Greek island perfection
8 day itinerary
The Cyclades are a Greek holiday postcard brought to life. From the blue and white perfection of Santorini to the granite sculptures at Paros, where wind and waves have carved visages out of stone, explore the Cyclades by yacht and discover Greece at its most enticing.
LION OF KEA
Board in Athens and enjoy a gourmet lunch onboard as you set sail for the island of Kea. Take your first swim and snorkel in one of many gorgeous blue and green coves. Explore the capital, Loulida, with a maze of cobbled lanes and archways of flowers. Climb to the Venetian fortress and the Agia Paraskevi Church, built into the rock. Visit the Lion of Kea, smiling down on the village since 500BC. Sample your first taste of Greece in a traditional taverna on the seafront of pretty fishing village Vourkari.
Dock at Syros and walk around Ermoupoli, the capital of both the island and the Cyclades. Explore Vaporia, the prettiest part of the port, with Venetian and neoclassical houses built by wealthy ship owners in the 1800's. Sip a cool drink in Miaouli Square, dominated by the impressive Town Hall. Visit the medieval village of Ano Syros and the St George cathedral, with great views over the Aegean. Head to sheltered Phoinikas Bay for swimming and watersports or relax under tamarisk trees on tranquil Varvarousa beach.
The king of the Cyclades, Mykonos, with its windmills of Kato Mili and whitewashed, blue-shuttered houses, has been party central since the 60’s, and some of the best restaurants and beach clubs in the Greek islands can be found here. Spend the day at laid-back Alemagou beach or party at Nammos. Visit nearby Delos where weathered stone lions stand guard over ruined temples. Swim and snorkel off the uninhabited island of Rineia. Meet friends at Scorpios for sunset before partying all night long at Cavo Paradiso.
Lively Naxos is blessed with breezes ideal for kiteboards and windsurfers. Surf along the south-west coast to find your favourite beach. Visit the Church of St Georgios Diasorites to take in its splendid frescoes and unfinished Temple of Apollo. Hike to Halki village, in the heart of the Tragaea mountains, home to several shops and galleries, artists and wonderful restaurants. Try the local liqueur at Vallindras Distillery or visit the gallery of a local potter whose work reflects ancient Mediterranean themes.
There's plenty to do on Paros. Visit its stylish resort towns, walk to picturesque rural villages, laze on beautiful beaches, skim the waves kitesurfing or explore underwater. White marble quarries here made this island wealthy, and it was most famously used for the Venus de Milo and tomb of Napoleon. Look around the Byzantine Church, Panagia Ekatontapyliani, a showcase of the island's heyday. Taste local cuisine at the Taverna Tsitsanis, a time-capsule in its atmosphere, menu and traditional island music.
Santorini is the Queen to Mykonos' King. With its dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it is undoubtedly a bucket-list destination. This stunning island is best viewed from the sea, where you can take shot after shot of the whitewashed towns of Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli and Oia, which seemingly spill over the edge of the caldera. Experience Santorini’s legendary sunset from a terrace in Fira while sipping the local assyrtiko wine, surrounded by iconic blue domed churches.
Pretty coloured boathouses will be your first sight of unspoilt Milos, with its stunning landscape, spectacular rock formations, caves and thermal springs. Visit the Christian catacombs and the amphitheatre built to hold 7,000 people. Take your pick of over 70 beaches, dive the underwater caves or soak in the hot springs. Enjoy the pretty capital of Plaka, overlooked by its castle, and visit one of the many museums. Dine al fresco in the pretty port of Pollonia before cruising overnight to Athens.
GO BACK IN TIME
Wake up in the Port of Piraeus. Take a tour of Athens before taking your onward flight, or transfer to a luxury hotel in Athens to fully explore and enjoy this living museum.