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Greek Adventures for Singles: Visit the Cyclades Islands! Having been to Santorini, I thought of Greek Island vacations as just 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 option in the Cyclades.
Greek Adventures 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, ancient 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 of invaders.
- 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 Adventures for Singles: Things to See and Do:
The Cyclades Islands include over two hundred largely mountainous islands nestled in the Aegean Sea.
- With more than 150,000 inhabitants, the major income -producing sources are tourism, fishing, wine, olives and figs.
- Thirty-three of the islands are occupied. However, most of the population is centered on the twenty-four largest islands. Key among those are:
Greek Adventures for Singles: The Best-Known Tourist Destinations:
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.
1. Most tourists will recognize the island of Mykonos from photos filled with coastal windmills. 2. Churches dot the landscape. The major whitewashed town on the island has winding byways to stroll as well as chic cafes. 3. For a view from the mountaintop, you can drive or cycle to Ano Meria. From there, you can watch the sunset from the monastery atop Mount Prophitis Ilias. 4. Visit one of three museums. 5. Snorkel or swim at Paradises Beach.
For more details to plan your trip, see this official Greek tourist site.
Greek Adventures for Singles:
Following the Trails Through the Cradle of History:
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.
1. This is the heart of the Cyclades for a cultural tour and an easy day’s sailing 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 are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The fabled Terrace of the Lions and Sanctuary of Apollo remain, and you can still stroll along the legendary Sacred Way.
Greek Adventures for Singles: Pristine Beaches:
1. You will have twenty-two different beaches to choose from. 2. For a cultural tour, you can explore four major museums. Their range is broad from exhibits featuring modern art, nautical, sculpture and archaeology themes. 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.
The largest island in the Cyclades and the “greenest”. 1. You can 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.
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.
The Greek Isles are in the ideal spot for a solo travel vacation. They are just right for a standalone trip. However, since they are set in a crossroads, you can easily have a trip that combines both Athens and the broader Greek Mainland as well as a number of countries in the region. When I set out for the Greek Islands, I added days in Istanbul and the former countries of Yugoslavia.
(For other information on solo travel with no single supplements and solo-priced lodging, go to our free search tool, the SoloTravelPricingTracker.net, and for our complimentary “Updated 2020-2021 Solo Travel Guidebook”, be sure to register while there.)