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Paros To Mykonos Cruising Guide

Our cruising guide to the Cyclades Islands. Maybe the best Greek Islands you've never heard of. A paradise reclaimed. Negotiate white stoned pavements, ancient archaeological sites, and swim iridescent aquamarine waters. From Mykonos to the small Cyclades, from flashy to modest. A Cyclades yacht charter guarantees an experience you'll remember for a lifetime.

Paros

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With its whitewashed villages and some of the finest sandy beaches in the Cyclades, Paros is a picture of tranquil charm. Its little capital, Parikia, is a colourful fishing port. The town’s long sweeping waterfront dissolves into a labyrinth of whitewashed houses and flower-filled lanes.

Superyacht guests can thank their lucky stars, as Paros’ coastal gems all lie a short steam away. A dozen tiny uninhabited islands stud the deep blue bay. For the best beaches, sail over to Paros’ little neighbour, Antiparos, which has just one little harbour village at Chora. Its uncrowded ribbon of fine sand at Agios Georgios is worth a Skype call home.

Antiparos

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Just adrift of her bigger louder brother Paros, Antiparos emanates a much more blasé approach to island living. Behind the patina of the touristy beachfront lies quiet streets and extreme seclusion. Antiparos is no exception to the crystal-clear Aegean waters of her neighbors. The island flaunts one of the most spectacular and most ancient caves in the world, beautiful archaeological sites, spotless beaches and gastronomic delights, attracting thousands from afar. A popular spot for exploring a plethora of marine life, and the ideal location to enjoy a magenta sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Milos

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Milos floats like a multi-coloured butterfly midway between Athens, Crete and Turkey. One half houses paint box palette cottages and whitewashed churches; the other half is red rock formations and sunsets of shocking pink. More than any other Greek Island, Milos is all about the beach. There are over 80 to choose among, but guest favourites include the thermal currents of sandy Paliochori, and the boat-only bay of Kleftiko.

The priceless Venus de Milo sculpture was unearthed at the Roman site of Tripiti and then sold to the Louvre. Good luck doing the same. Likelier finds include local lobster, which can be fished by hand off the uninhabited rocky speck of Antimilos. Privacy is assured on the long, sandy beaches of nearby Polyaigos Island too. The only inhabitants are a herd of feral goats.

Koufonisi

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Pano Koufonisi and the unpopulated Kato Koufonisi, separated by a 200-metre strait, are called the Hollow islands after their huge cavernous caves. Here, discover endless beaches, including Loutro, Parianos, and Italida. At Pori, try windsurfing. Nearby Keros island has been a designated protected archaeological site with some major Cycladic Art. Branded “the Mykonos of the small Cyclades”, a shadow of millennia past, yet amongst Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Places to Visit in Europe, the unflashy islet of Koufonisia is a must-visit on any Cyclades Island yacht charter.

Delos

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The climax of any visit to Mykonos is the sail to nearby Delos. It’s one of the ancient world’s most sacred islands, where weathered stone lions stand guard over ruined temples and eerie sanctuaries.

It’s not possible to moor up overnight on Delos – the Gods wouldn’t be pleased. But three lovely bays on the uninhabited island of Rinia, separated from Delos by a narrow channel, offer fine anchorages and a base for exploration by sea kayak and paddleboard. Snorkelers will find shoals of silver bream and rainbow wrasse for company.

Rineia

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Pure bliss awaits those who venture to Rineia. Inhabited by nothing but some cattle traversing the green plains, the islands are the perfect escape from the Greek tourist life. If you have been eagerly waiting to delve into your yacht's toy garage, then the quiet coasts of Rineia are ideal. Popular amongst windsurfing enthusiasts, and the adventurous souls who yearn for ancient ruins and secluded white-sand beaches, Rineia is a must-visit if the touristy gleam of Mykonos becomes too much.

Mykonos

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Mykonos is the arguably the most photogenic island in Greece. Since the 1960s hedonist Hellenophiles have descended on its white sugar-cube houses and beaches of silver sand. The labyrinth of Mikri Venetia – or ‘Little Venice’ – has formed the backdrop for countless fashion shoots. Quite naturally, Mykonos is home to Greece’s only branch of Nobu.

The climax of any visit to Mykonos is the sail to nearby Delos. One of the ancient world’s most sacred islands, weathered stone lions stand guard over ruined temples and eerie sanctuaries. Three lovely bays on the uninhabited island of Rinia offer fine anchorages and excellent swimming. Snorkellers will find shoals of silver bream and rainbow wrasse for company.