The most mythical and seductive Greek islands of the Aegean See.

Since the second half of the twentieth century, when travelers and writers like Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller immortalized the quiet life of the Cyclades and its beautiful volcanic landscapes, millions of tourists have visited the Greek archipelago from the heart of the Aegean. Of the twenty inhabited islands that form it undoubtedly the most emblematic are Santorini and Mykonos with sunny, rocky and with pure white buildings.

We started the trip in Santorini, in the south of Cyclades. I suppose you saw many images about Santorini and is impossible to not be charmed upon entering by boat in the bay where you may see the Fira, capital of Santorini, whose homes are overlook at 300m cliffs that plummet over the sea.

The magnificent oval boiler is, in fact, a crater that was flooded in the second millennium BC. The island then flourished as a Minoan colony, there are remains at the site of Akrotiri, when a violent eruption shook the Mediterranean and devastated Santorini and settlements that was occupied. Even if the volcanic activity did not cease, the island continued being invaded by Spartans, Byzantines and Venetians. The origin name of Santorini was St. Irene.

Only a few roads allow you to drive up to the top of the island, where is the Fira village (Thira before) and Oia, another village perched on a cliff. The traditional way to ascend them is by foot or using an donkey along narrow paths. Fira has a cable car that can save the effort and then you can walk on alleys and visit the charming cafes.

Akrotiri. Facade of West House across Triangle Square.

Akrotiri. Facade of West House across Triangle Square.

View of Fira, Santorini

View of Fira, Santorini

 Sunset in Oia, in this village in the north of Santorini, and also in Fira, the capital, the houses climb up the cliffs, connected by a maze of cobblestone streets and stairs.

Sunset in Oia, in this village in the north of Santorini, and also in Fira, the capital, the houses climb up the cliffs, connected by a maze of cobblestone streets and stairs.

Excursion through the Bay in Santorini

From the Fira docks, many tourists are using boat trips to visit others islets of the bay: Nea Kameni (“kameni” means “burning”), with stony landscapes; Palia Kameni her neighbor, who hides a sulphurous spring; and Thirasia, other inhabited island, but more peaceful than the Nea Kameni.

In Fira you can rent bikes to explore the island in search of viewpoints and monasteries on the coast. Although Santorini is not an island of beaches, you will have to visit the Southeast part, to enjoy the sands in his many colors (Red, White and Black). The southwest part is accessible only by fishing boats converted for tourism .

You can end the day in Oia (19 km north of the capital) at a restaurant to watch how the sun sinks into the white houses and into the blue-domed churches. The occasion is perfect if you are accompanied with a white wine Asyrtiko (vines that grow on the east of the island in black and red slopes -land) and an assortment of mezedes (starters) as taramosalata (cream of fish and potatoes), the kopanisti (creamy chees with pickle) and fava of Santorini, is made with a tasty pasta.

Red beach, Santorini

Red beach, Santorini

Thyrasia, Santorini, Greece

Thyrasia, Santorini, Greece

The road to Mykonos

If Santorini is ideal for couples for its romantic corners, Mykonos, in the north of the Cyclades, boasts beaches and nightlife.

Today continues to attract celebrities (like Grace Kelly, Melina Mercouri and Jackie Kennedy in 1960s) who come with their yachts. But Mykonos offers more. For example, the architecture of its capital, Chora, where the white houses contrast with the blue of the doors and windows. In the old center the streets are more spacious  where you can find luxury boutiques and sophisticated cafes.

In the district of Little Venice the artist workshop and taverns occupy the buildings facing the sea, with wooden balconies painted in bright colors. It is another corner to enjoy a break, accompanied by a ration of octopus, squid and some other tomatoes stuffed with feta cheese.

In Chora you can rent scooters and quads to explore the island and and where you find beaches: Lonely beaches at east, diving and windsurfing beaches at the north. A must-to-do-trip to Delos is a 40-minute by kaikia (boat taxi). The island was an important sanctuary in antiquity, where the Greeks placed the birth of the gods Apollo and Artemis. Today is one of the best sites in Greece, which is part of World Heritage.

Chora - Mykonos Island - Greece

Chora, Mykonos Island, Greece

Mykonos

Mykonos

View on Delos site

View on Delos site