CYCLADES ISLANDS One week
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  One week

 

CYCLADES ISLANDS

Marina in Athens - Syros - Mykonos - Dilos - Rinia - Kythnos - Marina in Athens

 

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We untie the ropes and set sail from the marina of Alimos. Ahead of us, the Aegean Sea. Bold, crystal-clear, refreshing, turquoise blue. An aquatic paradise interspersed with islands: nature’s gems dotting its embrace. In front of us Cape Sounion juts out, its Temple of Poseidon crowning the craggy heights–a proud and imposing navigational point of reference from antiquity to today, “granting” ships permission to pass, seeming to greet them and then bid farewell. From the 6th century BC, this spot heralded the worship of the gods Poseidon and Athens. Here, Lord Byron rediscovered the cape’s lost beauty, which excavations brought back to light after centuries of darkness. From the splendors of classical antiquity to the beauties of today’s Greece, we put out to sea for our next stop.

Syros

A tiny harbor on a large, cosmopolitan island, whose main town and capital is a jewel in the Cyclades’ crown. We drop anchor in aristocratic Syros, in the small, quaint fishing village of Finikas, with its sandy beach and traditional fish taverns ringing the harbor, calm even when the north winds that love the Cyclades blow. Ermoupolis, 11 km to the northeast, with its endless winding steps and picturesque alleyways leading upwards passed dozens of stately old family mansions, bears its historical significance with pride and is famed for its shipyards and harbor as well as its residents’ active enthusiasm in their island’s cultural events.

It is here that you’ll see the famous stone lighthouse of Syros, the Aegean’s first beacon with a rotating mechanism and a symbol of the island’s importance in the early 1800s when it was constructed. You will be able to admire the stunning architecture brought to the island in large part by refugees from Smyrna in Asia Minor. You will visit the Apollo Municipal Theater, otherwise known as “la Piccola Scala”, and the famed Miaoulis Square in front of the elegant town hall, a meeting place for locals and visitors alike. Then on to the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin (Koimisis tis Theotokou), with its stone-built exterior walls and impressive tempera and gold on wood panel work depicting the Dormition of the Virgin, a masterpiece by El Greco. And among the dozens of temptations to learn and sightsee, a sweet temptation: the delicious Syros loukoumi, a sugary delight whose recipe was brought to the island by immigrants from Asia Minor and even today is the gift of choice to bring back home for those visiting the island.

Mykonos - Dilos

From Finikas it’s on to Mykonos: the island that has become synonymous with the jet-set lifestyle, defined by the simple architectural lines of its stunning, white cube-shaped homes, its crystal-clear, turquoise blue waters and its fine white sand beaches, some bursting with energy and vivacious beachgoers and others even today stubbornly peaceful and quiet. All beautiful, all known the world over. Each of its picture-perfect alleys serves to reinforce Mykonos’s deserved title as one of the most stunning islands in the world. “Little Venice” and its front-row seat to the majestic sunset that dips into the Aegean every evening; the main town of Chora, with its winding, whitewashed alleys lined with elegant shop windows proudly displaying their designer clothing and accessory collections; the countless opportunities for water sports and fun in the sea and sun at organized beaches that have retained their natural splendor; the veritable feast of tastes and flavors at the island’s gourmet restaurants and countless family-run tavernas. Mykonos belongs to everyone. It suits everyone. It has something for everyone: for those who wish to dive into its vibrant energy and experience it to the fullest, to see and be seen, as well as for those who yearn for quiet, relaxing holidays against a most splendid backdrop.

Opposite Mykonos sits fabled Delos and just next door, its larger sister-island, Rinia. The island of Apollo, where the sun shines bright throughout the year, the impressive giver of life whose shroud of mystery is in stark contrast to the abundant sunshine that bathes the island almost 365 days a year. A walk through its history: through one of the world’s most important heritage sites, along its famed Terrace of the Lions, through the remains of its once far-reaching religious and commercial power.

Kythnos

From the fascinating allure of history under the hot sun and along the well-plied sea routes of the Aegean, we head for humble Kythnos and dock in Loutra, the Cyclades’ unique hot springs, whose water sources possess remarkable healing properties for the treatment of rheumatic, arthritic and gynecological afflictions. Loutra also boasts one of the Aegean’s best diving centers, well-organized for exploration of the unique depths surrounding Kythnos: naturally captivating to experienced divers and novices alike for its wild and powerful, crystal-clearness and colorful beauty. And dotting the landscape everywhere, dozens of unassuming, whitewashed Greek orthodox churches, with the Panagia Kanala in the southwest of the island and its masterful Cretan-school icon dedicated to the Virgin Mary noteworthy among them. Before departing the island, we will feast on traditional beef stew with potatoes, marinated sun-dried fish and delicious native cheeses: feta, spicy kopanisti and soft trimma which is used to make the local delicacy sfougata, the island’s version of cheese croquettes.

And finally, before returning to the marina of Alimos in Athens, we surrender ourselves to the welcoming embrace of the Aegean Sea, where we will dive in, swim, play and put the finishing touches on the rejuvenation of mind, body and soul that has so hospitably enveloped us for the past week.

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Contact

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