Hello from Paros, paradise in the Cyclades Greek Islands.
We left the magical Mykonos and headed 40 minutes across the Aegean on a Sea-jet small ship to Paros. The boat was a little late, but I managed to text our driver on Paros, who was still ok to collect us. The boat was a bigger style as it also took cars, so I would think the people ferry that is more like a catamaran, would be a lot quicker, which is why people do day trips to and from Mykonos. It’s almost twenty years to the date since I came to Paros and Anti Paros, and I knew they were close to Mykonos, you just forget how close.
Yorgis – the driver we have, collecting us at the port and says while we were waiting for another couple off our boat, “your apartments are beautiful,” “you will also be swimming very soon”. The other couple and Steve and I, are all heading to Naoussa about 20 minutes away from the Port of Parokia on the island of Paros.
Our little one-bedroom apartment is perfect. There is a stunning pool and sitting area, it’s all modern and very Chic, I can feel holiday heaven already.
We got dropped right outside our gate at the Sivanis Apartments, and we met the lovely cleaning ladies, who advised they are so sorry, while check is at 2.00pm, our room wasn’t quite ready.
We said it was ok we had things to do! We needed to do a reccy and figure out where we actually were. We left our bags with the cleaners and strolled down to check out our local beach which was so close and we liked what we saw.
As we had time to kill, we also went met Stelios, who’s father owns a chain of car and scooter rentals. He gave us a map and in typical rental guy fashion, circled several good beaches, points of interest and added restaurants – all written upside down of course, so then we had to remember and decipher where the heck the restaurant may have been and what it was called!
Once Steve got over his fake greek accent and they chatted about what bike he rides in Australia, we were rented a 200-cc scooter which was brand new and much more comfortable “for the lady”.
Next door was the local mini market where we got a few breakfast supplies, to just have simple toast, coffee juice and enjoy the summer fruit and yoghurt. The accommodation had everything we need, had a delightful deck and it was nice to just have the opportunity to do our own breakfast while we could. There have been some amazing breakfast places and lots of local cafes and bakeries should we feel the need. We have been quite good we haven’t eaten many bakery treats this trip.
Back to our lush apartment to do a quick unpack before we went in the direction of how to walk into the stunning town out Naoussa for sunset. We are staying just out of Naoussa town in a small little bay called Agioi Anargyrio. It is spectacular.
As we set off for what would be a seven-minute walk to town, we immediately sort of got lost – or in my case distracted, and discovered what would become our morning ritual.
We realised, that if we didn’t turn right when we came out of our gorgeous apartment to the structured beach, if we kept walking straight down to the end of the street, we could snorkel and swim free off the edge of the rocky outcrop, it was an easy climb down, we could swim free range, and the water is calling already.
But first sunset and cocktails.
Steve has decided to become quite annoying and roll his “r”’s when he says Paros, I mean even the locals don’t do that!
A little local Yiayia (Grandma in Greek) helps direct us to Naoussa town, pronounced Nou-sa, she can see we are lost! Finally, we follow the path that has arrows (who knew) down a steep path and stairs, and boom, we are in town. We walk past a beautiful church that the bells toll daily, and is lit up at night.
Steve thinks he has figured out that the cobbles stones are painted with white paint between the stones to alert tourists to stay on this path, or to show you that this is a common walkway…… I’m not quite convinced yet, we will see, and I mean clearly that is why we needed a little old Yaya to help us!
The seaside village is everything I remember and more, laneways with pretty shops, bars and stores, opening up to courtyards with restaurants and more bars around the sweetest little fishing harbour.
We have sunset cocktails most nights down in the fishing harbour and meet a great guy at a sunset bar calling himself Adonis. He loves his job and like most wait staff lives here for 6 months before returning to Athens for the winter, like most of the island workers. A few of them tell us, they try to live on the tips they get so they save their base wage. They are here in the islands working 7 days a week, most get 1 meal a day and a small room of accomodation provided. The service everywhere is brilliant. We adore Adonis, he has a gorgeous persona, giving us prime seats in his sweet little bar and the cocktails are sensational too.
We are loving our big fat greek odessy, the food has been wonderful, and we love sharing mezze starters or apetizers, so we don’t miss out on tasting anything.
Dinner one night was at an impressive seafood restaurant on Santa Maria beach, that Stelios our new buddy from the scooter hire not only recommended, but he also called and booked for us (it’s more like a lake than a beach-just saying!!!!) is spectacular for so many reasons.
The food, the service, outdoor alfresco dining and another special greek island sunset, along with a fish cooked in a traditional way.
