-warm waters. One drawback: Off-season there are fewer boats and flights to the islands, where some shops, hotels, and restaurants do not open until June and then close in October.

Best Cyclades Islands to Visit

Santorini, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Santorini

Travel to Santorini and you will be treated to sweeping, dramatic ocean views, pristine beaches, including the black pebble beach of Kamari, traditional Grecian architecture, fine dining, and numerous, excellent local wineries. The island is a well-known international vacation spot and attracts throngs of tourists during peak season, but its local charm and beauty make Santorini travel an unforgettable experience despite the crowd. Vacationing to Santorini? Visit our Santorini Greece Guide for things to do, best beaches, best restaurants & bars, and best hotels.

Mykonos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Mykonos

Mykonos is perhaps the most famous, renowned for its rolling hills, white beaches and the high-rolling international crowd that vacations there. While visitors who travel to Mykonos are sure to admire the island’s cubist Cycladic architecture – white country chapels dot its hills, creating a scenic vista – Mykonos also provides a good jumping off point for archaeological day trips to nearby islands, most notably Delos. For more information on the best Mykonos hotels, restaurants, bars, beaches, tours and activities head to our Mykonos Greece Tourist Guide.

Delos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Delos

The small island of Delos has one of the most important archaeology sites in Greece. The only way to visit the site is to get a day return ferry from a nearby island (Mykonos, Paros or Naxos). There is no accommodation on the island. Delos is an extraordinary archaeological site. For information on the island of Delos, visit our Delos Island Greece guide.

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Patos and Antiparos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Paros and Antiparos

Just an hour by ferry ride from Naxos, the island of Paros and it's “sister” Antiparos. Both islands are extremely scenic and ideal for a relaxing holiday. This is not a typical mass-tourism destination, and is definitely quieter (and cheaper!) than some of the other more popular islands. Paros has amazing landscapes, charming towns and of course beautiful beaches. You should definitely check our our Paros & Antiparos guide providing you with everything to plan your trip.

Naxos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Naxos

The largest of the Cyclades, Naxos packs a lot of bang for its buck. Its main town of Hora has a gorgeous waterfront and a web of steep cobbled alleys below its hilltop kastro and fortified Venetian mansions – testament to three centuries of Venetian rule. You needn’t travel far, though, to find isolated beaches, atmospheric mountain villages, ancient sites and marble quarries. Our Naxox Island Greece guide will provide you with the best hotels, restaurants, bars, beaches, recommended tours and activities. Visit our Naxos Island Greece guide, and begin planning today.

Amorgos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Amorgos

This island is renowned for its many marked walking trails. For example, you can hike from the Monastery of Chozoviotissa to the village of Potamos, or reach the Timios Stavros Chapel from the village of Langada. These 2 hikes are among the most famous in Amorgos. You can also follow a 9-km long marked trail to discover 3 beautiful villages: Potamos, Langada and Tholaria. For the best Amorgos hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities, visit Amorgos Island Greece guide.

Syros, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Syros

One of the smallest islands of the Cyclades and relatively rural outside the capital. It's the legal and administrative center of the entire archipelago. It’s also the ferry hub of the northern islands and home to Ermoupoli, the grandest of all Cycladic towns, with an unusual history. As the Cyclades’ capital, it pays less heed to tourism, and its beaches never get as crowded as those of the neighboring islands. It buzzes with life year-round, boasts great eateries and showcases the best of everyday Greek life. Visit our Syros Island Greece guide for the best Syros hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities.

Milos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Milos

The island has a fascinating history of mineral extraction dating from the Neolithic period when obsidian was exported to the Minoan world of Crete. Today Milos is the biggest source of bentonite and perlite in the EU. Milos is famous for its coastline: the strange rock formations and high cliffs plunging down to the sea are really breathtaking! Milos offers the largest number of beaches in all the Cyclades. Our Milos Island Greece guide will provide you with all your planing needs to vacation to the wonderful island of Milos.

Tinos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Tinos

Tinos is a wonderland of natural beauty, dotted with more than 40 marble-ornamented villages found in hidden bays, on terraced hillsides and atop misty mountains. Tinos is one of the major pilgrimage site for Orthodox Greeks. Every year, thousands of people are coming there to pray at Panagia Megalochari or Evangelistria churches. Even if you’re not much into religion, there are many beautiful places to see on Tinos. Visit our Tinos Island Greece guide for the best Tinos hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities.

