Visit the Cyclades in 15 days: Santorini, Paros, Amorgos, Naxos, Milos

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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Do you want visit the Cyclades in 10-15 days ? You want to know which Visit to the Cyclades islands ? How to organize your trip to the Cyclades? How to travel from one Cycladic island to another? This article is made for you.








Many of you ask me questions when planning a trip to this magnificent destination. How many days to spend on those islands, how are the transfers from one island to another ... This article will answer all your questions (I'll try).


Here is the action plan for this article to save time (use the menu on the right to access the desired section):

  • What to see in the Cyclades Islands and how to get there - Practical tips
  • Visit the Cyclades islands, when to go to the Cyclades islands, how to get around, by which ferry?
  • Itinerary through the Cyclades islands
  • Route map and program of visits in the Cyclades.
  • How to get to the Cyclades islands?
  • A small piece of geohistory in the Cyclades archipelago, for your sake :)

1) What to see in the Cyclades and how to get there

It was in August that we went out to discover this archipelago that makes you dream so much! It was part of our road trip in Greece from Thessaloniki. Once our rental car in Athens returned, we left to visit Athens.

Made up of 250 islands and islets, the Cyclades archipelago is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Only 24 islands are inhabited. Its name comes from the circle they form around Delos, the sacred island today listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


  • How to get to the Cyclades

To continue our journey to the Cyclades, we had the option of taking the boat from Piraeus (the port of Athens) or taking a flight from the airport of Athens. With the boat, as you can imagine, it will take longer to reach an island (you have the big speedboats and the normal ferries) than by plane.




I tell you this because going to the Cyclades by plane from Athens, you don't necessarily think about it, while one saves you a lot of time and two the price is sometimes very interesting in relation to the price of the boat, so take a look. Beware of thefts!

You have an airport on almost every island in the Cyclades, and it's still better to fly an hour to Paros than a 1-hour boat ride, trust me!

  • Ferry companies to the Cyclades

Please note that there are 3 main ferry companies that stand out in the Cyclades:

  • Golden Star Ferries (more than 100 trips per day)
  • Sea Jets (more than 230 trips per day)
  • And Blue Star Ferries (more than 70 trips per day)
  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

To give you some examples of travel times and prices (in summer the prices are more expensive) from the port of Athens, Piraeus:


  • The crossing from Athens (Port of Piraeus) to Paros:

With Blue Star Ferries, it takes 4 hours and the ticket price can vary between € 20 and € 101
With Golden Star, you have 3 hours and the price can vary between € 48 and € 58
With SeaJets, count 2h50 and the price can vary between € 49 and € 65

  • The crossing from Athens (Port of Piraeus) to Santorini:

With Blue Star Ferries count 5h30 and between € 20 and € 115 a ticket
With Golden Star, it counts 5:20 and the ticket is usually around € 70
With SeaJets account 4h30 and between € 70 and € 90




  • The crossing from Athens (Port of Piraeus) to Amorgos:

With Blue Star Ferries count 5h30 and between € 20 and € 115 a ticket
With SeaJets you have 6 hours and between € 70 and € 80

  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book the ferries.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

2) Visit the Cyclades islands

To get the most out of your trip to the Cyclades, plan if possible 10 days in the Cyclades (to do 3 islands) and ideally at least 15 days in Greece (including 3-4 days to visit Athens). Why not get to Athens and leave Crete?

  • When to visit the Cyclades?

For a bit of quiet without sacrificing the sun, go between April and June (watch out for Orthodox Easter!), OR travel in September or October.

In July and August you will not escape the world, but it will be easier to organize your trip because the connections between the islands will be more frequent. Another plus point: there will be more entertainment! But do not forget to bring a jacket for the evenings that can be cool (even in summer due to strong wind, especially in late August).

Avoid going there in winter, especially in January and February, the islands can be affected by gusts of cold air from the mainland, the temperatures are below 10 ° C. Here you have an idea of ​​the temperatures during the year:

  • Practical information

Provide cash, as an ATM will not always be immediately available, and some restaurants or businesses only accept cash.

Greece and the Cyclades are a safe destination: there are no special precautions to take, apart from taking care of your belongings (as everywhere).

  • Traveling between the islands by ferry

Connections between the islands are frequent (several times a week or even a day), especially in high season. The central islands of Paros and Naxos are very well connected, as is Santorini.

Allow 3-4 hours to get to Paros from Piraeus by boat (remember to keep an eye on the flights too, it will go much faster). Think about comparing the different companies (you have Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays).

  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book the ferries.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

Large ferries like Blue Star Ferries or Hellenic Seaways are very stable and comfortable - they don't get dizzy!

Ecological tickets allow you to go wherever you want (public spaces, terraces or indoor lounges) except for the numbered seats. You can have a picnic or eat directly on the boat.

