Small Cyclades constitute a complex of a few larger and numerous smaller islands that lies in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, between the southern part of Naxos and the northern part of Amorgos. The most prominent ones include Donousa, Schinoussa, Koufonisia (Ano and Kato), Iraklia and Keros, while other smaller ones are Argilos, Avelonisia, Plaki, Makares and Skandia to name but a few – the ones inhabited however being the firstly mentioned (except Keros). There are many ferry connections between the small Cyclades thus giving you the chance to explore more at once.
Small Cyclades are known for their lengthy, amazing sandy beaches that are protected by the usual strong winds of other Cyclades; for that reason they are preferred as natural harbors for sailing boats. Their untouched beauty alongside the breathtaking, rocky Cycladic landscape result to a captivating environment that allures tourists who prefer relaxing moments away from the noisy crowd. All major Small Cyclades are easily reachable by ferries that depart daily from the port of Piraeus – so what you’re waiting for?
Koufonisia constitute a top alternative holiday destination in the later years. They are actually a complex of two separate islands, Ano (Upper) and Kato (Down) Koufonisi; their loyal fans praise not only the amazing crystal-clear waters, but also the picturesque fishing villages, as well as the paths in the south part that are ideal for hiking and exploring the hidden natural beauties. The most famous beaches include Foinikas, Pori, Pisina (greek name for pool, due its turquoise waters), Punta and Italida (preferred mostly by nudists). Don’t also miss the famous Up Festival which is usually hosted at Pori beach every July. Koufonissia are well connected by ferry to other Cycladic islands.
Donousa’s orgastic nature is a treasure of rare beauty. Get lost in the path that connects Stavros beach (many shops available on spot) with the magnificent beach of Kedros, where free camping is allowed. The bay of Kalotaritissa with its bright blue waters is also a wonder to the eyes, while Limenari is suitable for those who desire their own privacy, as it is only accessible by sea. The island is also ideal for fishing lovers -or just the ones who love eating them! Ferries from Donoussa also travel to nearby islands such as Astypalea, Paros, Naxos, Amorgos, Syros and more.
Much like all the other Small Cyclades, Schinoussa offers a wide range of beaches, matching all tastes; the cosmopolitan Tsigkouri, the incomparable Gerolimnionas, the small and quiet Fontana, the three small bays of Aligaria, Gkagkavi and Kampos and so many others that await to be discovered. The hiking path from Mesaria to Psili Ammos is said to be wonderful, too. For the lovers of windsurfing, a visit to Almiro should be paid.
Last but not least, Iraklia is yet another favorite hip destination, preferred mostly by younger ages. As it has only one road of 4 kilometers, the only way to know its beauty is by walking it! Do not miss the amazing view from the sharp cliffs of Mericha, as well as the sunken WW2 plane in the bottom of Alimia. Livadi and Agios Georgios are ideal for swimming as other beaches are difficult to reach. You can also take the ferry from Iraklia to the other small Cyclades for a more joint experience.