Monday, August 15, 2016

Islands in Greece You Need to Visit that Aren't Santorini

With so many bloggers flocking to Santorini and Mykonos (thanks to my Instagram feed!) I thought I'd bring back my travel posts and talk about some other islands that are definitely worth the visit in the Cyclades. 







Don't get me wrong, Santorini is beautiful. It's amazing. It's wonderful. But having spent quite a lot of time in the Cyclades Islands - I just think there are better representations of Greece out there. And they are just as beautiful! (and so much cheaper!) 

I know there are a lot of Cruise ships that cater to riding around to different islands but I think the best way to experience Greece is ride on the ferry's and stay on the islands. Blue Star isn't too expensive and very easy to navigate. Also for any of these islands, I'd recommend renting a car or ATV! So easy to get around the islands. 

1. Paros 

I might be a little biased when it comes to Paros but it is the island I lived on for three months! During the summer/fall Paros is a four hour ferry ride from Athens but it is oh so worth it! They also have an airport now! Paros has two main towns - Parikia and Noussa. I lived in Parikia but Noussa is just as pleasant. Paros has amazing beaches, beautiful views, and even more amazing food. It's also got the white washed, blue roofed buildings that Santorini has but much more quiet of an atmosphere. 
Most Notable: Adorable cobblestoned old town, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, wonderful food.... I could go on for quite a while! 
Where to stay: If you're looking for a cheap place to stay check out: Jimmys. It's really close to the beach, town center and you get a balcony! 
Where to eat: Zorbas! 
They've got the cheapest gyros in Parikia but they are the best. 








2. Antiparos 

Only a short 30 minute ferry ride from Paros is the much smaller island- Antiparos. It's the perfect day trip from Paros and it's packed with cool things to see! 

Most notable: The antiparos cave! 
This is a seriously HUGE cave. So, definitely bring some walking shoes because it's around 400 steps down/up. But it is so worth it.  




 3. Naxos 

It's so hard for me to pick a favorite island (besides Paros) but Naxos might be it. I visited Naxos in November. It was perfect. It's lush, mountainous, and full of charm. 

Most Notable: The food!/Temple of Athena  
 I'm not kidding when I say the food in Naxos in the best I had in Greece. But before you eat go check out the Temple of Athena - absolutely stunning at sunset.  I'd also recommend renting a car and riding around Naxos. There are so many beautiful mountains and small villages to explore. 
What to eat: Dakos 
Dakos is kind of like the Greek version of Bruschetta but with lots of goat cheese/feta. It is absolutely incredible especially on Naxos. Naxos is known for their agriculture and cheese business so Dakos is a must. 







 4. Samos 

Samos is a bit of a cheat because it's not in the Cyclades but it's SUCH a cool island! We actually got stranded here in October while on our way to Turkey. I was sad we missed a day in Turkey but it was made up in the fact that Samos is so beautiful! 

Most Notable: Manolates Village 
It's a small mountain village which provides stunning views, beautiful architecture, and lots of good hiking! 



 5. Syros 

I only spent an afternoon/evening in Syros but it was the epitome of cool. It was also unlike any island I'd been to in the Cyclades. Syros has a large University on it so there were tons of students roaming around. There is also a really beautiful church at the top of the island you can climb to, which is definitely wroth it! We only had an hour or so before our ferry left so we ran up the hill and it was magical!

Most Notable: Emerpoulis Town Square 
Syros is known for its venetian architecture, which is quite different than the rest of Greece. Definitely a must see. 



Have you ever been to Greece? 
Let me know what you think in the comments! 

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