The Cyclades

The Cyclades is made up of numerous picture perfect islands with white stone walled buildings nestled into the hillside surrounded by azure blue seas. This island chain is located in the central and southern area of the Aegean Sea and it comprises of 39 islands of which 24 are inhabited. It is the perfect destination for an Eastern Mediterranean yacht charter. The two most famous islands within this island chain are Santorini, famous for its stunning sunsets and Mykonos, where superyachts moor beside local fishing boats in the picturesque port. Other beautiful Greek islands that you can visit on a private yacht cruise around the Cyclades are:

Kythnos

It was on the small island of Kythnos; famous in antiquity for the excellence of its administration that recent archaeological finds have provided evidence of the earliest presence of man in Cyclades. The terrain is mainly mountainous, but the harshness of the bare earth is relieved here and there by vines or fig trees like brushstrokes on it, while pretty little bays form indentations in its coastline. Hora, the islands capital is a typical Cycladic village, it is noted for its beautiful churches with there fine woodcarving, sanctuary screens and icons. Churches to visit are St Savans church of the Saviour, Holy Trinity, Theologos. In the southeast the monastery of Our Lady Kanala, the patron saint of the island stands on a very attractive promontory facing towards Serifos, with a beautiful expanse of sandy beach. The building is of great interest and the scenery is reminiscent of a fjord in Greek colors.

Mykonos

Mykonos is one of the most famous and cosmopolitan of the Greek Isles. Renowned discotheques and nightclubs attract Athenian show business personalities as well as non-Greek tourism. Fascinating in its diversity and yet it remains a small Greek village too! The steep mountains to be encountered in most of the Cyclades give way to low, rocky hills, which combine with superb beaches to make up the landscape of the island. Tiny streets and windmills on the hill. An area of the town lets onto the sea and is aptly called the little Venice of Mykonos and is also much photographed. Along the whitewashed streets stand brilliant white box-shaped houses with stepped walls for sitting on, wooden doors and windows and brightly colored balconies. These are interspersed with small but impressive churches, pretty little Tavernas and shops selling souvenirs and other goods, and the overall sense is of being inside a film set.

The capital, Hora (plenty of towns carry the same name), with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nestle happily side by side with luxury yacht, presents quite a different picture from the majority of Aegean island towns. While it is usual for island villages to be built on naturally amphitheatrically sites, Mykonos is spread out over a flat area and conveys an impression of solid aesthetic cohesion. Of particular historical and aesthetic interest are the medieval houses in this district of the town, which stand like a wall above the sea protecting the west side of Hora. Some really sandy, beautiful beaches exist on the island and the entire island has a surfeit of churches, said to number 365 in total.

Koufonisia

Koufonisia is a mesmerizing set of little Greek Isles that should not be missed on sailing holiday. The islands form part of the Cyclades group, in the Aegean Sea. It is an ideal place to go in order to unwind and relax. There are many fantastic beaches to visit including some that can only be reached by foot or even by boat, like Keros. The island is known for the many caves that can be found everywhere on the island. The southwest coast of Koufonisia has the village of Chora. Here one finds gorgeous beaches, good food, good people and so much natural beauty that one cannot help but fall in love with the place. Since fishing is the mainstay of the island, you will get to enjoy a lot of fish and other seafood varieties here. The beaches of Koufonisia Greece are famous for their incredible beauty, the crystal clear aqua colored water and their unique landscape made of impressive rock formations and caves. It is an ideal place to get back in tune with nature and oneself. Kousfonisia are ideal for those looking for peace and tranquility. However, the island does have some attractively cozy bars. You may find the nightlife choices a little limited on this idyllic island. In Chora, there are a number of restaurants for you to sample traditional Greek food.

