The Cyclades

3.5-week Travel Itinerary through Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and Santorini

The Cyclades are a group of Greek islands located in the Aegean Sea. The name “Cyclades” means “circular islands” in Greek, as the islands form a rough circle around the sacred island of Delos. The Cyclades consist of more than 200 islands! The most famous ones are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, and Milos.

These islands have a huge history, with evidence of human settlements dating back to the 4th millennium BCE. The Cycladic civilization flourished during the Bronze Age and is known for its unique marble figurines, which are considered some of the most distinctive artifacts of ancient Aegean art. Today, the Cyclades are known for their picturesque white-washed villages, sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. In this guide, we will give you a 3.5-week travel itinerary throughout The Cyclades as island hopping. We recommend however that you read the destinations separately, and please keep in mind that the number of days is just an indication based on our own travel experience. Of course, we would always propose to travel longer :)! 

Find out everything about the cuisine, transportation, good guides, and accommodation tips in this Itinerary. Get inspired!  

“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their roots in Greece.”

~ Le Corbusier, 2002

Days overview Summary

Amount of Days

Day 1-4: Mykonos

Unless you have seen the houses of Mykonos, you can't pretend to be an architect

4/5 stars because:
Most typical Greek island
Good starting point for island hopping due to the airport
Beautiful beaches
Absolut stunning nightlife parties here
Only a bit expensive for the size of the island
Island hopping in The Cyclades, Greece

We propose that you start your island-hopping travel throughout The Cyclades on Mykonos. This island is famous for its picturesque white-washed buildings, charming narrow streets, and vibrant nightlife. Mykonos is a popular destination for tourists from around the world, attracting a diverse mix of travelers, including families, couples, and party-goers.

One of the most famous landmarks on the island is the iconic windmills, which were once used to grind grain but now serve as a symbol of Mykonos. In addition, visitors can also explore the island’s many beaches, which range from lively party spots to quiet secluded coves.

Mykonos is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. This means Mykonos has e.g. a bustling nightlife scene that attracts party-goers from all over the world. The island’s clubs and bars are renowned for their lively atmosphere and excellent DJs. The party often continues well into the early hours of the morning so don’t worry about that 😉 Mykonos also has a rich history and culture, with many beautiful churches, museums, and galleries to explore.

I would propose you land on this island by however you are coming to The Cyclades (thus ferry or plane) and start your journey here. We recommend you stay 1-4 days since we believe that the islands to come are even more amazing!

Maximum prices upfront
Amount of days to stay
A budget around $60-$120 per person a day would be normal here
Minimum = 3
Cheap local beer = max. 2.50 euro
Best impression = min. 10 days
What to do on Mykonos:
  1. Explore the picturesque town of Chora: The town of Chora is the heart of Mykonos and is famous for its narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and charming boutiques and cafes.
  2.  Visit the iconic windmills: The windmills of Mykonos are a symbol of the island and are a must-see attraction. You can take a stroll along the hill and enjoy the view of the sea and the town.
  3. Relax on the island’s beautiful beaches: Mykonos has many beautiful beaches, ranging from lively party spots to quiet secluded coves. Some of the most popular beaches include Paradise, Super Paradise, and Elia Beach.
  4. Enjoy the island’s vibrant nightlife: Mykonos is famous for its lively nightlife, with many clubs, bars, and restaurants staying open late into the night.
  5. Try delicious traditional Greek cuisine: Mykonos has many excellent restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, and a variety of delicious meze dishes.
  6. Take a day trip to Delos: Delos is a small uninhabited island located just a short boat ride from Mykonos. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and is home to many ancient ruins.
Typical Houses on Mykonos, The Cyclades

Day 5-11 Paros

"It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.”

5/5 stars because:
Cheaper than Mykonos
Very chilled vibe
Nice restaurants with different possibilities and typical Greek food
Iconic towns and villages on this island
Additional option to visit Anti-Paros

Paros is our next destination while traveling the Cyclades and a popular tourist destination as well. It attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy its sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lively nightlife. The island has a long history and is home to many archaeological sites and ancient monuments, including the famous marble quarries that were once used to build the Parthenon in Athens.

