Paros Day 3: Naoussa, Delos & Mykonos

Paros is well positioned for day trips to other islands. Parikia is a busy port, but on my third day on the island I took a bus to Naoussa to depart on a day trip to Delos and Mykonos. Most days there is the opportunity to do this day trip. It is not at all guided, it is simply the transport to the islands, where you are dropped with strict instruction of what time to be back. The ticket was easily purchased a couploe of days earlier from a local travel agent. It is an ideal trip for history lovers and anyone who isn’t staying on Mykonos but has a hankering to see what all the fuss is about. And there is a lot of fuss. Mykonos and Santorini are the two most popular Greek islands and the two most likely to be overrun by tourists, also the two most expensive.

The trip included transfers from Parikia to Naoussa but I wanted to head there early so that I could check out what I had heard was a beautiful fishing village. So I was up early and took the first bus, so early that the bus ticket station wasn’t open. There was a sign saying that tickets could be bought on the bus, but what the driver did was make a stop at a small shop that sold tickets and we got our tickets that way. Just when you think you have a system worked out, they throw in something new!

I arrived in Naoussa with plenty of time to have a wander and find some breakfast. It was quite beautiful.

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What a lovely start to the day.

The trip on the Naxos Star from Naoussa to Delos took about an hour, from memory. We were given about three hours on the Island. Delos is now an historical site only open for day tourists. It is essentially an open air museum. Delos was once a centre of religion and business, it is also the mythical birthplace of Apollo. In short, dripping with history. Being so close to Mykonos, there is regular port traffic of day trippers from that island.

Delos is massive and quite overwhelming to the history novice. It was clear that three hours was never going to be enough to see it all properly. It is an entire island covered in relic. I initially headed off to the left, my head spinning from the sheer amount of historic material just lying around.

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Towards the back of the middle of the island is a small museum. I made the decision to bypass it as I still had a long way to walk and lots of ruins to cover and the clock was ticking. And there was a hill to be climbed. From atop the view across to Mykonos was spectacular. In hindsight I think the ruins to the right of the entrance were more complete than those off to the left and if I visited again, that is where I would start.

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I have included a lot of photos, they are a tiny representation of the hundreds that I took. And even then I couldn’t possibly have captured the enormity and wonder of the island. A truly magical place.

Once back on board we made the short trip to Mykonos. You could tell it was Mykonos from the house hotel sized yachts in the harbour.

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Mykonos is known for several things. Windmills, a playground for the rich and famous, a party island, and everything is expensive. I didn’t see anyone famous, I wasn’t there long enough to party, I did see the windmills and the expensive items on menus. I’m sure there is another side to Mykonos that you would discover with longer on the island. Only having 3 hours meant really staying in Mykonos town. And I really needed to eat.

It was a short walk from the dock to the town. I had some delicious souvlaki, and wandered around taking photos. I’m not sure I’d choose to come back, over other island options, but I am glad I have been there.

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Mykonos old town was very similar to Paros and Antiparos, beautiful Cycladic architecture, vividly colored flowers, cute boutique shops. The only difference was the red churches that I hadn’t seen elsewhere.

Soon enough it was time to get back onto the boat for the last time. I was pretty tired on the trip back to Naoussa, it had been a long day with a lot of walking. But it wasn’t over yet. Again I was bypassing the free transfer and spending a little of my evening in Naoussa before returning to Parikia.

One thing I should say about Greece is that people appear to put in a little effort to dress nicely to go out to dinner. Which is all well and good, unless you are in transit after a long day. I felt a little under-dressed as I sat having a drink watching people wander to dinner and decided to take my photos and head back to Parikia and change before dinner. The beauty of the long June days and late dining culture. But first, an evening, and sunset, in Naoussa.

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Finally back in Parikia, it was time for dinner and the end to a very full day.

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