The Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades, found in the impossibly pretty southern Aegean, are a classical marvel with luxury accommodation making them ready for the modern age. From the buzzing and thriving (Mykonos) to the drop-dead gorgeous and tranquil (Santorini), the Cyclades form an archipelago of graceful islands, each with their own character and history, but all with the same stunning good looks, typical white and blue architecture, and sunny climate. Bill Coo Suites and Lounge Mykonos City Bill Coo Suites and Lounge Mykonos City Ios, Santorini and Mykonos form the tourist heart of the islands, but tiny Folegandros, remote Sikinos, and better-known Naxos, Paros and Milos are becoming increasingly trendy among those in the know. Depending on your preferences, it's easy to have a relaxed, cultural break on the islands, barely seeing a soul the whole time, or to have a wild and hedonistic stay, tempered by days of rest and luxury spa facilities (if the latter takes your fancy, it's likely you'll be happiest on Mykonos). Terra Maria Hotel Mykonos City Terra Maria Hotel Mykonos City For simple, clean, and minimalist design (yet just a hop, skip, and a jump from the colour and noise of the beaches and bars) Terra Maria Hotel on Mykonos offers warm and traditional Mykonian hospitality in a pristine setting. When it comes to dining, Mykonos offers a branch of luxury restaurant chain Nobu for its discerning visitors, but for something a little more Greek, Eva's Garden is a deliciously authentic taverna located in a sunny courtyard in the centre of town. Avaton Resport and Spa Imerovigli Avaton Resport and Spa Imerovigli By contrast, the Avaton Resort & Spa on Santorini is anything but simple, but its boutique ambience means that it remains refined and tasteful. Based in Imerovigli with just 9 rooms, the Avaton doesn't lack the personal touch, and offers homemade candles, local wine, and fresh fruit to all guests on arrival at its tranquil clifftop location. While in Santorini, make the most of its fabulous 3,700 year-old heritage, and explore the Pompeii-like Akrotiri ruins which demonstrate how life was lived before the massive volcanic eruption which created much of the islands' landmass. Grace Santorini Imerovigli Grace Santorini Imerovigli For something totally removed from the tourist throng, head to Sifnos. This island may only be three hours from Athens via highspeed ferry, but its typcial Cycladic architecture and while powdery beaches mean it's worlds apart. Stay at Elies Resorts for Champagne breakfasts, spa centre, private beach, on-site cocktail bars, and light Mediterranean cooking. The tiny capital of Apollonia (population: 869) is home to the island's library and a charming museum of folklore.