Epic Family Journey

Turquoise water and Gyros

When you are traveling, you sometime need to adjust to the unexpected. When we were planning our trip, we had decided to set aside the visit of the Greek Islands to visit the region of the Peloponnese instead. dsc_0788Unfortunately, when looking further in the transport by train or by bus in the Peloponnese, we quickly realized that we should rent a car. If you can believe it, even if we looked a month in advance, the car companies had no cars available to rent (that we could afford that is…). So we had to go to plan B… to go and visit the Islands! After some research on so many Islands, we decided to visit the islands of Paros and Naxos. We wanted islands that were not too far from Athens and that are recommended for families and we believe we’ve made good choices.

Paros

We went on the island of Paros first. From Athens, it takes 4 hours by “regular” Ferry, a little slower than express ferry. But we have a lot of time on our hands, right? Paros is the third largest island of the Cyclades archipelago. It is known for its marble, which was used to build, among other things, the Parthenon. We were quite impressed to see that much marble surrounding us; steps, flooring, shower, its everywhere inside and outside. We rented a charming little hotel in the town of Parikia. It was a few minutes away from a wonderful beach where we spent our week, feet in the sand, drinking beer and reading lazily on a patio chair. As for the boys, they spent the week running on the beach or swimming in the water, having fun like crazy.

Exploring the island

We used our host’s brother-in-law rental company in order to rent a car to explore the island on our own. Safer than scooters and offering much appreciated AC, we loved our day of independence. We’ve set out to go around the island, stopping at a few places such as the Golden Beach which is very well named. Of all the beaches we spent time on in Greece, it was definitely our favorite. The color of the water was turquoise to blue azure. This water was clear and a perfect temperature. This beach of fine sand is wide and clean. It felt like we where in Heaven! After spending most of the day on this beach, we made another stop to Lefkes to walk in this small historical town and finally, made a stop in Naoussa in order to visit this charming little village with a port and many fishing boats.

Naxos

It is with our heart and and our eyes filled with sun that we took the ferry again to reach the second island in our itinerary, Naxos. Located less than an hour away from Paros, Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades. We wanted a slightly different experience this time around and chose an hotel away from the main town. It is in this perspective that we found ourselves at Agia Anna in a great hotel that also had a swimming pool. Yes!!! We established a nice routine on Naxos and we loved it. We’ve agreed to stay in this bubble of comfort and decided not to explore the island more in depth than what we could walk to, and we have no regrets. Our routine was to go to the beach in the morning, since it was not as hot as the afternoon and it was less crowded. This ensured us two patio chairs near the water where we could keep an eye on our two small fish. We bought some snorkel gear so that boys can spend time observing the bottom of the sea and its creatures (it’s by far the best purchase we did on our trip, although now, we need to carry this stuff until the next beach in SE Asia). After a lunch, which essentially consisted of Gyros and salads, we finally would walk back home where we would do schoolwork and go relax around the swimming pool until dinner. We finished everyday watching the sunset in front of us. Could this have been better? The company of our friends maybe?

We were sad to leave Naxos, but we had a taste of what may be our life for a while, near some new idyllic beaches in Asia. We had to take a last ferry that would take us back to Athens in order to end our visit of this city filled with history. Even though this was not our original plan, we are really pleased to have included the Greek Islands in our itinerary. I guess it also gives us a good reason to come back in Greece to visit the Peloponnese !

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