Blue domed churches and whitewashed villas, some clinging to the sides of cliffs are the iconic images of Greece and those images are everywhere in the most famous island group, the Cyclades. Santorini and Mykonos are the stars – Santorini with villages looming over the sea on the steep, volcanically produced caldera and Mykonos with its gentle beaches and windmills, that it’s easy to see why. But there are so many others vying to be noticed such as Sifnos within the Cyclades, the flower filled, no-cars-allowed Hydra, the green hills of Cefalonia in the western Ionians, or the architecturally rich Dodecanese Islands of Symi, Patmos and Rhodes.
Why Go: Brilliant blue gin clear water, pristine beaches, and one island more beautiful than the next.
When to Go: May-October
Essential Ports: Hydra, Mykonos & Delos, Paros, Santorini, Milos, Patmos, Symi, Corfu and Cephalonia.
Essential Experiences: A long lunch at N’Ammos on Psarou Beach and sunset at Veranda on Mykonos, dinner at Ambrosia in Oia perched on the edge of the Santorini caldera cliff.
Local Favorite: In Ammoudi Beach on Santorini, locals have their mezze and grilled fish taverna experience at Katina or Dimitri.