The Aegean takes its name from Aegeas, the father of Theseus, who flung himself into the sea believing that his son was killed in Crete. The Cyclades is the central island cluster in the Aegean Sea, so named because they more or less surround Delos, the ancient center of trade and worship (kykloi - rings).
The Aegean Sea geographically divides Europe from Asia and the Aegean Islands form a bridge between the two continents. Between the islands, the merchants of ancient times could cross the Aegean Sea without compass or sextant and be out of sight of land for only a few hours.
The prevailing wind in the summer is the famous "Meltemi" that blows from the N-NW. The "Meltemi" begins in June, blows strongest in July, August and September, and dies down during October. In July and August the "Meltemi" blows at a force of 5-6 on the Beaufort scale and occasionally may reach a force of 7-8. It may continue for 1-3 days and sometimes for 2 weeks at a time. There is no way of knowing for just how long it will last. It has a thermal component so that it loses some strength at night and increase again in the day.
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Cyclades are a cluster of islands in the centre of the Aegean Sea.
They took the name Cyclades because all the islands surround the ancient isle of Delos, which was the commercial and religious centre of the Cyclades (kikloi=rings). The Cyclades are divided in 3 sectors:
The Northern Cyclades consist of Andros, Delos, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos (Myconos), Rinia, Syros and Tinos.
The Middle Cyclades are comprised of Amorgos, Antiparos, Donoussa, Iraklia, Koufonissia, Levitha, Naxos, Paros, Schinousa, Serifos and Sifnos.
The Southern Cyclades are made up of Anafi, Folegandros, Ios, Kimolos, Milos, Sikinos and Thira (Santorini).
The well-known "Meltemi" wind blows N-NW, beginning in June and dying down in September and October. In July and August the "Meltemi" blows at a force of 5-6 but sometimes reaches 7-8 on the Beaufort scale. It may blow from one to three days to up to two weeks long. In June, September and October it usually blows with a force of 3-4 and from several directions. During the "Meltemi" time, winds gust off the high land onto the lee sides of the islands at a force of 7-8, although it does not reach more than 5-6 in the open sea. During summer, the average temperature in the Cyclades is 25° C to 26° C (79 F) although at times it may rise to 35 °C (95 F).
Source: Greek Water Pilot