|Serifos, Siros, Sifnos, Milos and Ios
(Piraeus, 70 nautical miles.) Ships calling at the island anchor
at Livadi, which is surrounded by orchards and gardens.
From here the road climbs up to Hora (the main
settlement), where narrow paved alleys are lined
by typical Cycladic houses and churches. Higher, stands the old
Venetian fortress. Beautiful beaches
are to be found at Mega Livadi and Koutalas.
(Piraeus,80 nautical miles.) Siros lies at the centre of the
Cycladic complex. Its capital and main port, Ermoupolis,
has several notable neoclassical buildings, such
as the Town Hall and the Apollo Municipal Theatre
(which is a miniature copy of La Scala in Milan), plus spacious
public squares and impressive churches. Upper Siros holds on to
a strong medieval flavour with city walls, narrow cobbled streets
(Piraeus, 78 nautical miles.) Sifnos is very popular
in the western Cyclades. An attractive drive inland from
the port of Kamares leads to the main settlement, Apollonia,
made up of unique Cycladic houses, a number
of notable churches, and the Museum of Folklore.
Other places to see are the atmospheric medieval town
of Kastro, and the village of Artemonas,
built on gently undulating hills surrounded by scenic windmills.
There are good beaches at Vathy and Faros.
(Piraeus, 82 nautical miles.) This gorgeous island has
been inseparably associated with Venus since a statue
of the goddess of love, which is now in the Louvre in Paris, was
found here during the 19th century. A replica of the statue
can be seen in the Archaeological Museum in the chief
settlement, Plaka. Also of interest in Plaka are the vestiges
of a hilltop Frankish castle and the 13th-century Byzantine
Church of Thalassitras. Close to Plaka, at Tripiti,
there are wide-ranging early-Christian catacombs.
The best beaches and accommodation can be found
at Apollonia and Adamas (the
island’s port), and numerous sea
caves, notably Sikia (also known
as the Blue Cave) and Kleftiko, can be visited
(Piraeus, 114 nautical miles.) The main settlement
of this extremely popular island, Hora
(also known as Ios Town), stands above the small harbour of Ormos
and the attractive swimming beaches of Milopotas and Yalos.
Hora boasts whitewashed cottages, several interesting churches
and the ruins of a 15th-century hilltop fortress. Each year, thanks
to the steady influx of visitors, numerous summer discos open
up in Hora.
The four most popular islands of this group are Chios,
Lesbos, Lemnos and Samos, all of which lie fairly far
apart in the waters of the northeast Aegean, close to Turkey.
It is possible to reach these islands by ferry from Piraeus.