Νομός Κυκλάδων
—  Former prefecture  —
Location of Cyclades in Greece
Location of municipalities within Cyclades Prefecture
Country Greece
Periphery South Aegean
Established 1833
Disestablished 2010
Capital Ermoupoli
 - Total 2,572 km2 (993.1 sq mi)
Area rank 23rdh
Population (2005)
 - Total 119,549
 - Rank 29th
 - Density 46.5/km2 (120.4/sq mi)
 - Density rank 34th
Postal codes 84x xx
Area codes 228x0
ISO 3166 code GR-82
The Cyclades Islands encircle Delos.

The Cyclades (Greek: Κυκλάδες, [cikˈlaðes], English: /ˈsɪklədiːz/) is a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of the mainland of Greece; and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς) the sacred island of Delos. The Cyclades is where the native Greek breed of cat (the Aegean cat) first came from.



The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgós, Anáfē, Ándros, Antíparos, Dēlos, Eschátē, Íos, Kéa, Kímōlos, Kýthnos, Mēlos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Páros, Folégandros, Sérifos, Sífnos, Síkinos, Sýros, Tēnos, and Thēra or Santoríni. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

Ermoupolis, on Syros, is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture.

The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini (Thera). The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile: agricultural produce includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and mainly do not receive wintry weather.

The Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete.(Saundry, Hogan & Baum. 2011)


The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age ("Minoan") culture arose in Crete, to the south: these figures have been looted from burials to satisfy a thriving Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century.

A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer wheat and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, and tuna that were apparently speared from small boats (Rutter). Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala (on Keos) with signs of copper-working, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities (Rutter), and when the highly organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.


The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898 - 1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged, then picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuşi. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose. The context for many of these Cycladic figurines have been mostly destroyed and their meaning may never be completely understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Asia Minor ca 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between ca 3300 - 2000 BCE, when it was increasingly swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is termed Helladic.

In recent decades the Cyclades islands have become popular with European and other tourists, and as a result there have been problems with erosion, pollution, and water shortages.


The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into 9 peripheral units of the South Aegean Periphery:

Municipalities and communities

The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.

Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Amorgos 3101 840 08 22850-2
Andros (town) 3103 845 00 22820-2
Ano Syros 3105 841 00 22810-8
Drymalia 3107 Chalkeio Naxou 843 02 22850
Ermoupoli 3109 841 00 22810-2
Exomvourgo 3108 Kampos 842 00 22850-5
Ios 3112 840 01 22860-9
Kea 3113 Ioulis 840 02 22880-2
Korthio 3115 Ormos Korthiou 845 02 22820-6
Kythnos 3117 840 06 22810-3
Milos 3118 848 00 22870-2
Mykonos 3119 846 00 22890-2
Naxos 3120 843 00 22850-2
Paros 3123 844 00 22840-2
Poseidonia 3124 841 00 22810-4
Santorini 3111 847 00 22860-2
Serifos 3125 840 02 22810-5
Sifnos 3127 840 03 22840-3
Tinos 3129 842 00 22830-2
Ydrousa 3130 Gavrio 845 01 22820-7
Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Anafi 3102 840 09 22860-6
Antiparos 3104 840 07 22840-6
Donousa 3106 843 00 22850-5
Folegandros 3131 840 11 22860
Irakleia 3110 843 00 22870-7
Kimolos 3114 840 04 22870-5
Koufonisi 3116 843 00 22870-7
Oia 3121 847 02 22860-7
Panormos 3122 842 01 22830-3
Schoinoussa 3128 843 00 22870-7
Sikinos 3126 840 10 22860-5


  • Province of Andros - Andros
  • Province of Tinos - Tinos
  • Province of Syros - Ermoupoli
  • Province of Kea - Ioulis
  • Province of Milos - Milos
  • Province of Paros - Paroikia
  • Province of Naxos - Naxos
  • Province of Amorgos - Amorgos
  • Province of Thera - Thera

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.

Sailing in the Cyclades

The Cyclades, like the other Aegean island groups, are exposed to the north/north east, putting them in the path of the Meltemi wind that can reach Force 7 and above. The Meltemi tends to start in late June and will come and go until September.


Satellite image of the Cyclades


22810 - Syros, including Kythnos, Serifos and Syros islands
22820 - Andros
22830 - Tinos
22840 - Paros and Sifnos islands
22850 - Amorgos and Naxos islands
22860 - Folegandros, Ios, Santorini and Sikinos islands
22870 - Kimolos and Milos
22880 - Kea Island
22890 - Mykonos

See also

References and further reading

External links

Coordinates: 37°00′N 25°10′E / 37°N 25.167°E / 37; 25.167

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cyclades — war ein französisches Versuchsprojekt unter der Leitung von Louis Pouzin, das zum Ziel hatte, ein globales Telekommunikationsnetz zu schaffen, das auf dem Austausch von Datenpaketen beruht. Das Projekt wurde 1971 ins Leben gerufen und 1978 wegen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CYCLADES — war ein französisches Versuchsprojekt unter der Leitung von Louis Pouzin, das zum Ziel hatte, ein globales Telekommunikationsnetz zu schaffen, das auf dem Austausch von Datenpaketen beruht. Das Projekt wurde 1971 ins Leben gerufen und 1978 wegen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CYCLADES — L’archipel des Cyclades occupe le centre de la mer Égée. Résultat d’une série de fractures et de transgressions marines intervenues à la fin de l’ère tertiaire, les blocs émoussés de marbres et de schistes de ses îles ensoleillées, sèches et… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cyclades — • A group of islands in the Ægean Sea Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Cyclades     Cyclades     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Cyclades — n. 1. the pre Mycenaean civilization on the Cyclades islands in the S Aegean sea. Syn: Cycladic civilization, Cycladic culture. [WordNet 1.5] 2. an archipelago consisting of over 200 islands in the southern Aegean sea. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • CYCLADES — insulae maris Aegaei a promontor. Gerresto, ut Plin. notat, l. 4. c. 12. circa Delum hodie Sdille, quo singulis annis, Iuventus missa, ut festis interesset, in orbem sitae, unde et nomen acceperunt, Strabo, l. 10. Zonar. tom. 3. Dionys. v. 525.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Cyclades — [sik′lə dēz΄] group of islands of Greece, on the S Aegean: 993 sq mi (2,572 sq km); pop. 94,000 Cycladic [si klad′ik, sīklad ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Cyclades — 37°00′N 25°10′E / 37, 25.167 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • CYCLADES — The CYCLADES packet switching network was a French research network created in the early 1970s. It was developed to explore alternatives to the ARPANET design and to support network research generally. It was extremely influential on the Internet …   Wikipedia

  • Cyclades — /sik leuh deez /, n. a group of Greek islands in the S Aegean. 86,337; 1023 sq. mi. (2650 sq. km). * * * Greek Kikládhes Group of about 30 islands, southern Aegean Sea. They cover a land area of 976 sq mi (2,528 sq km) and constitute the Cyclades …   Universalium

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