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ΥΠΗΡΕΣΙΕΣ

INTRODUCTION 

From Mykonos and Santorini to Tinos and Serifos, the Cyclades islands are the crown jewels of the Aegean Sea, famous for amazing beaches and sugar-cube houses

Within easy reach of Athens, the Cyclades islands are the Aegean’s most precious gems, so-called by ancient Greek geographers because they saw that they formed a circle of sorts around the sacred island of Delos.

Like the Greek flag, the colours of the Cyclades islands are blue and white and they come in all sizes. And though the ingredients are the same – incomparable light, translucent water, heavenly beaches, lustrous white buildings and bare rock – each has a distinct character. The group’s stars, Mykonos and Santorini, need no introduction but the lesser-known islands, big and small, are just as rewarding.

HISTORY

The Cyclades are in fact the peaks of the mountains of the Aegais, a mountainous terrain, which was submerged in geological times, about 5 million years ago. The earthquake and volcanic activity played an important role in all the geomorphologic processes. Volcanic eruptions that took place before 35.000.000 years (with the volcanic eruption of Santorini, 17th- 16th century B.C. being the most important) constitute part of the geological disruptions that shaped Aegais.

 In fables, Cyclades are connected with Poseidon in whom it's imputed their creation. It is said that they took its name from the nymphs, Cyclades that the God of sea transformed them into islets when they provoked him. There are also and other traditions about their name as for instance from the word cycle, because they spread around Delos, the island where Apollonas born.

 The islands flourished during the Bronze Age, despite the occasional destruction of some settlements by earthquakes. The development of the Early Cycladic civilization is spanning the period from 3000 BC - 2000 BC and communicates and develops with the Early Minoan civilization of Creta. According to history the carriers of the Early Cycladic civilization were the Kares and the Leleges. During the Byzantine times Cyclades belonged to the Theme of Aegean. The Ottoman Empire took control of the Cyclades in 1500. However, Ottoman authority was relatively lax on the islands because no governors or garrisons were dispatched or deployed there. The Cyclades played an active role, in 1821, in the Struggle for Independence. In 1830 Cyclades became part of the newly founded Greek State.

The whitewashed houses and the rocks are typical of Cyclades. The folk architecture of Cyclades became a role model for modern architecture. The abundance of suitable materials (white and green marble, slate, granite, etc) and the amazing beauty of the sunsets and sunrises combined with fine architecture give to Cyclades a particular atmosphere and the feeling of being in a painting, surrounded by extreme purity and beauty.

Each island has its own architectural features: underground buildings, towers, stone rustic huts buildings, neoclassic noble men's houses as well as traditional Cycladic houses. The visitor can find almost in every Cycladic Island monuments and buildings of great rural and cultural importance such as: dovecote, windmills, watermills, bridges, monasteries, "syrmata" (traditional mooring or storage space).

 

Arts, traditional crafts (such as marble sculpture, ceramics and pottery) as well as local gastronomy are giving to Cyclades a "couleur local". Easter, Christmas, Halloween and wedding traditions and customs revive in Cyclades. Innumerable fairs are taken place in the islands of Cyclades keeping alive the religious and cultural tradition of the place.

 

The islands of Cyclades constitute a meeting point of people from all over the world. Cyclades are full of geographical contrasts, history, landscapes of unique natural beauty, hospitality, local cuisine, traditions, and customs presenting a culture of great significance. Holidays in Cyclades give the opportunity to have fun, to relax, to taste local food, to make romantic walks and to enjoy the immense blue sea. The largest islands are full of life -all year around- and are ideal destinations for short excursions; whereas the smallest are essential for, those that are fond of alternative tourism. Agro tourism, sea tourism, sport activities, congress tourism, religious tourism, ecotourism, geo tourism, as well as therapeutic tourism satisfy each visitor.

CLIMATE

The climate is generally dry and mild, with mild winters and cool summers. The average winter temperature ranges from 10° to 16°C, while the average summer temperature ranges from 24° to 30°C. "Meltemia" (summer winds) constitute a substantial weather phenomenon during summertime. They are winds that blow from northeast to northwest with high intensity between the middle of July until the middle of September and make the summer.

HIGHLIGHTS

And the world’s most striking sunset. • When the sun dives behind the tiny island of Thirassia, find your perfect spot on Santorini to experience the majesty of the caldera from Fira and Oia villages. • Experiencing the famous Santorini sunset • Hiking from Fira to Oia • Going Instagram crazy in Oia • Visiting the volcano • Taking a boat cruise around Santorini • Go on a wine tour • See Ancient Akrotiri

SANTORINI

The definition of island luxury. • You’ll already have seen the most iconic sights of Mykonos before visiting, especially cosmopolitan Hora, with its cobbled alleys, the sunset by the iconic windmills and wave-lashed Little Venice. • Day trip to Delos Island. • Beach days in the sun. • Clubs and bars.

