Hi Mark dear heart!
As you may know, there are around 6000 Greek islands; 227 are inhabited. A lifetime of visiting would never encompass all of them! An embarrassment of riches beckons and Mark would forever be in his element!
Some smaller islands are exquisite and the people and their food are often so very authentic and real; I highly recommend the following that I am familiar with:
Ithaki; Sensationally beautiful island where Odysseus had a farm; the greenery is voluptuous.
Paxos; lovely, lovely island with lovely people; very real.
Halki; UNESCO earmarked as 'The Island of Friendship' is a captivating place of peaceful serenity, with extraordinary lilac colored waters lapping the shore. People here are so lovely! Deep fried Halki shrimp is divine!
Symi; Incredibly beautiful neoclassical harbor and views to die for! Romantic, glamorous yet accessible.
Tilos; The lady mayor here is a warm and lovely lady; so helpful! Charming, authentic and pretty little island with an air of calm if you seek an antidote to the more sensational, gorgeous and vibrant Rhodes city just a short boat journey away.
Tinos; Catholic holy shrine and a really windy, refreshing island that blows all those psychological cobwebs away. Food in the local taverns is ace!
Paros; Oh wow what a lovely place! Seek out where the locals eat and avoid the expensive tourist traps. The sunsets are supreme.
Ikaria (technically not really a Cycladic but nearby - a Northern Aegean member) The people here have an unusually long lifespan; great healthy and authentic local cuisone; amazingly beautiful and spectacular island but little known - it has an airport! Don't tell anyone! Easy to get to from Athens.
Naxos; so beautiful and so great a place to visit! The people are very handsome and the produce most excellent! You will not want to leave!
So, just a few of the best - there are others!
Keith Warwick - Here are a few pics: