The Cyclades comprises 220 islands conveniently not far south of Athens so fast ferry-hopping from Athens’ port of Piraeus is easy. The name Cyclades means islands surrounding the sacred (and uninhabited) island of Delos (Cyclas in Greek), 6 miles from Mykonos and a popular day trip from that lovely island.
Located in the central part of the Aegean Sea, Greece’s Cyclades islands are a much-favoured holiday destination, with superb summer weather, some wonderful beaches and walks (e. g. Naxos), gorgeous towns (e. g. Mykonos), great party places (e. g. Ios), some culture (e. g. Paros) and staggering sights/geology/legends (Santorini).
Crete is not part of the Cyclades, nor are Skiathos or Skopelos. The last two are in the Sporades group, north of the Cyclades.