Cyclades: The Well-Known Islands



DAY 1 Athens – Kea (40 miles)

KEA is mostly barren, with patches of cultivated and wooded ground near the coast. The lyric poets Simonides and Bacchlides come from this island. The picturesque hamlet of Vourkari is popular, and has excellent restaurants. Just across from the Vourkari town quay is a Late Stone Age village. Alternatively, the more easily accessible harbour of St. Nicholas is equally attractive, with distinctive and beautiful Italian-influenced architecture and buildings painted in a palate of pastel colors. The beautiful "chora" on the hill, a short taxi ride from either port, is a must-see: a huddle of gleaming white houses, stupendous views, and a large lion carved from natural stone on a hillside, attributed to an Ionian sculptor from around 600 B.C.

DAY 2  Kea – Syros (25 miles)

SYROS is the capital of the Cyclades, lying on the east part of the island. The town was and still is a commerce center, the crux of which is ship- and boatbuilding, while the west part is picturesque and quiet. The magnificent 18th-century town of Ermoupoli, the town of Hermes, was founded during the Venetian occupation back in 1200 A.D. The catholic archbishop is fortified in the upper town by housed that create external walls; in every door somebody you can observe Venetian family symbols. There is lots of night life, there are excellent restaurants offering local mezedes and other food, plus a casino for those who like to gamble. Most pleasure boats use Finikas bay on the island’s south end as a port and visit the main town by taxi or bus, enjoying the scenic ride through the island’s villages. In Ermoupoli, there is an outdoor market that will delight all shipboard cooks.

DAYS 3 & 4  Syros – Mykonos & Delos (20 miles)

MYKONOS is the tourist Mecca of Greece. Mykonos is bright and breezy with fine sandy beaches (accessible by taxi or rented car) by day. By night, the hum of bars and throb of discos into the wee hours is all part of the scene. It is the island where locals and plain ordinary holidaymakers rub shoulders with the yacht set, the jet set, artists, and celebrities from all over the world. The houses, the churches, and the narrow winding alleys appear to be a naturally evolved form sculptured from the rocks of the island itself. The cosmopolitan flavor of Mykonos may be a refreshing contrast to the simpler pleasures of other islands.

DELOS, a short trip by day boats that run to the island (yachts cannot anchor there) was once the political and religious center of the ancient world. Legend has it that Apollo was born here. The Delos oracle was consulted before major decisions and its fame was second only to that of Delphi. The ancient ruins on this island have been likened to Pompeii not for any architectural similarity but for the completeness of the picture of ancient life that can be gleaned from it.

Leave Mykonos the second evening and drop anchor at the nearby Rinia  island at the south bay, if North wind blows, and spend the night on anchor, is magic.

DAY 5  Mykonos - Paros (27 miles)

PAROS is a popular tourist island, and typically Cycladic houses, shops, and churches are dazzling white cubes with bougainvilleas and wisteria providing splashes of natural color. The island possesses the finest church in the Aegean, the Katapoliani, and is well worth a visit for the beautiful interior. The museum houses a slab of Parian Chronicle recording Greek history from pre-Homeric times and some sculptures in Parian marble. The island’s numerous beaches are some of the finest in the Cyclades.

DAY 6  Paros – Kythnos (35 miles)

The KYTHNOS village of Loutra on this lovely, sleepy little island, is quintessentially Greek. Here, you can see the home of Greece’s first king – Otto – and the Bavarian-style mini-castle he had built here. Otto suffered from gout, and he had a natural mountain hot spring channeled down to this harbor by aqueduct. Today’s visitors can still soak in the natural hot springs – said to be good for whatever ails you - and swim in water warmed by them. At night, you can dine under the moonlight at a taverna only feet from the sea.

DAY 7  Kythnos – Athens (45 miles)

Enjoy the last day stop on the South of St. George island for a dive in the crystal clear waters! Return to base.

Note: All itineraries are subject to minor changes if weather presents a safety hazard.