Five Days on Paros

Old Jan 26th, 2023, 05:18 AM
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Five Days on Paros

This report is part of 37 days we spent in Europe (Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia between September 5-October 12). We initially booked, with credit card miles, flights in and out of Athens without any fixed itinerary. Then, we were invited to a family grape harvest in Sicily. Eventually, Athens airport became our base, and we went through there seven times. This created an opportunity for multiple distinct trips. This is one of them.



Paros


The first week of our fall trip was part of a wedding gift to our daughter and her new husband. They had only one week available, including travel time, so we decided to make the island of Paros our base. Inspiration for our time in Paros came in parHeimdall travelerjan . Thanks again for that.

We experienced perfect weather, sunny in the low 80ís, if you donít count very strong winds as a negative. Very strong winds.

We had considered a one-day (extended into evening) ferry trip to Mykonos, but gave up, fearing strong winds could impact ferry schedules. And, they did, the first couple of days we were there.

Our daughter arrived the day before us, and they spent that day in Athens, where we had been twice before. On Monday September 5, our daughter flew to Paros, and we followed up in the afternoon on a small Olympic Air (Aegean) prop plane. Friendly staff and cookies for the less than an hour flight.

We rented a 2BR, 2BA condo, about a 10-minute walk from the village. We picked the main town of Parikia for our base, given that it is a convenient ferry port town and has lots of shops, restaurants and bars.

Although we rented a car to do a one-day tour of the island during our stay there, we used our feet, buses, taxis and ferries to get around.

Paros is in the Aegean Sea, about 135 miles southeast of Athens. It is part of the Cyclades island group.

This report of each day will be largely photos. It will include the communities of Parikia, Naousa, Aliki, and Lefkes, all on Paros island. We also had short visits to Antiparos and Naxos islands.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 09:21 AM
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CAN't wait to read it !! Have a dear friend coming from Hawaii in September -- already (way back in 2011) traveled w me thru Crete, Santorini, Naxos, Nafplio ... now wants help in planning more islands, solo. Likes classes in food & crafts -- so among choices I'm thinking Paros/Antiparos. So your report can be helpful! Keep it coming!
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 11:10 AM
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Day One: Paros

Arrival on Paros is via prop planes from Athens into a tiny airport.

Paros, our home for five nights, is just one of several towns on Paros island and is a busy port town. There are lots of narrow passageways, and bougainville, bougainville, bougainville. Quaint shops, inexpensive restaurants and cute bars are plentiful. The town has a significant and ornate 4th century church and monastery. We didn't pay a lot of attention ahead of time to the various towns on the island when booking our condo. Once we realized the convenience of the nearby port, we were quite relieved that we picked the right spot.











































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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 12:11 PM
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I love your photos and I am very interested in your Paros report. Last May we visited Santorini, Naxos, Nafplion and Athens with the help of Heimdall and Travelerjan. I had initially seriously considered Paros and Antiparos as well, but decided to substitute Nafplion for Paros, which we of course loved. But I am still interested in visiting Paros and Antiparos some day. BTW, Nafplion was filled with bougainvillea too! So pretty!
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 01:09 PM
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I’m following your trip report too, and also love your photos. If you think the Paros Airport is tiny, you should see the one at Naxos! 😉

The new Paros Airport was completed in 2016, and the terminal building is only temporary. Funds for the new airport covered only the 1400 meter runway and taxiways, but not for a terminal building, and Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air funded the temporary terminal so the airport could open. Plans have already been approved to extend the runway to 1800 meters, which will allow jets and international flights to operate from Paros Airport. Together with that will be a new, much larger terminal building. You can see the CGI images of the new terminal building here:
https://www.ebarchitects.eu/work/paros-airport-terminal

There are mixed feelings on Paros and Antiparos about the larger airport, partly because some people feel island infrastructure should be improved first. So far, thankfully, it doesn’t look like Paros will become another package holiday island, and in fact there are many high value villas being built on both Paros and Antiparos.

Last edited by Heimdall; Jan 26th, 2023 at 01:14 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 01:22 PM
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KarenWoo Thanks. Good to hear from you again. A few weeks after Paros, when we returned from Sicily, on this admittedly crazy trip, we managed a couple days in Nafplio, and it was fabulous. Weather perfect in early October and nobody there. We also spent a couple of days in Meteora, one of the most awesome places we have visited anywhere.


