Best Cyclades islands
Check the best Cyclades islands ranked by popularity. This ranking is based on our data as a travel guide, not in the official data of the Greek Ministry of Tourism. For each destination we provide general information, photos, map, things to see and do and more.
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The best island in Greece and frequently included among the most romantic destinations in the world, Santorini is visited by millions of tourists every summer. You will get impressed by the steep caldera and the amazing sunset. Do not miss a trip to the volcano, whose top can be seen from any spot of the caldera. For swimming, head to the southern side of Santorini, where most beach resorts can be found.
Famous all over the world for the exotic beaches and the crazy nightlife, Mykonos is the second best island of Greece, after Santorini. In the day, relax under the hot Greek sun and dance in the beach bars of Paradise and Super Paradise. In the evenings, head to Mykonos Town and see the sunset from Little Venice, walk around the narrow streets and have fun in the all-night bars.
One of the most cosmopolitan islands of Cyclades, Paros is famous for its pure Cycladic architecture, the wonderful beaches and the vivid nightlife. A drive around the island will bring you to traditional villages with white sugar houses and paved paths, while the countryside is scattered with small chapels. Golden Beach and New Golden Beach are very popular for windsurfing, while great beaches are also Kolymbithres and Santa Maria.
Although it is surrounded by popular islands, Naxos has kept its family style. Located in the centre of Cyclades, Naxos has amazing beaches on the western side and picturesque mountainous villages in the countryside. All beaches of Naxos have exotic water and soft sand, while Mikri Vigla is considered the best windsurfing and kitesurfing spot in Cyclades.
Among the most popular islands of Cyclades, Ios is mostly frequented by youth due to the vivid nightlife with all-night parties. However, Ios has something to offer to all ages. Visitors will love the picturesque architecture of Chora and the crystal, sandy beaches of Mylopotas and Manganari. A hike around Ios will also bring you to secluded places and amazing hilltops.
Located on the southern side of Cyclades, Amorgos is a secluded island that keeps its calm paces even in high season. Famous for its traditional architecture, the crystal beaches and the barren landscape, Amorgos is a lovely place to relax in your summer holidays. Do not miss the Monastery of Hozoviotissa, built entirely against a rock, and the beach of Agia Anna, where scenes from the film The Big Blue were shot.
A lovely island of western Cyclades, Milos keeps a calm atmosphere even in high season. Due to its volcanic background, Milos has barren landscape and crystal beaches, especially on the southern side. Do not miss the fishing village of Klima, with the colourful boat garages along the beach front, and a boat trip to Kleftiko, an amazing spot with rocks in the middle of the sea and exotic water.
Although it is located very close to Athens, the island of Andros keeps its calm, family vibes in summer. The picturesque architecture of Chora is the most distinctive characteristic of Andros. You will love the narrow cobbled streets of Chora, the amazing view to the Aegean and the elegant mansions. The beaches in Andros are crystal and relaxing.
Syros is a gem not yet discovered by foreign tourists, as it mostly receives Greek visitors. A walk around Ermoupolis, the capital of the island, will bring you to elegant mansions, beautiful churches and large squares. The town gets very lively in the evenings with the nice bars at the waterfront. The beaches of Syros are nice and clean, surrounded by many accommodation.
Located on the western side of Cyclades, Sifnos is developing over the last years as a place for both families and youth. Families will love the calm beaches with delicious taverns, while the youth will get excited for the lively beach bars that stay open till the early hours. In Sifnos, do not miss the picturesque village of Kastro with the lovely church of Seven Martyrs at the entrance.
Although it is mostly famous for the miracle-working church of Virgin Mary, Tinos is also an island for relaxing family vacations. The beaches on the southern side of Tinos have clean water and they are protected from strong winds. Worth to visit are the mountainous villages of the countryside that stand out for the traditional vibes and the picturesque architecture. Scattered in the inland of Tinos are lovely chapels and dovecotes.
An island of Western Cyclades, Folegandros stands out for its impressive Chora and the relaxing atmosphere. Constructed along the slopes of a hill, Chora has lovely narrow paths and white sugar houses. A cobbled path up from Chora leads to the church of Panagia, which offers amazing view to the Aegean Sea. The beaches of Folegandros are secluded and have clean water.
