Island Hopping Paradise  

Made up of 39 islands in the Aegean Sea, The Cyclades Islands are blessed with an astonishing wealth of historical sites left by countless successive civilisations. A combination of steady winds, beautiful landscapes and natural harbours makes them an ideal sailing destination with infinite variety. From cosmopolitan Mykonos to rustic Santorini, delicious Sifnos, mystical Patmos and hidden-away Amorgos, these islands are each a distinct world, with its own passionate followers. 

Days 1 & 2: Mykonos

Mykonos is known for its long sandy beaches, whitewashed buildings and windmills. Mostly though, the island is known for its sizzling Saint Tropez meets Ibiza style party scene. Whilst you can party until the early hours it’s a great place to unwind, too – the atmosphere is totally unhurried.

Day 3: Antiparos

Take an early private tour of Delos, the mythological birthplace of Apollo. Its sacred Doric temples, markets, amphitheatre, mosaics and lion statues are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. By lunchtime, arrive at Antiparos and immediately feel the tempo drop a notch or two. Lunch could be at anchor the uninhabited islet of Despotiko which has a kilometre long sandy beach, or at The Beach House, a pretty restaurant that opened last year. Later head to Naoussa on neighbouring Paros just across the water; this pretty blue and white painted village comes to life at night.

Day 4: Santorini

Santorini is one of Greece’s most iconic, dramatic islands. The island is a caldera, hence it’s horseshoe shape, making it a perfect natural harbour. There are two volcanic beaches – one red, one black. In the evening take a tender to the hidden taverna at Armeni Bay for cod tempura and cherry-tomato fritters. Or take a cable car up to the old town of Fira where blue domed buildings perch perilously over the caldera. Oia to the north is known for its million-dollar views.

Day 5: Folegrandos

With only 700 inhabitants and a shockingly bad ferry service, arriving at Folegrandos is rather like a time warp. Anchor for lunch at Vathi which is dotted with small sandy coves. In the evening visit the Chora where the winding alleys all lead to the same tree-lined square where rustic fare is served upon brightly painted tables.

Day 6: Milos

Milos has some of the best and most varied beaches in the Aegean, awesome rock formations, a fascinating history and superb seafood – yet it is often overlooked. All the better for the few who do go there; even in July and August you may find a turquoise bay to yourself.

Day 7: Spetses 

The small island of Spetses has a quiet, glamorous feel. The four-mile-long island was a 19th-century outpost and the only form of transport is horse drawn carriages which makes is all the lovelier. The Poseidonion Grand Hotel hosted Elizabeth Taylor, Bobby Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Ingrid Bergman in the sixties – a refined spot for evening drinks.

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