With crystal blue waters, striking island scenery and a vibrant culture, the Cyclades archipelago off the coast of mainland Greece is one of the most exciting destinations to charter a yacht. This holiday offers something for everyone, from its crazy nightlife to its more serene spots, but what makes it truly unique is the fantastic historical and mythological stories behind these Aegean settlements. Here are some of the most spectacular islands to visit to get a taste for the thousands of years of history still visible today.
One of the most significant historical sites in Greece, Delos is situated west of Mykonos and has been inhabited since 3rd Century BC. The gods Apollo and Artemis are said to have been born on the island, making it a sacred and central island throughout the ages. Nowadays, the archeological site extends to every inch of the island and allows you to see the amazing remnants of this cosmopolitan port. Visit the museum to see the Terrace of the Lions and enjoy imagining this ancient place as it was centuries ago.
Visiting this island, you don’t need to travel far to experience its wonderful beaches, villages and atmospheric ancient sites. The island is said to be home to Dionysos, the god of wine and ecstasy and is why Naxian wine has long been considered the best cure for a broken heart. Head to the Temple of Apollo, the island’s most famous landmark and a stunning vista for a beautiful Greek sunset. If you have time, be sure to wander the 13th Century streets of Kastro where you will pass Venetian mansions and the remnants of the Tower of Sanoudos.
This island found just north of Mykonos and offers an array of beautiful Venetian architecture, neoclassical mansions and squares, making for a picturesque settlement to explore. Be sure to visit the remains of the Venetian fortress linked to the island by a stone bridge, offering an amazing spot for photos and to take in the vastness of this settlement. You may also want to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, an internationally renowned gallery, hosting the works of world-famous artists.
Off the busy island of Paros, you will find its smaller and more tranquil younger sister, Antiparos. This island is often visited by the A-list celebrities looking for a secret getaway and offers some fabulous beaches and countryside. The most amazing site of the island has to be the Cave of Antiparos, found about 10km south of the island’s main port. With ancient graffiti from the 1700s and impressive stalagmites and stalactites, it is a unique and exciting experience.
The island believed to be the final resting place of the great epic poet Homer, Ios is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades with a vibrant nightlife. With 365 churches on the island, you get an idea for some of the wonderful historical architecture including the most important prehistoric site in the Cyclades, Skarkos. Discover this settlement from 4,500 years ago which has opened our eyes to life in this period. Travel to the north of the island to see what is thought to be the tomb of Homer, at Platako on a hill; it is said that his mother was born on the island and could be why he spent his last days here.
With thousands of years of history to explore while sailing the Cyclades, the islands are sure to captivate your imagination while you enjoy the stunning scenery of the azure Aegean and striking landscapes.