I just knew it would happen sooner or later…….and this was the day!

A trip to Greece would just not be complete without a trip to Mykonos.  So I booked a day boat excursion to the Delos and Mykonos islands for a couple of days after my arrival to Paros.

The island of Paros, which is about a 4 hour boat trip from Athens, has the quaintness of the blue and white buildings combined with several lovely beaches and is large enough for exploring but not so large that it is overwhelming.  It is no wonder that Paros is the island that many Greeks go to for their vacations.

The Airbnb in Paros was lovely!  It used to be a youth hostel in years past and is still run by the same family!  It has been renovated into several private rooms with a common kitchen and living area.  It is just off the boardwalk down one of the narrow cobbled winding streets that Greece is famous for.

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View from Airbnb in Parikia towards the boardwalk and sea.

I had been having a relaxing couple of days and with a big stretch, I woke up wondering which beach I would go to that day when after a brief moment it suddenly dawned on me that it wasn’t Friday!  It was Saturday – excursion day! I looked at the time and gasped!  I had 15 minutes to get myself ready and out the door and half a kilometer down the road to the meeting spot for the bus that would take me to the Naoussa port.

As I sat on the edge of the bed in an early morning dizzy stupor, there was a momentary “I can’t do it!” and then I sprang into action.  Jumped into the bathroom before another guest walking down the hall could get there, brushed teeth, threw my clothes on, grabbed a granola bar and a juice box and….RAN!!!

Naoussos is one of the ports on the island of Paros.  There are three ports on Paros; two for the smaller boats, Naoussos being one of them, and one in Parikia for the larger boats.

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View from Naoussa port towards the village up the hill.
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View from ferry while arriving into port of Parikia, the capitol of Paros.

The island of Delos is 1.3 square miles in size and is near to Mykonos.  The whole island is an archeological site.  In fact nobody lives there (except for archeologists) and you must pay to get onto the island.  If you like, you can hire one of the guides sitting at the entrance to walk you through the site.

In 1990 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the most “exceptionally extensive and rich” archaeological sites in the world.

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Excavations have uncovered ancient stone huts that date from the 3rd millennium BC with the original inhabitants being Carian pirates.  In Greek mythology, this island is the birthplace of the twin gods Artemis and Apollo.  For a thousand years, between 900 BC and 100 CE, Delos was a sacred cult center.  For a time, no one was allowed to give birth or die on the island because of its sacredness and so that no one could claim ownership or inheritance in efforts to preserve commercial neutrality.

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The Terrace of Lions – One of the sites that Delos is famous for.  These are replicas.  The originals are in the museum on the island.

In 166 BCE, the Romans converted the island into free trading port and soon began to purchase thousands of slaves that had been captured by pirates and during the various wars.  The island suffered some devastating enemy attacks and when trade routes changed, its importance began to decline.

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The museum showcases all the original sculptures and artifacts found during excavations.  It is a very old museum that has not been updated and has a lovely old world charm to it.

The island had limited water sources and no capacity to grow food or timber, so all means for survival were imported.  Eventually because of not having a self-supporting community, the island became uninhabited until 1872 when the archeologists from the French School of Athens began excavating the island and continue to do so until today.

It is an eerie island to walk around on.  The excavations are so extensive, that you can almost see the ancient inhabitants as they walk down the “streets” doing their daily tasks and visiting with their neighbors.

A short boat ride away from Delos is the famous island of Mykonos.  Mykonos is almost 85.6 square miles in size and is known as the The Island of the Winds.  This is apropos considering the number of windmills that are found on the island and especially in the main town of Chora.  These were built by the Venetians in the 16th century and used to mill flour until the early 20th century.

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The famous windmills of Chora, Mykonos.

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I found the island of Mykonos and the town of Chora to be quite charming and would be nice to stay for a day or two, but for a longer term stay the island of Paros is much better.

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Little Venice in the town of Chora

The quote in the title is from the famous Hollywood movie star Mae West.  So keeping her words of wisdom in mind…….keep an agenda even while traveling and check it often!  You wouldn’t want to miss out on an amazing day seeing amazing places!

 

 

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