The Cycladic Complex
Facilities for Travelers
The Cyclades complex, in the heart of the Aegean Sea, comprises several hundreds of islands and islets of which 28 are inhabited.
The name derives from the Greek word "cyclos", means "circle".
The ancient Greeks belief that the islands laid in a circle around the sacred island of Delos, where according the mythology, God Apollo and Goddess Artemis were born. The first inhabitants settled here in 5000 BC, ruins from this period proves the existence of the oldest impressive civilization in Europe. The well known Cycladic civilization.
The famous Cycladic marble status were sculptured during the Early Cycladic period, 3000-2000 BC, when people here lived in houses, built boats and mined obsidian and exported it throughout the Mediterranean.
The obsidian mined only in Milos Island and the existence of obsidian elsewhere in Mediterranean give us information about the transport and commerce abilities of the ancient times.
The Minoans occupied the islands in the Middle Cycladic period, 2000-1500 BC, and the Mycenaean's around the 15th century BC, at the beginning of the Late Cycladic period. Cyclades became very prosperous after the arrival of the Romans in 190 BC. Syros Island became one of the most important trade centers in Mediterranean. Their decline begun with the arrival of the Franks, who gave the islands to Venice. The Turks occupied the islands in 15th century AC. A long period of poverty and fear follows because of the pirates that attack frequently the unguarded towns. In an effort to disorientate attackers, the local architecture devised the labyrinthine town-planning with narrow streets. This is the main feature in most towns until today.
The islands are well known for their natural beauty, the dazzling white buildings and churches, the healthy climate with long periods of sunshine and strong winds to keep down the heat, the sandy beaches, the caves and the traditional architecture.
The islands are easily accessible from the main land by the sea. Some of them can be reached by air.