Flying from Athens International Airport to Mykonos at any time of the day, from early in the morning until late in the evening, is a fascinating experience. Since the flight is only 35 minutes long, the plane usually flies low enough to offer a panoramic view of the central Aegean Archipelago, with its amazing waters that vary from the blue-black of its depths to the almost transparent, crystal azure colors of its coastal line.
Ermoupoli in Syros, capital of the Cyclades
The luckiest of all are those who have witnessed from above the magical ritual of the sun rising or setting, painting the horizon with an explosive palette of all shades of purple. Beneath this colorful feast are thousands of tiny lights, like trembling stars, proving that from dawn till night life in the Cyclades keeps rocking!
But where exactly did this island complex —that is said to be one of the most fabulous tourist destinations in the Mediterranean— come from? Its history goes way back in time, as the name Cyclades is found even in the ancient writings of Herodotus and Thucydides. According to Greek Mythology, the Cyclades were nymphs called Oceanids, after their father Oceanus. At some point they made Poseidon, god of the sea, furious and he sentenced them for life, by turning them into rocks scattered at the central Aegean, around the sacred island of Delos.
Ancient Greek theatre in Delos
The more concrete —and much more credible— version of the story is that the Cyclades were created by geological changes, due to colossal earthquakes that took place in the Mediterranean million years ago.
The island complex that emerged from these changes was one of the oldest cultural cradles in Europe and played a significant historical role during the middle Bronze Age, which developed parallel to the Minoan Civilization. It left behind rare cultural treasures, equivalent to those that later marked the presence there of the Byzantine Empire, like beautiful icons and marvelous churches. During their history, the Cyclades suffered, among other, from many pirate invasions and in the 12th century they were conquered by the Venetians.
The complex includes more than 2,000 islands, islets and rocks but only 33 of them are inhabited. The best-known among them are Mykonos, Santorini, Andros, Tinos, Naxos, Syros, Paros, Antiparos and Milos; true gems that attract millions of visitors every year, offering them an unprecedent leisure experience.
So, are you ready to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy everything that Cyclades have to offer? Book a villa in Mykonos and use it as a base to take day trips and explore the nearby islands!