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Getting There & Away

There are several connections a week between Piraeus and the Small Cyclades via Naxos, and daily connections to/from Naxos. The Small Cyclades are off most tourists' radars, and unplanned old-fashioned island-hopping is still possible here outside high season; you'll have no problem finding a room at a reasonable rate. Make sure to book ahead for high season, though. For ferry schedules, visit http://ferries.gr.

Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr) serves the Small Cyclades year-round. It has two routes, both beginning in Piraeus and calling at Paros and Naxos. From Naxos, three times a week the ferry calls at Donousa, then Amorgos (Aegiali) and terminates at Astypalea (in the Dodecanese). Three times a week, from Naxos the ferry stops at Iraklia, Schinousa and Koufonisia before terminating at Amorgos (Katapola).

The Small Cyclades Line runs the mainstay service, weather permitting in winter. Their sturdy little Express Skopelitis has been plying these waters for 35 years and is due for retirement. It is expected a new vessel will be ready for the 2018 season, but don't be surprised to see the Skopelitis back. It leave from Naxos in the afternoon daily Monday to Saturday, and calls at the Small Cyclades and Amorgos (often to both ports, Aegiali and Katapola). It then returns to Naxos early the following morning.