The Cyclades region of Greece comprises of around 200 islands, which range from the large and established (Mykonos and Ios, for example) to the tiny and uninhabited. As a result, travel here offers a multitude of options, although this part of Greece is surely known for two highlights above all else: the parties and the beaches.
While partying is invariably restricted to the larger, more tourist-ready islands, beach-going can be experienced wherever you are in the Cyclades. Head on down to one of the following, and a happy day spent lounging among glorious coastline scenery is all but guaranteed.
Red Beach, Santorini
Of all elegant Santorini’s desirable beach spots, Red Beach may well be the most memorable. Nestled into a slab of reddish volcanic rock, the beach is small and hot, with the sun beating down on it for much of the day. Snorkeling here is particularly popular given the interesting underwater formations of the surrounding rock.
For budget travelers, Santorini is an appealing summer destination that mixes village life with a lively traveler’s scene. Life here is not particularly cheap; Villa Manos is an excellent hostel in Santorini that will help cut down on your day to day expenses. Clean and family run, its swimming pool is a great place in which to spend lazy days watching the sun rise and fall.
Ios has a reputation for being a tourist and nightlife hub in this part of Greece, with the town of Hora leading the way in terms of daytime sightseeing and nighttime hedonism. And yet, while there are certainly tourists-aplenty here, it’s still surprisingly easy to find a deserted stretch of sand.
Kalamos is one such stretch of sand. To be found on the eastern coast of the island, it’s a pristine bit of coastline that scandalously few tourists visit. Bring a towel, a book and your swimsuit and simply soak up this magnificent and undiscovered gem of a beach.
Paradise Beach, Mykonos
When listing party-happy parts of the Cyclades, Mykonos is always going to be in the mix. This is package-holiday central, and alongside authentic Greek culture the traveler visiting Mykonos will inevitably find a slew of made-for-tourist hotels and foreigner-frequented dance clubs.
The beaches here reflect the island’s party atmosphere: they are young and vibrant places, generally filled with music and the chatter of youth. Paradise Beach and its cousin, Super Paradise Beach, are probably the quintessential examples. They may not be the most instant attractive places, but they certainly are fun.
Chrysi Atki, Paros
Paros is considered one of the most beautiful of all the island’s in the Cyclades, with its many whitewashed villages and miles upon miles of picture-perfect coastline providing an attractive combination. While it’s the second largest of all the islands in this region of Greece, Paros is known for being more laid-back than Mykonos and Ios.
Chrysi Atki is a good family-friendly spot situated 9km south of Naousa. Aside from the usual, activities here include surfing and windsurfing, with equipment rental and lessons both available. Santa Maria beach is another favorite among travelers. Here you’ll find crystal clear water and perfectly soft sand….