The Cyclades are probably what most people think of when anyone mentions Greek islands. A group of over 200 islands, many uninhabited, stretching south-east from mainland Greece, the Cyclades include islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and Delos, to name just a few.
Originally, the Cyclades were the peaks of a prehistoric mountain chain, now flooded by the Mediterranean, although Milos and Santorini are volcanoes.
So many, and so varied, are the Cyclades that it is impossible to sum them up in the space we have here. Nor are they easy to categorise, because although they are grouped geographically they are very different in terms of topography and nature.
Santorini, for instance, is steep and volcanic, whereas Naxos is relatively flat and fertile. They do, however, have great beaches, charming sea-front tavernas, and the sense that very little has changed here in several hundred years.