Naxos was one of the major centres of the Cycladic culture. Around 3000BC, the main settlements appear to have been near Hora, on the hill of Kastro and at Grotta. The island was later colonised by a party from Karia, led by a son of Apollo named Naxos. Naxos was one of the first islands to work in marble and in the Archaic period produced the lions of Delos and Kouroi statues of increadible size. Indeed, for a period, huge was beautiful on Naxos; in 523BC the tyrant Lygdamis declared he would make Naxos' buildings the highest and most glorious in all Greece, although only the massive lintel from the gate of the Temple of Apollo remains on the islet of Palatia (in Naxos Town).
Travel writers seem to agree that Kythnos is the least interesting of all the Cyclades islands. It extremely barren with little to relieve the eye. This means that few foreigners travel there and it is a place where you can relax away from the crowds, even in the height of summer. Excavations have found a site dating back to the Early Neolithic or even the Mesolithic period, making it the oldest habitation yet found in the Cyclades. Much later the Ionians arrived on the island and founded the ancient city of Kythnos.
Tinos lies very close to the southern tip of Andros. This is the holy island of Our Lady, which in August is swamped by pilgrims who have come to pray in Her church or in fulfilment of a vow. As Our Lady's feast day on 15 August approaches, the church and the town of Tinos become crammed with people, and religious services take place next to the commercial fair being held in the surrounding streets. A line of mountains, whose highest peak is Mt Tsiknias (in the myths, the home of the wind-god Aeolus), runs the length of the island.
Cyclades architecture is one of a kind. With the advent of tourism on each of these islands, word about the uniqueness of Cyclades architecture has spread far and wide. If you visit Santorini, Andros, Naxos or any other Cycladic island, you will see that each of the island villages have whitewashed cubic houses with blue wooden doors and windows. Even the streets have been painted white and constructed with rectangular or polygonal flagstones. The old world charm exudes from each of these islands. The builders who built these houses had a preconceived idea to construct the houses according to the land conditions on these islands. Rarely will you ever come across very fashionable architectural extravaganza. Even the hotels here have certain architectural rules that they usually conform to.
Buildings constructed here had to serve the purposes of the islanders as well as complement the fantastic landscape of each of these islands. All of the buildings or residential houses in the villages are built in a manner to maintain a certain balance and uniformity. When you walk through the labyrinth of narrow lanes, you will see that the houses tend to look similar in many respects. There are sometimes series of one storey houses at one place and at another place there are series of two storey houses. All of them are painted white in contrast to the dark ground on which they stand and have the unique blue color painted on doors and windows reflecting the vast blue sea and the sky around them. Cyclades architecture looks very surreal at times and you are often led to wander whether you are in some fantasy land.