From Athens we started island hoping in the Cyclades, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea, southeast of Athens/mainland Greece. Our first stop was Paros, a small island, about four hours by slow boat from Athens.
We’d say Paros is a good introduction to Greek island life and island hopping. It’s small, yet big enough to explore by scooter, atv, or buggy, you can eat great food for cheap, it has nice beaches, and it’s not horribly touristy.
We caught a very early morning ferry from Athens which put us on to Paros pretty early in the day, giving us nearly three full days on the island. We stayed at Paros backpackers, a hostel just a stones throw away from the beach, and only a couples minutes walk from town and the port.
We spent our first day (the day we arrived to the island) relaxing at the beach and at the pool the hostel shared with its neighbouring hotel, and planning what we’d do for the next two days.
For our second day we rented a buggy and went to the town of Naoussa; a seaside town on the northeast side of the island; only a 20 minute drive from Paros. Renting a buggy wasn’t the greatest idea, in hindsight we should have just rented a quad or scooter. We rented through the hostel, so ended up with a sketchy, run down buggy that had no reverse and the hand brake didn’t work. Lesson learnt though – Don’t rent vehicles through your hostel. But in the end we managed to make it to Naoussa unscathed.
Naoussa is such a picturesque little place and in our opinion better than the main town of Paros. It’s full of restaurants, bars, shops and fishing boats. We visited early in the day, so a lot of the restaurants and bars weren’t open and the town was quiet – just the way we like it. We walked around, taking photos, window shopping, wandering the stone streets, and just really enjoying the fact that we were in Greece.
By mid afternoon I needed a coffee and we both needed food so we found a cafe with comfy couches on the water front, where we just chilled out for the afternoon, watching travellers meander around and locals go about their business.
Our third and final day was spent wandering around the main town of Paros. We had breakfast at the cutest little place, in the more touristy area of Paros, overlooking the sea. This is where I had the best greek yogurt breakfast by far. It came with fresh fruit, walnuts and honey; I’m not sure what was different about that yogurt, and I’ve had the same thing in many places since, but it was SOOO good! The place was called Ballo Cafe, it’s a bit hidden but worth looking for.
We spent the rest of the day wandering and getting lost down the narrow streets, eating gyros and tons of tzatziki, relaxing in cafes, watching the ferries come and go, planning out our route, choosing what island we would go to next and just taking in the island. We were so happy to finally be in the Greek islands.
To us, Paros is quintessentially Greek … well, what we and I’m sure other travellers, think of as Greek. With white washed buildings, streets made of stone and outlined in white paint, narrow alleys with shops tucked into every corner, and greek taverns serving meals next to the sea. It was a great start to our Island Hopping part of this trip.