Think about comparing the different companies (you have Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays).

You can embark with a vehicle on many ferries (the ticket will of course be more expensive). Pedestrians have up to 15 minutes before the ferry departure time to board, but you will see that ferries are often late, however you have to pretend the boat is not late in case of ...

Prices do not vary according to the season. Therefore, you can book your tickets online (however, you MUST have to collect your boarding passes at the counter of the company in question, with your confirmation email) or buy them directly on the site. You will have no problem finding the counters of these different companies in the "city center" of the different islands.

  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book the ferries.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

3) Itinerary to visit the Cyclades islands

Here is a roadmap to visit the Cyclades islands from Santorini and Athens. If you are wondering how many days you will spend on each island, count 3 full days for each island, that is, 3 nights. Otherwise, count 2 nights minimum if you don't have enough time.

From Athens (once again I advise you to look at the flights that allow you to reach Paros, Milos, Santorini ... faster

  • Athens (Piraeus - Piraeus Port) - Paros (3 days including 3 nights): 4 hours trip from Piraeus (Piraeus) with Blue Star Ferries, from € 26 / passenger in economy class and € 80 / vehicle.
  • Paros - Naxos (3 days including 2 nights minimum): 1 hour trip from € 6 / passenger and € 25 / vehicle.

If you want to go to Milos: Naxos - Milos (minimum 2 nights): trip 4h from € 25 / passenger, then Milos -> Santorini (minimum 3 nights): trip 5h from € 22 / person).

  • Naxos - Santorini (minimum 3 nights): 2 hour trip from € 20 / passenger in economy class.
  • Santorini - Amorgos (Katapola - 3 nights): 1h30 travel from € 50 / passenger in economy class (Amorgos is ideal if you are looking for tranquility and a slightly wilder side).
  • Amorgos (Katapola) - Athens (Piraeus - Piraeus): 5 hours of travel from € 36 / passenger and € 75 / vehicle.

Think about comparing the different companies (it has Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays), I used DirectFerries to compare and book.

/! Important: ISIC student card holders benefit from a 50% reduction at Blue Star Ferries. Preferred company if you are a student.

/! If you land in Athens and depart by ferry from Piraeus, plan at least 2h30 between the two of you or spend a night in Piraeus. The Acropolis hotel is in an excellent location in Piraeus, it is right in front of the port, a simple hotel with a welcoming staff.

  • If you land in Santorini:

If you are wondering how many days you will spend on each island, count 3 full days for each island, that is, 3 nights.

  • Santorini - Naxos (because to go to Paros you have to go through Naxos): 3 hours of travel from € 22 / passenger.
  • Naxos - Paros: 1h trip from € 6 / passenger.
  • Naxos - Amorgos (ideal if you are looking for tranquility and a little more wild): trip of 3h15 from € 20 / passenger.
  • Morgos (Katapola) - Santorini: 1h30 trip from € 50 / passenger in economy class.

Think about comparing the different companies (it has Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays), I used DirectFerries to compare and book.

/! Important: ISIC student card holders benefit from a 50% reduction at Blue Star Ferries. Preferred company if you are a student.

/! If your city's airport allows it, why not get to Santorini or Mykonos and then leave Athens, or vice versa? To do this, when looking for a cheap flight from France, do not select Roundtrip.

  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book the ferries.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

4) Roadmap to visit the Cyclades

Can you imagine, you can do several road map in the Cyclades. So it all depends on what you want to do. For example, you can do:

  • Mykonos and the Northern Cyclades: Mykonos, Delos, Syros, Tinos, Andros.
  • Naxos and the central Cyclades: Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Amorgos
  • Santorini and the Southern Cyclades: Santorini, Folegandros, Ios
  • Milos and the western Cyclades: Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, Kithnos, Kéa s
  • But you can also do it: Milos, Paros, Amorgos and Santorini! In fact, it all depends on your wishes! On the other hand, you have to take into account the trips from one island to another, that's the most complicated thing! It takes time to go from one island to another.

Here's a schedule for the Cyclades shared by Julie, a surfer. On his schedule he didn't go to Amorgos.

  • Day 1 and 2 - Arrival in Greece / Athens

Arrival at the airport and transfer to the city center (more information in my article "visit Athens"). Installation in the hotel (to know "where to sleep in Athens").

/! If you land in Athens and take the ferry to Piraeus, plan at least 2 hours between the two of you or spend a night in Piraeus.

  • Hotel Acropole: located right in front of the port of Piraeus (port of Athens), a simple hotel with a welcoming staff.

If you can, take 3 days to visit Athens before visit the cyclades. If your return flight is also from Athens, why not visit Athens at the end of your stay? This will allow you to finish in style and especially make a stop before taking the plane ...

Don't forget to also look at flights to Athens <-> Paros, Milos, Santorini ... You will save precious time without the hassle of the ship ...

