NEWSLETTER THE GREEK ISLANDS - NIEUWSBRIEF DE GRIEKSE EILANDEN
Back from the Cyclades & already made the new booking for Crete...
Hello lovers of the Greek islands, here is the update of my website The Greek Islands. If you have received this newsletter by mistake or if you want to unsubscribe please reply to this email and write "unsubscribe" in the subjectmatter.
The start at Paros
We started the holidays at the 21st of May at the island of Paros, after a direct flight from Amsterdam to Mykonos (with a bit of a delay, something with the fuel supply in the plane). After landing at around 11.30 AM we had about three hours to buy tickets for the fast ferry to Paros, so we thought it was plenty of time and since we were hungry we decided to have breakfast first.
This was not a smart idea. By the time we entered the ticket shop we found out that the ferry was fully booked, so we called Anna of Ikia Studios on Paros (where we were supposed to go to) and thought about the next plan. Maybe we had to stay on Mykonos for a day and then go on to Paros the next morning. But Anna said to hold on and she was going to call us back in half an hour.
She is the kind of lady that doesn't take "no" for an answer and she was on the phone with her ticket agent and went to the ticket office on Paros. After a little while she said that she had arranged for us to get on board anyways :)).
We were just so very happy to get on this ferry and after 50 minutes we were finally at our destination, Paros, where Anna was waiting for us in the harbour with a big smile on her face. She is one of our favorite people in Greece and we had not seen her for almost three years, so we had a lot to catch up with.
We went for a nice early dinner in the harbour of Alyki (it is in the quiet south part of the island of Paros, where Ikia Studios are) and could finally relax and enjoy the view of the sea and the tranquilety of the village and of Paros. She had put us in a beautiful apartment with a terrace overlooking the village and the sea and in the distance the island of Sikinos. And instead of the heart shaped ice cubes we found diamond shaped ice cubes in our fridge, so we could all have a cold ouzo to celebrate our return to the island.
The next day we went to a beach that we had never been to before, which is on the east side of Alyki. It is called Faranga. It is one large beach with a beach bar (closed in May obviously because there was nobody there) and over the hill there are three more coves with beautiful and quiet (also: naturist) sandy beaches. Here we took our first dip into the Greek sea and we loved it. That evening it was already our last evening on Paros, but a little earlier we had decided that it felt so good on Paros that we wanted to return after our next destination (Santorini).
We also met Tess, a lady from Holland that spend in total 3 weeks in Alyki before she went to the main land where she had excepted a job offer. There was an instant connection and everybody got along very well.
Next morning it was bye bye to everybody, but Anna was happy that we wanted to come back.
For all the updates and the new pictures on this island go the Paros pages.
Next stop: Santorini and Thirassia
The next morning at around 11 AM or so we left on the Blue Ferry to Santorini. The trip took about 5 hours I gues (there is a much faster ferry but we opted for this and took the fast one back).
We were awaited by Emver car rental (with my name on a sign) in the harbour who had parked a car for us on a parking lot (this is the spot where we could also leave it when we went back to Paros - it was easy). It all went quite quick and we could leave for Oia, where we had reserved a cave house.
I had my doubts about Santorini before but we went off for a good start. The cave house was on a perfect spot, the last houses in the front and in a very quiet part of Oia.
We found out that the location of your accommodation and knowing what to see and do makes all the difference when you visit the island. We stayed at Leandros Traditional Houses and it was wonderful. It was quiet (no cars, no people walking by), it had wonderful views and actually it was not that expensive. It consists of 3 houses only and the lady that owns it was also a tour guide for Santorini, so she had some great tips.
We also found out that the island is actually quite diverse and has something for everybody. Of course there are still the popular destinations like Oia and Fira that you really have to see, but we also found beautiful nature, interesting things to look at and a couple of very, very nice and quiet beaches.
The rest of the day we enjoyed the view from our accommodation and we made a walk through the village of Oia just for a look around, to have some dinner and also to catch the sunset.
The next morning we woke up late and after a breakfast with fresh bread from the nearby bakery we headed for the harbour of Oia which is called Ammoudi. You can get to this harbour by car. We were told that at 12 o'clock there would be a small boat here that would take you to the opposite very quiet island of Thirassia. Here you could take a bus that would take you to the Chora (capital up on the mountain) and you could than make a walk down with spectacular views.
The trip by boat didn't take very long and it only costed 1 euro. Indeed Thirassia was not only opposite Santorini, it was also the opposite: very, very quiet. Next to the harbour was a large and empty pebble beach. We decided not to take the bus up to the Chora but spend all the time at the beach and relax.
The daytrip to the island of Thirassia was quite a nice experience.
