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Property for sale in Cyclade Islands, South Aegean, Greece

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The Kyklades area guide

Things to do

The Kyklades or Cyclades as they are more commonly known in English, are a group of islands tucked into the Aegean Sea just south of mainland Greece. The most famous isles, Santorini, Ios and Mykonos, bring to mind images of bright white and blue houses built up on a hillside, overlooking crystalline waters and white sandy beaches below.

Yet, with over 200 islands there’s a fair range of diversity in the Cyclades, whether you prefer the party scene on fashionable Folegandros or the more laid-back, tranquil way of life on remote Sikinos. Oak forests, hot springs and trendy cafes are just a few of the attractions on this circle of islands, punctuated by domed churches and ancient ruins.

Cubic whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestoned streets and panoramic turquoise seascapes make the Cyclades an iconic vision of paradise for many, but each island is worth exploring for its own unique hidden treasures.

Island hopping is a true pleasure in the Cyclades, so a boat cruise or ferry ride around them is a must-do. From here, you can hop on and off to explore each island’s attractions. Santorini is one of the largest islands. It is ringed by dark, volcanic sandy beaches and visitors can hike through these landscapes on classic trails like the route from Perissa to Kamari. Bathe in the hot springs and visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, where you can view ancient Minoan murals.

Mykonos has long been popular with fashion jet-setters, and this bohemian mecca is well known for its shopping and nightlife, particularly in the capital of Chora. Alternatively, you can go scuba diving in Paradise Cove, visit the Archaeological Museum, explore the cave of the Antiparos, go windsurfing, sailing, go swimming in sheltered coves, or climb up to mountainous monasteries for panoramic views of the islands.

Places to eat

Classic Greek culinary traditions are given an Aegean twist in the Cyclades, which features no shortage of taste-tempting restaurants, cafes and tavernas to explore. Dining out is a social activity here, so you can expect a lively experience and a warm welcome, be it day or night.

Visit Aktaion in Firostefani’s main square for an example of this, where the owner prepares family recipes that have been served here for nearly a hundred years. Dine on moussaka and seasonal salads on a sunny terrace overlooking Santorini’s caldera. Mykonos is the go-to destination for lively bars and restaurants, and you’ll find branches of international favourites like Nobu here along with local treasures like Eva’s Garden, which features a tranquil courtyard and grilled fish dishes.

Shopping

Whether you’re after basic sundries or something special to send to friends at home, each village offers something unique. You’ll find basic shops on all the islands, but some of the most fashionable can be found on bohemian Mykonos. This includes international brand names like Puma and Diesel, which have outlets here, as well as local gems like Skunkworks and The Curiosity Shop, which host both underground and designer fashion.

Stock up on fine wine at Art Space or locally crafted jewellery at Aquamarine on the island of Santorini, which is also home to the Atlantis Bookstore. This little hideaway features rare volumes and fancy stationery, along with musical events on the rooftop.

Getting there & around

There are daily flights from Athens to many of the larger islands, including Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, and Naxos. Frequent ferry services also connect the islands to the mainland, with ports including Lavrio, Rafina and Piraeus. The journey can last anywhere from four to ten hours, depending on the destination, although high-speed catamarans can cut this travel time in half.

Once you’ve reached the Cyclades, most residents and visitors alike travel by ferry. The largest hub within the islands is Paros. Taxi and bus services will take you around the islands themselves once you’ve landed.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@zoopla.co.uk

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.



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