Posts

Islands of Greece: the guide of Paros, the island of marble

Our review of the beautiful Greece and its wonderful islands continues. Fantastic places to see at least once in a lifetime. Each with its original features. After the general guide of the Cyclades and the less touristic islands, we want to take you to the discovery of Paros, or Paro in Italian.

The island of Paros is located in the central-southern Aegean Sea, next to the island of Naxos, which was once united. Off the south-west coast lies the smaller island of Antiparos and the uninhabited islets of Despotiko, Strongyli, Fira and Diplo, plus a series of rocks and islets that form the archipelago of Paros. Revmatonissi is a small private island that rises between Paros and Antiparos. Other reefs and islets rise off the south and northeastern coast of the island. North of Paros are the islands of Syros and Mykonos, south of Sikinos and Ios, while further west is the island of Sifnos. Therefore Paros is at the center of the Cyclades archipelago, easily reachable from the other main islands. It is 90 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus.

Paros is the third largest island of the Cyclades, with approximately 196 km² of surface, after Naxos and Andros. Its coastline extends for 120 kilometers. It has a predominantly mountainous territory, like all the Cyclades, although less harsh than nearby Naxos. The highest peak of the island, on the Profitis Ilias mountains reaches 771 meters above sea level. Like the other Cyclades, it has a barren land, with little vegetation, concentrated mainly in the central part. The rocks of Paros are mainly of granite and marble, a characteristic that has made the island important for its white marble quarries, still present, which still represent part of its economy. Although the main activity today is tourism.

The island of Paros was inhabited since prehistoric times. At the center of the Mycenaean civilization, like the other Cyclades, it was later involved in the wars between Athenians and Persians, allied with the latter. It was conquered by the Romans and then by Byzantines. At the beginning of the XIII century it was conquered by the Venetians and included in the Duchy of Naxos. In its history it was subjected to numerous raids and devastations by pirates. Paros is the birthplace of the poet Archilochus.

The capital of the island of Paros is the city of Paroikia or Parikia, on the north-west coast, the second most important city is Naoussa, on the north coast. High population centers are Marpissa, near the east coast and its port of Piso Livadi, Lefkes inland, Aliki, on the southern coast.

The island of Paros offers enchanting views, among natural beauties, villages of white houses typical of the Cyclades and marinas with small fishing boats, today mainly used for tourist activities.

Arrived on the island, the first visit is to the city of Paroikia, a charming town that develops between streets and alleys between the traditional white houses with blue doors and windows. The highest part, the one that offers a splendid view of the port is Kastro, the castle where there are the remains of a fortress of the Franks, a Venetian tower and some characteristic houses around the ruins. Near the castle stands the church of Agios Konstantinos, while in the interior is the Basilica of Our Lady of Katapoliani (Panagia Ekatontapiliani, Our Lady of the Hundred Gates) Byzantine church with exposed bricks, an older part, the chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas , dating back to the fourth century AD, several mosaics and important icons inside. The religious complex also houses the Byzantine Museum. To visit near the basilica, the Archaeological Museum of Paros, with important findings of ancient Greek and Roman times. A of the port to see the graceful little church of Agia Anna. The city of Paroikia is full of clothing stores, especially for the sea, restaurants, taverns and clubs.

Basilica of Our Lady of Katapoliani, Paroikia, Paros (Andrant83, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikicommons)
In the north of the island, the city of Naoussa overlooks a large bay, with a glance effect on the row of white houses overlooking the harbor. Despite the tourist development, with the tables of the many taverns on the docks, the port of Naoussa is still dedicated to fishing, one of the main economic activities of the town. The many boats and fishing boats give the port of Naoussa a very characteristic and authentic appearance. To be seen. On the tip of the western quay of the port, among the taverns and shops, lies the delightful white church of Agios Nikolaos.

Mykonos is the island from fashion here is where they go fashionistas

Beautiful beaches of tranquility and relaxation and nightlife. Mykonos, enclosed in the Cyclades archipelago, has a double face: beach paradise

The shoe designer Bruno Bordese is a true regulars (there goes 85). “The beauty of Mykonos is the all-day beach: you can go to the beach in the morning and stay until the aperitif, but also for dinner and after dinner. There are places equipped at all hours: number one is Alemàgou Beach Bar Restaurant in Ftelia. Cosmopolitan, elegant, with boho-chic sessions, here you can breathe a unique atmosphere, the food is excellent and “risks” to meet many designers, from Peter Dundas (creative director Roberto Cavalli) Kris Van Assche until Olivier Rousteing, head of Balmain designer. If I want to enjoy a cocktail at sunset with great DJ sets I choose the beach club restaurant Scorpios, from design inspired by nature. If I want to isolate myself from everything I go to dinner at Kiki’s Tavern (you can not book!), A hut on the beach of Agios Sostis in typical greek style and no electricity where you prepare meat and fish on a grill wood. It’s so isolated, hidden and suggestive that is already a haven for VIPs. There I even met Madonna. “

In recent years, we have become great fans of Greece ?

 
After Crete, Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki, especially, after the cruise in the Mediterranean last year, where we visited Athens and several islands,
we re-enamored of Greece, especially of Santorini.

“If you like Santorini, then go to Mykonos!” They all said.
“It has the same white houses, blue domes and windmills winds on the sea,
but in Mykonos, the sea is dream. ”
All very true.