The capital of Paros is Parikia, a charming town with narrow streets, white-washed houses, and colorful bougainvillea. Here, you can visit the 13th-century Venetian castle, the Ekatontapyliani church, and the Archaeological Museum. Another popular town on the island is Naoussa, located on the northern coast. Naoussa is a picturesque fishing village with a bustling harbor, traditional tavernas, and quaint streets lined with shops and cafes.

Lastly, is Paros famous for its beaches, which are among the best in Greece. Some of the most popular beaches on the island include Golden Beach, Santa Maria Beach, and Kolymbithres Beach. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, a cultural experience, or an exciting nightlife scene, Paros has something to offer. With its beautiful scenery, rich history, and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Paros is one of the most popular islands in Greece.

The best beaches on Paros:
  1. Golden Beach: Located on the eastern side of the island, Golden Beach is known for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It is a popular spot for windsurfing and other water sports.
  2. Santa Maria Beach: Located on the northern side of the island, Santa Maria Beach is a beautiful sandy beach with turquoise waters. It is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling.
  3. Kolymbithres Beach: Located on the northern side of the island, Kolymbithres Beach is known for its unique rock formations and crystal-clear waters. It is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing.
  4. Punda Beach: Located on the southern side of the island, Punda Beach is a popular spot for partying and water sports. It has a lively atmosphere and is a great spot for young people.
  5. Monastiri Beach: Located on the northern side of the island, this is a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters and a stunning natural setting. It is a great spot for relaxation and solitude.
Soros, Paros

Day 12-19 Naxos

“Win by persuasion, not by force.” ~ Famous Greek saying

Read more about:

4/5 stars because:
Insanely big
Different skiing options, from normal pistes to a nice freestyle park and off-piste possibilities
Nice restaurants with different possibilities
A large part of the pistes are quite small, which causes that you have to take several lifts in a short time.
Good to reach from several parts of Switzerland

One of the main attractions of Naxos is its stunning beaches, which are among the best in the Aegean. The island’s west coast is home to long stretches of sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, such as Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and Plaka. Inland, the island is covered with lush green hills and valleys, dotted with picturesque villages and ancient ruins.

Naxos is also home to several important archaeological sites, including the Portara, a massive marble doorway that is all that remains of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. Other notable sites include the Temple of Demeter, the ancient city of Naxos, and the Venetian castle in the island’s main town.

In addition to its natural beauty and ancient history, Naxos is known for its traditional culture and hospitality. The island has a long tradition of farming and fishing, and its cuisine features fresh seafood, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and traditional dishes like souvlaki and moussaka.

Overall, Naxos offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, ancient history, and traditional Greek culture, making it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

Some of the best restaurants on Naxos:

There are many great restaurants on Naxos that offer delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as fresh seafood and local specialties. Here are some recommendations for the best restaurants in Naxos:

  1. Mavros Gatos – This restaurant in the town of Naxos serves creative Mediterranean cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. The dishes are beautifully presented and the wine list is excellent.
  2. To Elliniko – Located in the village of Melanes, this family-run restaurant offers traditional Greek cuisine made with fresh ingredients from their own garden. The setting is charming, with outdoor seating under a pergola covered in grapevines.
  3. Ostria – This seaside restaurant in Agia Anna serves fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist. The setting is lovely, with tables overlooking the sea.
  4. Scirocco – This restaurant in the village of Apeiranthos offers a unique menu featuring traditional Naxian dishes made with local ingredients, as well as creative Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant’s beautiful courtyard is a great spot for dining al fresco.
  5. Petrino – Located in the village of Filoti, this restaurant serves traditional Greek cuisine with a focus on meat dishes cooked on the grill. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with a fireplace for chilly evenings.
Usefull information
Excellent breakfast, pool and options between hotel or guesthouse style
Best beach
Popular for windsurfers and kitesurfers due to its strong winds. The beach is also great for swimming and sunbathing.

