My Big Fat Greek Trip!

In the summer of 2023, we took a trip to Greece. We wanted to really explore “island life” and avoid popular, overcrowded spots. My husband and I follow a couple on YouTube, and they have a review on the Greek islands – so we specifically picked out 2 they recommended: Paros and Naxos, to be comparable to Santorini (without the expensive tourist traps) and Mykonos (without the all night partying).

 

Paros:

This island is not very big but there is plenty of space between towns – beautiful hills, beaches, picturesque city streets. Our hotel was located right next to an isolated beach: cute, quaint and quiet. Our big excursion on this island was an all-day sailboat/yacht adventure – we swam in three different places in the Aegean Sea and all three had a different shade of blue. I had a very engaging conversation about island life with the co-captains on the boat – one lived on the island, and the other spent 6 months on Paros and the other six in Athens. Honest conversation, real and authentic lifestyle choices.

Naxos:

Just a short 30-minute ferry ride over to Naxos, where the port is the biggest and busiest city on the island of about 20,000. I will not lie – driving on these narrow streets gave me a bit of anxiety, especially when we came face to face with a motorcoach bus. Our family has an inside joke that we call this island “sunsets and souvlaki” because the sunsets were stunning and one of us ate souvlaki at every meal. Beautiful ruins on this island and the food was amazing – I’ve tried to replicate some of the Greek meals we had at home – it’s just not the same! I think eating outside, on the beach has something to do with it. One night we watched the sun set at the Temple of Apollo. It was as if every person held their breath as she went below the horizon – literally breathtaking!

Athens:

After a lengthy ferry boat ride from the island of Naxos, we finished our trip in Athens. I had been here before, about 10 years prior, on a cruise in July – the amount of people we had to navigate back then was crazy. This time, we went at the end of June, and I can say the crowd at the Acropolis was much better – apparently, we had missed high season by just a couple weeks. You would never know that from the amount of traffic in Athens, but I love Greek mythology and the Acropolis is a must see. Our hotel rooftop had quite the view. I don’t know if the scaffolding will ever be gone but progress is being made on the restoration. The museum is now open as well. We finished off the trip with a double decker bus tour of the city – it is a great way to see a big city in a short amount of time and you can hop on and off whenever you want.

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