“But it is true that you loved?”. Unfortunately.
Mykonos is probably the most expensive island we have ever visited.
But we managed to approdarla out of season, to early May,
so we got to take a vacation Pasha but with a very low budget!
How low?
Well, if I tell you that we spent € 700 for 3, for 1 week, including flight – machine – Hotel (meals, petrol and extras not included), you do not believe it?
Let me tell you everything.
How much we spent
(Total quotas for: 2 adults + 1 child 5 years, 7 nights):

Flight:
Easyjet: Milan-Malpensa -> Mykonos A / R
€ 300 for 3 (taxes included + 1 suitcase boarding) – booked in January

Machine:
National / Alamo – 7 days (pick up and drop off Mykonos Airport) – mod. Suzuki Swift, 5 doors
€ 120 (excluding fuel), booked on rentalcars.com (prepaid by credit card, all inclusive price)

Accommodation:
7 nights in Platis Gialos (an 8-minute drive from Mykonos town)
Acrogiali Hotel (4 *)
€ 270 (c / breakfast – booking.com, offer customers genius, booked one month in advance)

tot: 670 € 3 for 7 nights (meals, petrol and extras not included)
Travel period: first week of May.
Climate: 6 sunny days out of 7.
Outside temperature: an average day: 22-27 ° (in the evening: 16-19 °)
(We were at the beach most days; sunset hours approx 20:30)

And all the rest?
Everything else is quite expensive. From souvenirs, to restaurants, beach bar, all pretty carettino and figures worthy of Italian places more “vipsssss”.
Drinks on the beach x 3 (anacolici): from 13 €.
Lunch x 3: 30 to 50eu (excluding wine).
If the restaurant is long little venice or the old port, the prices go up (on average a plate of grilled prawns – what I love most in the world! – € 20- € 30!).

But there are also many local takeaways and takeaways, where you can eat a simple kebab or sausage typical of Mykonos with a budget of € 10.06 each.
Expensive or cheap, one thing I have to say that I found everywhere incredible hospitality! I love miconiani! They are incredibly kind people, warm and family friendly and, in fact, they remind me a lot of my fellow Thais ?

 

What we did
Here is some guidance on what we did.

After a flight of just 2 and a half hours, we arrive in Mykonos and after practices for the pick up of the car, in 10 minutes we arrive already in Platis Gialos, the chosen location for our stay.
The first impression I had of Mykonos is that it is a very small island: just 85kmq.
As I like to get to a place and find myself immediately in the heart of the place, without having to travel hundreds of kilometers!
And in fact, after one hour by plane landing, you believe us that we were already sprawled on the beach?
Among the various locations, we chose Platis Gialos because the offer found on Booking.com. Hotel Acrogiali was just made up of white houses with blue window frames, Mykonian-style, and it was beachfront.
We were lucky because it was the best choice!

shutterstock_82643725

Platis Gialos is a gem.
A beach towel surrounded by blue and white houses, used as hotels and resorts, with sunbeds (maybe too many for my taste) and surrounded by 4-5 great restaurants!

Have the sea literally on the doorstep is priceless.
In fact, every day, after breakfast, we stopped on the beach.
Then, in the afternoon, we took the car to get around the island and other beaches.
Mykonos is so small that in 10 minutes you arrive at the tip of the north (do not miss the Lighthouse!) And up to 20 minutes at the eastern end (Ano Mera and the beaches of Kalo Livadi and Kalafati).
In short, an island very easy to get around, whether by car or motorbike / quod.

Perhaps for younger couples, my advice is to stay directly in Mykonos Chora (Town), in the heart of the narrow streets, narrow, white and wrapped in a cozy atmosphere:
or somewhere with a breathtaking view:
Then visit the other beaches, taking a bus (€ 1.50 each way) or by renting a scooter or a quad (starting from 8 € per day).
The sea in Mykonos is nice and clean everywhere, even in the vicinity of the port:

(The nearest beach in Mykonos between the two ports, the old one and the new one)
Not to be missed

In short, it is impossible to stand still alone on a beach,
There are too many things to do in Mykonos!

Here are the things that are most liked:

Ornos beach
a beautiful bay, with fine sand, turquoise waters and a very relaxing environment.
A Ornos await you chic lounge bar with sofas and comfortable:
Paraga beach
an almost wild beach, the other side of Platis Gialos.

Luxury-Villa-Drakothea-Mykonos-Greece-Pool
Paradise beach and Super Paradise beach
The beaches of the fun. We are told that on these two beaches, in summer approdono boats departing from Mykonos town, the young charges. The beaches are filled with young people, music and sangria!
(Below, the Paradise beach beach, but the photo does not do because the sea was very rough)
The mills
Among our most beautiful ritual: look for mills to photograph them!
And then, go in the late afternoon at 5 mills to wait for the sunset.
Wade that MAGNIFICENT scenery …
Little Venice
And right under the mills, there is little venice, as they call it.
In this stretch, there are 3-4 rooms on the sea that offer unforgettable sunsets.
Do not miss the appetizer to tramondo from the local “Veranda”.

Magic pura..da “thousand Splendid Suns”:

And because, at the sunset Paraportiani?
A church made up of several structures built in time, one of the symbols of Mykonos.
Look when we got to visit that scene we found ..?

greek-island-named-mykonos-mykonos-town-greece+1152_12918323253-tpfil02aw-15331