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The Little Cyclades

Greece's insider take:

Only four of the Little Cyclades—Iraklia, Donousa, Schinousa, and Pano Koufonisi—are permanently inhabited, and those just barely. But make the effort to get there, preferably on the valiant but erratic little Express Skopelitis out of Naxos, and you'll discover a Greece most of us thought died sometime in the 1970s. The beaches are very good, especially on Pano Koufonisi; it's also the island with the most places to stay (Aeolos is a favorite, in part because of its friendly owners). If you are a walker, Iraklia is best: Try the trail leading to the Cave of St. John, one of the biggest in the Cyclades. Except in July and August, when even Odysseus himself would be unwise to arrive anywhere in the Greek islands without a reservation, count on having your walks, and your beaches, to yourself…for now.—Bob Payne

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