MYKONOS

One of the most cultured Greek islands. • Stately Ermoupoli is one of the most regal settlements in the Cyclades. Along with neoclassical buildings, it is famous for Syros’ Apollo Theatre, a miniature of La Scala in Milan. • Sunset watching from one of the beaches in Syros (Delfini) • Walking around Ano Syros (Upper Syros) • Exploring the Vaporia neighbourhood • Checking out the neoclassical buildings in Ermoupoli • Visiting the Apollon Theatre

SYROS

The home of many ship-owners. • Andros was the home of many of Greece’s best-known captains and ship-owners. Walk the main town to get a glimpse of the neoclassical buildings, which blend harmoniously with the medieval architecture. • Spend time in Chora (museums, sightseeing and more) • Visit villages and towns such as Korthi, Batsi, and Menites • Go down into the depths of the earth at Aladinou Cave • Laze on the beaches (you must visit the Old Lady’s Jump!)

ANDROS

A wildly beautiful island in the Cyclades. • The steep cubist Hora of Serifos, built amphitheatrically on the top of an arid hill, is one of Greece’s most beautiful island towns. Stroll through the alleys and discover the ruins of the Venetian castle. • Sunset watching from Chora • Visit the abandoned mines • Dive off Kalogeros Beach • Beach days at Karavi, Avlomonas, Lia, Agios Sostis and Psili Ammos

SERIFOS

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

An inspiration for poets, Sitia, in northeastern Crete, boasts the largest palm forest and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. • Go Wine Tasting in Toplou Monastery • Listen to the tales of the Kazarma Fortress: Has a tumultuous history to tell. From the Middle Ages to Byzantium and beyond, it’s been demolished, repaired and rebuilt many times over. Venetians, Ottomans, pirates, earthquakes … all have left their mark on Kazarma. And yet it’s still there, each summer hosting the Kornaria, a series of cultural events. • Explore the exotic palm forest at Vai (The rare palm trees (Phoenix Theofrasti), golden sand and blue-green water give Vai an exotic air. • Relive the glory days of Ancient Itanos • Head to the beach… there’s plenty of choice: Makri Gialos, Kserokampos, Goudoura, Koufonisi

SITIA

GASTRONOMY

The morphology of the islands and the microclimate of each and every one of them play a decisive part in what has become the local culinary culture. Besides, many of the ingredients accounting for the scrumptious food you can have here are protected designation of origin products. Meat of no massive production, fresh fish and seafood, dry tomatoes, potatoes, yellow split peas (fava beans), caper, top dairy products, fantastic honey… The Cycladic ambrosia finds its perfect match in the nectar of the renowned wine specialties, ranging from white (athiri, assirtiko, etc) to red ones (vinsanto, etc) many of which with international distinctions.

 

The sea around the Cyclades offers the islands wonderful and abundant treats: divine fish soups, grilled fish or cooked with vegetables, dried or salted so that you enjoy it with your ouzo: You just name the way and relish! The few sheep and goats give milk for rich milk and mouthwatering cheese. Even vegetables, although few and dry, are delicious. Low vegetation and thyme provide honey, one of the main ingredients of the Cycladic pastry. Aromatic plants and herbs add their touch to the delightful flavours’ palette too.

• Fava me koukia: Being made from fava beans mashed up with a lemon sauce. The lemon sauce is spiced with fennel and parsley, which add a sense of bold herb flavour that creates a very bright taste. It's perfect as a snack or side dish and is a favourite among Santorini locals. • Domatokeftethes: Are made from a specific variety of Santorini tomatoes fried in a thick olive oil batter with peppers, onions, mint and herbs. The tomatoes are about the size of cherries and have a sweet flavour. • Apochti: A traditional sort of pork jerky made from salted pork loin brined in vinegar, then dried and seasoned with pepper and vinegar. It's also used in many main dish recipes in homes and restaurants all across the island. • Chlorotyri: A true delicacy in Santorini, a local goat milk cheese found only on this island and made in very limited quantities, and one you will never forget. • Melitinia: a traditional sweet treat, especially around Easter, a cheese pie made with sugar and mastic powder in homes and traditional bakeries across the island. The recipe is deceptively simple but also difficult to master. It's made of mizithra cheese blended with sugar and mastiha to create a unique pastry with a soft, creamy consistency unlike anything anywhere else.

