Note that the video, text, and images are only a suggestion, your broker and captain will advise on the feasibility of this itinerary for your season and yacht. The video and the images were not taken on the charter.
Welcome to the Cyclades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea celebrated for spectacular beaches, outstanding nightlife, rich culture, and fascinating natural formations. The Cyclades Islands is the area where the first European culture emerged around 2,500 BC. Santorini and Mykonos are the islands whose names resonate the most in this group. But Ios, Naxos, Paros, and Amorgos are islands worth exploring for various reasons. To discover this rich archeological, cultural and natural world, join the 7-day Greek Cyclades Islands Charter by yacht.
Yacht Charter Day 0 – Arrival on Mykonos
Mykonos Town slants down the hills toward the sea, featuring narrow, paved streets and typical Cycladic architecture – houses painted in white with blue doors and windows. Use the day to wander around and, possibly, encounter Petros the Pelican, the mascot of the island. You may find him “making a company” to the arriving fishermen, strolling around or napping in some corner. If you are a fan of seafaring, visit the Aegean Maritime Museum and examine models of the ships since the ancient (Minoan) times. Come evening, climb the Boni’s Windmill viewpoint, a few minutes from the port on foot, to enjoy enchanting sunset.
Yacht Charter Day 1 – Mykonos
Before we set sail to other islands, we give ourselves a chance to explore Mykonos Island by yacht. The second most popular island of the Cyclades boasts coves, bays and stunning landscapes when experienced from the sea. When we sail into Panormos Bay in the north of Mykonos, we’ll found ourselves flanked by hills. There are a few interesting beaches in the bay that are less visited than their popular counterparts on the southern coast.
Yacht Charter Day 2 – Mykonos – Naxos
On the second day, we steer a yacht southward to Naxos Island. Mount Zas, the highest peak of the Cyclades Islands, dominates the skyline of the largest island of the archipelago. Take a 3-hour climb to its 1000-meter (3280-feet) high peak if you like trekking and birdwatching.
Naxos Town (or Chora, as residents of most Cyclades Islands refer to their capitals), occupies the northwestern part of the island. Children’s fun park is near the port, while the Venetian castle, the main landmark of Chora, is a bit farther. Another excellent example of military engineering is Bazeos Tower, some 12km/7mi southeast of Naxos Town toward Halki Village. Naxos Festival, a popular cultural manifestation, takes place here every summer.
By sailing further along the west coast, we find Agios Prokopios and Plaka beaches, some of the finest on Naxos. Many travelers consider Agios Prokopios one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Its amazingly blue waters and golden sand make a sharp contrast. Secluded from strong winds, the beach is ideal for families with kids. It consists of two parts – one organized with water sports and the other pristine. Long and sandy Plaka Beach is somewhat farther, remaining largely unspoiled by infrastructure and ideal for seekers of solitude.
Mikri Vigla, the next sandy paradise of Naxos, is the ideal spot for windsurfers. More and less distant hills surround the bay in which Mikri Vigla lies. The beach features occasional sunbeds and parasols.
Yacht Charter Day 3 – Naxos – Amorgos
Sailing toward Amorgos takes us past several beaches in the west of Naxos. Sandy Kastraki, Aliko and Pyrgaki are beaches that stand out among them. Kastraki features a rocky environment and is rarely busy. Aliko is a nudist beach surrounded by coves worth exploring. Pyrgaki is among the most beautiful beaches on Naxos Island, both family-friendly and suitable for windsurfing. You may wish to visit some of its restaurants before we continue yachting toward Amorgos.
Amorgos is one of the most authentic islands of the Cyclades archipelago, celebrated for crystal-clear waters, hidden coves and empty beaches. The island stretches in the direction from northeast to southwest, with two of its ports, Katapola and Aegiali, located on the northern side. Chora, the capital of Amorgos Island, is 10 minutes away from southern Katapola and around 30 minutes distant from northern Aegiali by car.
Sitting at the 400-meter (1300-feet) altitude, Chora is a picturesque settlement surrounded by windmills, overlooking the neighboring hills. White houses with blue windows edge narrow alleyways, fountains and quaint churches. Explore this charming labyrinth before taking a bus to the nearby Hozoviotissa Monastery, another highlight of Amorgos.
Commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos I in the 11th century, the Hozoviotissa Monastery, leaning against an imposing cliff, shines like a beacon in its whiteness. A long stairway leads to the monastic complex, from where you will enjoy stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Bring water, avoid visiting the monastery around midday and dress modestly in order to enter Hoziviotissa.
Yacht Charter Day 4 – Amorgos – Santorini
Katapola and Aegiali are both long, sandy, and organized beaches. If you like to dive, check out diving clubs available there. Agios Pavlos, located between these, is one of the most beautiful beaches on Amorgos Island. Surrounded by hills, it faces Nikouria Island on the other side of the strait. Agia Anna is another exceptional pebble beach, located on the opposite side of the island. Nudists like to visit this pristine beach, and you can admire views of the distant Hoziviotissa Monastery from there.
We direct the yacht to Santorini next, one of the top holiday destinations in the world. First, we sail to the southern part of this Cycladic island, abounding with stunning beaches. Sandy Perivolos Beach features water sports, such as windsurfing and jet skiing. Partly organized and nudism-friendly Vlychada, located at the base of bright hills, features dark sand. Easily accessible from the sea is Red Beach, probably the most popular beach on Santorini Island. It sits at the base of red and black cliffs, featuring black pebbles, parasols, and sunbeds. Climb the nearby promontory for fantastic views.