  • Day 2, 3, 4 and 5 - Paros

Boarding in the morning for Paros (allow 4 hours by boat unless you take the plane). Departure along the first islands from the great bay of Piraeus. After 4 hours of sailing, you will dock on one of the largest islands in the Cyclades.

Ascent to the highest peak in all the Cyclades, Mount Zeus, which rises to 1001 m above sea level. From the top, you will notice the number of islands that surround you. On the way back, stop at the cave of Zeus, the "God of the gods", born in Crete but who would have grown up in Naxos.

Hiking, olive tree museum, beach ... More information in my article: Visit and where to sleep in Paros.

  • If you are interested, Elise, a Frenchwoman offers a guided tour in Paros (to get in touch with her).

Think about comparing the different Ferry companies (it has Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays), I used DirectFerries to compare and book.

  • Day 5, 6 and 7 - Naxos

Boarding in the morning for Naxos (allow 45 minutes by boat). More information in my article: Visit and where to sleep in Naxos.

Think about comparing the different Ferry companies (it has Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays), I used DirectFerries to compare and book.

  • Day 6 - Day trip to the islands of Delos / Mykonos

Boarding the ferry to the island of Delos "the island of museums" that preserves exceptional remains dating from the XNUMXrd millennium BC. Religious center d. As important as Delphi and considered the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. This small Cyclade is an archaeological site of astonishing wealth, you can see there a theater, the sacred port, the Sanctuary of the Bulls or the house of Hermes.

It is difficult to list everything that can be admired on such a small island. On your return, stop on the island of Mykonos, visit the picturesque alleys of the most famous of the Cyclades. In the late afternoon, ferry back to Naxos.

  • Day 7 - Naxos

Ascent to the highest peak in all the Cyclades, Mount Zeus, which rises to 1001 m above sea level. From the top, you will notice the number of islands that surround you. On the way back, stop at the cave of Zeus, the "God of the gods", born in Crete but who would have grown up in Naxos.

Hiking, olive museum, beach ... More information in my article: Visit and where to sleep in Naxos.

  • Day 8, 9 and 10 - Milos

Transfer day, you will leave Naxos to reach Milos, a volcanic island in the western Cyclades. This transfer (approximately 8 hours of navigation) is the opportunity to get to know different islands.

On the menu of Milos, hike along the north coast of the island, streams, coves, almost lunar landscapes, small chapels shape the landscape, mini hike from the southwest of Milos along the famous white cliffs of Kleftiko.

Day of diving, kayaking, etc. Visit of the island (geological museum).

  • Day 10 - Milos volcano and transfer to Santorini

Depart in the morning for a short walk (2h30) to discover the still active volcano of Milos. Crossing a plateau reminiscent of Mongolia, a unique cedar forest in Europe and of course, the colors and smells of a still active volcano.
The journey to get to Santorini takes 4 to 5 hours, you can do it in 2 hours but it is much more expensive. The transfer can also be done at night!

Think about comparing the different Ferry companies (it has Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Golden Star and Hellenic SeaWays), I used DirectFerries to compare and book.

  • D10, 11, 12 and 13 - Discovery of Santorini

Discovery of small villages with bright colors on the side of the cliffs. Walk from Thera, the capital of Santorini, to the northern tip of the island in Oia.

More information in my article: Visit and where to sleep in Santorini.

  • Day 13 and 14 - Transfer to Athens from Santorini

Return to Piraeus (port of Athens), wait 7 hours by boat. Return to the hotel for 2 nights (where to sleep in Athens) and visit Athens on the last day

  • Day 15 - Airport and return flight.

/! Note: Unannounced schedule changes and sea conditions can sometimes alter the above program, which will be rearranged according to external constraints.

The progress of this program is provided for information only. It may be subject to modifications or adjustments, depending on technical criteria, safety requirements or prevailing weather conditions.

  • I used DirectFerries to compare and book the ferries.
  • You can also stop by FerryHopper:

5) How to get to the Cyclades?

  • Direct flights to Athens

• Aegean Airlines: Burdeos, Brest, Deauville, Lille, Lyon, Marsella, Metz, Nantes, Niza, París CDG, Estrasburgo, Toulouse
• Air France: Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Toulouse
• Easy Jet: París CDG
• Transavia France: Lyon, Nantes, París Orly

/! It may be smart to get to Athens and return via Santorini airport if possible, or vice versa. To do this, when looking for a low-cost flight from France, do not select Roundtrip.

  • Direct flights to Santorini:

• Aegean Airlines: Burdeos, Lille, Lyon, Marsella, Nantes, Niza, París CDG, Toulouse
• TransaviaFrance: Paris Orly
• Volotea: Burdeos, Nantes, Toulouse (solo temporada alta).

