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Cyclades w/kids & my ruins-fanatic DH (itin and accommodation advice)

Cyclades w/kids & my ruins-fanatic DH (itin and accommodation advice)

Old Jan 7th, 2019, 01:53 PM
  #41  
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billbar, thank you for these tips on Mykonos!

We will be returning for 5 nights. We want to re-see Delos (6 hours was not enough time - it is VAST!) and also to see some of the historical sites on Mykonos proper. We are staying at Artemoula's again which is close to Platis Yialos, so I am hoping we can trek to the defense tours you mentioned.
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Old Jan 8th, 2019, 06:21 AM
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Hi TexasAggie.

Yes, the defence towers are on the hillside above where you are lodging. It's almost impossible to give you walking directions e.g. which roads and paths to use (you've been in that area and I feel sure you'll know exactly what I mean) but the apartment owners will know the best way to stroll up there.

Here's a link to some information about them: PORTES Mykonos Monuments

Interestingly, when looking for that link I found details of another historical site actually in the settlement of Platys Gialos called the Well of Giannaros. I've never heard of it and wonder if the online guide is confusing it with the famous wells in Mykonos town. Again, ask your hosts and they might confirm it IS actually closeby.

Don't forget to checkout the Mykonos Farmers dairy, close to Portes, where you both might get the chance to see them making the traditional cheeses.

Here's their tripadvisor page and the reviews look great:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attrac...th_Aegean.html
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Old Jun 19th, 2019, 12:55 PM
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2019 update!

We are in the midst of another 3 weeks in the Greek islands and I wanted to send thanks and provide a few updates!

billbarr, thank you so much for the info on the ruins above Platis Yialos. It was about a 25 min trek to them from Artemoulaís where we stayed again. The kids were pretty warm and wanted to swim at Psarou so we did not make it to the dairy, but hope to do so next year!

All who recommended Antiparos... THANK YOU! We just left today after the most wonderful week! We took Capt Sargosí boat across to Despotiko twice. 7E for adults, half for kids. The archaeologists we spoke with estimated perhaps 5 more years until the site opens.
Kastro was the perfect, perfect place to stay on Antiparos. I can see why everyone raves about the apartments, the breakfasts, and especially the lovely family who owns the place. Theyíre building a new building that is almost finished and will increase the capacity by 6 more apartments- at least 3 will have private plunge pools.
Fave beach for our family was Panagia, we had great service from Aggelos for rental car needs, and we are already counting down until our return... definitely happening next year!!

Naxos - just arrived and trying a new place this year - Birikos. Our apartment has AC, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 2 large terraces, and a small but adequate eat-in kitchen. At 120E/night, itís hard to beat! The pool area is lovely, weíre a couple minutes from Agios Prokopios town and beach, and the Birikos family is unbelievably kind and friendly. Weíve just spent hours with them celebrating the birthdays of two of their grandkids - all guests were invited to join in for the fun! We rented a car from AutoTour Naxos again and so far, so good!

Thanks again to all who so generously provided advice and information!!!
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Old Jun 19th, 2019, 06:07 PM
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Great to hear TexasAggie and it looks like you are all having a great trip. I hope you enjoyed Portes and a visit to the dairy can be for you visit to Mykonos on another vacation. And, return you will!

Bill
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Old Jun 19th, 2019, 07:52 PM
  #45  
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Thanks for updating us. Enjoy Naxos!
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Old Jun 19th, 2019, 09:01 PM
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Just returned myself from 18 days -- Santorini (2) Naxos (6) Nafplio (5) Athens (4)-- and glad to hear your trip is so enjoyable so far! This year's weather all over globe has been wacky -- and early June was FAR hotter than usual, so I'm sure you're glad of the beach & pool access you secured. Do NOT miss the tiny amazing Naxos Museum up in Kastro -- some of its treasures are better than any in Athens or NY' MET. Also check out the wee Arch. museum up in village of Apiranthos... my fave artifact is a pre-historic Neolithic Rock with a scratched illustration -- stick-figures DANCING. Yes! Even in the STone Ages, Greeks danced!
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Old Jun 19th, 2019, 11:15 PM
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TexasAggie, thank you so much for your update, and I'm glad you enjoyed Antiparos. I haven't stayed at Kastro Apartments myself, but had a chat with Magda and some of her guests, so am happy to recommend the hotel to others. I appreciate the information on the price of Captain Sargos' boat trips to Despotiko, and the update of when the archeological site will become an open museum. A couple of years ago I exchanged emails with Yannos Kourayos, the head of excavations, and since then have seen photos and videos of the progress. You are fortunate to have actually been there while the archeologists were at work!

