Friday, August 10, 2012

Paros, part II

Our time in Greece was the calm before the storm. We had thought to spend our August vacation there, but this was before we knew that Roberts wouldn’t have such a vacation, as we were headed back to the US. Upon finding out, we attempted to cram those three weeks into one, and despite the busy days overflowing with sightseeing, beaches, white and blue, we managed to rest and restore before the whirlwind of packing and final preparations started.

white and blue, white and blue

If planning a visit to Greece, I wholeheartedly recommend a similar approach to ours as it was a perfect combination of historic, beach and island life. Fly into Athens and stay a few days, visit the Acropolis and sample the nightlife. But then board a ferry headed for an island, Santorini or Mykonos if you wish to join the thousands of others with the same idea, or Paros and Antiparos if you wish a more exclusive experience. Book a quiet room in Parikia and spend your days on one of the many beaches, dining on fresh seafood, shopping in the stores of local artisians and joining the locals in the evenings for a drink in one of the many ocean-side restaurants. The Argonauta hotel is ideal, whether you are visiting for a few nights and wish a hotel room in the very center of town, or a few weeks and need an apartment with a kitchen. A wonderful value, the service was impeccable, the rooms clean and comfortable, and the restaurant serving fresh local food. Our experience there was perfect, although we left the island one or two days to take a ferry to another island, we returned each night to our little home away from home. Discovering that each island has its individual character, feel, architecture and history only added to the experience, and I would suggest adding these side trips to your itinerary. But most of all, forget the everyday and switch to “island time” – you will remember your days in the Greek islands forever.

One of the many shops luring you with open doors and charming displays

Our last day on Paros was spent sampling everything the island had to offer. We caught the early morning light to take a few more photographs and visit the remains of the Parikia castle. Built with the temple pieces from the site, the columns and even inscriptions were easily identifiable in the walls. I took the same route the next morning as well, weaving through the streets until I reached the bay, again sneaking out before the heat to snap those last pictures.

The original recycling, with Paros marble

Then up into the hills in the center of the island with Evdoxia, to visit her relative’s ceramics studio YRIA. The china lining the shelves, waiting to be painted. The tiles yet to be put into the kiln, the coffee cups sitting in a row, maybe you can imagine the scene through the eyes of both two year olds? Luckily we escaped with only minor damage, and a bag full of goodies to bring with us to the US.

Another day at the office

Then lunch, once more the freshest seafood with a cool white wine to combat the heat of the day. Followed by our last trip to the beach, this time a wide stretch of sand on the bluest bay. Hiding from the sun under beach umbrellas we took repeated trips out into the blue to cool down, and the afternoon passed unnoticed.

Had to sneak this in here... do you think he'll notice?

We all headed to Naoussa (Νάουσα) that last evening. Another port on the north end of Paros, it is well known for the nightlife and dining options. As the sun set we strolled the streets, people watching and sightseeing, later eating a meal of seafood pasta that I will have to search long and hard to match. One by one the children fell asleep, in strollers and carriers. The adults eventually tired as well and so we left the nightclubs to the single crowd and returned to Parikia to rest before our early morning departure by ferry to the Athens airport.


  1. Another gorgeous description & pics! Thanks for sharing, makes me long for a holiday :-) Love your human statue too!

  2. Oh, Greece. I haven't been. Yet. So many places to visit - something to look forward to.
    Hope you settle back well in the US and looking forward to your posts.

  3. Seeing all of your Greece posts makes me wish we would have gone here for vacation, hopefully we won't be too disappointed with the South of Spain. ;)

  4. Funny - I just looked at a Groupon offer to cruise the Mediterranean ~ Venice, Athens, Santorini. One day I'll get there.

  5. We've been talking about doing this trip for some time. I love the idea of picking one island as a home base. Thank you for your travel ideas here.


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