/! It may be smart to get to Athens and return via Santorini airport if possible, or vice versa. To do this, when looking for a low-cost flight from France, do not select Roundtrip.

  • How to get from the airport of Athens to the port of Piraeus?

To get to the port of Athens, Piraeus (Piraeus), two solutions from the airport:
• The fastest: the subway. Take line 3 to Monastiraki, then line 1 to Piraeus. Please note that you must purchase a special airport ticket (reduced rate € 11,40 / € 5,60) for one hour of travel. Tickets from € 1 to € 2, or € 18 to € 3.

• The cheapest: the bus. Line X96 directly connects the airport with Piraeus in 1 hour. Price: € 30 (reduced: € 6). Bring change if you buy your tickets on the bus.

/! Reduced rates are valid for children under 18, over 65 and students up to 25 (with the ISIC international student card).
/! If you land in Athens and depart by ferry, plan at least 2 hours between the two of you or spend a night in Piraeus.
• Hotel Acropole: located right in front of the port, a simple hotel with a welcoming staff.

6) History of the Cyclades Islands

  • A bit of history: the Cyclades, from ancient times to the present day

Inhabited since the XNUMXrd century BC. C., the Cyclades have known all the Mediterranean peoples. Situated at a strategic crossroads between Europe and Asia Minor, the archipelago has long been a key setting for sailors.

  • The Cyclades before Jesus Christ

From 3000 to 1000 BC (the Bronze Age), the Cyclades were at the center of the Cycladic civilization. Conquered by the Minoans of Crete in the XNUMXnd century BC. C., were occupied by the Mycenaeans, Dorians and Ionians. The latter built the famous religious sanctuary of Delos there, around the XNUMXth century BC. C.

In the following century, the archipelago prospered thanks to its wealth: gold in Siphnos, silver in Syros, marble in Paros, pumice stone in Santorini… This development aroused the envy of the surrounding civilizations. Persians have been trying to take over the Cyclades since the XNUMXth century BC, without success

Persians and Greeks fight for these islands during the Medical Wars. Long dominated by the Macedonians, the Cyclades came under Roman influence after the Second Macedonian War (2-200 BC).

  • From the Byzantine Empire to Independence

Until the 1204th century AD, the Cyclades were part of the Eastern Roman Empire (now the Byzantine Empire). In XNUMX, the victory of the Fourth Crusade over Constantinople established Venetian rule over the Cyclades.

The adventurer Marco Sanudo seized Naxos the following year and founded the Duchy of Naxos, also made up of Paros, Antiparos, Milos, Siphnos, Kythnos, and Syros. The Dukes of Naxos became vassals of the Emperor of Constantinople in 1210.

When the Roman Empire fell in 1263, some islands returned to the Greeks, while Naxos, Paros, Andros, Melos, Tinos, and others were left to the Venetians.

After 1453 and the fall of Constantinople, the Cyclades were occupied by the Turks. Barbarossa, the famous Ottoman admiral, seized it in 1538. The Empire gave the islands great autonomy. But gradually, they rose up against Ottoman rule, until they were all Greeks again.

  • Modern history of the Cyclades

With the inauguration of the Corinth Canal and the arrival of the steam navy, the Cyclades are no longer a stopover for boaters. Despite significant mineral resources, they began to decline in the late XNUMXs.

The archipelago is experiencing a significant rural exodus. Occupied by Italians and Germans, they experienced the horrors of famine during the Second World War.

Lands of deportation and exile, the Cyclades welcomed many opponents of various dictatorships in the XNUMXth century. Athens is reluctant to improve the infrastructure of some small islands, delaying their development, especially tourism.
Starting in the 1950s, tourism took off and breathed new life into the Cyclades.

Travelers are beginning to take an interest in islands other than Delos, Syros or Mykonos. Today, the most visited islands are Santorini and Mykonos. The archipelago not only attracts foreigners: many tourists come from mainland Greece.

Well there you go, I think you have all the keys in hand to visit the cyclades as it should be

Do not hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of the page to give me your impressions, share a good address, a hotel, a bar ... Sharing is good;)

  • And what did you like the most during your stay in the Cyclades?
  • Do you have an interesting address to share? A roadmap to visit the Cyclades?
  • Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page!

See you soon!

Maxence

Other items not to be missed!

  • Visit the island of Naxos - Cyclades
  • Visit Amorgos - Cyclades
  • Visit Santorini - Cyclades
  • Visit Paros - Cyclades
  • Visit Athens
  • Visit the Acropolis
  • Yacht charter in Corfu
  • Visit Malta
  • Where to sleep Malta
  • Visit croatia
  • Visit Dubrovnik

Keywords that allowed Internet users to find this article:

  • Visit the Cyclades islands
  • Cycladic planning
  • Stay in the Cyclades
  • Cyclades route map
  • Program of visits to the Cyclades islands





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