A 12 day-itinerary for the Cyclades
Spellbinding sunsets that burn deep orange. Whitewashed villages webbed across cliffs. The Cyclades feel like pieces of paradise scattered in the ocean. Make some of the best boutique hotels in the Greek islands your base, and start exploring. In this itinerary, we’ve strung together some of our favourite island gems to help you get started.
AT A GLANCE
• 12-day independent itinerary for the Greek islands – starting in Mykonos, based on ferries or flights from Athens
• Days are filled with classic Cycladic vistas, tiny coves and local cuisine – with each night spent at specially selected SLH boutique hotels
• Highlights include stylish nightlife on Mykonos, peaceful Paros and scenic Naxos, ending with Santorini’s rugged landscapes and famous sunsets
START IN STYLE: MYKONOS
Kick-start your island escape on glittering Mykonos, where A-listers and fashionistas fill the tables at seaside tavernas. Though some parts of the island draw in cruise ship crowds, there’s plenty of peace to be had, too. By day, unwind on one of its postcard-perfect beaches. Head to Agios Sostis or Fokos for empty stretches of sugar-white sand. Or explore the authentic old town of Hora with its famously photogenic church, Panagia Paraportiani – bright white against the blue Aegean backdrop.
As the evening creeps in, the island’s reputation as a party hotspot picks up. To join the fun in style, start your night with a Sundowner at a laid-back bar in Little Venice. Then take a scenic stroll to 180-degrees Sunset Bar to see the sky in all its tropical-toned glory.
With eight hotels to choose from, SLH has certainly got you covered. For a stylish Grecian getaway with sweeping views of the sacred island of Delos, Head to Mykonos Grand Hotel and Resort. Suggested stay 2-3 nights.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: PAROS
Charming rural villages. Rich history. Fresh, locally-caught fish. Basking in the shade of its flashier neighbours, sleepy Paros is everything you’d expect from a quintessentially Greek island. Today, its well-preserved allure is reserved only for those who are in on the secret. But word is slowly getting out.
While it’s still peaceful, explore the island’s historical sights. The Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for those interested in Greek history. It’s also home to some impressive churches, like the Panagia Ekatontapyliani, with soaring columns of Parian marble and a tucked-away museum.
Unpack your suitcase at: Mr & Mrs White
Set in Náoussa, a quaint Parian fishing village, Mr and Mrs White Paros is a white-on-white boutique retreat boasts a crystalline pool and outdoor shisha bar. Suggested stay 2 nights.
NEXT OVER THE HORIZON: NAXOS
Switch up the scenery and head to Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades. With its mountainous interior and occasional rainclouds, its bountiful produce is as varied as its lush landscape. Be sure to sample the local ingredients at restaurants around the island. Locally-grown potatoes, figs and olives take centre stage on many menus. Reserve a table at Nostimon Hellas, a superb eatery in the beating heart of Naxos town.
The soaring peaks of this diverse island offer more than just seasonal ingredients. Hike into the hills for impressive views and captivating villages, like the picture-perfect streets of Halki.
Unpack your suitcase at: Naxian Collection Luxury Villas & Suites
At one with its surroundings, Naxian Collection Luxury Villas & Suites is a cluster of boutique retreats surrounded by vineyards, horse-riding trails and centuries-old olive groves. Suggested stay 3 nights.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: SANTORINI
As the sun begins to set on your island adventure, it seems only fitting to make Santorini your final port of call. With flame-hued evening skies and dramatic cliffs iced with white stone houses, these are views you’ll yearn for long after you leave. Though its style draws in crowds, its substance keeps visitors coming back year after year.
Take your time taking in the sights. Try the walk from Fira to Oia, which winds along the Caldera clifftops and through classic Cycladic villages. Half way through your walk, fuel up on fine dining fare with an even finer view at La Maison.
Cut into the volcanic cliff face, Canaves Oia Hotel is a Grecian medley of Santorini-inspired aesthetics and cool contemporary furnishings. Or for a piece of paradise in an achingly romantic setting, make for San Antonio. With 10 hotels to choose from, have fun choosing your favourite in Santorini. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.
Take the scenic route between islands and travel by ferry – each leg of the journey takes up to an hour. Explore on foot or pick up a hire car while on each of the four islands. Ask our Voice Reservation Team for details about transfers or transport provided by individual hotels.
Book your boutique hotels
To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.