Greece has some of the best islands in the world that is why it is one of the most popular destinations for tourists. On the Aegean Sea, southeast of the main Greece land, is a collection of small islands known as the Cyclades. There are as many as 220 small islands in the Cyclades, most of which are not habitable. However, some of the central islands that make for a great visit include Naxos, Mykonos, Paros, and Syros. Interestingly, these islands are all neighbors which means anyone can go on an island-hopping adventure in one trip to Greece.
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades with a population of about 19,000 (2011 census), area of 429.785 km2, and an elevation of up to 1,003 m (3,291 ft). Naxos is extraordinarily beautiful with high mountains, lush vegetation, remarkable monuments and breath-taking beaches. Although it is not the most popular island in the Cyclades, it is a gem. Major sights to see include Kastro, the oldest castle on the island, Portara, an iconic landmark in the shape of a standing rectangle built in honor of Greek god Apollo, and the Cave of Zas, the mythological location of where Greek god Zeus was raised.
Just north of Naxos is the party island of Mykonos. Mykonos is a popular destination for travelers looking to take things slow and for those looking for exciting adventures. It has some of the best beaches and beachfront luxurious hotels in the world. The Adorno Suites luxury hotel in Mykonos is the perfect accommodation for experiencing this beautiful island in style. With over 20 beaches to choose from, there is more than enough space to relax in Mykonos. Some interesting sights to see include the 15th century church of Panagia Paraportiani, Delos Island where it is believed Apollo was born, and the Archaeological Museum.
To the west of Naxos is another popular island, Paros. Paros was once famous for its quality white marbles. Today, some of the best tourist sites are the abandoned marble quarries and mines. Paros has over 30 beaches, most of which are sandy with crystal clear water, and winds strong enough for surfing. Other exciting water activities include snorkeling, visiting the waterpark, scuba diving, and kite surfing.
Syros is located to the north of Paros and west of Mykonos. It is not as popular as Mykonos and gets less traffic than the other islands above. However, the upside is that it is perfect for a quiet, relaxing vacation. It has beautiful small restaurants that offer tasty Greek cuisines and local wines. Most of the eateries are located in the capital, Hermoupolis and Ano Syros. Tourists can choose to go horseback riding on one of the 18 beaches on the island or simply relax at the massage and spa parlor.
These islands all receive higher traffic during the summer season as tourists flock in to enjoy nature, good food, fine wines, and great adventures at modest prices. A tourist can explore all of the islands above in a trip to Greece by hopping one by one every few days using a ferry.