Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Visit the Cyclades Islands! Having been to Santorini, I thought of Greek Island vacations as lazy days on the beach. That was followed by fine dining late into the night. I learned about a totally different type of active vacation in the Cyclades.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Brief History of the Cyclades Islands:
- The islands’ name came from the Greek word for circle. The reason? Most of this chain between Greece and Turkey surrounded Delos, the principal island through much local history.
- Artifacts have been found dating back to 3,000 BC.
- The Cyclades were primarily influenced by both the ancient civilizations in Crete and Mainland Greece.
- By 5th century BC, the Persians had become a major threat leaving the Islands to side with Mainland Greece. Although the Persians were defeated, Peace was not yet at hand. Powerful Greek city-states like Athens and Sparta battled on.
- By 166 BC, the Romans, too, were added to the mix.
- In the next century Rome’s wars were largely played out on Greek soil. The assassination of Julius Caesar and defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra followed. As a result, the Roman Empire was the prevailing power until its division. At that time, the Byzantine and then Ottoman Empire ruled the Islands until late 18th century and then became a part of Greece’s War of Independence.
- World War II brought conflict o the region again. In the 21st century, peace has returned. Once again, the Cyclades are a top travel destination.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Things to See and Do:
The Cyclades Islands include over 200 largely mountainous islands in the Aegean Sea.
- With more than 150,000 inhabitants, the major income producing sources are tourism, fishing, wine, olives and figs.
- Thirty-three islands are occupied. However, most of the population is centered on the twenty-four largest islands. Key among those are:
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Andros:
Andros: 1. There are 22 different beaches to choose from. 2. For a cultural tour visit one of the four major museums. You can choose between modern art, nautical exhibits, sculpture and archaeology. Looking for something a little more off-beat? Time to head over to the Olive Museum. Apparently, tasting is not part of the visit. However, it never hurts to ask! 3. Chora is a quaint seaside village with ancient buildings and ruins including a Venetian fortress. 4. See the large metal sculpture of a sailor at Afanis Naftis.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Delos:
Delos: 1. This is the heart of the Cyclades for a cultural tour and an easy day tour from Mykonos. 2. The island was considered the center of the Cyclades in ancient times during the times of the Delian League. As a result, many of the magnificent temples and archaeological ruins now part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Terrace of the Lions and Sanctuary of Apollo remain, and you can still stroll along the legendary Sacred Way remain.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Mykonos:
Mykonos: 1. Most tourists will recognize the island of Mykonos from photos filled with windmills. 2. Churches dot the landscape. This whitewashed town has winding byways to stroll as well as cic cafes. 3. For a view from the mountaintop, drive or cycle to Ano Meria to watch the sunset from the monastery atop Mount Prophitis Ilias. 4. Visit one of 3 museums. 5. Snorkel or swim at Paradises Beach.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Naxos:
Naxos: The largest island in the Cyclades and the “greenest”. 1. Swim at one of the best beaches on the West Coast of the island. 2. Visit the Orthodox convent of Aghios Chrysostomos and the Monastery of Kalamitsia. 3. Go windsurfing. 4. Snap selfies at the Portara. 5. See the ruins of the Temple of Demeter. 6. Time your trip to coincide with summer festivals.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Paros:
Paros: Located in the center of the Cyclades: 1. Start your tour in the village of Parikia at the often-photographed windmill. 2. Fond of caves? Then be sure to explore the Anti-Paros. 3. Tour the famous marble quarries. 4. Choose from 4+ popular beaches. 5. Explore another Venetian castle ruin from the 13th-century. 5. Go horseback riding.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Santorini:
Santorini: Santorini was the fabled Thera of ancient times. Today it is known as a top tourist destination as th e”Black Pearl of the Aegean”. A great way to arrive is via boat. However, with limited time remaining to see the islands, I flew in which is easy from Athens. 1. Rent a car, bike or moped. However, be aware the hills are really, really steep. 2. If it is open when you are there, take a drive to the monastery at the highest peak at Prophitis Ilias. 3. Try out the beaches but bring a mat to lie down on. As I quickly discovered, the volcanic beaches were covered in a hard rocky (lava?) surface.
Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles: Tinos:
Tinos: It had the longest Venetian history of any of the other islands. From the 13th century to the 18th century, Tinos was a Venetian island exceeding the parallel history of Corfu. In the 20th century, an Orthodox convent was often a retreat for the mother of Great Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Explore the ruins of Venetian fortress at Mount Exobourgo. 2. Go to the beach to relax, or take a surfing lesson! 3. Visit the Marble Museum. 4. See the Church of Panagia Evangelistria. 5. Learn about the sculpture Chalepas at his home now a museum.
For more information on Greek Isles Active Adventure Vacations for Singles, See also our Tiptr blog on active, adventure vacations in the Cyclades.