The Cyclades are probably the best-known group of Greek islands and also probably the best-suited region in Greece for ‘island hopping’. It has the best-developed network of ferry connections and from Paros as a central point of departure you can easily ‘hop’ to any of the other islands in the Cycladic archipelago. Island hopping is the traditional type of holiday for this region of Greece, and, as they have always done in the past, owners of different types of holiday accommodation compete for tourists who arrive at the ferry port and haven’t got anywhere to stay. During the tourist season in the summer months it is a good idea to pre-book your accommodation, though, as things get very busy and, as all the rest of the Greek islands, the Cyclades are extremely popular with tourists. August is the peak season for holiday makers from Italy and Greece. The Cyclades tend to be quite bare and hardly have any forest areas. The Cycladic region derives its characteristic beauty mainly from the unique cubic architecture and some spectacular and bizarre rock formations as on Santorini, for example, where you can live in a purpose-built cave apartment right on the edge of a crater with unforgettable sunset views. Some say they top the list of Greek sunset views as there is nothing quite like a Santorini sunset anywhere in the Cyclades or even the whole of Greece.
The Cyclades are also very good for any type of water sport, with the afternoon wind ‘Meltemi’ starting quite early, and some beaches in the Cyclades are very well-known favourites for water sport holidays, e.g. Paros for kite-surfing. Most of the islands in the Cyclades archipelago have either no airport or only a very small one. Most tourists heading for a holiday in the Cyclades fly to Mykonos or Santorin and transfer by ferry to their destination on one of the other islands. The boat trip can be seen as part of the holiday and serves as a wonderful incentive to get you in the mood for island hopping. The most popular Cycladic islands next to Mykonos and Santorin are Paros, Naxos, Folegandros and the party island of Ios. Syros is the administrative centre of the Cyclades and therefore easily accessible by ferry as well. Holiday makers in the Cycladic islands have to be prepared to pay a little bit more than they would in other Greek regions, but whoever has been there will want to return.