Cyclades map Greece - Detailed map of Cyclades islands - Cyclades travel information
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The Cyclades are an archipelago in the Aegean Sea south-east of the mainland of Greece.
They are part of the vast number of islands. This name, meaning "circular" in Greek is used to refer to a group of islands around a sacred island of Delos - their exact number is 220, and the main ones are (in alphabetical order): Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kynthos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Siros, Tinos, and Santorini (Thira).The city of Ermoupolis, is the main city - and administrative centre of the group, it is situated on Síros. The economy of those greek islands is based almost entirely on agriculture - wine, wheat, tobacco, olive oil.

Cyclades islands map

The climate is mostly mild and (surprisingly) dry, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile. Lower temperatures are recorded in higher elevations and generally there is no winter at those isles. As for transportation, the Cyclades is the only administrative region in Greece that is not linked with a state-built highway. All of the traffic roads on the island complex are secondary or provincial; but the distances are also not very big, so this is not such a shortage.
The seminal for history Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is famous for its flat female idols chiseled out of the islands' pure white marble centuries a lot earlier than the great Middle Bronze Age. The so-called Minoan culture arose in Crete, to the south: these figures have been plundered from burials and tombs to feed a thriving Cycladic antiquities black market since the beginning of 20th century. Recently the Cyclades islands have become extremely popular with tourists, and as a result there have arisen problems with erosion, pollution, and water shortages.
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A few practicalities: As you might expect, the Cyclades are crowded and expensive during high season-roughly mid-June to early September-and the season seems to get longer every year. If this doesn't appeal to you (and you don't mind sometimes unpredictable boat service), visit during the off season; the best times are mid-September to October or May to early June. April can still be very cold in these islands. While the restaurant you'd hoped to try may be closed and the chic shops shuttered, you'll be able to enjoy the islands without feeling surrounded by other visitors. Should you visit in winter or spring, keep in mind that many island hotels have minimal heating; make sure that your hotel has genuine heat before you check in. Also, note that most hotels charge a supplementary fee of 10% for a stay of fewer than 3 nights.
On most of these islands, the capital town has the name of the island itself. "Horn," or "Chora," meaning "the place," is commonly used for the most important regional town. The capital of Paros, Parikia, is also called Hora, as is Apollonia, the capital of Sifnos.
Although the Cyclades are bound by unmistakable family resemblance, each island is rigorously independent and unique, making this archipelago an island-hopper's paradise. Frequent ferry service makes travel easier-although changes in schedules can keep travelers on their toes (or waiting for transport at unpredictable hours on the harborside). Hydrofoils, in particular, are notoriously irregular, and service is often canceled at the whim of the meltemi (severe summer winds). Still, a new fleet of catamarans has greatly facilitated travel between Piraeus and the Cycladic islands of Siros, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini. Service to most islands is highly seasonal, with frequency dropping off significantly between October and April. Between May and September, you can go just about anywhere you want, whenever you want, although winds can upset the most carefully arranged plans.

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