The Aegean Sea has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. I sailed through the Cyclades with some friends in 2014 and it was glorious. At each island, we’d say “this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen!” And then the next place would be even more beautiful. So of course I was totally on board when V suggested a summer vacation in the Cyclades.
We set sail from the bustling port of Piraeus. What a production that place is. Dozens of enormous ferries set sail from Piraeus each day, with destinations as close as Salamina, an island you can see from Athens, and as far as Turkey. V’s friend Paris, a travel agent, hooked us up with front row seats in the ferry to Paros, in business class.
When we arrived on Paros we headed to the family home of V’s sister-in-law. There’s not much that makes me happier than colorful flowers against a white wall.
The view looking at the house is quite nice, but the view looking out is even better.
We could also see the ferries coming in and out of the small port in town.
(Of note, V’s sister-in-law is now busy preparing the house for Airbnb rentals, available later this year. I can highly recommend the home and the location!)
While on Paros we took a day trip to Antiparos, the island next door. On the ten minute ferry ride over we passed a private island and fantasized about who we would invite to live on our own private island when we won the lottery.
We drove over a mountain pass to get to an amazing, secluded beach that some friends knew about. The Peugeot makes a great city car, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the off-roading that was necessary to get to this beach.
We spent a leisurely day at the beach swimming, snorkeling, reading, throwing a ball.
After the beach, we went into the tiny town on Antiparos for dinner. More bougainvillea and a white wall, totally my jam.
We had a delicious (though expensive by Greek standards) dinner at a restaurant with a genius concept: a playground adjacent to the outdoor dining area. So the kids could scarf down their chicken fingers and go play, while the adults could enjoy a leisurely dinner. And perhaps a glass of wine or two.
The following morning I went for a hike on the hills above the harbor of Paros. The path was rocky and overgrown, and I surprised a couple of snakes and lizards as I walked. “Are the snakes here poisonous?” I texted V. “Yes” was the terse and unnerving text I received in reply.
The views to the sea were magnificent. The Mediterranean doesn’t have dramatic tides, but it still has impressive waves.
The waters are a little different from what I’m used to on Cape Cod.
Later we went to a peninsula with a white church with a blue roof (ubiquitous in the islands), and some ancient ruins (also ubiquitous).
V wonders why we would ever leave this place.
But through this window we see the way to Naxos, the next stop on our journey.