Andros, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Andros

The second-largest island of the Cyclades, is a walker’s paradise. If you want to hike in the Cyclades, but also enjoy beautiful beaches, then Andros is the perfect island for you. There are 18 marked trails of various length (from 30 minutes to 6 hours) and difficulty level (easy or moderate) on the island. The easiest way to plan your hikes it to get the Andros hiking map, in one of the souvenir shops. Vacationing to Andros? Visit our Andros Island Vacations guide and start planning.

Ios, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Ios

Ios can be considered as Mykonos’ little sister. If you want to enjoy an incredible atmosphere and party all night long, it’s clearly a great place to visit.On Ios, your program will be quite simple: during the day, just relax at the beach and get some rest. Then, when the night comes, party until sunrise in the island’s many trendy bars! Most people coming to Ios are rather young and from Northern Europe. For the best Ios hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities, visit our Ios Island Greece guide.

Sifnos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Sifnos

Sifnos is mostly renowned for its ceramics and fine cuisine. The food there is known to be among the best in the Cyclades! The island is also famous for being an hiker’s paradise. There are nearly 100 km of marked trails and a dozen itineraries around the island. From a short walk to a really long hike, you will always find a trail that suits you. Vacationing to Sifnos? Read our Sifnos Island Greece guide for information on the best Sifnos hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities.

Serifos, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Serifos

You’re looking for peace and quiet during your holidays in the Cyclades? Then, you should definitely go to Serifos. Serifos isn’t really a tourist place. There, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the island’s mountains and arid hills. For the best Serifos hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities, visit our Serifos Island Greece guide.

Folegandros, Cyclades Greece, best Cyclades islands, best time to visit the Cyclades
Folegandros

In Folegandros, you will discover one of the most beautiful villages of the Cyclades. Hora is a typical Cycladic village, with white and blue houses and lively squares. Don’t forget to go to the church above the village to enjoy a beautiful panorama of the island. Our Folegandros Island Greece guide will provide you with all the information on the best Folegandros hotels, restaurants & bars, beaches, tours & activities.

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Highly Recommended Cyclades Beachfront Properties

38 Comments

  1. Awinikistevie

    Hello there, This is an amazing article that you have got here. I would love to visit the Mykonos they have great features that ibfind fascinating and will definitely make my vacation a unique and thrilling one. The rolling hills, white beaches and the high-rolling international crowd makes me wanna just explore the environment.

    Thanks for sharing this with me.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed Stevie!  Thanks for visiting the Cyclades Travel Guide and I appreciate the comments 🙂

      Reply
  2. Cherryl

    I didn’t know much about the Cyclades Islands before reading this article. They are a beautiful historic set of islands. They are a traveler’s dream. I don’t like crowds so I’ll definitely visit in the spring or fall. I would love to see the scenery filled with wild flowers and swimming in “pristine” waters as described. They’re all beautiful islands difficult to choose. My preference would be Paros and Antiparos. The peacefulness and beauty appeal to my own sensibilities. The beaches seem heavenly.

    I Love Greek food so I’m sure I’d enjoy the cuisine. Is it easy to travel to the other islands? My family and I are definitely looking forward to this trip.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like it would be a great vacation for you and your family. Yes, you would take a ferry from Athens to the the islands. That is the most economical and scenic route to take. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Cherryl Darling

    I didn’t know much about the Cyclades Islands before reading this article. They are a beautiful historic set of islands. They are a traveler’s dream. I don’t like crowds so I’ll definitely visit in the spring or fall. I would love to see the scenery filled with wild flowers and swimming in “pristine” waters as described. They’re all beautiful islands difficult to choose. My preference would be Paros and Antiparos. The peacefulness and beauty appeal to my own sensibilities. The beaches seem heavenly.

    I Love Greek food so I’m sure I’d enjoy the cuisine. Is it easy to travel to the other islands? My family and I are definitely looking forward to this trip.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Cherryl, I do believe you and your family would have a wonderful vacation in the Cyclades.  There are ferries you can take that are easily accessible, so you could enjoy more than one island.  Let me know if you need any help planning.

