From May to September, all trips start at the port of Alyki on the island of Paros. Paros is situated at the centre of the island group of the Cyclades. When the weather is good, a dozen or so beautiful islands are within an hour’s sailing time. Alternatively, Paros itself and neighbouring Antiparos and Despotiko (a protected island with rich archaeological findings) offer a number of sheltered coves for swimming and snorkeling, as well as tavernas serving fresh fish by the sea.
From September onwards, the boat is moored at the marina in Kalamaki, near Athens. From there, Aegina and Poros are within an hour’s sailing time; Hydra is 2 hours away but is definitely worth the trip.
Greek weather permits day trips and swimming up until November and starting again from the end of April or beginning of May.
Paros Boat trips
They call it the island of “many goats”, and they’re not joking! But if you don’t mind them, they won’t mind you. Beautiful beaches, colourful rock formations, Martian landscapes, caves big enough to accommodate a boat – Polyaigos is an explorer’s dream! The island is uninhabited, and we can only hope it remains so.
The island features a 1960s-era unspoiled “hora” (main town), not big enough to attract crowds, but beautiful enough to thrill those who make the trip.
The island of pottery and good food, it is the birthplace of Nikolaos Tselemendes, the father of Greek gourmet cooking. In antiquity, you could find gold in the soil, making Sifnos a very rich island; you can still find it today – in the hearts of its people and the colour of its beaches!
Schinousa was propably the first of the small Cyclades islands to be "discovered", luckily those who discovered it many years ago have successfully preserved what initially attracted them to the island. Schinousa features a very protected port with excellent tavernas offering fresh fish.
There are two Koufonisia – the top one or Pano Koufonissi and the bottom one or Kato Koufonissi. Pano Koufonissi followed the road to rapid development and just as rapidly lost its distinctive character, with over 3,000 rooms-to-let transforming its landscape. Kato Koufonissi, on the other hand, is mostly uninhabited and features breathtaking white-sand beaches and a single, but very interesting place to eat.
A big and rich island, which up until a few years ago was the sole provider for most of the Cyclades Islands. All vegetables, fruits, meat and cheese were supplied by Naxos. As a result, Naxos was late in developing touristically, which makes it an even more attractive destination. Apart from its beaches, there are a number of historic sites and beautiful villages to visit.
Very small and isolated, Iraklia remains undiscovered by the majority of tourists. A rare attraction is a WWII German reconnaissance plane lying on the bottom of the sea at a depth of 8 metres, from the time when the Aegean was still a theatre of fierce battles among the Allies and the Axis Powers.
An absolutely magical island with perhaps the best beaches in the Cyclades, Ios has been known for several years as the “ultimate party island”, a reputation it has made serious efforts to shed.
Its name derives from the Greek word kimolia, meaning chalk – the kind we would use to write on blackboards, but totally useless when it comes to writing on iPads. Fortunately, ongoing mining operations deter the majority of tourists from visiting, but there are wonderful surprises in store for those who decide to take the chance!
The absolute gem of the Cyclades, which was finally discovered by the “masses” some years ago, but still maintains much of its original charm, featuring one of the most fascinating “horas” (main towns) of the Cyclades. Folegandros has come a long way. As late as the 1960s it was used as a place of exile for political undesirables; the most sought-after item back then was a pair of shoes.
The island of Aegina, home of the pistachio nut, offers an ideal alternative to the busy, hot streets of Athens. In less than an hour after leaving your Athens hotel you can be swimming in clear waters, eating fresh fish by the sea, and still be back to enjoy the still busy, but cooler streets of nighttime Athens and all it has to offer. This is Greece at its best!
One of the best preserved islands in Greece, where cars are still not allowed, this is donkey and cat territory! Buildings, old and new, are under the watchful eye of the ministry of Culture and the results far outweigh the inconveniences.