Island Hopping | My Summer in Greece
I have had the good fortune to travel the globe with my family, on solo trips, and trips with friends. I have been to amazing far flung places, and each and every journey has been an adventure for the books. In short: I live for travel. I strive to see the world and experience all of the culture, beauty, food and humanity that I can soak up.
Having said all that, there are always those elusive locales that get dreamt about, and lusted after, but the trip never seems to come to fruition for one reason or another. Greece, and particularly the Greek Cyclades Islands, was one of those places for my family and I. Varying circumstances kept it a trip we were putting off, citing budget, having babies, and a pandemic being the top of the list that kept us from going.
This past year the stars seems to align and we added another country to the list our children have not only loved, but they have talked about non stop since. They immediately started plotting ways to go back to Greece, and truthfully so did I. I may or may not have looked up vacation homes as soon as we arrived home.
While we did start and end the trip in inspiring Athens, the trip for us was all about the Cyclades Islands, and 3 Islands in particular. With the time we had, we certainly could have added more to the list, but we really wanted to familiarize ourselves in each spot, and not feel like we were racing from one spot to another, even with the luxury and convenience of the speed ferries.
Milos was the first island in the Cyclades that we stayed on, and it was truly out of this world spectacular. Honestly, it felt like we were on the moon in some spots, with the unique rock formations, and cliffs. This made for an incredible time out on the crystalline ocean water, exploring caves on our boat and stopping in some private swimming holes. The beaches were sandy and warm and filled with locals and tourists alike. The food was fresh, the people were warm and filled with pride, and children (and cats!) are treated like kings.
Santorini seems to be the Island that still tops most travelers lists, and while you cannot fault the amount of tourists flocking there for the unique cliffside cave homes and incredible sunset views, the crowds there were definitely the low point of our stay. We did stay in the most amazing cave home right in the middle of the bustle which had the most incredible views - most memorably being the full moon rising up over the iconic city of Oia. We ate Mediterranean food with gusto, and interacted with amazing people...but the best part of our stay on Santorini was a day we chartered a sailboat and sailed around the island.
We saved the best for last, and though I am hesitant to talk about Antiparos too much, I would be remiss to not shout from the rooftops just how incredibly special Antiparos is. We took the speed ferry over to Paros from Santorini and enjoyed a gorgeous day eating and drinking while wandering the maze of streets of Parikia, before taking a 7 minute ferry across to the smaller sister island of Antiparos.
Antiparos will live on in memory of being the place we found the clearest water, the most beautiful community of people, the best food and the greatest selection of artisan shops. We slowed down, we had time to connect as a family, and we let the day decide when we would head to the beach. The hunt for the best greek salad consumed us, and we decided that each of them was the winner. We followed cats down alleyways that led us to the best ice cream shops, and we ate fresh seafood at the waters edge while watching the sunsets. I truly can't think of any time I have ever been so happy. Antiparos feels the like the quietly cool sister to bigger neighboring Island Paros, and it was the exact pace we needed.
Taverna Klimataria - Antiparos
Despotiko - Antiparos
More Than This - Antiparos
Agrilia Estate Olive Grove - Antiparos