Destinations

The two best islands in Greece you’ve never heard of

According to Greek mythology, the Cycladic Islands of Greece came into existence after Poseidon, God of the sea, in a fury transformed the beautiful Cyclades nymphs into islands.

No less beautiful now than they were at their mythological forming, the Cycladic Islands plot the Aegean Sea to the revelling of tourists and travel agents around the world.

Known for Mykonos and Santorini, here are two of the Cycladic Islands in Greece that Tempo Holidays recommends visiting to beat the crowds.

Naxos

For a tailored two-week tour of this beautiful, hidden-gem of Greece, check out Tempo Holidays’ Charming Cyclades tours.

Along with extraordinary views that are the standard across the Greek islands, Naxos is also known for its charming city streets. Here, you can still find Greeks wearing traditional garb amid a wealth of ancient architecture and mythological history.
Along with extraordinary views that are the standard across the Greek islands, Naxos is also known for its charming city streets. Here, you can still find Greeks wearing traditional garb amid a wealth of ancient architecture and mythological history.

The Cyclades’ largest and lushest island, Naxos is highlighted by Mount Zeus – the highest peak in the region – green gorges, stunning seascapes and villages perched high on mountain tops, where tradition reigns supreme. 

Like the Sporades Island of Skiathos, Naxos was a centre of Classical Greek and Byzantine culture; the island also preserves its Venetian and Flemish influences.

The Portara or Temple of Apollo of Naxos Island, is believed to be the islet of Palatia - an important location in Greek Mythology.
The Portara or Temple of Apollo of Naxos Island, is believed to be the islet of Palatia – an important location in Greek Mythology.

An island of beautiful old churches, monasteries and Venetian castles, Naxos is a place where you can admire a unique blend of Cycladic and Medieval architecture; the island also, however, preserves remnants of its deep mythological history: be sure to visit the temple of Apollo on the islet of Palatia.

city of naxos
The islet is believed to be the site where Ariadne, the Minoan Princess, was abandoned by her lover Theseus, whom she led out of the Labyrinth with a ball of thread after his defeat of the Minotaur of Crete.

Paros

If crowds aren’t your cup of tea, while the charm of the Cyclades Islands is too hard to resist, Paros might be the perfect choice for a calm beach-side getaway.

Naoussa, Paros Island
Naoussa, Paros Island – Home to one of the Paros’ world-class dishes like gouna, consisting of sun-dried kolios (mackerel), and a wealth of other delicious eats.

But word of the sensational conditions for water sports on the southern side of Paros is beginning to spread, with Golden Beach and New Golden Beach becoming more popular with tourists for its wind surfing, trademark Aegean waters and golden sands: in a word, this region is utterly irresistible.

Panagia Ekatontapiliani, Paros -
The monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, Paros – Found just a few metres from the port of Parikia, the capital of Paros, the church is one of the best-preserved Paleo-Christian monuments in Greece.

Although much of the charm of Paros lies in its proximity to the Aegean Sea – at less than a stone’s thrown from sapphire-blue waters – travellers may find equal delight in some of the island’s historical architecture, found further inland.

Along with a well-endowed catalogue of Ancient Greek artifacts found at the Paros Archaeological Museum, the Panagia Ekatontapiliani is one of the region’s most sought after sites of Byzantine-era architecture. According to legend, the original church was constructed by Saint Constantine, first Emperor of Constantinople, after the offering of his mother, Saint Helene.

Tourists visiting the brick byzantine historical church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani in Paros, cyclades islands, Greece
Ekatontapiliani, the Church with the Hundred Doors, was initially constructed in the fourth-century AD and further added to in the sixth-century AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian Source. Here, history lives on in Greece’s oldest Paleo-Christian monument.

In modern times, the Cyclades represent a group of picturesque Greek islands found south-east of the mainland, which include Mykonos, Santorini and Syros among others.

Santorini
Santorini, Greece.

The word ‘cyclades’ refers to the circular shape of the islands, and sitting at the centre of them is Delos – birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis, and, now, an uninhabited archaeological site in Greece.

Much of the modern fame of the Cyclades comes from the deserved reputations of Mykonos and Santorini, however, travellers are as equally spoilt by the nearly two dozen more other islands throughout the region, some of which arguably offer the same natural beauty, minus the crowds and party scenes.

The colours of Greece, white and blue, are found in all directions in Santorini, Greece.
The colours of Greece, white and blue, are found in all directions in Santorini, Greece.

With a tour off-the-beaten-track, agents should source travel options from a provider that is both a specialist in the region and a provider of flexible tailor-made travel options. For these reasons, Tempo Holidays might just be the perfect choice for booking your next low-key trip to the Cycladic Islands.

Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos, Greece.

All of the islands are within a boat-taxi’s distance from one another, so taking a pick-and-mix or lucky dip approach on an Aegean journey could serve you in good stead; with that being said its in your best interest to have a little insight into some of the hidden gems of the region.

For more information on Tempo Holidays’ travel options for Greece, click here.

Aviation

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon resigns

Christopher Luxon is stepping down from the top job at Air New Zealand amid reports he’s been called up to represent the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup.

Share

CommentComments

Events

GET A MOVE ON: only a few tickets left for Women in Travel + UBER offer!

This is your final warning, folks: our Women in Travel Awards are on tomorrow night!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing CEO admits “mistake” in handling of problematic 737 MAX aircraft

First an apology, now an admission. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has finally owned up to the manufacturer’s handling of the 737 MAX.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek interview with Aurora Expeditions’ Vicky Primrose

This week, Travel Weekly tried to coax secrets out of Aurora Expeditions’ global head of marketing over a few wines, but we had a few too many ourselves and forgot them all.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

INCENTIVE ALERT: Excite launches ultimate US shopping guide

The wholesaler has partnered up with Simon Shopping Destinations to bring you every shopaholic’s dream.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

CATO chairman takes aim at “deceptive and misleading” advertising by industry disruptors

Did you happen to miss Dennis Bunnik’s venom-filled address at CATO’s recent AGM? Consider yourself caught up with this.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie family shocked by whopping $30,000 holiday phone bill

Please excuse us while we scream internally for the rest of the day as we process the concept of a $30K phone bill.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“A kick to the tourism industry”: NSW government slammed over $35m budget cut

Just like the fireworks in the accompanying photo, two prominent industry bodies have gone off about the NSW government’s big funding cut to its tourism agency.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise wrap: Aurora teams up with NASA scientist, P&O’s Big Laugh Comedy fest returns + MORE!

Tired of your colleagues outsmarting you when it comes to the latest cruise brochures and deals? Get the upper hand right here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

MH370: Report sheds new light on suicide theory and Malaysian cover-up

A detailed report by a veteran journalist has exposed new details about how passengers may have met their end at the hands of a lonely pilot.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

How Air Canada is making its mark on gender equality, locally and globally

With the Women in Travel Awards 2019 just days away, we wanted to shine the light on a company that truly values female representation across the board.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation wrap: Qantas grows US network, Emirates reduces single-use plastics, Air Vanuatu’s new service + more

This week’s aviation wrap comes free of any mentions of flaperons, altimeters or horizontal stabilisers.

Share

CommentComments