      Reply
  4. Ndaza Ali

    Well, the Cyclades looks like a fantastic place to vacation to for anyone.  I know I am ready to head there now after reading your great guide on the Cyclades.  The islands do look fairly close to each other.  How can I go from one island to the next, like island hopping.  Is that possible.  Where would I fly into from Africa?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there is a ferry system, so you can do some island hopping.  You will want to fly into Athens and take the ferry from there to which ever island you are interested in.  If you need any additional information, please send me an email.  I would be glad to help.

      Reply
  5. Carolyn

    Beautiful pictures to a beautiful travel destination! Most of us will have to be content to look at the beautiful photos this year. Perhaps next summer we will be able to travel again. The water looks so clear, and the white building seem so clean. A gorgeous place to spend some time to relax.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, that is true.  But I do like to plan my vacations in advance, as the cost is usually more reasonable.  I am just waiting for this pandemic to go away.  I am sure that won’t happen until we have a vaccination for it.  But in the meantime, we can dream and plan 🙂

      Reply
  6. Joseph

    Hi Leahrae, I must commend you for your beautiful article on The Cyclades Travel Guide. I love your guide and the video. I love Greece vacation and have enjoyed it so much in the past. I was in Corinthian cruise some years back and it was very refreshing.

    I will like to visit your blog in the future when making plans for my future vacation after the pandemic. I must say that you are doing a good job. All the other needs of the traveler can be met in your blog.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks so much Joseph.  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me your comments.

      Reply
  7. Daniella

    Hi there,

    I loved the pictures; they are so beautiful!

    I wanted to plan a trip to Mikonos this summer, so this article came just in time. I clicked on the Mykonos link, and I found all I needed to know about Mikonos. Fantastic, now I start planning my trip. I would just like to know. What islands are located near Mikonos? I am sure there are other beautiful places to visit. Oh, I almost forgot. Are prices lower today because of Coronavirus?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for your great question Daniella. There are many islands close to Mykonos like Santorini, the islands of Andros, Tinos, Milos, Ios, Syros, Paros and Naxos.  These islands have daily connections to Mykonos, so if you combine boats you can visit even more islands and add more destinations to your Greek island hopping experience

      Reply
  8. Mojisola Kupolati (Debbie)

    I greatly appreciate your review of the Cyclades Islands in Greece. I am a fan of beach view for holidays. Who does not like beach views? With the special architectural features, scenic villages, tranquil beaches, and amazing landscapes this is an interesting place to explore. I am particularly attracted to Santorini because of the extensive ocean views and immaculate beaches. Thanks. Debbie

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Debbie.  I agree with your assessment completely.  I am a beach bum personally, and love visiting new places, cultures, and checking out all the great beaches.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  9. manuel

    Wow …. thanks for the post, I am looking at taking a vacation this year after the whole pandemic issue. You just gave me a list of choices. It will be easy for me to have a peep and plan my vacation without stress.  With the beautiful areas highlighted I will know exactly what I want if I decide to visit Greece.

    I have always known that Greece is a beautiful place, I have read about it, but having all these places highlighted was really helpful.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Manuel!  I am glad I could help.  If you need any additional questions answered when you start to plan your trip, please let me know.  I would be glad to help.

      Reply
  10. Paolo

    I’m a photographer. And I have seen so many pictures of the Cyclades. And even fellow photographers I’ve worked with have had the wonderful experience of going. I have even prepare a program in my head of what I would like to photograph having seen what others have done and evaluating their work. I feel there are areas where I can excel.

    These white buildings in the pictures of your post have made me excited again about going!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Paolo!  The Cyclades are probably a photographers dream as they are breathtakingly beautiful.  I would love to see some of your shots after you return.  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me comments.  Thank you.

      Reply
  11. Sharon

    Okay! I guess being the most popular islands in Greece, it becomes very paramount and quite a beauty to know a lot more about the operations of this island and what really gave it its splendor and grandeur. These are indeed great islands and I have always wanted to travel to the Cyclades.  Thank you for all the great information.  I will bookmark for when I am ready to plan.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The Cyclades are wonderful and a vacation to any of the islands will be wonderful.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

      Reply
  12. DorcasW

    Hello; these  beautiful Islands displayed would make anyone want to vacation to Greece. Given that each Island has its unique attraction. I would want to visit some of these when travelling is right again. But how much visits do I need to make to capture the feel of each Island? I am yet to take a peek into some of the Hotels on the Islands. My imagination has gone wild!  

