Beyond Mykonos: This roundup of top parties and special events on select islands in the Cyclades is a supplement to my popular Mykonos party scene 2017 post.
This listing includes major events taking place on Ios, Naxos, Santorini and other nearby islands which many Mykonos partygoers visit during summer holidays in Greece. I have added this party listing in response to numerous requests from readers who were wondering where they could find good parties, besides Mykonos, while they are touring the Cyclades.
Please turn to page 2 of this post to see lots more upcoming parties and special events in the Cyclades.
Cyclades hopping, an animated video published by g travel, shows how to arrange a simple island hopping holiday in the north and central Cyclades
Island itineraries: If you haven’t been to Greece before but dream about taking an island hopping holiday there, you’re probably wondering where to go, and how to get from one island to the next. With dozens of destination options in six distinct island chains, plus an array of ferry schedules to sift through, it can seem intimidating to set up a vacation. That’s one of the main reasons why many travellers take a Greek Isles cruise or a package tour, or ask a travel agent to arrange everything for them. There’s nothing wrong with any of those approaches if you’re more comfortable with them or you simply don’t have the time to do your own planning. But it’s not that daunting and difficult to do it yourself.
The video at the top of this post, Cyclades hopping, shows how to arrange a simple do-it-yourself trip to one of the most popular island chains in Greece.
The animated film focusses on a few of the Cyclades, the islands instantly recognizable for their “sugar cube” white houses and blue-domed chapels perched on rocky slopes high above gorgeous golden sand beaches and the stunning turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
Home to Mykonos and Santorini, two of the most world-famous and popular places in Greece, the Cyclades is where the majority of first-timers get introduced to the island hopping experience. Many get hooked and keep going back, or instead venture off to hop around the other island chains — the Sporades, Saronic, Dodecanese, Northeastern Aegean, and Ionian.
Crete, the biggest island in Greece, isn’t part of a distinct island chain, and is so vast that visitors are typically advised to devote a full two- or-three week holiday there to explore its incredibly wide variety of beaches, historic sites and attractions.
When you watch Cyclades hopping, you’ll gain insights into travelling to Andros, Mykonos, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos, Ios and Santorini. I have posted several videos that highlight travel to those particular destinations on page 2 of this article, so you can see what each of those islands looks like, and get an overview of some of the top attractions and activities they offer. Additional videos offer peeks at other Cycladic island gems, including Sifnos, Folegandros, Syros, Amorgos, Tinos, Milos, Serifos and Kea.
A passenger enjoys early morning views from the upper deck of the Express Skopelitis ferry as it departs Egali port on Amorgos en route to Naxos
Please turn to page 2 to continue reading and to view videos of islands in the Cyclades chain.
A Venetian castle towers above Chora village on Astipalea island. The quiet and unassuming Dodecanese island boasts beautiful scenery, some of which you can see in the video featured in my post Aspects of Astipalea.
Budget friendly: Are you considering a trip to Greece this summer, but wondering where you can go to avoid draining your bank account paying for food and accommodations at expensive destinations like Mykonos and Santorini? Although it’s possible to holiday on a tight budget on both those islands. as well as other high-profile destinations, there are numerous alternatives that offer great Greek holiday experiences at considerably cheaper prices. You’ll find some excellent suggestions in the article Best low budget summer destinations in Greece, published by the informative and insightful travel website HIP GREECE.
The article lists more than a dozen islands plus one mainland Greece resort area that won’t break the bank, and offers brief descriptions of highlight attractions at each place, with links to additional in-depth articles about some of the destinations.
The spotlighted destinations include:
♦ The Small Cyclades islands of Iraklia, Koufonissia (Pano and Kato Koufonissi), Donousa and Schinoussa
♦ Skopelos, and
♦ Parga, a picturesque coastal resort area near the town of Preveza in western Greece.
You can read the complete HIP GREECE article by clicking here.
We’ve been to three of the recommended islands — Astipalea, Ios and Tinos — and have had brief peeks at the Small Cyclades during port stops on a ride from Amorgos to Naxos on the Express Skopelitis ferry. We would agree that all are good choices for travellers visiting Greece on a budget. We haven’t yet been to the other destinations cited by HIP GREECE, but several friends have told us Kythira, Serifos and Ikaria are wallet-friendly, while others have said the same for the Small Cyclades. However, we were surprised that Naxos wasn’t mentioned — we have found it to be the most reasonably priced island of all we have been to so far and it remains one of our favourite places to visit in large part for that reason. (See my article Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos for further information about that wonderful island).
Keep in mind that the main tourist period in Greece runs from late April until early October, with July and August being peak travel season. July and especially August also happen to be the most expensive months to visit, so if you’re on a limited budget, try to schedule your vacation for April, May, June, late September or early October, when prices tend to be much lower. Hotel rates usually skyrocket for August, and hostel, camping and cheaper basic accommodations typically tend to book up early in the year. If you can only travel during peak season, make arrangements for your accommodations as soon as possible to secure the lowest prices.
Chora village on Ios is chock full of restaurants and bars, while the island is blessed with numerous gorgeous beaches including Mylopotas (which is walking distance from Chora) and Manganari.
The Hellenic Seaways ferry company extended holiday greetings on social media with this shiny red Christmas tree ornament decorated with a golden satellite view-image of Greece
Scenes of the season: My social media news feeds have been filled with hundreds of holiday greetings this week, but the ones that inspire me the most are Christmas wishes that include a photo or image of a place in Greece that I’ve either been to or hope to see someday.
Just for fun, I have collected some of my favourites to share here on the blog.
Please click on the link below to turn to page 2 and see some of the Christmas greetings that have been spreading joy to me and many other Greece fans this festive season.
Visit inviting beaches on Ios in this 3.5-minute clip from luxurios.com
The first time I watched Ios Beaches, I instantly wanted to hop on a plane to Greece and catch the next available ferry to Ios. The second time I watched the video, I wanted to go to Ios even more. The urge to hit the beach on Ios felt even stronger after my third viewing.
I love Ios — I have been there twice, and absolutely will return — yet this video made me feel a slight tinge of regret that I won’t be visiting the island on my upcoming trip to Greece.
The film shows several of the Ios beaches that I have seen in person, plus others that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit. The superb video photography of the island’s outstanding beach and coastal scenery has convinced me that I simply must get back to Ios to see all of the amazing places I missed.
(Ios has more than three dozen wonderful beaches, only some of which can be reached by local bus service or excursion boats. Both of my trips to Ios were in mid-May, before summer bus service and tour boat service to the island’s top beaches had begun, and since I didn’t have a rental vehicle at my disposal, I was limited to seeing beaches within walking distance of the ferry port and Chora, the main town).
Let me know if watching the video makes you want to book a trip to Ios, too (I’m pretty sure it will).
The film was produced by LuxurIOS Island Experience, a Greek-owned travel company that promotes responsible and environmentally sustainable tourism on Ios.