Santorini

Santorini offers one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. It is one of the best known of the Cyclades and it differs from the other islands in the group thanks to its geological morphology, the result of action by a volcano now dormant. The villages are situated on towering cliffs crowned by tiny and blindingly white houses plunge straight into the depths of the sea. The traditional villages of the island are beautiful; the beautiful cliché of Greece you have always dreamed about! Among these villages is Oia where you can enjoy one of Greece and world’s most famous sunsets. It is a place of incomparable beauty. There are superb views out to sea it is breathtaking. The island also has impressive beaches with the sand of your choice white, red or black and very nice restaurants, bars and cafes.

Ios

The coastline of this predominantly mountainous island with its countless chapels, its olive trees, vineyards and its limpid air, is adorned with small attractive coves. These features combined with the crystal clear sea, the superb sandy beaches and the good range of amenities to make Ios a magnet for tourists. Locally called Nios, this island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus the ‘poet of poets’, the ‘god-like’ Homer was buried at Plakotos in the north of the island. Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s interment on Ios, which was the homeland of his mother, Cymene. Above the pretty harbour of Rooms where fishing boats and yachts bob at anchor stands the capital of Ios. The town stands on the site of the ancient city of the same name and is a typical Cyclonic settlement with white washed houses, narrow alleys and chapels. Lovers of the sea will be enraptured by the superb beaches on this island of Ios.

Milos

Its fame spread throughout the civilized world thanks to the masterpiece of the Venus de Milo, a statue found buried on the island in the 19th century and it is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Milos is a charming island with white washed houses, cobbled alleys, balconies crammed with flowerpots and fragrant tamarisks, which have been extolled by the poets. The capital of the island today stands on a hillside overlooking the sea at the foot of the castle. It is a most attractive town with architecture in the characteristic Cycladic style. Among the most notable of its churches are those of Our Lady Korfiotissa, Our Lady Thalassistra and Our Lady Messa Panagia. The archeological museum has a copy of the Venus de Milo as well as other finds from various periods. The Historical and Folklore Museum has a collection of folk artifacts, samples of the islands minerals, photographs and historical documents of the greatest interest. The most impressive place in Milos is Kleftiko with very high white rocks and a sea cave and the most important monument is the islands famous Catacombs. The extensive infrastructure for tourism of Milos, its excellent beaches with clear waters and its fascinating monuments are helping to attract more and more visitors to the island.

Sifnos

A monotonous grey landscape of rock broken up here and there by a gleaming white chapel is the first impression made on visitors as the yacht draws into the harbour. But this gives them no idea of the beauty spots waiting to be discovered inland, which together with the islands superb architecture, rank it among the jewels of the Aegean. Apolonia, it’s capital, standing on three hillsides with its typical Cycladic style of architecture, it is breathtakingly beautiful. The architecture of Apolonia is an odd assemblage in which walls, terraces, courtyards and alleyways form large cubes in a continuous complex in total harmony with the natural environment. Picturesque windmills surrender there sails to the vagaries of the wind, while no fewer than 365 churches and chapels sprout all over the island like white mushrooms from the grey carpet of the islands terrain. In the capital and in other villages you will find nice restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars.

Poros

A beautiful green island, which lies to the southwest of the Saronic Gulf, and opposite to Argolid in Peloponnese. Poros consists of two smaller islands connected by a bridge. Sferia a small rocky island and Kalavria a larger and lusher island with green hills and beautiful coastlines. Its main town and port of the island is built in amphitheatre form on the slopes of a hill. Along the port there are a lot of cafes, restaurants, tourist shops and many bars with foreign or Greek music. In the centre of the town is an Archaeological museum and the islands trademark the clock tower. Do visit the famous lemon forest which stands opposite on the coast of the Peloponnese and the temple of Poseidon.

Most larger crewed charter yachts prefer to base out of marinas located on the coast of Athens. This enables the luxury yachts to provision to a high standard prior to the commencement of a charter. It also simplifies travel arrangements with many flights from the USA and UK to Athens.

To find out more about the different cruising areas surrounding Greece read our Eastern Mediterranean guide. We can recommend the perfect charter yacht for your next vacation to Greece.

Call us now on 855 722 6544 (US/CAN) or 0203 695 6195 (UK) for more information on luxury yacht charters in Greece.