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Last updated : Nov 2009
Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Delos and Paros
Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Delos and Paros - TravelPuppy.com
Andros

(Piraeus, 89 nautical miles.) Most northerly of the Cyclades, Andros is a green mountainous island planted with vineyards, olive groves and pine trees. Its capital, Andros Town, is made up of typical white cottages, plus a number of neoclassical-style town houses and the remains of a 13th-century Venetian castle. Worth visiting are the Archaeological Museum, displaying a rich collection of finds from the excavations on the island; the Museum of Modern Art, staging exhibitions of contemporary Greek artists; and the Maritime Museum.

There are many fine beaches, the largest being at Batsi, which also has several small hotels. Other places of interest are Paleopolis, the island’s ancient port, much of which now lies below the sea, however some ruins can still be seen; Panachrantou Monastery at Falika; and the Byzantine Church of Taxiarchon in Messaria. Apikia is well-known for its mineral springs. The principal port is Gavrio, which is on the west of Andros Town.

Tinos

(Piraeus, 86 nautical miles.) The island’s largest settlement, Tinos Town, is best known as a pilgrimage site. Each year on 25th March and 15th August, thousands of believers get together here to pay their respect to an icon of Our Lady (said to perform miracles) kept in the Church of the Annunciate Virgin (Evangelistria). Second attraction is the Archaeological Museum, exhibiting finds from the ancient Temple of Poseidon. Remains of the temple itself can be seen at Kionia, where there is also a good beach. Buses connect Tinos Town to the island’s numerous villages, the most interesting being Pirgos, noted for its sculpture school and marble workshops, plus another pleasant beach.

Mykonos

(Piraeus, 95 nautical miles.) The most visited and most expensive of all the Greek islands, Mykonos is well-known for its dynamic nightlife and some of Greece’s best discos. It is especially popular among the international gay community. Mykonos Town (also known as Hora) comprises a whitewashed houses, modern harbour and churches, shops selling local arts and crafts, small tavernas and cafes, and is backed by a hill with five thatched windmills. The Paraportiani Church, a compound of four chapels, is considered to be an architectural masterpiece. The Archaeological Museum exhibits finds excavated from the necropolis on the close by islet of Rhenia. There is also a Folklore Museum. Exciting excursions can be made to the monasteries of Agios Panteleimon, close to Mykonos Town, and the Tourliani Monastery, close to the old fishing village of Ano Mera. Beaches range from cosmopolitan to isolated, the most popular being Agios Stefanos and Platis Gialos. On the south side of the island lie numerous unspoilt nudist beaches, the best known being Paradise and Super Paradise, which can be reached by boat from Plati Gialos. It is also possible to visit the unoccupied island of Delos (see Delos section) by boat from Mykonos Town.

Through summer, there are flights on a daily basis from Mykonos to Athens.

Delos

(Mykonos, 6 nautical miles.) The religious and political centre of the Aegean in ancient times, the small island of Delos is said to have been the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Today unoccupied, it is possible to visit this superb archaeological site, arriving by boat from Mykonos. Main attractions include the Avenue of the Lions, featuring five crouching stone lions, guardians of the Sacred Lake, and the Sanctuary of Apollo, made up of three temples. The Archaeological Museum exhibits archaic, Hellenistic, Classical and Roman sculptures, including the Archaic Sphinx of the Naxians and Acroteria (Victories) from the Temple of the Athenians, found in excavations on the site.

Paros

(Piraeus, 95 nautical miles.) The island’s hinterland has rising and falling hills that contain the famous Parian marble. It is becoming a popular tourist destination, thanks to its sand beaches, unspoilt fishing villages, reasonably priced hotels and happening nightlife. Parikia, the island’s picturesque capital and main port, is constructed on the site of the ancient city. There is a ruined Venetian castle and close to the port stands the very impressive 6th-century Byzantine church of Ekatondapiliani (Church of a Hundred Doors). A number of fine beaches lie near Naousia, the island’s second port, notably Kolimbithres, where the rugged coast forms inlets with golden sands. Of the island’s monasteries, Zoodohos Pigi Longovarda and Christou Tou Dassous are the most significant.

Antiparos is separated from Paros by a very narrow channel. The main attraction on this tiny island is its famed cave with stalactites. There are also several hotels and a number of good sand beaches. Through summer, there are flights on a daily basis from Paros to Athens.