The isles of Greece… Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet. Lord Byron
Scattered around the sacred island of Delos and bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete, all but two of the two hundred and twenty islands of the Cyclades are formed of the peaks of submerged mountains. The architecture of the islands is characterised by clusters of whitewashed cubic structures. In conjunction with thick stone walls and roofs insulated with wood, mud, hay and volcanic ash cement, the reflective white surfaces help protect interiors from the strong summer sun. In 1936 this longstanding tradition was reinforced by an order from the then Greek prime minister, Ioannis Metaxas, that all buildings on the islands be painted white and blue to symbolise the white sea foam and the intense blue of the sky.