The group of Western Cyclades, geographically located between the central Cyclades islands and the coasts of Peloponnese, consists of islands with traditional architecture, calm environment and away from mass tourism. Here are some fantastic islands for summer holidays in Western Cyclades.
Although Milos has special beauty and wonderful spots, it is a fortunate thing that it has not opened to mass tourism. Hotels in Milos are family places with traditional style and the number of tourists is kept in normal scale, even in high season (July and August).
Due to its volcanic background, the geology and coastline of Milos island in Western Cyclades have special shapes and forms. This volcanic composition of the ground is responsible for the many caves and underwater caves of Milos as well as for the obsidian mines that support the local economy from the ancient times until today. These characteristics have made Milos island popular among geologists and volcanologists. In fact, in order to get to know better this special side of the island, the Mineralogical Museum of Milos has created a project of hiking walks called Miloterranean Geo Walks.
The most impressive places to visit in Milos are the fantastic beaches and the fishing villages with the characteristic local architecture. Such villages are, for example, Klima, Fourkovouni, Firopotamos and Areti. Built along small fishing ports, these villages have white houses with colourful window shutters and boat garages at the ground floor. These boat garages are called syrmata and protect the boats from bad weather and strong winds. They are actually carved against the rocks and show the excellent skills of the locals in rock-carving. This skill is evident in the Christian Catacombs of Milos, created as early as the 1st century AD.
The most fantastic beach of Milos is Sarakiniko, a large white rock created millions of years ago when the volcano of Milos exploded and poured hot lava that was later solidified. The moon-like beach of Sarakiniko is the most photographed place on the island. All around the coastline of Milos, there are such beaches with special characteristics, such as Firiplaka, Papafragas and Agia Kyriaki, while the most impressive place to swim is the sea region of Kleftiko with the many sea caves and underwater passages, on the southern side of the island.
A small island of Western Cyclades, Sifnos is the perfect Greek destination for fantastic beaches plus traditional Cycladic architecture. The seaside villages of the island are lined up with Sifnos beach hotels, delicious taverns and cafeterias. Many beaches of Sifnos are sandy and organized, such as Kamares, Platis Gialos, Vathy and Faros, which are also the most popular places to stay on the island. However, a hike around will bring you to fantastic, secluded bays to enjoy private moments. In Sifnos, do not miss the picturesque village of Kastro, a Medieval settlement that used to be the old capital of the island.
Away from the popular tourist routes, Serifos is a lovely island of Western Cyclades and ideal for total relaxation. There is not much to do in Serifos than swimming and hiking. In the day time, people are spread in fantastic beaches with crystal waters. The frequented beaches of Serifos, such as Livadakia and Avlomonas, are lined up with many Serifos beach hotels and studios. Other beaches of Serifos, such as Psili Ammos and Agios Sostis, are peaceful and non-organized.
On the western side of Serifos, just above the beach of Megalo Livadi, is an important historical landmark of the island: the Old Mines, where a large strike broke out in 1916, resulting in the death of three mining workers. In the evening, head to Chora, the picturesque capital of the island, where it is a pleasure to walk through the Medieval paths and have dinner in the many taverns.
Apart from the traditional Cycladic architecture and the relaxing atmosphere, Kythnos is also famous for its thermal springs. In the seaside village of Loutra, on the northern side of the island, there are thermal springs that pour from the antiquity until present. These springs cure various diseases, such as spinal disorders, rheumatic pains, arthritis, neuroses and more. For treatments, there is a Hydrotherapy Center in Loutra that works from May to October. Two open thermal springs are also found on the side of Loutra Beach, with hot water all day and night.
Apart from Loutra, which is a tourist place with many Kythnos hotels, taverns and car/bike rental agencies, another tourist village in Kythnos is Merihas, the port of the island. Kythnos also hosts one of the most beautiful beaches in Western Cyclades, the beach of Kolona. Chora and Driopida are the most traditional villages in Kythnos, with Medieval architecture and relaxing atmosphere. An important sight is also the Church of Panagia Kanala, the protector of the island, that attracts many pilgrims every year on its celebration day, on August 15th.