Although the Cyclades islands are getting very popular in summer, there are still many Cycladic islands that remain off the beaten track even in high season. The Western Cyclades islands, for example, are fantastic places to holiday away from the noise and crowded beaches.
With picturesque villages, relaxing atmosphere and stunning places to swim, these islands are great for secluded, family vacations. In addition, they are easy to reach from Athens as the ferry to Western Cyclades departs daily from the port of Piraeus, the main port of Athens. Many ferry schedules to Western Cyclades islands also depart occasionally from the port of Lavrion, located on the southernmost point of the Attica peninsula.
Here are the main islands of Western Cyclades that constitute amazing holiday destinations in Greece.
Ferry to Western Cyclades: Milos and Kimolos
Although Milos is gradually developing as a tourist destination due to its impressive volcanic landscape and the stunning beaches, it still remains a quiet and relaxing place for your Greek holidays. Swimming in Sarakiniko, Tsigrado, Firiplaka, Paleochori, Kleftiko, and other Milos beaches is a wonderful experience, while Plaka, Klima, and Pollonia are nice villages to walk around. In summer, the ferry to Milos departs almost daily from Piraeus port in Athens and passes through many islands of Western and Central Cyclades.
From Milos, visitors can take a day trip to the neighboring and secluded island of Kimolos, which also belongs to Western Cyclades. A normal ferry to Kimolos departs from Adamas port in Milos three times per week.
Sifnos and Serifos
A very common Greek island combination for people taking the ferry to Western Cyclades are the islands of Sifnos and Serifos. Both with picturesque Cycladic architecture and laid-back style, these two islands are regularly connected to each other and to the port of Piraeus in Athens. In most days, there is a ferry from Piraeus heading to Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos and eventually Milos, covering this way all the islands of Western Cyclades. The ferry to Serifos takes about 2 hours from Piraeus while the ferry to Sifnos takes less than an hour from Serifos.
Kea and Kythnos
Another port of Athens that occasionally operates a ferry to Western Cyclades, and some islands of Central Cyclades, is Lavrion port. A nice island-hop from Lavrion is to go to Kea island and then continue the Western Cycladic island of Kythnos. Daily ferries to Kea depart from Lavrion. Kea is an island that receives mostly Athenian visitors than foreigners, although many luxurious resorts and villas are being constructed over the last years on the island in order to attract foreign tourists, too.
In summer, there is ferry to Kythnos from Kea three times per week. These two islands share a relaxing lounge atmosphere and cozy beaches, so they are ideal for family vacations.