BTW, Panagia is one of my favourite beaches too. Did you get there by the coastal path from Psaraliki II or take the road?
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Old Jun 20th, 2019, 08:21 AM
  #48  
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jan, yes we are noticing the sea temps seem noticeably warmer than last summer when we were in the Cyclades for the last ten days of June and then on Evvia for a couple weeks! Worked well for us with young-ish kids but I know itís not good news overall!!

Heimdall, one day we walked from Kastro to Psaraliki 2, then walked around to Psaraliki1, then walked back through P2 and along the coast to Panagia which someone local had described as Psaraliki 3. When we got there, we realized it was the same Panagia weíd been driving to!
Sargos also runs an 2/3 day trip that is 30E for adults and 15e for kids. Heíll take you to Despotiko for an hour, then to Livadi beach on Despotiko where heíll leave you for 3ish hours. Then to see the sea caves and swim off the side of the boat for 10-15 min before returning you to Agios Georgios. Watermelon and a splash of wine were offered after the swimming stop near the caves.
We did that one, then also did the Capt Ben tour which is longer and a bit pricier. With cash payment, that one was 50E for adults and 40E for kids. But much more was included. 5 stops for fabulous swimming including time on the same Livadi beach, a great lunch, grilled sausages and octopus and much more for snacks, melon, and drinks (alcohol included, however we didnít drink since we had littles with us and were sea swimming all day!), safety and snorkeling gear to borrow, a water slide off the boat...

We loves both excursions!

But most of all, loved hopping in the car and just stopping to swim wherever we came across a likely looking spot! Also, Antiparos town is lovely. Thatís an understatement. We had nothing but excellent meals but Argo was particularly special. We unexpectedly fell in love with snorkeling and stopped in the diving shop to buy masks. We got the masks but also got a good hour of the kind, kind manís time explaining everything we needed to know as beginners and a list of his favorite snorkel spots.
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Old Jun 20th, 2019, 08:25 AM
  #49  
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Truly had the most magical, magical week
on Antiparos. We are already counting down to our return ❤️.
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Old Jun 20th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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jan, forgot to thank you for the tip on Apiranthos! We saw the excellent museum in Naxosí old town last year, but never made it to Apiranthos. Weíre headed there tomorrow!

And billbarr, yes, the dairy will be on our list for next time! We also saw signs for a Mycenaean tholos tomb off the road between Mykonos Town and Platis Gialos. We want to check that out too. With the kids, Mykonos is a lovely spot to start the trip. We can fly direct to Heathrow and then catch a flight direct into JMK. Artemoulaís is reasonably priced, has lovely pools, and beautiful Psarou beach is a ten min walk away. Itís noisy by evening with Nammous clubís music, but weíre long gone by then anyway! And the
connections to Delos are invaluable for us since we want to go back yet again!
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasAggie View Post
We also saw signs for a Mycenaean tholos tomb off the road between Mykonos Town and Platis Gialos. We want to check that out too.
TexasAggie, Iíve never visited the Mycenaean tholos tomb and completely forgot about it. Iíve seen some items found there though which are in the townís Archaeological Museum.

It was good you could fly direct to the island from London. Today I see there are 41 flights due to land at that small airport. Itís a personal thing but I feel itís way too much and it is not even the peak months of July and August when no doubt there will be more every day. Over the past few years, flights have been allowed in between midnight and 6am and many locals were unhappy about that. Almost daily, I read on other forums comments from Mykonians about how bad they feel as to how the island has changed due to tourist saturation. They forget that many there actively encouraged it, fortunes were made, and now it has become a monster. They cannot have it both ways.

I have part of the Greek family I know there coming to stay with me in August. In particular, they want their kids away from the madness. That was their comment, not mine. For them to come in the summer is a first because winter here is what they love, especially if they get to see some snow.

For me I am very glad I got to know the island when it was only independent travellers visiting and there were not many of us!
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 06:21 AM
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Bill Barr, many Greeks on many islands feel that way, as they acknowledge at the same time that it hs brought more prosperity .... none of course feeling the impact like Mykonos & Santorini. My favorite isle, Naxos, in the 20 years since I first discovered it, has changed ... but luckily much less. The small family-run lodgings (10 - 20 rooms) have not burgeoned into high-rise concrete monsters... they HAVE improved their hot-water supply and added hairdryers to the bathrooms, but haven't gone all "boutique" on us, thank God.

The saving grace is that the airport STILL is too small to take large planes (only turboprops holding 40 passengers)... altho there are now 3 or even 4 flights per day from June - Sept, instead of just 2. And again, thankfully, the port is too shallow to take those monster cruise ships. In fact, the cruise companies came to the Naxos government, offering with a greedy smile, to dredge their harbor very deeply For FREE, to allow giant cruise ships to dock. Naxos city council met, and came back and said, you know, thanks, but no thanks.

