Within easy reach of Athens, these are the Aegean’s most precious gems. Their colours are blue and white like the Greek flag. The islands come in all sizes and, though the ingredients are the same – incomparable light, translucent water, lustrous white buildings and bare rock, each one has its own distinct character. The ancients gave this island group the name Cyclades because they viewed them as forming a hypothetical circle (kyklos) around the sacred island of Delos. According to myth, the islands were the scraps that remained after a battle between giants. In reality, they resulted from gigantic geological events like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The group’s stars, Mykonos and Santorini, need no introduction but the lesser-known islands, big and small, are just as rewarding. For starters, try aristocratic Syros, cosmopolitan Paros, the sculptors’ Tinos and big, generous Naxos. Whether you’re travelling with your family, friends or sweetheart, you’re bound to find your summer paradise in the sun in the Cyclades.