Antiparos is a small island of Cyclades, just opposite Paros. The only village is found on the north western spot of the island and it is called Chora. This small island is considered the alternative of cosmopolitan Paros. Camping is very frequented in Antiparos and the atmosphere is very relaxing. Nightlife is lounge and mostly concentrated in few bars of Chora. The beaches along the eastern side of the island have crystal water and soft sand.
An island unspoiled by mass tourism, Serifos contains all the beauty of Cyclades: picturesque village constructed on the hilltop, clean beaches and amazing view to the Aegean Sea. Although it is only two hours ferry ride from Athens, it doesn't get crowded in summer. It keeps the perfect atmosphere for relaxing holidays. In the day, enjoy the hot sun and the clean sea, while in the evening head to Chora for a lounge drink.
Located on the southern side of Naxos, Koufonissia is famous for the exotic beaches and the relaxing atmosphere. A popular naturist and camping destination, only Pano Koufonissi is inhabited, while Kato Koufonissi is visited as a boat trip for the nice beaches. Most beaches in Koufonissia are accessible on foot or by bicycle. Dive in the exotic, blue-green water and experience the most relaxing holidays.
Although it is only two hours ferry ride from Athens, Kythnos is not a touristic island. Due to its close distance to the mainland, it is mostly frequented by Athenians in summer weekends. With two picturesque villages, Chora and Driopida, and nice, secluded beaches, Kythnos is a lovely place for short break. The most famous beach of Kythnos is Kolona, which is actually a narrow stretch of land dividing the sea in two sides.
Tiny and beautiful, the island of Kimolos is only 30 minutes ferry ride from Milos. Although it is very close to a tourist Greek island, Kimolos has kept its quiet and traditional character. The most popular areas on Kimolos are the port and the village, however if you do some trekking on the island, you will find more picturesque and remote places. Most beaches of Kimolos are accessible on foot and have amazing water.
A beautiful island only one hour from the port of Lavrion Attica, Kea is a secret gem, still undiscovered by foreign visitors. This island stands for its traditional vibes and the barren scenery. Although it gets frequented by Athenians in summer weekends, the rest of the year is far quiter than other Cyclades islands. Explore the clean beaches, the nice villages and the hidden natural treasures. Ideal for relaxing and privacy all year round.
Anafi is a tiny island very close to Santorini. It stands out for the barren landscape and the secluded beaches. Its only village is located among rocky cliffs, beaches are accessible mostly on foot and small chapels are scattered along the landscape. Tourism on Anafi is not at all developed but visitors will find the basic amenities for a comfortable stay.
Donoussa is a tiny island located in the centre of Cyclades, to the east of Naxos. Although Donoussa was inhabited in the ancient times, it was gradually abandoned due to raids of pirates in the Middle Ages. When piracy in the Aegean Sea was confronted, residents from neighbouring Amorgos island settled on Donoussa. Now it is one of the remotest island in Greece, where you can enjoy real traditional life and secluded beaches.
Sikinos is a pure Cycladic island located between Ios and Folegandros. Its capital, Chora, is one of the most traditional Cycladic settlements and the island is surrounded by nice beaches. Some of them are organized, while others are perfect for complete isolation. Apart from the port beach, the other beaches in Sikinos are accessible on foot or by boat. The only sightseeing on the island is the Byzantine Monastery of Episkopi.
Schinoussa is a tiny island located to the south of Naxos and very close to Ios and Amorgos. Schinoussa has only a few inhabitants and paces of life there are slow and traditional. The wild landscape, the isolate beaches, the hospitality of the locals and the true Cycladic style amazes visitors. This is a great island to enjoy pure privacy.
Geographically located between Naxos and Ios, Iraklia is a small island that remains untouched by mass tourism. There, you can enjoy some truly relaxing vacations, away from large crowds and noisy spots. Tourism on Iraklia is not developed a lot, except for the basic amenities. Beaches are isolate, villages are traditional and people are welcoming. In Iraklia, visitors will find the purest aspect of traditional Greek life.
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