Several of these islands have airports, so you can fly from Athens to the Cycladic Islands, depending on your final destination. If flights to your island of choice aren't available, you can take a ferry from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, or Rafina, a smaller port of Athens, which services many of the Cycladic Islands as well.
If you're looking to island hop, you can either fly from Athens to your first island and then take a ferry to your next destination, or you can do the entire trip by ferry.
When planning your trip, consider this week-long itinerary, which takes you on a sailing trip around some of the Cycladic islands such as Mykonos and Naxos. If you're interested in taking your time to explore the beauty of these islands, check out this two-week itinerary, which includes visits to Tinos and Syros.
Duration: 45 minutes
Flying is the fastest and sometimes most convenient way to travel from Athens to the Cycladic Islands. Mykonos, Santorini, and Paros are just a few of these islands that have airports. Aegean and Olympic are two of the airlines, which offer flights from Athens to the Cyclades year-round.
Flying can be the best option if you are pressed for time or traveling during the low season (mid-September through mid-June) as ferry schedules can be more limited during this time. Note that only economy tickets are available for these short flights.
Duration: 2.5 hours or longer, depending on your final destination
The Cycladic Islands are one of the most popular destinations in Greece and so you can find a number of ferry options from Athens to the Cyclades. Fast and slow ferries are available either from Piraeus or Rafina, the smaller port of Athens, which is closer to the Athens International Airport.
Fast ferries are typically high-speed hydrofoils, which skim the waves to get you to your destination faster, but can get a bit rocky if it's windy outside. If you're prone to sea-sickness but also want to take a ferry, consider a slower ferry option, which is larger and offers more outdoor space.
Seajets and Blue Star Ferries are some of the companies that operate ferries to the Cyclades. Economy and business class tickets are available for ferries and in some cases, cabins are available as well. You can bring a car or motorbike on board, but note that this will increase your ticket price.
If taking the ferry, note that you can book direct ferries to most of the Cycladic Islands but in some cases, only indirect ferries may be available. These are ferries which stop at other islands along the way.
Ferry schedules are usually more limited during the low season, but if the ferry is running during your travel time, this can be a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Aegean as you travel from Athens to the Cyclades.
By Plane + Ferry
Duration: 3.5 hours or longer, depending on your final destination
If you're looking to get to a Cycladic island, which doesn't have an airport, but also want to cut down some of your travel time, you could fly to a different Cycladic island and then grab a ferry from there.
Most of the Cycladic Islands offer ferries to other islands in this group, but note that they may not have direct options available. However, depending on your final destination, this option may lessen your travel time and give you the chance to see a different island en route to your end point.