Mykonos and Paros, Greece

Steve Finch on 22 May 2017

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Located in the Greek Cyclades islands within the Aegean sea, Mykonos is the archetypal Greek island, covered in white stone washed buildings with blue framed windows and domes. Therefore, is it a very pretty island, hilly and rugged in places. Despite its small size, it still takes a while to navigate the island by road. Bear in mind that there are not many registered taxis here, so car rental may be an option for a few days.. if you want to check out the beautiful bays scattered around the island.

Ano Mera is the main inland village of Mykonos and has the charming Panagia Tourliani Monastery, named after the patron saint of the island. This site was originally established on the site in the16th century. The delightful bell tower upon it, is again sterotypical of this lovely country. Note that is has limited opening hours. The villages plateia has a few restaurants scattered around it. I had a chance to briefly see Ornos, Elia and Platys Gialos beaches - they all look lovely.

Mykonos town is a smart refined, traditional locale. It harbours a maze of tiny streets lined with little shops and churches, art galleries, boutiques, cafes, chic bars and restaurants. The streets are very easy to get lost in - that being the idea to confuse itinerant pirates in years gone by. The waterfront of 'Little Venice' has some great bars to witness the sunset and watch the world go by. The renowned 5 windmills (Kato Mili) are close by too. The Old Port is a short walk away. The new port, from which the cruise liners and local ferries depart, is 3 km north of the town. Look out for Petros the pink pelican whilst wandering around Mykonos town.

Several ferry companies ply the route to Paros from Mykonos, the prices varying according to timings , speed etc. Sea cats and ferries operate and can take as little as 40 minutes to make the crossing. The turnaround times of these vessels is amazing, just 4 minutes in my experience: to unload the ship of vehicles and passengers and then load again and depart!

We arrived at the larger island of Paros at the port of Parikia, the capital on the west coast. The Byzantine temple complex Panaya of Ekatontapiliani 'the Church of 100 doors' is very close by, this is worth a visit. The waterfront is quite lengthy here, it has plenty of restaurants, bars and nightlife.

My favourite location on this island is Nauosa, in the North. It is pretty fishing port, with a lovely selection of restaurants portside there, perfect location for an evening al fresco meal. Like Mykonos there are very few taxis here, so do note that. However, the ones they do have, will be in situ at the Parikia port upon arrival!

Overall both are beautiful, traditional Greek islands. I love the vibe here and as ever the seafood is as predominant and wonderful as ever. Mykonos has many boutique hotels and this makes it a little more exclusive than many Greek destinations in a way - however, there is a healthy market for those wanting nightlife too.

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