Visited in 2003, 2008, 2010,
2014 and 2015

Walking, hiking and trekking on the SMALL CYCLADES




   - Blue Star Naxos
   - Express Skopelitis



*** = very beautiful

**** = exceptional

NN = new in 2014
NNN = new in 2015

(last update on the 6th of January 2021)

1. Donoússa: walk around the island***

2. Donoússa: Stavrós - Kalotarítissa and back ****  NN

3. Donoússa: Stavrós - Messariá - Myrsíni - Livádi and back ***  NN

4. Irakliá: Agios Geórgios - Agios Athanásios - Vourkariá and back

5. Irakliá: Agios Geórgios - cave of Agios Ioánnis - Chárakas - Vourkariá - Agios Geórgios ****  NNN

6. Irakliá: Agios Geórgios - cave of Agios Ioánnis - Panagiá - Agios Geórgios ***

7. Irakliá: Agios Geórgios - Panagiá - Pápas - Profítis Ilías - Marousoú - Panagiá - Agios Geórgios ****  NNN

8. Irakliá: Agios Geórgios - Voriní Spiliá and back  NNN

9. Páno Koufoníssi and Parianós

10. Páno Koufoníssi: the southeast coast ***

11. Páno Koufoníssi: walk around the island

12. Schinoússa: the beaches of the south

13. Schinoússa: the beaches of the north





Between Náxos and Amorgós, the most eastern island of the Cyclades, there is a group of small islands, called the Small Cyclades or Little Cyclades or Lesser Cyclades - the Mikrés Anatolikés Kykládes. These islands consist of four inhabited islands, namely Irakliá, Schinoússa, Páno Koufoníssi and Donoússa and a couple of uninhabited islands such as Kéros, Káto Koufoníssi and Ano and Káto Andikéri.
Most of these are situated at only a few kilometres south and south-east of the southern tip of Náxos; only Donoússa lies a little more isolated to the east. 
The largest islands are Irakliá (18 km²) and Donoússa (16 km²) – they are rather mountainous with the Pápas (419m) as the highest summit on Iraklía. The population numbers about 100 - 200 inhabitants in each case, with the exception of Páno Koufoníssi (260 inhabitants for only 3,8 km²).

Until recently, these islands were very isolated and hardly developed on the level of tourism. These days, even the important boat line connecting the Piraeus with Amorgos, via Páros and Náxos, stops at the Small Cyclades (usually at Irakliá, Schinoússa and Koufoníssi, and sometimes at Donoússa as well). However, the most faithful visitor of these islands is definitely the Express Skopelítis; leaving from the harbour of Katápola on Amorgós, this boast takes care of the almost daily connection with Náxos via the Small Cyclades.  

Nevertheless, the Small Cyclades remain a small heaven of peace, definitely off season. But recently, because of their reputation of quiet and authenticity, these islands have become an attractive holiday resort for backpackers, mostly in the months of July and August. This is a result of the wild and rocky coast and of the beautiful little bays and beaches, for instance on Schinoússa and on Páno Koufoníssi. The less developed island of Irakliá possesses a special attraction, a relatively famous cave, the so-called "cave of the Cyclops" or of Agios Ioánnis. On the uninhabited island of Kéros you can find remains of habitation dating from the Cycladic civilisation.

With regard to hiking, Irakliá and Donoússa are the most interesting – one of the charms being that you can walk around the entire island in one single day. In order to do so, you should take an early boat, leaving from Katápola or Egiáli on Amorgós; you will then arrive at the Small Cyclades fairly early, which means that you will have time enough to finish your hike before the return of the Skopelítis. Another possibility, especially for those really in favour of peace and tranquillity, is to stay on the islands themselves.

A good map of the 4 inhabited islands of the Small Cyclades can be found on the reverse of the 2016 edition of the Anávasi map of Náxos: most of the trails and their numbers are marked on it. There are e.g. 8 numbered and signposted walks on the map of Irakliá and 5 on that of Donoússa.


Since January the 1st  2004

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The cave of Agios Ioánnis on Irakliá

The typical monopáti to Agios Athanásios on Irakliá

 Towards the bay of Porí on Páno Koufoníssi

The little harbour of Parianós

The beach of Livádi on Donoússa

The monopáti to Messariá on Donoússa