Have you chosen Greece as your next holiday destination and are you planning to hire a sailboat in the Cyclades? One of the favourite destination for tourists from all over the world, the Cyclades form a unique sailing area characterized by exceptional landscapes. But have you ever heard of the Small Cyclades? Located south of Naxos island, the Small Cyclades form an archipelago of six main islands, of which only four are currently inhabited. A hidden treasure of the Aegean Sea, the Small Cyclades archipelago is a paradise that combines peace and quietness. Today all these islands are relatively populated and open to tourism, and have been inhabited since ancient times, as shown by archaeological evidence. In this article, you will discover everything about this preserved destination and its four main islands, which you will soon include in your list of destinations to visit!
Iraklia, between serenity and idleness
Located about 19 nautical miles from the island of Naxos, Iraklia is the largest island of the Small Cyclades with its 18 km² of surface and 120 inhabitants. The island is the ideal destination for yachtsmen looking for peace, quietness and simple pleasures. Here you can go diving and hiking, enjoy the beaches, explore the surroundings on board your sailboat or catamaran. There are only two villages on the island: Agios Georgios, where all the island's activity is concentrated, and Chora, which consists of a single street, a church with a blue dome and a few houses. You can also enjoy its beautiful beaches bathed in crystal clear water, including the beach of Livaldi, the beach of Agios Georgios and the beach of Tourkopighado. On the island there are also many caves, once used as shelter from pirates and smugglers: we recommend you to visit the Agios Ioannis cave, the largest cave of the Cyclades and one of the most beautiful in Greece. In Iraklia time seems to be suspended and simplicity is the keyword.
Schinoussa, take some time to enjoy your life
In the heart of the Aegean Sea, this small island of 8 km² located south of the island of Naxos, where only 200 people, is unique. On this island you can take the time to live quietly: you will be warmly welcomed by the inhabitants who always smile and invite you to dance according to traditional music. Scinoussa is a real corner of paradise where you can find idyllic beaches, picturesque villages and majestic landscapes. The coast of Schinoussa offers about fifteen beaches that are difficult to access, but which are paradisiacal: the beach of Psili Ammos and the beach of Cavo Michali are magnificent! Don't miss the opportunity to taste the island products: tomatoes, figs and honey! As you may have guessed, the island is the perfect destination if you are looking for authenticity and you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding islands. Your holidays will take place sailing in the Aegean Sea, sharing moments of life with the locals surrounded by preserved nature.
Donoussa, the blue paradise
If we had to summarize the characteristics of Donoussa island with a few adjectives, we could say that it is authentic, calm and heavenly. Not far from the other islands of the Small Cyclades, Donoussa has about 200 inhabitants and every year attracts more and more tourists from Naxos and Amorgos. On this island most of the activities are focused mainly on nature: visits to sea caves, diving in breathtaking depths, hiking to discover the island and the wreck of a German destroyer of World War II that is located on the seabed. You can enjoy the beaches renowned for their beauty: the beach of Kedros, the beach of Trypiti or the beach of Livadi. Do not miss the two small villages of the island: Mersini, a village of about twenty inhabitants where many apricots, peaches and figs grow and the village of Kalotatissa. The cave of Fokospilia is one of the last shelters of the Mediterranean monk seal and a place where you can go diving.
Koufonissia, the pair of heavenly islands
Koufonissia comprises three islets: Kato Koufonissi (an almost deserted island with magnificent beaches), Pano Koufonissi (an island of 4 km² where there are houses and shops) and Keros (an uninhabited islet classified as a national archaeological heritage). A true paradise on earth, the islands of Koufonissia are renowned for their dream beaches of golden sand bathed in crystal clear waters. We recommend the beach of Pori, the beach of Pissina which is a natural swimming pool and the beach of Fanos, perfect for families. As with the other islands of Small Cyclades, the keyword is to enjoy life slowly: walk through the narrow streets in the only village, enjoy the magnificent beaches, enjoy the fresh fish... Here you come to recharge your batteries!
Don't wait any longer and discover the Small Cyclades during your holiday in Greece. A true paradise for sailing, you will discover dreamlike landscapes! Far from the crowds, the Small Cyclades have a lot to offer: typical and authentic villages, always smiling and welcoming inhabitants, beautiful coves and preserved nature. So get ready for a relaxing hoiday and a wonderful escape.