The following day we spent driving around the island, and we made a visit to the capital of Santorini, Fira, and after that we took a look at several beaches. In the north east of the island we found most of the beaches as good as empty: Baxedes, Vourvoulies and Kouloumpos Beach.
We fell in love with the last one, Kouloumpos Beach - also for naturists, where we spend several hours. It is beautiful and the water is quite warm (because of the vulcano). There is a bit of seaweed on the beach but that is all. It is clean and it consists of sand and small pebbles. It is not difficult to get in and out of the water.
Just know what you are looking for when you are going on a holiday to Santorini and prepare yourself a bit and also: find a nice place to stay. We loved the island so much this time, we plan to go back to Santorini on our next visit to the Cyclades.
For all the updates and the new pictures on this island go the Santorini pages.
Back to Paros
Antiparos and Despotico
We were sad to leave Santorini, but at least we had something to look forward to. We went back to beautiful quiet Paros. All the other 346 plans I had made at home as options to do after Santorini were dropped. This seemed the easiest solution, because the next island on the list was nearby Antiparos. Besides, Paros had been very nice and we had only spend two days there. So we went back with the fast ferry this time. Anna was waiting for us again in the harbour of Parikia (the capital of Paros) and we had the same apartment as the first time. These three days we spend mostly on our favorite beaches, Faranga (by now a favorite) and Makria Myti on the other side of Alyki village.
We also made a tour on the island and took the opportunity to take a another and better look at the villages of Parikia and Naoussa , and we also discovered a couple of beaches that we had never seen before. In the meantime Anna was at home slaving over "baking an apple pie" and preparing a big barbequeue for the guests.
After another goodbye to Anna we drove the car to the ferry harbour Pounta and took the small ferry to Antiparos. First stop was Mike's Place in Antiparos Town where we wanted to see our old friend Lillian. We had some coffee here and plenty of hugs and kisses and we had a look at the apartments, because it had been totally & beautifully renovated. After that we were off to the south of the island where we had made reservations in Dolphins Apartments. We were welcomed by Magda, had more coffee and more hugs and kisses and than had a dip into the pool. We had a lovely studio with a large terrace and a view of the sea and the island Despotico. The rest of the afternoon we spend in one of the nearby coves and we had a swim in the sea. Next morning, after a large breakfast we went on a boat trip with the Sargos 1. This boat is situated in the harbour of Agios Georgios, nearby the Dolphins Apartments.
We met Vigdis from Norway and the captain, and two other passengers. First stop was the amazing sea caves of Antiparos. After that the captain took the passengers to a private beach on the island of Despotico to enjoy the sun and relax for a few hours. There were plenty of beaches to choose from. So....on the island were 4 people in total this day (including us), because it is uninhabited. At the arranged time the captain picked us up to take us to the next sight on the island of Despotico, which is a large ancient sanctuary that has been discovered there. It is situated up a hill with beautiful views to Antiparos. An hour later the boat picked us up again and we went back. In the evening we met our friend Tess (from Paros) for dinner in Antiparos Town.
We also stayed at Mike's Place where it felt like coming home. We spend our time on Soros Beach and made a visit to the famous cave of Antiparos.
For all the updates and the new pictures on this island go the Antiparos pages.
The final destination Mykonos
The end of the holidays was now coming into view and after a quick up and down and up and down from Antiparos to Paros (because I forgot my coat) we drove to Parikia harbour in Paros to catch our ferry to Mykonos. Here we were going to stay at Villa Konstantin in Mykonos Town for the last three days before flying home again.
We had a very professional & friendly reception here, with lots of explanations and tips, and a couple of really good maps of the island and of Mykonos Town. After that we were taken to our large and very cozy studio. I felt right at home here. We spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool and on our terrace looking over the sea, before we headed off to the centre of Mykonos Town for dinner and drinks.
The next day we rented a car and went to our old favorite beach Myrsini. We found out that quite a few houses had been built here, and we fear that, allthough we were practically alone on the beach, this might not last so long anymore. After quite a few evening-ouzos we headed for Panormos Beach the next day for the last hours of Greek sunshine....
Everything comes to an end, and so the next day we had breakfast at Villa Konstantin and after that Sharon, the owner of the accommodation, dropped us of at the airport and we had to go back home.
For all the updates and the new pictures on this island go the Mykonos pages.
Okay, so this time a sad ending. We made it to Amsterdam though and one of the first things I have done (after calling mum and doing the laundry) was to book the next ticket for the next holiday. We are going to Crete (again) on the 21st of September. I am always interested in your info, experiences and pictures to brighten up my website.
I will talk to you again soon in the next newsletter.
Hugs, Hans the Greek Islands.