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With more than 220 islands, the Cyclades offers more island-hopping options than you can handle in a single visit. Whether you’d like to go back to your all-time favorite or prefer something off the beaten path, you are sure to have a great time exploring. In high season, many of the islands have several daily connections, allowing the most daring to embark on a new adventure every day. And even though you may find island hopping packages available, you can still create your own itinerary.
Leave Athens and the Piraeus port behind and head to Tinos. Located in the northern side of the Cyclades, it is ideal for relaxing holidays. Dotted with picturesque villages and bordered by calm, sandy beaches, Tinos is a marvelous wonder, famous for the pilgrimage site of the Church of Panagia (Our Lady of Tinos), the island patron. Another sight to visit is the small village of Pyrgos, as well as the Museum of Marble Crafts, as the art of marble-carving of Tinos has been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Soak up under the sun on some of the best beaches such as Agios Sostis, Kolympithra, Kalivia, Lychnaftia and Pachia Ammos.
Continue your exploration to Naxos, a beautiful island located between Paros and Mykonos. According to legend, it is there that Theseus, on his way back from his victory against the Minotaur, stopped with Ariadne. Dionysus, god of wine, fell in love with her and tricked Theseus into leaving the island. Once she was alone, Dionysus took Ariadne as his wife. This is the reason why there is a sanctuary dedicated to Dionysus in Naxos. But there is more to the island. With its world-renowned beaches for windsurfing and kitesurfing on the western coast, the island attracts young and old, couples in search of a romantic getaways and families looking to unwind from the load of the year. What’s not to love? The most zealous will be happy to hear that nearby Paros is an excellent day trip option.
Looking for the island with the perfect balance of pristine beaches, white-washed villages, low-impact tourism and excellent cuisine? Head to Sifnos, with its 220 churches, sun-bleaches houses and exotic beaches is welcoming you with open arms. Savor delicious amygdalota (a traditional sweet with almonds and caster sugar) or feast on mastélo (a mouth-watering dish with lamb cooked in red wine and spices). Discover the art of pottery, an age-old tradition of the island, and visit a potter’s atelier and bring back home an original souvenir from this charming island.
Where to eat: Varoulko, Akti Koumoundourou 52, Piraeus, Greece +30 2105 228400