Island hopping in the Cyclades

So, last month Mr Baskets and I spent 10 days in Greece, starting and finishing in Mykonos with 7 days to fill with all sorts of unplanned adventures…

With no idea of where to stay, or really any idea of where to go, we travelled by ferries and explored the beauty of the Cyclades hopping from island to island. It became a total adventure and an amazing way of exploring such a beautiful country. I thought I’d share some of our best bits of this blissfully Greek holiday and the path we travelled.

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First stop, Mykonos. The only pre-planned part of the whole trip as we spent the 1st 3 nights staying in the beautiful Mykonian K Hotel.

Mykonos is renowned for being one of the more popular and glamorous islands within the Cyclades and of course famous for being so fabulously gay. It’s filled with boutique hotels, designer shops and winding streets, not to mention some of the best seafood restaurants and cocktail bars I’ve eaten at in a long time. The buildings are painted white with blue rooftops and there seems to be a windmill on every bend or bay of the island – it’s a truly romantic and idyllic destination. However, without a shadow of a doubt it was the most expensive Island we visited and one of the reasons we knew 10 days in this beautiful place could get a little pricey.

After 3 days of pure indulgence; dining in La Familia, sunset catching by Little Venice, late night drinking in the Skandinavian Bar followed by dancing the night away in Jackie-O’s, we packed our bags and headed to the port.

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Next stop, Paros.

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A 50 minute ferry ride South of Mykonos brought us to Paros. The ferry was 50€ each which was our most expensive fare. We arrived in Parikia, the capital of Paros in a beautiful, small and quiet fishing village – a huge contrast to Mykonos! Standing there to greet us were local apartment/hotel owners all fighting for our attention – it’s a lot easier than you’d think to find instant accommodation. We went with the first one we saw, a self-contained apartment for 25€ a night, a short walk from the port and 10 metres from the beachfront.

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Paros was sleepy with a more traditional Greek feel to it. Still, there were some amazing restaurants to try and beautifully designed shabby chic cocktail bars towards to old part of town.

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We took a day trip to Antiparos, a tiny island off the West coast of Paros. Stepping off the boat you feel as though you’re stepping into a post card.

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It’s incredibly pituresque, clean and peaceful. We only spent a day here but I wished we stayed for a night or 2 as it was the perfect remedy to escaping the hustle and bustle. With 2 nights spent in Paros we thought it was time to try elsewhere.

Next stop, Naxos.

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A short 16€ ferry ride to the Paros’s neighbouring island, we arrived at Naxos, a more cultural and built up island and one of the bigger islands in the Cyclades. Our first choice of accommodation ended up slightly disastrous but cutting a long story we short, we bagged an upgrade to somewhere much better and only had to fork out 72€ for 4 nights accommodation– I know, absolute steal. We stayed in a studio apartment 30 seconds from Agios Giorgio – the main beach in Naxos town with plenty of bars and tavernas and minimal numbers of English tourists.

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After a few days of travelling we decided to stay put and explore this larger island in more depth. Naxos has some of the best beaches in Greece and we were fortunate enough to come across one, Plaka Beach. There is also the famous Apollo’s Temple that can be seen at the far end of the port.

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Naxos was time to relax, eat and continue drinking. In the main port, which was 10 minutes walking distance from our apartment, were some of the nicest open top cocktail bars we’d come across all week. Cucumber infused gin, complimentary popcorn (the Greeks love a salty snack with cocktails) and unrivalled views of mountainous skylines and sunsets.

IMG_3978The food in Naxos did not disappoint and we were spoilt for choice with seafood, traditional Greek dishes and of course tzatziki by the gallon while breakfasts consisted of stacks of pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice looking out into the harbour – yes I know, the diet was long gone at this point.

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4 nights passed in Naxos and we made our way back to Mykonos for one last partay. This time the ferry was 26€ and something tells me we got stitched up on our first one… We treated ourselves to one night of luxury staying in the modern and contemporary Fresh Boutique hidden away in the heart Mykonos with fully working AIRCON a super jet shower. Magical…

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Overall, our holiday was amazing and for us it was the perfect combo of party, sun, food and adventure. Go go go to Greece, I urge you!

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Yamas!

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