Tinos, Mykonos, Delos and Paros
(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.
(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.
(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
(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.
(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