Quick Facts: The Lesser Cyclades
||Beaches, fishing, splendid isolation
The Lesser Cyclades Characteristics
This group of tiny islands, only some of which are inhabited, lie south of Naxos. Included in The Lesser Cyclades are these islands:
- Aghios Ioannis
These island are as yet unspoiled, have great fishing and
wonderful beaches. Kouphonisia is the most visited, which I'd only worry about
in late July and August. If you want to totally relax and lay around with very few, or no, clothes on this is the place to go. There aren't a lot of amenities however so go prepared, tent, sleeping bag and other necessities. I might see you there!
The lesser Cyclades is a great place to let it all hang out and meet
desirable members of the opposite sex in a camping and very casual environment.
It is not for spoiled types.
Today, Shinoussa, Kouphonisia, Herakeleia, and Donousa are inhabited. In ancient
times all the islands were inhabited, as evidenced by the many graves discovered.
These islands primarily lie between the islands of Naxos and Amorgos. The
four inhabited islands have small populations of fisherfolk.
The island ports have rooms for rent and tavernas. Nothing fancy, but inexpensive. High season is more expensive.
Think more in terms of sparkling seas and lovely beaches instead of towns with you think of the Lesser Cyclades.
Drinking and Dining
There are a limited number of tavernas on the populated islands.
Most of these islands have been inhabited since prehistoric times. On Herakleia you can see traces of a settlement and a ruined medieval fortress. Ano and Kato Kouphonisia have remains of Hellenistic and Roman installations. Very significant finds on Keros are among the most splendid of the entire Cyclades and include two marble figurines now housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The figurines are of a harpist and a flutist. On Donousa prehistoric fortifications have been found.
"Koufonissi? Try high season and
compare prices to Mykonos... Low season is better, since this 400-inhabitant
island goes to up 2000 people in July
and August. Best things about it? Very few foreign tourists (got sick of hearing
Italian all over Cyclades) and fantastic beaches. Worst thing about it? No
ATM or Bank - so you'd better get all your money from Naxos, plus food is expensive. The most beautiful beach
on the island is Pori. The island is very small, so you'd better not take
a car, there's no use to it. Other than that, the island has lots of fresh fish
and lobsters (no, really fresh!!!),
so try anything like that (such as the expensive but fantastic astako-makaronada, lobster spaghetti).
"The food is a bit expensive if you're a student, but fine for all the people
that go yachting there....
Night life is pretty poor–there's one bar and I heard there's a club as well,
but didn't bother to look for it.
"Also, daily there is a kaiki (small fishing boat) from Ano Koufonissi to Kato
Koufinissi, which is not
inhabited. In Kato Koufonissi there is a taverna with good food. If you want
to go to Keros (the third island which is actually bigger than the other two)
you have to rent a kaiki ride, about €30 We were
on a limited budget so we didn't visit Keros (on which, by the way, there
are lots of ancient ruins).
"Speaking of deserted beaches.... I guess that's the
place! Well, that's mostly it! We had a very good time in Koufonissia, but
from what I hear, I would never suggest to someone to go on high season, I
cannot imagine how a place with 400 locals goes to 2,000 in July and August!"
The Complete Details
- From Amorgos on Tuesdays and Thursdays a ferry boat visits each of the inhabited islands
- A hydrofoil departs from Rafina on Fridays via Andros.
- On Tuesday and Friday from Syros a hydrofoil calls at Tinos, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini, each of the inhabited islands and lastly Amorgos. It returns by the same route.
- From Piraeus on Thursdays a ferry boat departs to each of the inhabited islands via Paros and Naxos.
- Boats also leave from these islands daily for the lesser Cyclades.
FEATURED PROPERTIES:Ikaria - Armenistis
Price: €209,000 - 125 m2
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