First you choose your fish. They then ask how you want it cooked, we choose to have the traditional method, which is covered in sea salt and oven baked, and the fun fact according to the waiter is for every 1 kilo of fish you need 3 kilos of sea salt. You don’t eat the salt it just encases the fish while it cooks.
They then bring the encased whole fish to your table and flambé it.
Now I may have let fly with a “holy shit” at this stage, as the theatre of it is impressive and I wasn’t expecting it. The heat cracks the salt open, the waiter removes the thick layer of salt, and mostly de boned the fish and then plates up your exquisite fillets of sea bass to enjoy. We had ours with a yummy beetroot salad and of course french fries which the Greeks call fried potatoes.
Our morning sunrise snorkel- we just love it, me collecting sea glass, watching the sunrise and floating in the Aegean Sea like no one was watching except the small fish swimming with us.
It is sublime, and as we had our trusty beach shoes and brought our snorkel gear with us the crystal-clear waters call us every day to float around and enjoy. It has been just us, no one else.
The only time we walked along to the structured beach early on our way back from our swim spot, in search of a café coffee, we see “the europeans are here”. By this I mean it’s 7.30am and someone has been and placed their chairs and towels out in a prime position for the day……. See the photo below this did make me laugh.
The snorkelling is not the Barrier Reef, yet the waters here are unbelievable. No crazy currents or sharks (?) to worry about.
We come from Australia, where we have some of the most amazing beaches in the world yet crazy currents and dangerous tides are normal.
This is just different, and right now it is well and truly filling my holiday bucket – spectacular, warm summer weather oh and also there are no waves, unless you are in a boat channel and then you can get crazy waves!
There are even signs on some beaches saying exactly this. You can even find beaches here that have volcanic mud if that’s your thing…… it’s not ours but some indulged. What we do love is you are never far from a beach and having the scooter is freedom to explore.
The water feels warmer here, we think mostly because our 4 days in Mykonos were quite windy, so we had no wind chill to deal with. The temperature is a balmy 24-30 degrees daily, and they have no rain between April to October unless it rains early morning, hence why all the restaurants and bars can set up outside night after night and not have to worry.
We would never hop on a motorcycle in Australia with no shoes no gloves and it’s not a full face helmet here. Yet here we are in the Greek Islands, riding with shorts and T-shirts or swimmers and a sarong, and thongs and just the breeze in our hair as we scoot along at 40kmph on the open road around the island, enjoying the smell of all the herbs on the beautiful Island of Paros and Anti Paros.
I now have a new obsession to add to the doors, windows, cats, washing lines boats, and that would be Bouganvilleas!!!
I dragged Steve to three or four different villages in pursuit of the different coloured bougainvillea trees, pink, orange, purple, and white. We went to Marpissa Prodomos and Lefkes, stunning hillside villages all around 20 minutes out of Naoussa and all within 15 mintues of their own little aquamarine beaches. Again, quiet quaint little bays that just appear, they call them beaches but to us they are more like a calm bay.
We met a lovely American couple from Connecticut who had done part of an amazing walk called the Bizentyine Walk for Lefkes to Prodomos….. we will have to save that till next time. I have a bogan villa to find! Kidding but that is what my predictivie text keeps wanting to type.
The next day we scooter down to Pounta to get the ferry and jumped over to Anti Paros ( a 10 minute ferry ride) where the water was even more stunning if that’s possible.
We visited the Caves and saw the oldest stalegmites and staletites in Europe, according to the brochure. A very steep climb down and well worth the £5 entry fee. Being able to bring our scooter over means we can stop and swim or wander around where ever we want and with our snorkel gear and beach shoes we ventured down to Tom Hanks Somo Beach (he apparently lives here 6 months a year) to see if he was home…… he didn’t come out to play so we just did our own thing.
A funny thing happened on social media, I saw that a guy Steve and I went to school with was in Athens, and coming to Paros, so I message him and we caught up with him and his wife and adult daughters. They live on the Central Coast of Sydney an hour away from us and we haven’t seen them for years so it was wonderful to catch up for drinks and dinner and see another part of Paros.
A sunrise drone shoot and a mermaid swim were needed before we farewelled beautfil Paros, and as we had the whole day before our 6.00pm boat to Sifnos,we jammed in another country morning ride, a snorkel lunch in the harbour at sou sou ra eating incredible raw fresh food and then I got food envy and made steve share ! He has been so amaxing sharing and eating vegetarian and whole foods, I’m shocked so I have sort of forgiven him for his fake greek accent, plus he does carry my bags !
Missing the dog, Brodie oh and the kids
Mrs W xx