The Cyclades islands
The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece. The name “Cyclades” refers to the islands that create a circle around the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of Cyclades is Naxos, whereas the most populated is Syros and the capital of Cyclades is Ermoupoli. The Cyclades include around 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos , Paros, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Tinos and Thira or Santorini. There are also many minor islands including Donousa, Eschati, Gyaros, Irakleia, Koufonisia, Makronisos, Rineia and Schoinousa.
Cyclades land area is 993 square miles(2572 square km). The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini. The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos, the soil is not very fertile. Agricultural production includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil and tobacco. Lower temperatures are registered in higher elevations and these areas do not usually see wintry weather.
The Culture of Cyclades
The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic Culture is best known for its flat sculptures carved out of the islands’ pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School of Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who coined the term “Cycladic civilization”. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was increasingly swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.
Activities in Cyclades
The Cyclades as a popular destination include various activities to do. Not only does it include numerous attractions to visit, but it also provides lots of beaches to go to. Some interesting attractions to visit would be:
- The Museum of Prehistoric Thira in Santorini
- The Santorini volcano
- The Little Venice in Mykonos
- The Old Town of Naxos
- The Temple of Apollo in Naxos
- The Mining Museum of Milos.
Except for the attractions, there are also lots of wonderful beaches to visit. Some of them are:
- Psaros beach in Mykonos
- Agia Anna beach in Mykonos
- Sarakiniko beach in Milos
- Kleftiko beach in Milos
- The Kolymbithres beach in Paros
- The Golden beach in Paros.
Moreover, Cyclades have an amazing cuisine with excellent local specialities. The most popular are:
- The Pitarakia
- The Koufeto
- The Kalogeros
- The Melopita.
There are numerous sailing routes in Cyclades and some of them are really awesome. The most fascinating trip is a tour of 6 islands, namely Paros-Antiparos-Iraklia-Koufonissi island-Schoinousa-Naxos, where you can get a one week full of unique experiences. A second also entertaining trip is a trip from Kea to Mykonos, then to Paros and Serifos and finally to Kithnos. All of the Cyclades trips are fantastic as every visitor is impressed by the islands’ beauty.
Cyclades: An amazing destination
To sum up, the Cyclades are an amazing destination that includes lots of entertaining activities to do and would amaze every visitor, offering a wide variety of enjoyable activities to do.