I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after lots of summer travel and adventuring. We went to Greece at the end of June and it was everything you'd imagine it to be - beautiful white architecture, cliffside hotels overlooking the Aegean Sea, amazing Greek food, and the friendliest of people! We started in the small island of Paros then ventured on to Santorini to see what all the hype is about (which we now understand!).
Paros is a small, quiet island with dozens of coves to swim in and the nicest people. It's less touristy, which we loved. We rented mopeds and explored the island for a few days, hitting up amazing family owned restaurants and swimming in the clearest blue water I've ever seen.
I can't compliment our hotel on Paros enough! We stayed in Naoussa at Almira Suites and the kind hostess, Marissa, did everything for us, from renting mopeds to suggesting the best local food, to supplying us with first aid kits when we had a little run in with some big waves. This sweet little hotel is family owned and run which made it feel warm and welcoming right off the bat. Breakfast is included with the rooms so we had a daily homemade breakfast by Dimitri, a talented chef in the summer and a photographer and teacher in the winter. He made us cappuccinos and had a huge breakfast spread every morning - eggs, yogurt, local cheese, pastries, homemade granola, breads, and fresh fruit. I was in heaven here!
We ate at Palia Agora, a tapas restaurant, the first night and it was a great introduction to Greek food and hospitality.
They refer to this beach as a free spa because of the clay found in the rocks along the beach. You're supposed to lather it on, let it dry, then rinse it off for super soft skin.
The local, family-owned restaurants in Paros were one of my favorite things about this island. Lots of al fresco dining and delicious farm to table-esque food.
After a few days on Paros, we made our way to Santorini via ferry, which felt more like a cruise ship. We arrived with hundreds of other tourists and braved the crowds and the countless steps to get to our cliffside hotel in Fira, Scirocco Hotel. The view from our terrace was breathtaking...photos don't do it justice but I'll share them anyway! Santorini comes alive at night and I'm not talking about 8 or 9 pm; they're just getting started at 11:00, which was something we never quite got used to while we were there. We'd eat early and be alone in the restaurants which was pretty nice for us but the Greeks probably thought we were insane!
We stayed in Fira while we were in Santorini, which is much less crowded than Oia and still just as beautiful! Santorini has lots to do - we did a cooking class through Santorini Gastronomy), visited Valssaltis Winery, sailed the Agean Sea at sunset (booked through Viator), took in the beautiful sunsets in Oia, and ate lots of gyros.
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