The Cyclades are a circle of Greek Islands located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea (south of Athens and north of Crete). Comprised of over 220 islands of which only 33 are inhabited, the most notable islands among the Cyclades are Santorini and Mykonos. These islands form a circle (“kyklos” in Greek)–hence the name Cyclades–around the island of Delos, an ancient and historical site. When thinking of Greece, the stunning images of cubist houses overlooking picturesque beaches stretching along the turquoise blue Aegean are actually those of the Cyclades.
Popular in summer—and at their most crowded—the islands are a key tourist destination. The best time to visit the Cyclades is May through June or September through mid-October when it is cheaper, less crowded, and not as hot. Ferries connect the islands, which makes island-hopping convenient.