Nafplio



Bougainvillea in Nafplio



Monasteries atop Meteora
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 01:31 PM
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Thanks, travelerjan as you probably know better than me, trying to get to multiple islands, without a boat, is quite a challenge. We have wanted to return to Corfu, for example, having visited there only by cruise ship, but it does not work well with many of the other islands we have wanted to see. As I will note, Paros was better for our situation than extremely quiet Antiparos. We also experienced very high winds that severely impacted boat trips while we were there, including even the huge ferries.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 01:41 PM
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Heimdall Wowza on the proposed terminal for Paros. But we are happy to have been there "before". We liked the current vibe and can only see more significant development following such a large and gorgeous structure.We hadn't followed very closely Greece's climb from the economic basement, but our little time on the Greek mainland convinced us that things were definitely better. And, then we saw a CNN report from Davos, Switzerland, over the week-end that included a discussion of that seemingly miraculous rebound. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 02:23 PM
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Hi, can you share your trip to Meteora? I am traveling to Greece this May - first to Thessloniki, then meeting my husband in Athens. I really want him to see Meteora- I’ve been previously. We are thinking of taking a two day bus tour from Athens before we take off for the Islands.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 03:01 PM
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Whitehall, I took the same photo you took, the one labeled “bougainvillea in Nafplio”! Our hotel, Pension Omorfi Poli, is close by.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 03:18 PM
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Whitehall thank you for the photo of the walkway around the base of the Nafplio "point" ... I take that photo on each trip. Do people also know about the great little swim-spot along that path? It's called ? Le Ban >- was the town's "pool" back in the day -- just a pier, with seating, and chained-off sea area ... AND a cafe serving drinks in season. SO Handy, for those without a car ... or who don't want the hike to Arvanita.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 02:22 AM
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uppsala30 Give me until next week, and I will try to do a brief, but separate, trip report on a new thread to highlight Meteora with lots of photos.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 04:44 AM
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Day Two: Paros

We spent more time discovering the Paros port area early in the day and toward evening. Itís both a tourist waterfront and a working waterfront.




























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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 05:33 AM
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Day Two: Antiparos

Some of the smaller excursion boats cancelled trips to Antiparos due to the strong winds, and perhaps this was one of the reasons the nearby island seemed eerily quiet. We took a bus toward the airport, where there is a car ferry with its very short connection to Antiparos. We had considered basing here, and if you just want to hunker down, itís quite a beautiful spot. Thatís why Tom Hanks has summered there for many years and why he gets such recent visitors as Jeff Bezos, Anderson Cooper and the Greek Prime Minister. But, for us, the towns the island of Paros and the port connection would have been more difficult from there.

All we saw was the main town of Antiparos. The hills around it, and the many villas, looked a lot like Paros, except a bit more rural. The small streets, again loaded with colorful bougainvillea, had many inviting shops and restaurants. We had expected early September to be busier.























































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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 05:54 AM
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You're pictures are making me "homesick" for Greece! I was there (Paros, Antiparos, Athens & Nafplio) last summer and fell even more deeply in love with the country after my first visit in 2019. Although I won't get there this year, I can't wait to go back.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 07:32 AM
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Love your photos of Antiparos! Are the photos of the cafes with bougainvillea right by the water? Would you describe Antiparos as a place where you have ample opportunity to relax in fishing villages and have fresh seafood sitting by the water? Our favorite day in Naxos is when we rented a car and ended up in the fishing village of Moutsounas (by accident) having the best meal of our trip (fresh seafood) sitting a foot from the Aegean. If we return to Greece, I know this is what my husband wants to experience for a large part of the trip! We were actually disappointed in some of the meat dishes we had in Greece but we loved the fresh seafood and the ambiance of the fishing villages.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 07:38 AM
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if you were in Antiparos Town during the afternoon but didn’t stay until evening I can understand why it was quiet, because everyone is at the beaches. In the evening the town comes to life, and many people walk across town to Seifnikos Beach to watch the sunset, then go back into town for drinks and dinner. It doesn’t get busy in town until around 9 pm. The night owls go up to the square where several small nightclubs start getting busy around midnight. That’s why I always recommend day trippers stay until evening.

Antiparos has a short, but intense summer season. June and September are just about perfect, but August is anything but quiet on Antiparos. July, sometimes called Norwegian month, is also busy. I’ve often gone at the end of August when people are beginning to leave for home, but in the middle of August the pedestrian street is so jammed that people walk shoulder to shoulder. I’ve never seen anything like it except Oia on Santorini when the cruise ships are in.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 09:19 AM
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KarenWoo, there aren’t really any fishing villages on Antiparos, but Captain Pipinos Taverna in Agios Georgios sits on the water, and serves fish caught that day. You can see it in the short documentary made by the Antiparos islanders in 2014. The video is nearly 10 years old now, but shows how busy Antiparos gets in the evenings. It also show some of the southern end of Antiparos, the most beautiful part of the island.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 11:02 AM
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KarenWoo Yes, the old village is a very short walk from the ferry and all super close to the sea. Heimdall of course is the best source of everything Greece, so I will defer to all his expert comments.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 11:07 AM
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Heimdall Appreciate the video. That is what we all dream about when we think Greek islands. Not sure everyone was at the beach that day, since the winds were keeping people off most of the beaches. Maybe just a day to stay home. No complaints; it's always great for a tourist to "have the place to ourselves." Just a bit surprised, but we do know that places like this can come alive in the evening. We will have to return.
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