The Cyclades Islands are a group of Greek Islands in Europe. To many, they are THE Greek islands, and tourists flock to them every year.
In this article we break down what you need to know about this stunning area off the coast of Greece.
Where are the Cyclades?
The Cyclades (pronounced Kyklades in Greek) are a group of 56 islands which can be found of the south eastern coast of Greece, which is situated in south eastern Europe on the Mediterranean Sea.
How do you get to them?
Just two of the islands have airports, Santorini, Mykonos. However, there are currently no direct flights to these islands from the UAE, so you would need to fly to Greece’s mainland, which takes about 5 hours, and catch an internal flight, or fly to London which has lots of flights to these islands daily.
Alternatively, you could get a ferry to your chosen island from mainland Greece.
The get a ferry from Athens to Kythnos, Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Sifno takes approx. 4 to 5 hours, and to the further away island Santorini, takes about 8 to 10 hours.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit is in the European spring and summer. In Spring, from mid to late May until mid-June, the weather is warming up nicely, but the sea can be a bit cold and the evenings could be a little chilly from the winds. From mid-June onwards, you will have glorious sunshine with the seas warming up nicely.
These islands tend to close down from mid-September as storms can be present. At this time many shops and restaurants will close, and ferries will become limited.
There are 56 islands for you to visit, however there are a few more popular islands that may steal your interest, Santorini, Mykonos and Ios.
Famous for its incredible sunset view of the white washed buildings with blue domed tops, it is clear why Santorini seems to have become more popular than ever on social media. Thank the bloggers for that!
This famous sunset is in the town of Oia, and definitely worth the visit, even if it can become crowded.
Outside of this area, Santorini offers lots of rugged landscape to explore, including its white, black and red lava pebble beaches.
This island is a mix of chilled out, bohemian attitude and all out party. A couple of the beaches are well known for staying up until the wee hours; Paradise and Super Paradise. Thanks to the location of these beaches however, if you do not want to party then they do not interfere with your visit.
Mykonos town is the main attraction, with little else on the island other than secret, almost empty beaches! In the town you will find incredibly beautiful, tiny streets lined with white washed, ancient houses with boutique stores, restaurants and gelato shops!
Little Venice is a popular photography spot (pictured) but taking a trip outside the town and up into the hills will give you breath taking views across the town and port.
Once popular with the party crowd, Ios has managed to shake off its previous reputation and become somewhat of an attraction to the younger back packers and families alike.
With a landscape not to dissimilar to its neighbors, Ios can become quite popular in July and August.
Other islands to fully take into consideration are Naxos and Paros, two more stunning examples of ancient Greek architecture offering incredible views and tasty, locally produced foods.
If you can’t decide which island to visit, why not split your holiday and ferry between a few of them?
Please remember that to visit Greece you should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy. The Cyclades islands are small with limited medical facilities. This means that if you should fall ill and need treatment, you are more likely to need to be transported to the mainland which could cost quite a lot of money.
For more information on our travel insurance policies, please visit here: https://www.allianz-assistance.ae/en/travel-insurance-products/
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