SANTORINI

• Kopanisti: a fine cheese that can compete with top European cheeses. Many people even refer to it as the “Greek Roquefort.” It’s thick and creamy with a spreadable texture, peppery and intense flavour, and yellowy-pink colour. It’s made from sheep’s milk, or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk, and takes around 4 months in total to produce. • Kremidopita: is one of many Mykonos delicacies associated with Easter. Although the pie contains onion, the tanginess of the onion is balanced with creamy tirovolia cheese. The recipe also includes dill and various wild herbs and spices. • Amygdalota: A traditional sweet with a distinctive rose aroma and almond flavour. On Mykonos, they are moulded into an oblong shape, similar to kourabiedes (butter cookies). Unlike on the other Cycladic islands, here they are baked. This results in a slightly hard exterior with a soft inside. • Sausages with black-eyed beans: Mykonos black-eyed beans are called 'kafematika' and combine well with Mykonos sausage, which is made exclusively from pork meat and fat. Unlike other areas in Greece, the Mykonos sausage is sun-dried rather than smoked. The traditional Mykonos sausage also contains savoury herbs, pepper, spice, salt, and finely chopped oregano. • Melopita: (honey pie) is a sweet pie made with the traditional Mykonos cheese, tirovolia. The original recipe is made with 2 crispy sheets of pastry wrapped around a filling of tirovolia, cinnamon, and honey. • Louza: The Myconian prosciutto. Traditionally, Louza sausages were made after the annual pig slaughter – a popular festival taking place in the autumn when each household would slaughter the pig they had fattened up over the year.

MYKONOS

• Kaparosalata (caper salad) • Maindanosalata (parsley salad with lemon, onions and capers) • Marathopita (wild fennel pie) • Aetopita (fish and vegetable pie) • Atherinopita sounds like a pie but it’s a dish of small fish, lightly coated with flour, mint and parsley, fried and served with chopped tomato and either onions or egg. • Melomenes melitzanes (literally translating as honeyed aubergines but it’s the slow-cooked tomato sauce that gives the sweetness) • Halvadopita (a gooey nougat made of honey, sugar, vinegar, egg white and almonds and sandwiched between confectionery wafers) • Pastelaries (a kind of sesame bar made with dried figs and almonds) • Loukoumia with flavours such as rosewater, mastic from Chios and bergamot, traditionally eaten with Greek coffee or a glass of chilled water.

SYROS

• Petroti: this is a fresh cow cheese which has a semi-hard texture. It is tasty and full of flavors. It can be eaten plain as a food, with other foods or served with other fruits • Volaki: this Andros Greece gastronomy desert is made of pasteurized cow milk, cone shaped and with a texture like that of mozzarella cheese. It can be eaten with salads, or bread. Once refrigerated and hard, it becomes ochre in color and spicy, it becomes a snack for ‘raki. It can also be grated over pasta. • Froutalia: this is an omelet made from potatoes, pork fat locally called glyna, local sausages and herbs. It can be served with zucchini, zucchini blossoms, artichoke or broad beans. • Lampriatis: this is an Andros Greece Gastronomy dish specially reserved for the Easter session. To make this meal, Lamb is stuffed with up to three distinct types of cheese, rice, eggs, parsley and spear mint. It is then baked slowly in a wood oven for a long while (8-10 hours). • Thyme & Heather (Riki) honeys: this is a delicious meal male of very native Andros Island products. It is usually served at breakfasts with yoghurt or bread.

ANDROS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

• Byzanti: lamb or goat filled with rice, entrails, raisins, pine nuts, aromatic herbs and spices which is then cooked in a wood-burning oven. • The dish traditionally served at weddings is hondros, or coarse wheat with meat. Hondros can be boiled in milk, for a creamy texture, or in water and then covered with browned onion and cheese just before serving. • Alevria : dough rings with honey and butter. • Psilokoulouro: a type of bread ring, is more of a work of art than food. It is a large, round ring of bread in whose center twelve strips of dough are placed in a thatched design and the whole thing is dusted with sugared sesame seeds before baking. • Zebilia, small crescent-shaped pies with a raisin and nutmeg filling that are dusted with white and black sesame seeds before baking.

KALYMNOS

WHY?

Ideal for families: Paros, Sifnos, Andros, Syros, Naxos

Best food: Naxos, Paros, Tinos, Sifnos, Milos

Most famous nightlife: Mykonos, Ios, Paros, Antiparos

Best sandy beaches: Naxos, Ios, Mykonos, Andros, Serifos, Sifnos, Kythnos, Koufonisia, Schinoussa, Donoussa

Nicest wild beaches: Naxos, Donoussa, Amorgos, Sikinos, Folegandros, Milos, Iraklia

Prettiest quaint towns and villages: Tinos, Naxos, Paros, Syros, Amorgos, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Kimolos, Folegandros

Most beautiful landscapes: Santorini, Milos, Kimolos, Amorgos, Naxos (but beauty is subjective!)

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