Arrived on Mykonos on Friday afternoon and got a taxi straight to the port hoping to pick up a tour boat to Naxos that afternoon. Along with 2 other couples we waited until 6pm but when there was no sign of the Naxos Star we booked the Seajet2 from Mykonos to Paros the following morning (22 euros) to connect with the Blue Star ferry from Paros to Naxos (7.5 euro). We spent the night at the Zorzis hotel in Mykonos town (met up with the owner in the port) where we stayed in a spacious room on the top floor at the back of the hotel (lovely and quiet) for 50 euros. An excellent continental breakfast of bread, cheese, croissants, jam, honey, tea or coffee was available for 5 euros per person. This hotel is beautifully furnished and has the best showers I have ever come across in Greece – power showers in a spacious shower cubicle.
On arrival in Naxos numerous hotel/room owners met the boat and we decided to stay at the Panos Studios in Agios Georgios for 35 euros a night, including air conditioning and TV so OH could watch the world cup! The studios are a couple of minutes walk from the beach and our room was clean and spacious though the balcony was small and the view wasn’t up to much. We enjoyed our two days in Naxos and spent time re-exploring Naxos old town, walked to Agia Anna, and caught the local bus over to Apollon where we spent a relaxing few hours.
Before we left the UK we were undecided which of the Little Cyclades islands to visit first, but decided to stick with our original plan and start with Iraklia, as it was the shortest ferry crossing. We caught the Aeolos Kenteris II from Naxos to Iraklia on Monday morning (6.90 euros) which took about an hour. This was a beautiful ship, the ferries have definitely improved since my first island hopping trip 10 years ago!
On arrival in Iraklia we were met by several room owners and decided to stay at the Agnadema rooms above the port as the rooms and view looked lovely. We really enjoyed our 3 nights at the Agnadema where we stayed in a new room with air con and TV for 25 euros a night. Our room had a very spacious balcony/terrace with superb views over Agios Georgios and the sea. On the first evening I sat on the balcony watching the sun setting whilst drinking a glass of rose wine – superb. We loved Iralkia and had some excellent and reasonably priced meals at the taverna halfway up the hill overlooking the harbour.
On the first day we walked past Livadi Beach to Panayia/Hora and had an excellent Greek salad in the only taverna that was open, whilst enjoying the beautiful views over the valley and the sea. The following day we decided to walk to the cave of Ayios Ioannis. This took about 2 hours each way and was very hard work – I’m obviously not as fit as I thought I was! It was a very hot day and the walk involves a lot of climbing. There is some beautiful scenery which I stopped to admire often – whilst catching my breath lol. To be honest I wasn’t over impressed with the cave. I’m glad I did the walk, but won’t be doing it again if we ever return to Iraklia! Our final day was spent relaxing on the beautiful Livadi beach where I went for a swim in the crystal clear water which was lovely though very cold.
On the Thursday afternoon we caught the Skopelitis for the 20 minute trip across to Schinoussa (4.5 euros). On arrival at Schinoussa there weren’t many people around and as we didn’t want to be stranded in the port I approached a man driving a mini bus with ‘Anna’ on the side and asked if there were any rooms available. He indicated that we should jump in and took us to the Iliovasilema Hotel where we were offered a room with TV and air con for 30 euros a night. The treble room was large and spacious though the balcony was tiny, only just big enough for the small table and 2 chairs, but had lovely views over the harbour.
We spent 2 nights on Schinoussa, which was long enough to walk round most of the island. Really liked chora but found parts of Schinoussa were very dusty, rather than ‘dreamy’ as there is quite a lot of building work going on. Most of it is fairly low key but they are building a new wall on the dirt road to Messaria and there are clouds of dust everywhere so it wasn’t a particularly pleasant walk. We had lunch at the ‘posh’ taverna in Lioliou which is a nice bay with some lovely looking apartments and then walked on to Almiros Bay where there was more building work and dust. On our final day we visited Livadi Beach which is a pretty bay with a taverna. We had two excellent meals at the friendly family run taverna over the supermarket in Chora, and were the only customers there when we stopped for lunch on our final day. The owner’s daughter helps out in the taverna and also teaches French at the village school which has 35 pupils from nursery age up to the age of 18. Unfortunately the ambience of Chora is somewhat spoilt by the cement mixer which trundles through the narrow streets every half hour.
The management at the Iliovasilema Hotel were very accommodating and let us keep our room on until our ferry departed at 4pm which enabled us to get the most out of our 2 day stay.
That afternoon we travelled on the Skopelitis to Egiali in Amorgos. Plenty of room owners met the boat and we decided to stay at the Marilia Studios in the harbour for 30 euros a night. The room was nothing special but had a spacious balcony overlooking the harbour - I do like a decent sized balcony with a nice view!
During our stay on Amorgos we caught the local bus from Egiali to Chora and had a walk round the scenic old town, which is definitely worth a visit, before walking the 5km to Katapola. We stayed in Katapola for 5 nights on a previous trip to Amorgos 7 years ago so it was interesting to re-visit. Katalpola was bigger than I remembered and we were glad that we’d decided to stay in Egiali on this trip which is smaller with a much better beach.
The following day we caught the bus to Tholaria, a village in the hills a few kilometers above Egiali and from there walked along the mule path to the other hill village of Langada. This is a lovely walk with some beautiful scenery, and took about an hour. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk up to Tholaria from Egiali before walking on to Langada but we decided to cheat and catch the bus for the hard part. Langada is a lovely village which is well worth visiting and after exploring the village we walked back down the mule path to Egiali.
The rest of the time we spent relaxing around the harbour, on Egiali beach and the smaller cove further round the bay.
All too soon it was time to return to Mykonos for the final 2 days of our holiday. We booked the early morning Blue Star Paros from Egiali to Paros (15 euros) and the Seajet 2 to Mykonos (22 euros). The owner of the Zorzis was in the port meeting some other guests off the Seajet and after confirming that we could have a room at the back of the hotel for 50 euros we decided that we would stay there again for our final 2 nights. This time we stayed in room 4 on the ground floor which was a much smaller room and was quite dark as the only window looked out onto the passageway of the hotel. To be honest I felt a bit claustrophobic in the room but we spent very little time in there and the Zorzis does have a small garden area round the back which is an ideal place to spend an hour or so reading.
It was a bit of a shock to the system arriving back on Mykonos as there were 2 cruise ships in the bay on our first night back and Mykonos town was very busy – a real contrast to the peace and quiet of Iraklia. We decided to eat in Little Venice which was an expensive option! One portion of tzatziki, 2 burgers a la crème, 3 glasses of wine and 3 beers came to 66 euros – which was double what we paid most other nights.
On the final day of our holiday I decided to go on one of the tour boats to Delos as it’s somewhere I’ve never been before and it seemed a shame not to visit when we were so close. I had an enjoyable couple of hours walking round the ruins and the views from the top of Mount Kythnos are stunning. The cost of the tour boat was 15 euros and there was a site entrance fee of 5 euros which also included admittance to the museum. IMHO if you’ve never been before it’s well worth a visit.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Little Cyclades though unfortunately we didn’t have time to include Donoussa on this trip. However it is definitely on my list of islands to visit in the future.