Cyclades Map - Greece Island Hopping in the Cyclades
Discover sun, sand, and ancient culture in the Cyclades Islands, just hours from Athens by Catamaran
The Cyclades are islands to the southeast of mainland Greece, as you can see on the map. Some of them you've heard lots about: Santorini is known for its laid back attitude and beautiful setting and Mykonos is known for its nightlife and the beautiful people who can afford it.
Map of the Cyclades Islands, Greece
Map of the Cyclades Islands © James Martin, licensed to About.com
Getting to the Cyclades Islands
In summer, the Cyclades Islands are served by several ferry companies that will take you from Piraeus, the port of Athens or Rafina to the islands and between islands. In the off season, fewer ferries run. Each year the schedules are "tweaked" to align them with expected traffic, so be sure to check the year of any schedule you find on the net. Faster boats make it from Piraeus to the larger islands in just a few hours, contributing to the Greek island hopping popularity of the Cyclades.
To the smaller Cyclades Islands like Donousa, you can get around by Caiques, a sort of water taxi that can be hired from the small ports on the islands.
The best and most understandable resource for ferry schedules in Greece is DANAE ferry tickets online.
There are airports in Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini which host charter flights from Europe. Smaller airports are found in Paros, Milos and Syros.
See a Map of Mykonos showing the beaches and the airport.
Ancient Greeks called the cyclades kyklades, imagining them as a circle (kyklos) around the sacred island of Delos, the site of the holiest sanctuary to Apollo, according to Timeline of Art History. Early Cycladic culture started in the third century b.c. and developed metallurgy quickly due to the rich deposits of ores on the islands. The stone carvings, mainly of female forms in white marble, are renowned throughout the art world.
Recommended Cycladic Museums
The Museum of Cylcadic Art in Athens is a good source of information on the culture.
The Milos Mining Museum addresses the mineral wealth on the island of Milos.
The island of Delos, near Mykonos, is itself is an open air museum
On the island of Andros you'll find the Cyclades Olive Museum, an old and well-preserved animal-drawn olive mill that has been renovated and converted into a museum. You will find it in the village of Ano Pitrofos.