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The southern Aegean region (Cyclades) is an island group of the Aegean archipelago of 24 major islands, among which Andros, Syros and Thira (Santorini) constitute our case study area sites. The Cyclades comprise a former administrative prefecture of Greece (population: 120,000, area: 2,572 km2, capital: Hermoupolis, Syros) and feature spectacular cultural landscapes (coastal, village, rural, natural etc.). Whereas their economy had always relied on primary-sector production, since the 1970s-1980s, services, and especially tourism, have taken over, as their main economic basis. They no longer represent economically peripheral regions of Greece, but rather its most developed and world-renowned tourist region, including both over-touristed (Santorini, Mykonos town etc.) and under-touristed (mostly smaller islands and rural island interiors) destinations.


The cultural and archeological heritage of the Cyclades is multifold, spanning the whole historical timeline since prehistory and supplemented by a very lively cultural scene of summer festivals and contemporary arts events. ‘Traditional’ Cycladic architecture is unique and world-renowned, exhibited in old protected settlements, castle towns, distinctive rural structures, small churches/ chapels, stone footpaths, elaborate fountains, dovecots, windmills, terraces, stonewalls, etc., dating back to byzantine or late-byzantine times. Practices, such as stone-masonry, ceramic crafts, weaving/ embroidering, gastronomic traditions, etc. have been preserved and practiced through the centuries, as are also ways of life and ideational systems, i.e. communal celebrations, religious feasts, socializing customs, linguistic idioms, name-giving and place names, etc., eliciting far more than conventional sea-sand-sun tourism appeal.

Good practice: ’100 buildings - 100 stories Places, people and digital storytelling’

Other good practices in the Cyclades

Policy Brief:



               * Terkenli T. S., Georgoula V. (2022) ‘Tourism and Cultural

Sustainability: Views and Prospects from Cyclades, Greece’.

Sustainability. 14(1):307. 


               * Terkenli, T. S., & Georgoula, V. (2022). Local Perspectives on Cultural Tourism and Cultural Sustainability: The Case of the Cyclades, Greece, Chapter 15, Handbook of Research on Cultural Tourism and Sustainability, pp.323-348,  IGI Global, DOI:



               * Terkenli, T. S., Georgoula V. (2022) The COVID-19 pandemic in the

Cyclades: patterns and prospects in cultural tourism, Journal of Tourism, Culture and Communication, Special Issue of: Cultural Tourism Dynamics During a Pandemic, 


Conference presentations:


               * Terkenli, T. S., & Georgoula, V. (2022). ‘Landscape and Tourism.

Looking forward’, 29th Session of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape, 26-30 September 2022, Jaen & Baeza, Spain,


               * Gkoltsiou A., Terkenli, T. S., & Georgoula, V. (2022). ‘Planning for tourism through landscape: The innovative SPOT-IT tool’, 29th Session of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape, 26-30 September 2022, Jaen & Baeza, Spain,


               * Georgoula V. & Terkenli T. S. (2022) ‘The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Cyclades: balancing between current shortcomings and future regenerative perspectives in cultural tourism’. IGU Tourism Commission at the IGU Centennial Congress Paris 18-22/7/2022, Paris,


               * Terkenli, T. S., Pleijte, M., Pstrocka-Rak, M., Rech, G., Štastná, M., Rümke, T., and Pedroli, B. (2022). ‘Landscape for Cultural

Tourism: An affair to unfold’. American Association of Geographers’

(AAG) Annual Meeting 2022, 15th March 2022


               * Georgoula V. & Terkenli T. S. (2021) ‘Culture and creative tourism in the Cyclades: a critical overview on regenerating tourism’. 14th International Conference for Cultural Tourism in Europe Regenerating European Tourism through Culture Heritage & Creativity, European Cultural Tourism Network, 21-23/10/2021, Athens, Greece 


               * Georgoula, V. & Terkenli T. S., (2021) ‘Implications of Covid-19 pandemic for cultural tourism: the case of Cyclades, Greece’, 4th International Scientific Conference with the title Restarting tourism, travel and hospitality: The day after, ΤΟURMAN Virtual Conference

21-23 May 2021,Online 



               * Terkenli, T. S. & Georgoula V. (2021) ‘Tourism mobilities and the

pandemic: patterns and prospects from the Cyclades, Greece’, ATLAS SIG Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism meeting, Social, Mobility Goes on

Holiday: Tourist Im|mobilities, Conflicts and Empowerment, 27-28 May 2021, Online


Mass media


               * YouTube live streaming of the SPOT Symposium ‘The cultural and natural heritage of the island of Syros - The Spot project significance’ (13-15 June 2022) Hermoupolis, Syros, Greece


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