Local food on The Cyclades

One of the most famous dishes in the Cyclades is the Greek salad, which typically includes tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Other popular salads include horiatiki, a traditional Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and green peppers, and dakos, a Cretan salad made with barley rusk, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Seafood is a staple of the Cycladic diet, and dishes such as grilled octopus, fried calamari, and seafood pasta are common. Local fish such as red mullet, sardines, and anchovies are also popular.

Meat dishes include souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), moussaka (an eggplant-based dish with minced meat and béchamel sauce), and pastitsio (a baked pasta dish with minced meat and tomato sauce). Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, such as stuffed peppers and tomatoes, spanakopita (spinach pie), and fava (a traditional split pea dip).


Day 20-25 Santorini

"Eleftheria i thanatos" Freedom or Death. A Greek motto

5/5 stars because:
Amazing sunsets on a large part of the island
Volcanic crater! Always worth a visit
The wine here is amazing
Blue-white churches and houses
Ancient city as well as hiking options make the island complete

Santorini is a Greek island located in the southern Aegean Sea, approximately 120 miles southeast of mainland Greece. It is part of the Cyclades archipelago and is famous for its stunning views, picturesque villages, and beautiful beaches. The island was formed by a volcanic eruption that took place around 3,600 years ago, which created a caldera (a large volcanic crater) that is now partially filled by the Aegean Sea. The caldera is one of the main attractions of Santorini, and visitors can take a boat tour or hike to see the stunning views from the top. The island is also known for its white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and narrow cobblestone streets, which make it a popular destination for tourists from around the world. In addition to its natural beauty, Santorini is also famous for its wine, particularly its dry white wine made from the Assyrtiko grape.

When on Santorini, I propose you:
  1. Visit Oia: Oia is a picturesque village located on the northern tip of the island. It’s famous for its stunning views of the caldera and the sunset, as well as its charming white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches.
  2. Take a boat tour: One of the best ways to see the island is by taking a boat tour. You can explore the caldera, visit nearby islands, and even swim in hot springs.
  3. Visit the ancient city of Akrotiri: Akrotiri is an ancient Minoan city that was buried under volcanic ash after a massive eruption around 3,600 years ago. It’s now an archaeological site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.
  4. Relax on the beach: Santorini has several beautiful beaches, including Perissa, Kamari, and Red Beach. You can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy water sports.
  5. Sample the local wine: Santorini is famous for its dry white wine made from the Assyrtiko grape. You can visit wineries and vineyards to sample the wine and learn about the production process.
  6. Hike the caldera: For a more active adventure, you can hike the caldera from Fira to Oia. The trail offers stunning views of the sea and the island, and there are plenty of places to stop for a break or a snack along the way.


I can really recommend you to stay at Carlos Pension. Very close to Red Beach, this hotel is well located. In addition, the breakfast is very good and the owner personally makes sure you are pleased when staying!

How to get to The Cyclades and Transportation

The Cyclades can be reached by plane or ferry. There are several airports in the Cyclades, including on the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, and Milos. These airports have direct flights from Athens and other major European cities during the tourist season.

Alternatively, ferries are a popular way to reach the Cyclades. The port of Piraeus in Athens has frequent ferry connections to many of the Cyclades islands. There are also ferries that connect the islands to each other.

Once you arrive in the Cyclades, there are several ways to get around. The most common mode of transportation on the islands is by bus, which is affordable and efficient. Taxis are also available on most of the islands, but they can be more expensive.

Many visitors to the Cyclades choose to rent a car or a scooter to explore the islands at their own pace. Rental agencies are available on most of the islands and offer a range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets.

Finally, there are also boats and catamarans available for hire for island hopping or day trips to nearby islands. These can be a great way to explore the Cyclades and discover hidden beaches and coves that are not accessible by land.