You Gotta #LoveCYCLADES

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#LovePAROS

Three Easy Pieces for Hikers on Paros

"A Greek building in Pireaus"

Yes, you guessed it : We are in Greece!

On the beautiful island of Paros, to be precise, the pearl of the Aegean Sea. And just to prove to you that we are not simply taking it easy – although the temptation to just have a good time and let writing duties go hang may sometimes be hard to resist …

"Three Easy Pieces for Hikers on Paros so you won't be like this dog on car roof top"

… here are the results of the first few days on our Cyclades tour and a few suggestions for pleasant, short and not overly taxing walks.

We are based in the north of Paros, near the town of Naoussa, so our first brief excursions have naturally centered on this part of the island. First up, a trip up Vigla mountain north of Kolympithres, which takes you around the west of Naoussa Bay and then uphill to the very top of the ridge from where you have not only magnificent views of the bay itself but also across the Aegean to the neighbouring islands of Delos and Mykonos.

"View from the Vigla mountain in Paros"

This is a very fine walk but perhaps – coming from Naoussa – a trifle on the long side, so it may be best to hire a car or take a cab to take you at least halfway up the hill where there is a friendly little tavern with an equally friendly little parking place, and you may just want to take it further up from here.

Secondly, there is Naoussa itself, a lovely and curiously unspoilt small town which combines everything you love about the Cyclades: the colour …

"small alley in Naoussa"

… the history …

"inside a byzantine chapel in Noussa"

… and the Mediterreanean flavour …

"port harbor of Noussa"

… without spoiling it all through garish vulgarity or overbearing cuteness.

And while you are here, and feeling perhaps a little bit peckish after the exertions of having climbed up Mount Vigla, Mario’s Restaurant in Naoussa’s Old Harbour is just the ticket to round off your visit: with products that are sourced straight from Mario’s own farm, it blends all the charms of traditional Greek cuisine with contemporary Mediterranean stylishness. A sunny afternoon on Mario’s terrace, with an assortment of seafood dishes on the table and surrounded by the chatter of large Greek families is a wonderful experience. Life simply does not get much better than this.

Finally, we took a brief walk on the eastern half of Naoussa Bay, eastward from the Kalypso Hotel, following the coastline of the hotel’s own little bay inside the much larger bay of Naoussa (much of the coast of Paros is constructed like a Matryoshka doll, with a bay inside a bay inside a bay) and further to the “lighthouse” that you can see across the sandy dunes on your right hand side.

lighthouse

But while the bay on the other side of that sandy ridge was (nearly) as beautiful as the one we were coming from, the “lighthouse” turned out to be nothing of the sort but instead some part of a rather ghastly agribusiness facility.

easyhikerdowncast

The walk, however, was still a great deal of fun, not least because it led through a landscape that defied the common clichés of Greece nearly every step of the way: flat, grassy and more than a little melancholy, on a largely overcast and fairly windy afternoon to boot. It nearly succeeded in making us believe that we were somewhere along the Baltic. (Greece is a much more varied country than common prejudice would make you want to believe.)

meonbeach

The Kalypso Hotel just outside of Naoussa – our “home away from home” on Paros – is the perfect base for all the walks described in this post. It is a family-run and very friendly place with guests from Greece and all over Europe, including many people who come back here year after year.

The breakfast buffet features Greek specialties such as fresh goat’s cheese (lovingly produced by the owner Mr. Bafitis’s father) …

food

… the interiors as well as the rooms are tastefully decorated throughout …

13909843491_84b16c9152_z

… and, perhaps best of all, the views from the balcony fill you with the desire to go out and explore this beautiful island.

view from hotel

We thank Mr George Bafitis, owner/manager of Hotel Kalypso (and who also happens to be the President of the Paros Hotel Association) for his warm hospitality.

Read about our discoveries of the island as guests of the Municipality of Paros (under the wings of the town’s Deputy Mayor Mrs Maria Chanioti) as we explore and enjoy the Cyclades.

Get our free updates via email, or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter by watching out for the hashtags #LoveCYCLADES #LovePAROS.

 

18 comments to You Gotta #LoveCYCLADES

  • All the pictures are beautiful! Greece looks and sounds like no other country. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  • You’d certainly love it in the Cyclades, Jennifer. The people are just very hospitable.

  • Looks gorgeous. We’ve been to Mykonos and Delos, but not Paros. Hoping to get back to Greece again this year.

  • Looks absolutely stunning !

  • The architecture on the Cyclades islands is considered as quintessentially Greek, Ted. It is the picture that comes to mind when one mentions Greece.

  • You and your ladies would love the Cyclades, Peggy.

  • Paros and Naxos are two islands on our 2015 Women’s Greek Isles Journey…thanks for the tips…Paros is the quintessential Greek isle dreams are made of.

  • I love the Greek architecture photos. I can see the temptation to sit around and just enjoy the food and views.

  • Fantastic! Couldn’t remember where you were headed next. We arrive on the Fast ferry from Heraklio in the afternoon Tuesday and will be at the Island House Hotel near Mylopotas. How about a glass of wine somewhere. . .what is your schedule? Don’t have a cell phone here but will check email: [email protected]

  • What a lovely view from the hotel – breakfast is as I remember in Greece – and the hiking looks so appealing!!

  • We’ll be in Ios too by Tuesday! Get in touch!

  • We head to the island of IOS on Tuesday and will set out to explore its charms for the next three or four days. We love Paris though.

  • Wish hard and you might get there, Mariana. It really is a gorgeous place!

  • I’ve been following your trip and I gotta say I truly want to go visit these places more than ever before! You’ve taken me there and now it’s all more real than it was in my mind…and will never stay still until I get there. Happy for you guys enjoying such a marvelous place! Keep the photos flowing please :)

  • Cathy, this is also our first time in the islands of the Cyclades. And I can say, Paros is a good introduction to their charms. You and Mr TWS would love it here as you loved Italy.

  • I’m entranced by that awesome view from your balcony. What a beautiful spot. The hubby and I have been dreaming of the Greek Islands forever. I knew nothing of Paros prior to reading this. Would definitely like to follow in your footsteps there.

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Jeff! Greece, especially the islands of the Cyclades is definitely to your liking. You should visit!

  • Thank you for transporting me to Greece and travel vicariously through your sublime adventures! I just can’t get over how beautiful all of that scenery is! I must get to Greece one day and soon! I bet the stop off at Mario’s Restaurant is a welcome respite, especially if you decide to walk rather than drive. Too bad about the lighthouse, it certainly looked like one, didn’t it! What a wonderful adventure and please keep these posts coming!!

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