    DorcasW

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Dorcas!  It really depends on what you feel capturing each island is to you 🙂  Personally, 3 day each would make me happy.  Then I’d ferry on to the next one.  I hope you get to travel to the Cyclades soon!

      Reply
  13. Nathaniel

    Hi Leahrae – I have always heard that the Greek Islands were beautiful and this post proves it. Santorini is my favorite.  I would also like to visit Sifnos and sample the food.  Being shut in during this pandemic makes these photos even more inviting. Thanks for this sampling of paradise!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Nathaniel!  I am glad you enjoyed The Cyclades Travel Guide!

      Reply
  14. David Koh

    Hi Leahrae,

    I love travelling, especially to beautiful beaches, staying in resorts and visiting popular tourist attractions. Travelling with family and friends is a great way to travel and relax. I like travel guides, because it provide information of travel destination prior to departure. So that i can be ready to enjoy my holiday. It brought back fond memories of reading tour guides in the public library. It is interesting to read travel guides about exotic beaches for the first time. Nice and informative. Travelling is a good opportunity for different experiences and activities. I had travelled to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan etc. With yout information, i am looking forward to explore nice beaches in Greece and Europe.

    Cheers,

    David Koh

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You have traveled a lot David.  I am envious.  Hopefully the Cyclades is in your future vacation plans.  I am glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  15. Idris O.

    If not for anything else, you just mentioned one place I would love to visit and that is Santorini. I have had great fantasy about this place and seeing pictures of it is just a confirmation of how beautiful it is. I never knew that the Cyclade island could be such beauty if not taken a closer look at. Thanks for sharing such nice article.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed Idris and I confirmed your love to visit Santorini.  You are right, it is beautiful and you would have a fantastic time.  I hope you can vacation to Santorini soon!

      Reply
  16. Henderson

    Wow, these island look like a wonderful place to vacation too! Now I feel that I need to visit one of these islands soon. It’s all very beautiful and I do enjoy heading to beaches.  And all these islands have amazing beaches.  The videos are a great touch.  Makes me feel like I am there. Thank you so much for an insight to the Cyclades.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I would agree Henderson.  You can’t go wrong with vacationing to any of the Cyclades.  It really just depends on what you are looking for, as they are all unique in their own way. Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  17. JRandZen

    Excellent article about the most popular Greek group of islands. We would agree with you that the best time to visit the Cyclades would be during the shoulder seasons.  That way, you avoid the huge crowds during the busy summer seasons and have a better chance of getting better prices.  One of our friends visited this area last year and they were amazed.  Since then, we have included this group of Greek islands on our travel bucket list.

    Thanks for this very informative post.  All the best.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome.  I am glad you enjoyed and when you do decide to plan your vacation to the Cyclades, please let me know!  I would love to help you with you reservations.

      Reply
  18. Mike

    This post bring back great memories of Island hopping as a teenager. Paros is very close to Athens and just a short trip to reach by boat. All the islands a packed with young adults I recall in June and July. Many having just finished school and on there first parent free holiday overseas. 

    So, yes they are packed mid summer but I really don’t see that as a huge problem with the long large beaches and many to chosse from on each island. 

    The night life if a younger traveller is fantastic and you’ll never forget it. 

    Santorini is beautiful and Ios a small Island just goes a little crazy afer 10pm enjoy. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Wow, how lucky to have been able to do island hopping in the Cyclades as a teenager.  I guess you must live in Athens or close to it.  I would love to be able to go from island to island.  I would feel the need to have quite some time to do this, as I would want to get to know each island.  I did not know Ios got so crazy after 10!  Sounds fun 🙂  Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories with us.

      Reply
  19. Luke

    Far out I think after reading this I am almost keen to book my flights. Wow, just wow. I like the way you write, I hate big paragraphs and yours are easy to read, easy to follow, and the wording is fluent and easy to read. There is something about the whites and blues that ties us back to that natural fresh calming mindset.The Cyclades are in my bucket list now, Thanks for enlightening me on this experience. Excellent read.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Luke!  I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the Cyclades Travel Guide.  I these islands should be on everyone’s bucket list.   I am glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply

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