The group called the Cyclades consists of some hundreds of islands and islets of which 33 are inhabited.These form one of the most attractive groups of islands to be found anywhere in the world, with some 200 easily accessible beaches and countless more which are more difficult to get to. The Cyclades got their name from the belief on the part of the ancient Greeks that they lay in a circle around the holy island of Delos, where Apollo and Artemis were born.The first inhabitants are given by the myths as the Carians, the Leleges and the Phoenicians, but whoever they were they turned the Cyclades into a major cultural centre lasting thousands of years. Their civilization is divided by archaeologists into three periods;
Early Cycladic (3200 - 2000 BC),
Middle Cycladic (2000 - 1500 BC) and
Late Cycladic (1500 - 1100 BC).
The unique natural beauty of the Cyclades; their unusual landscapes; their mild and pleasant climate, with long periods of sunshine and strong winds to keep down the heat; their sandy beaches; their caves; their fishing; their traditional customs and architecture- those are some of the factors that make the Cyclades a mecca for tourists each summer.