The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς) the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos.
To thoroughly enjoy the richness of the Cycladic islands you need at least 20 to 25 sailing days. But already a 2-week itinerary opens up much more possibilities, thus enabling you to see three times more than in a single week.
The most attractive islands of Amorgos, Sifnos, Folegandros, Santorini as well as the Little Cyclades below Naxos are well in reach.
About The Location
Cyclades Islands compose a challenging sailing area. Main factor that defines wind force in summer months is the ‘meltemi’, the northern wind that blows from early July to mid August usually around 5 Beauforts, although gusts can reach up to 8. The wind blows stronger during mid day, so sailors usually travel early morning to avoid the strong wind. Wind direction is purely north, or North West.
Big waves can be also caused by the meltemi. The waves cover hundreds miles’ distance from North Aegean coast to Cyclades, so they can become pretty tall in these islands, 3-4 meters. Nevertheless, it can be interesting and fun to steer the wheel trying to avoid these waves and to feel the water spray they cause.
starting in Athens and after spending about 10-14 days in the Saronic and Argolic gulfs cross via Hydra to Kea or Kythnos en start exploring the Aegean.
Highlights in the Cyclades are Sifnos, Paros, Naxos & the little Cyclades, Amorgos, Santorini, Milos and Folegandros. This will be a further 2 weeks: for instance Sifnos, Santorini and Amorgos are worth more than one day!!!
Cross towards the Dodecanese from Astypalea via Kasos, Karpathos to Rhodes, Symi, and continue north to the islands of Tilos, Nisyros & Kos plus Leros & Kalymnos, Patmos, Fourni, arki & Lipso and Samos.
Sailing north means beating the prevailing winds – yet the trick of this anticlockwise route is that particularly here the winds are weakest, especially on the east (the more interesting) coasts of the dodecanese and southern sporades which are sheltered by the the myriad of Aegean islands as well as the Turkish promontories.
From the Southern Sporades of Ikaria or Chios cross back into the Cyclades to Tinos & Andros, via Mykonos & Delos, Syros, Kea and Sounion and finally the Alimos/Kalamaki marina in Athens.