Greece has been at the top of my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. Honestly, I have been lusting over the country for well over a decade! I had to be back in Paris in June, which was the perfect time to finally visit Greece. So what did I do?! I called my best friend, convinced her to take a week off of work, and began planning the perfect week under the Aegean sun. Looking back on it now, it’s pretty remarkable that it took me this long to visit Greece, but it was well worth the wait!
I knew we would be flying into Athens, and planned to visit two islands during the week. After much debating, we decided not to visit Mykonos or Santorini. Instead, we chose to explore Naxos and Paros, two islands nearby and also part of the Cyclades, southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea. Naxos and Paros are known for their beautiful beaches, low key charm, and crystal blue waters. In the end they were the perfect choice for our laid back week in the sun!
We knew we wanted to spend most of our time on the islands, so we planned to stay in Athens for only one night. I flew in late Sunday afternoon from Paris, and my friend landed just a few hours before me from New York. We stayed at Adrian Hotel in the heart of Plaka, very close to the Monastiraki train station. Adrian Hotel was centrally located, comfortable, and had a gorgeous view of Acropolis Hill! What more can you ask for at under €200 a night!
That evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at Kuzina, a highly rated restaurant on tourist friendly Adrianou street in the heart of the city.
We of course enjoyed the first of many amazing greek salads, fresh octopus, delicious olives and great conversation, catching up and discussing our plans for the week. Before I knew it, it was well past midnight and we had an early ferry to catch!
From Athens we took an early morning high speed ferry to the island of Naxos. Naxos is an island in the South Aegean, the largest of the Cyclades island group. Naxos Town is a beautiful port town filled with whitewashed, cube-shaped houses and medieval mansions.
The ferry ride was quick and painless, and before I knew it, we were in island paradise. (Look out for a full review of my ferry and flight experience in Greece, coming soon!)
We spent three peaceful nights in Naxos, swimming in the ocean, enjoying greek wine by the half liter, and continuing to indulge in feta cheese and fresh octopus by the pound!
Once the sun went down, we would wander into Naxos town, the most picturesque little corner of Greece you could ever image. The small winding streets led to adorable shops and delicious restaurants.
In Naxos we stayed at the most wonderful boutique hotel, Kavos. I’ll be posting all of the details about this little gem, where the view was beyond amazing and the staff were incredible!
From Naxos we island hopped over to Paros. Paros is a beautiful, lush island best known for its beaches and traditional villages. Parikia, the bayside capital, is a boating and transportation hub for the Cyclades region. It’s also home to Naousa, a smaller village, located on the north east corner of the island, full of trendy shops, delicious restaurants, and lively nightlife.
Paros is such a beautiful island. The weather was flawless, perfect for long days at the beach napping under the sun! We stayed on the east coast of the island, a quick drive to Chrissi Akti (Golden Beach) where the sea was flat and the views were incredible.
One day we took a walk along the coastline and stumbled upon adorable homes and churches.
Before I knew it our week in Greece was coming to an end and I was so sad to say goodbye! This was one of the most wonderful adventures in recent memory and I was so lucky to get to spend it with my best friend! While Mykonos and Santorini are more popular, I promise, Naxos and Paros are the perfect islands for an authentic and relaxing Greek Island getaway!
Athens | Day 1
Naxos | Day 2 – 4
Paros | Day 5 – 7
SHOP MY GREEK ISLAND ESSENTIALS