Greece - Paros, Ios, Sifnos, Santorini
I may not be able to spell hello in Greek, but I can at least say it. After twenty four hours of travel time, we arrived in the quaint town of Paros. It was exactly how you would imagine Greece, white buildings everywhere with blue accents, cobblestone streets – it was stunning. There were many cafes, shops and of course everything is just pretty. Luckily, my travel mate enjoys stopping at the cafes as much as I do.
In Paros, we took a day trip to a little town of Lefkes (population five hundred forty five). Very cute town, again, perfectly picturesque. We walked around and stopped for some lunch, there was a board hanging outside with all of the “mother made” treats. The next day we had a beach day, the water is crystal clear and it’s all very beautiful. We ate lunch on the beach and had Tzatziki and warm pita, not sure it gets much better in Greece. We spent our last day in Parikia, exploring and had lunch before saying goodbye to our host and taking the ferry. Everyone in Greece have been so nice, the nicest, most welcoming people I have ever met.
Next stop, Ios. We learned in Paros that the Cyclades are the islands of cats. We did not know this going in and as my friend and I adore cats it was an unexpected treat. Ios was small, unimpressive and the kitties looked ill. We walked around the main town of Chora, had dinner and decided to leave the island as soon as possible. We found a ferry departing the next day, checked with our Sifnos accommodation to see if we could check in early and off we went.
We were so happy with our choice to arrive to Sifnos early, we arrived quite late and when we reached our apartment at one o’clock in the morning the mother of the host had made us a cake. And apologized that she didn’t have more for us, she was the sweetest. We explored Apollonia (population two thousand) and loved it, it’s gorgeous, quaint and the people are just lovely. We had lots of coffee while exploring and amazing food, to include Sifnos cheese. We took a bus to Faros one day, it was a small little nook and beautiful. The water was cool, so clear you could see the fish swimming around you and after swimming we took a siesta on the beach. We went into Apollonia for dinner and became friends with a restaurant owner named Apostle. He gave us some amazing coffee and fava bean dip, delicious.
We took a walking path to a small village of Kastro (population one hundred), the walk was very pleasant and the town was cute. We walked around, took some photos and walked back to our apartment for another siesta. We went to Kamares for some shopping, walked around the port and had an amazing dinner, the sunset was striking. Ventured to Vathi one day via bus, had a relaxing beach day and as always, it was lovely. We met a restaurant owner that evening who was giving me a Greek history lesson, I learned that there are three hundred and sixty five churches just on the island of Sifnos, only two hundred and seventy have services. Considering that Sifnos is only twenty eight miles round, I would consider that to be a lot of services.
Our final day in Sifnos was very sweet, our host mother invited us into her home and made us lunch. In the evening after dinner, we went to Apollonia for loukoumadres and espresso. We found the loukoumadres the first day in Apollonia (ate them daily), they are pastries made of deep fried dough, soaked in syrup, chocolate sauce or honey. They were fantastic, and my friend revered them, so much so that I asked the woman who worked in the shop (her families shop) if they sell t-shirts and unfortunately they did not. On our final night in Apollonia, we went for our last evening of loukoumadres and espresso, the woman at the shop brought my friend two freshly washed shirts that she wears in the shop since they did not sell them. She said she only wore them once and hoped they were okay.
Our final stop was Santorini. We were sad to leave Sifnos. Everyone was so nice and it was such a pleasant experience. We arrive to Fira very late and it was very dark, we were looking forward to seeing it in the daylight. Fira was nice and similar to all of the other towns we had visited, but it was very busy. Several cruise ships had docked that day and there were people everywhere, it was also very warm. The views though, one of the most indescribably gorgeous and picturesque places I have ever been. We only had one day in Santorini which seemed to be enough after coming from the more quaint islands. We went out for a fancy dinner and waited for the sun to set, we had been told Santorini has the best sunsets in the world, as of now, I would agree. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, it actually brings a tear to my eye.
Greece was gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking, beautiful and lovely. There is not much to do on the islands though, which is great if you are looking for a very relaxing beach trip. For me, it was a one time trip. I will forever be in awe though of how friendly and lovely the Greeks are, they are the nicest people I have ever met.