The name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle (the name in English means: "circular islands") around the sacred island of Delos. According to the Greek mythology, Poseidon, God of the sea, was furious at the Cyclades nymphs and turned them into islands.It is important to remember when planning a luxury yacht charter in this region the Meltemi (a strong wind from the the north) tends to blow here over the summer months, especially July and August, making travelling at sea uncomfortable when they are at their strongest.
While by no means exhaustive here is a list of a few of our favourites islands in the Cyclades for you to enjoy while on a luxury charter yacht in the area:
Mykonos takes its name from the grandson of Apollo. Greece's most glamorous and popular island, Mykonos is a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. Despite its popularity, there is a simple, traditional side to life here. For the luxury charter yacht guest, there is ample diversity to experience. Whether you are looking for night life, celebrity spotting and entertainment, or wishing to explore the island's history and traditions, Mykonos surpasses expectations.
Great poets have sung its praises during Santorini's 4,000 year history. Crescent-shaped Santorini (or Thíra), is the precious gem of the Aegean and one of the must-see for charter yacht guests. There are not many places in the world where you can enjoy exquisitely clear waters while perched on the rim of a massive active volcano in the middle of the sea! Santorini is also blessed with seaside treasures: deep blue waters and beaches with white, red or black sand or volcanic pebbles, spectacular rock formations and impressive lunar landscapes.
With its unrivalled natural beauty, beaches with crystal clear waters, Byzantine footpaths connecting traditional villages and breathtaking landscapes, Páros is one of the best-loved charter yacht destinations in Greece. Parikía (Parikiá), the capital of Páros, is a beautiful Cycladic village with whitewashed houses and neoclassical mansions. Hiking, watersports, a myriad of cultural festivals and even canoeing around the island are all activities charter yacht guests can enjoy.
Ios island is a famous charter yacht destination, with its golden beaches and the characteristic Aegean architecture. Ios is famed as a party island, at least during the high season of July and August, but it also offers beautiful scenery and magnificent views. Those seeking the social scene can dance the night away in any one of the clubs and bars or relax and watch the beautiful sunset from some of the amazing restaurants on the island.
This is the island where Greek tradition and western influence blend harmoniously. Ermoúpoli (meaning "the city of Hermes") is the island's main town and was the first important trade and industrial centre of the country in the 19th century. For those visitors interested in ancient history, evidence of Syros' glorious past can be seen on public buildings (the City Hall, the Customs Office, Apollo theatre), on the neoclassical houses and in the pleasant town squares. It is not as influenced by tourism as some of the other islands but it is busy all year, boasts great eateries, and showcases the best of everyday Greek life.
The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. The island comprises the two municipalities of Naxos and Drymalia. Náxos is the biggest and the greenest island in Cyclades with impressively high mountains, fertile valleys, lush green gorges, stunning seascapes and traditional villages perched high on mountain tops, where the inhabitants still wear their traditional dress and live off what they grow and raise. Náxos is also an island of beautiful churches, monasteries and Venetian castles, side by side with the picture-postcard cubic houses.
Milos is "the island of colours" thanks to its volcanic origin which offers beaches and waters of unique, rainbow beauty. Tourism may be on the rise but Milos is still a peaceful place. For your luxury charter yacht vacation, there are beaches with golden sands and pebbly bays, surrounded by majestic slopes of white, red, yellow or black mineral-rich rocks. There are beaches for swimming and sun-bathing, or more isolated sandy stretches where your luxury charter yacht will be the only vessel moored. And carrying on the theme of colour the traditional fishing villages are home to small white cottages with mutli-coloured trim.
A UNESCO world-heritage site, Delos is replete with ancient history, just a few miles away from cosmopolitan Mykonos. Delos is the birthplace of the immortals. In ancient times, the myth of the god Apollo, god of light, and goddess Artemis were born on Delos, making Delos sacred. No other island on earth hosts as many monumental antiquities from the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic periods. Delos is as history buff's dream and just as compelling for any luxury charter yacht guest seeking to immerse themselves in Greek culture.
The site of the 1988 movie "The Big Blue", Amorgòs, is considered one of the most impressive Cycladic islands, boasting marvellous beaches with azure waters, caves, diving spots, scenic bays and ancient footpaths through steep rocky terrain. Amorgós has a long cultural history and tradition. Step off the beaten track and immerse yourself in the traditional way of life, where hospitable locals take pride in sharing their culinary and cultural identity. Enjoy the stunning view of the Monastery of the Virgin Mary Hozoviótissa carved into the steepest rock of Mt. Profitis Elias.
One of most peaceful islands of the Cyclades, Irakleia offers a quiet place for complete relaxation. The peaceful streets and lack of tourists are a tonic for charter yacht guests who call in. For those who love diving, the island has a fascinating dive spot abundant in sealife. While there are relatively few mod-cons, the island has a heliport and its restaurants have a plentiful array of local dishes on offer: fava, cheese and thyme honey, goat, lamb, and pork, all farmed locally.
For more details about these and other islands in the Cyclades please contact us. We have a lot more information we are happy to share.