This limiting of access has also meant that Naxos tourism is still largely focused on the independent traveler, more respectful of local customs, not the package-holiday mobs who only want the cheapest two weeks of beaches, beer and burgers. Naxos also is now very conservation-conscious about water use, to preserve their fortunate water resources that has enabled their wonderful farms and orchards to thrive. I hope they succeed in following this middle way... my visit there 10 days ago left me with wonderful memories of an island where people still can live authentic Greek lives.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2019, 12:18 AM
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billbarr, oh my goodness. I didnít realize there were so many daily flights! Thank you for your perspective and that of Mykonians. There were two huge cruise ships there each day when we were just there. And this was second week of June. We were there the 8th-13th.
We didnít spend a great deal of time in Chora, but it felt quite full when we were there in the day and then nice by ~8pm. We cleared out by 9:30pm, before the clubs and bars got going. Weíd seen the archaeology museum and the navigational museum last year (both small but very good! and uncrowded!!).

Our favorite moments on Mykonos were early morning swims at Psarou (itís empty at 8am! Cold but so peaceful!!) and our trek to find the Portes. The views were lovely from the top of the hill!! And we had it to ourselves! I also realized Iím becoming my grandma, carrying around a kilo of koulorakia at all times, haha! Came in handy when our kids made friends at the beach and then inevitably, theyíd all get hungry every half hour!

For us, not knowing the island prior to development, there was still magic to be found... just had to look!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2019, 12:24 AM
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jan, thank you for the wonderful insight on Naxos! We too love this island. Only had 6 nights last year but managed 9 this time!!
Our apartment at Birikos is owned and managed by the Birikos family. Maria, her husband, and their 3 adult children and now 3 grandchildren all live here and manage the property and their little olive orchard and vegetable garden. Accommodations are simple but thatís all thatís needed for us. The kindness of every member of the family is just wonderful.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 06:12 PM
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Summer 2020 Update

We seem to be falling into a Cyclades habit, haha!

Just booked a week on Sifnos and a week on Antiparos for the last two weeks of June. We have a wedding to attend in Montepulciano the second week in June and then weíll fly to Greece for these island visits .

Kids have grown up visiting Montepulciano once or twice yearly since birth, so itíll be a week of familiar followed by a week of new (Sifnos) followed by a week of magic on Antiparos (first visit was last year) 🙂

The new building at Kastro is complete for anyone curious. Photos look gorgeous but theyíre pricey at 245/night for no private plunge pool or 260/night for the private plunge pool. They do look stunning though! Just not what weíre needing for family travel.

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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 06:17 PM
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We are super excited about the ancient system of Towers on Sifnos! Unfortunately we wonít be there the day they light them but weíre still hoping to find as many as we can. There appears to be an amazing network of walking trails on Sifnos!

Please feel free to send any other Sifnos tips our way . Thereís no pile of old stones weíre not interested in seeing, lol!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 12:45 AM
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Hi Texas Aggie, I see you have caught the Antiparos bug, which I warn you is incurable. When you arrive next summer people will remember you, and some will greet you like old friends. Antiparos has been an important part of my life for about 25 years now, and I keep in touch between visits by email and Facebook. The Facebook Antiparos Photo Group is an excellent resource, and you can join the group to post or just browse casually. There is also a web port cam, recently improved to sweep the area from the tour boat dock to the Pounta ferry slip:
Live Web Camera | Antiparos.TV

BTW, you will see the tour boat MV Alexander there now, where it stays during off-season. The owner is from Antiparos, so moves the boat from Naxos at the end of the season.

Last edited by Heimdall; Nov 2nd, 2019 at 12:49 AM.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 03:44 AM
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I supppose you know that Vueling has a direct Florence dp 14.00 - Santorini ar 17.20 flight on Monday June 15th.
The Santorini - Sifnos catamaran leaves daily at 8.30 and arrives at Sifnos at 11.30.
The direct Sifnos dp 9.00 - Paros ar 9.50 catamaran will be daily too.
Otherwise fly from Pisa or Rome to Athens, sleep there (or at Piraeus) and go on by catamaran.

Sifnos has both, a good hiking trail network and Island buses to many destinations (at least in high season).
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 06:45 PM
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Heimdall, yes, we started planning a return to Antiparos the minute we left! TY for the tip on the Facebook group. Iíve just applied to join . The webcam is great too; we didnít know about it.
It really is the most magical place!

We didnít make it to the cave last year since our week disappeared in an instant. Fingers crossed we get there this year! Also looking forward to seeing progress at Despotiko!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 06:49 PM
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Hi neckervd,

Thank you for the logistical information! Iíve booked a morning flight from Rome to Athens, arriving ATH at ~12:30. Iím hopeful we might be able to catch a ferry from Piraeus to Sifnos that same day. I canít recall exactly when the ferry schedules are published... will keep an eye out early in 2020. If we canít catch a same-day ferry, will look at staying the night in Piraeus.

Thank you again!!
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