With impossibly blue seas, gorgeous beaches, stunning landscapes, fascinating history, amazing cafes, whitewashed houses, pretty-as-picture streets, quaint windmills and a vivid nightlife, the Cyclades islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Ios together compose a perfect destination for an exotic honeymoon. An island group in the Aegean Sea that forms a circle around the sacred island of Delos, Cyclades comprises some of the most beautiful in the world, making a trip here a lifetime experience. Also, pure bliss for honeymooners.
Mykonos has it all
A fine gem of the all-white splendour of Cyclades, and its most cosmopolitan island, Mykonos is where you meet people from all over the world who want to be on the cutting edge of things. The island has it all—shimmering beaches, immense beauty, perfect food, luxurious hotels, infinity pools, superlative nightlife and, most important of all, the hospitality of its inhabitants.
Surrounded by the Aegean Sea and Delos, and getting more beautiful with age, Mykonos is where you can go to a beach like Agios Sostis or Fokos or Agrari and be almost there by yourself or you can go where there are lots of people, ambience and good food like Paradise, Ornos, Paraga, Elia. The bay of Paradise, especially, is famous for its luxury beach bars, restaurants and resorts, and exemplifies Mykonos’ luxurious attitude.
Capital Chora is vivid and strolling through its labyrinthine stone-paved alleys, shopping at its sophisticated boutiques, savouring refreshing drinks at chic bars, is like a fairy tale. In Little Venice, the famed waterfront kissed by the waves of the Aegean, the seascape is photogenic and creates a romantic atmosphere, highlighted further by the island’s signature whitewashed windmills to the south.
The island also boasts of a fascinating and diverse gastronomic scene, from local taverns to luxurious fine dining restaurants and even a winery tour in the picturesque village of Ano Mera.
Mykonos’ Paradise beach and the sapphire clear waters that hug it.
Magic in Santorini
Santorini’s unique landscape was shaped after a volcanic eruption, which is why you now have the crescent-shaped caldera (offering the most dramatic sea views in the world), hot springs and amazing red and black volcanic beaches that contrast with azure waters.
Santorini’s beaches are different from those of other Cycladic islands. Red Beach offers an extraordinary sight. So does Perivolos, the continuation of Perissa beach that is covered in black sand and shingle, and Kamari, with its dark grey sand. In Kamari, lying on sun loungers and gazing into the indigo waters can be one experience that you will hold on to for long. Another must-do is a catamaran cruise, each a different mix of popular elements such as hiking in the volcano, swimming in the hot springs, visiting Thirassia, stopping at Red Beach and White Beach to swim and so on.
Santorini is all about a unique atmosphere and magical setting for island hikes, luxury hotels, clifftop wineries and dreamy sunsets. Here, shades of red create unreal sunsets, with the best seen from Oia, the village that offers the most Instagram-able of landscapes. Then there are those whitewashed terraces, windmills, blue domes and other amazing things you discover as you stroll around or swim and lunch at tavernas in Ammoudi harbour. Imerovigli and Fira, the island’s capital, are also good for viewing the volcano and the sea. Imerovigli is especially romantic—the ‘balcony of the Aegean’ offering the best view of the volcano and the blue-domed church.
Stays at Santorini can be truly unforgettable. With some of the world’s best hotels, nestling in the cliffs as minimalistic cave-like structures with whitewashed walls and infinity pools, a few authentic cave hotels and an amazing gastronomic scene, Santorini is a classic Greece destination.
Picturesque view of traditional Cycladic houses along a narrow flower-lined alley in Santorini.
Finding the flavour of youth
Although not quite in the league of Mykonos and Santorini, Ios has over the years gained ground in popularity. Its youthful vibe, highlighted by the spirited atmosphere on its beaches and a lively party scene, is not lost on young couples. And, the party scene is not just about its epic clubs and bars. It is about joie de vivre being a way of life; even just for those few days you will spend on the island. In terms of nightlife, Ios is the next best thing in Greece after Mykonos.
But then, like all Cycladic islands, its appeal also lies in beaches with shimmering waters, picturesque cliff top villages, narrow alleys and, not to mention, an ideal location on the Aegean Sea. Island-hopping to Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Crete can be fun as can be lazing in its idyllic beaches or dipping in and out of the crystal-clear waters around the famed Mylopotas, Gialos and Manganari, and the quieter Agia Theodoti, Psathi. The most-favoured is Mylopotas, with honeycomb-colour sand and palm-topped cabanas under which you can bask until kingdom come.
Traditional Greek tavern on a Chora street in Ios.