A trip to Greece was high on my bucket list, so I was so excited to finally get there. On this trip, I went to two islands…Naxos and Paros. Naxos which is the largest island in the Cyclades welcomes its visitors with plenty of history, ancient ruins, stunning landscape, hospitable locals, and tasty Greek food. Paros, which is the island next door, also has great food, culture and the best wind surfing around. People come from all over to wind surf there because it is always windy!
The Greek Islands
It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember to visit the Greek Islands. It is overwhelming to learn that there are 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas in Greece. Most of the islands are in the Aegean Sea, while a few are in the Ionian Sea. The islands are divided into clusters with Naxos and Paros two of the islands in the Cyclades.
A visitor would probably want to try to visit a few of the smaller islands on one trip like I did. This is why island hopping in Greece is so popular. Crete, which is the largest island in Greece, could warrant a longer stay. A one week trip to Crete would probably be ideal.
Our first stop was to Athens where we stayed overnight and then flew on Aegean Air to Naxos. You can check out my trip to Naxos blog for more details about this island. I enjoyed Naxos because it was relaxing, making it a great place to stay if you want to disconnect and recharge. While in Naxos be sure to check out the old town. It is so pretty and the view from the top will make your jaw drop. We spent 3 days on Naxos then made our way to Paros for another 3 days.
Where to Stay – Naxos
We stayed in a villa at the Naxian Collection during our stay on Naxos. It was the most stunning place with a beautiful view and private pool. Meiry and I really enjoyed our stay, and we loved the home feel that the villa gives you during your stay.
We went sailing during our stay in Naxos. It is a great way to see the island and the view during sunset was breathtaking.
Watch my Greece trip vlog on YouTube for better quality or just below.
A special thank you to Meiry for joining me on my trip and taking photos for me.
After a great time spent in Naxos, we boarded Blue Star Ferries to Paros island. Upon our arrival, we simply walked over to a nearby Karent Rent a Car and picked up our rental which was very convenient. Renting a car allows you to explore a lot of the island during your stay.
If you decide to spend your days in Paros swimming and sunbathing, you’ll find a selection of long sandy beaches and tiny isolated coves with crystal clear waters.
Those who want to travel through time and learn about the rich Greek history….then make your way to the village of Lefkes. This whitewash and marble village and its traditional homes with pretty patios sloping upwards look like an amphitheater. While wandering through its peaceful alleys, don’t forget to seethe Byzantine road, a marble-paved path, built to connect Marpissa with Parikia 1000 years ago.
Meiry and I loved Lefkes, but we went during off season, so the shops were all closed but it was still enjoyable to look around and explore the empty streets. I am not a fan of crowds…so I didn’t mind at all. There are so many hidden gems and unique places to visit in Greece and before I even left, I was making mental plans for another trip.
One of the things not to be missed in the Cyclades is wine tasting. We visited Moraitis Winery in Paros and absolutely loved it! Close to the winery was a restaurant that we just loved called the Tsitsanis Taverna…definitely a place to check out if you are in the area.
Wind Surfing in Paros
Wind surfing is very popular on Paros because it is often windy. People come to the island just for the wind surfing. It was my first time, so I arranged a private lesson. I think I did good for my first time!
Cooking Classes on Paros
In Paros, I went to the Swiss Home Hotel and took a cooking class. It was the highlight of my trip. I will share more on my trip to Paros blog post. If you are a fan of Greek inspired dishes, check out my Greek lemon baked pork chop recipe.
Both Naxos and Paros are great places to have some down time and enjoy the sunshine when you visit Greece. I loved that they were less popular locations that allowed us to avoid crowds and connect with the local culture more.
This post has been sponsored by Discover Greece. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.