Next, we take a turn around a promontory to the west to enter the crater of a former volcano. By scientific accounts, its activity wiped-out the Minoan civilization on Crete, the very first European civilization, some 3500 years ago. While sailing to Athinios, the main port of Santorini, or Oia, you will admire views of a big caldera, spanning the northwestern part of the island. For experiencing the most magnificent sunsets in this part of the world, we need to anchor the yacht in the Oia port and climb to the village via a hillside path (around 20 minutes).
Yacht Charter Day 5 – Santorini
Walking the Caldera from Oia to Fira, the capital of Santorini, is a popular activity. During a 3-hour morning hike, you will have great views of the nearby islands, which used to be part of an enormous volcano.
Fira is a settlement featuring typical Cycladic architecture. Overlooking the remains of the volcano from the 260-meter (850-feet) vantage point, it features Catholic and Orthodox churches, narrow streets, and a few museums. Santorini may be where the legendary Atlantis existed, and you can find hints of that at the Archeological Museum. To get an overview of the local culture and lifestyle throughout the centuries, visit the Folklore Museum.
The archeological locality of Akrotiri is up to 30 minutes by car from Fira to the south. It used to be an advanced Minoan settlement before the immense volcanic eruption took place. There, you can examine the remains of the houses and well-preserved everyday items. Red Beach is a short drive away from the locality, as well as Akrotiri Lighthouse, one of the best sunset spots on the island.
To enjoy some of the best views of the island of Santorini, take a ride to the Monastery Profiti Ilia, southeast of Fira. The tranquil monastery stands at the highest point of Santorini (567 meters/1860 feet), offering spectacular views of Santorini, surrounding islands and the Aegean Sea. To explore the area, take a short hiking path.
Yacht Charter Day 6 – Santorini – Ios
In the morning, we start yachting north to Ios Island. The first stop is Manganari, a spectacular beach in the south of this Cycladic island. A bay and the surrounding hills protect Manganari from strong winds, rendering it ideal for snorkeling. The beach has exceptionally clear waters, the fact confirmed by the scenes in the “Le Grand Bleu” film. Next, we turn yacht to the west and sail toward Chora, the island’s capital.
Before we anchor in the main port, we will make a stop at Mylopotas Beach. The long sandy beach is ideal for enjoying water sports and socializing at bars. Surrounded by hills, it boasts an attractive environment and views of the distant Sikinos Island. The main port is a short distance away, located around 20 minutes away from Chora by walking.
Chora of Ios may be the most charming village in the Cyclades Islands. Sloping down a hillside, it is a peaceful place during the day and lively at night, when party people start visiting its numerous bars and clubs. Climb the viewpoint occupied by the Panagia Gremiotissa Church to take exceptional photos and admire the sunset. White church and tower feature blue roofs, rendering Panagia Gremiotissa one of the most photogenic spots on Ios.
Yacht Charter Day 7 – Ios – Paros
Before we set sail to Paros, we should visit Agia Theodoti Beach, located in a bay in the northeastern part of Ios Island. Arriving by the road opens unforgettable views of the beach, open sea, and neighboring islands. Surrounded by hills with undergrowth, and featuring golden sand and crystal-clear waters, Agia Theodoti is a peaceful beach.
Paros Island, located west of Naxos, is our penultimate stop in our Cyclades Islands Yacht Charter itinerary. Golden and New Golden beaches, in the southeast of the island, are exceptional for windsurfing. If you are a fan of kiting, we will turn the vessel’s prow toward the west coast of Paros. Many kites flying in the sky will mark Paros Kite Beach. For enjoying the warmth of the golden sand and the beauty of transparent waters, with a possible chance of a party nearby, we’ll anchor the yacht next to Parasporos or Krios Beach. Both are near Parikia, the capital and main port of Paros Island.
Parikia is a typical Cycladic settlement featuring colorful houses, paved streets, and many churches. Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church is among the most significant Byzantine monuments preserved on the Greek soil. The capital of Paros is the nightlife hotspot of the island. Naoussa, the second largest settlement, is in the north of this Cycladic island, secluded in a large bay. The paved streets of Naoussa radiate from the port in every direction, winding between houses featuring Cycladic architecture. Take a walk on the streets and discover old churches before the night falls and a nightlife mood takes hold of you.
Yacht Charter Day 8 – Paros – Mykonos
We set sail toward Mykonos, the party capital of the Cyclades, during morning hours. Upon dropping the anchor in the port and parting ways with your skipper, you can use the rest of the day to tour beaches or to launch an archeological expedition.
South coast of Mykonos Island abounds with great beaches, with Paraga, Platis Gialos, Paradise, and Super Paradise being the nearest to Chora. All of them are sandy, offering water sports opportunities. Of these, Paradise Beach is a nightlife hotspot of this Cycladic island. If you don’t mind going a bit further, Agrari, Elia, Kalo Livadi, and Saint Anna are some great beaches you should discover. All of them feature soft sand, they are organized or partly organized, and Kalo Livadi and Elia offer water sports. If you like diving, visit Kalafati, a beach next to Saint Anna.
Taking a day trip to the archeological site of the neighboring island of Delos is another great daytime activity. A legendary birthplace of god Apollo and goddess Artemis, Delos Island boasts one of the most important archeological remains in the Cyclades archipelago. The remains of an ancient theater and temples, and statues of lions and young athletes (Kouros) await you to discover them among other relics of the antiquity.
You may also like to check out scenic views from Armenistis Lighthouse, in the northwestern corner of Mykonos. Located several kilometers from Mykonos Town, it offers views of the Aegean Sea. From there, you will also see a few neighboring islands, such as Tinos, Rineia and Delos.
If remaining on Mykonos, visit the island’s southern beaches to discover one of the top nightlife and party destinations in the world. Or visit Little Venice in Chora for a peaceful nightlife experience.