The Cyclades Islands are a group of Greek islands famous for their stunning beauty. The most beautiful Cyclades Islands are Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Tinos, and Syros.
With panoramic ocean views, fresh healthy food (gyros and hummus aplenty!), surprisingly affordable prices, and the traditional bright blue and white architecture that makes every photo background-worthy, it’s easy to see why vacationers flock to the Greek isles summer after summer.
But which Greek island is right for your next trip? When you’re planning a trip to the Cyclades Islands it can be hard to decide which one to visit; they’re all equally beautiful and have a lot to offer. Read on for our take on the best Greek islands and decide which sun-drenched hotspot will give you the vacation of your dreams.
Mykonos: The Party Island
Because it’s one of the most visited spots in all of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos hosts many travelers who are looking to unwind and have a good time. This island has everything people envision when they dream about Greece: blooming bougainvillea, cobblestone streets, expansive ocean views, and laid-back vibes. The barren hills and long sandy beaches of Mykonos also make it one of the best Greek islands to visit.
Santorini: Stunning Views and Iconic Sights
Santorini is on par with Mykonos in terms of popularity. Many of the most postcard-worthy shots are from the tiny village of Oia on Santorini, where tiny, winding roads trickle down alley after alley of crisp white walls accented with bright blue domes. The cliffside views from almost anywhere in Santorini leave travelers in awe and quickly fill up camera memory cards. Santorini is perhaps the most visually stunning of the Cyclades islands.
Paros: A Charming Step Back in Time
Paros is located at the heart of the Cyclades islands and is one of the most adored places in all of Greece. Paros is populated with traditional Byzantine villages connected by quaint footpaths and long stretches of beaches. It is also home to centuries of history, with important religious sites and a castle from the 13th century. Hiking along the well-worn farmers’ trails across the island is a popular activity in Paros.
Tinos: Sacred and Unspoiled
Tinos is one of the lesser-known Cyclades islands, but holds significant meaning for pilgrims and sojourners: it is home to the church of Panayia Meyalóhari (the Blessed Virgin Mary). Tinos is made up of 40 small villages that seem to belong to another period of history entirely. Because it flies under the radar, visitors to Tinos can enjoy a trip to the Cyclades Islands nearly free of tourists and crowds, yet still experience the scenic views and iconic architecture that have made the Greek isles famous. Regular ferries connect Mykonos to Tinos.
Syros: Past Meets Present
Bustling and historical, Syros is an important hub in the Cyclades Islands. While Syros was one of the first centers for trade and industry in Greece, today it is known for melding time-honored Greek customs with more modern sentiments. Make sure to try some of the traditional culinary delights that are unique to Syros including halva pie and fennel sausages.