Travel Diary – the Cyclades, part 2

In case you missed part 1!

Day 4: This day we woke up in Paros and sailed to Naxos. Paros was super humid over night, so we woke up with damp bedsheets and a wet deck. But the sailing was perfect. I lay on the front of the boat and read and took pictures and enjoyed life.

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Because they are so close, the trip didn’t take that long. We were in Naxos before 11 am, so we stopped off at a cafe for coffee (or cold chocolate for me) and breakfast. Then, we wandered the streets for a couple of hours before heading to the beach. It was hot hot hot, so the beach was very welcome. We had lunch at one of the beach restaurants and got gyros. Let me tell you guys, the gyros there are the greatest gyros I’ve ever had. The gyros on Naxos were by far the best ones we had (more on that later).

After the beach, we all decided we wanted to get all dressed up for dinner, so we went back to the boat to shower. Yes, the sail boat did have showers. There were three in the three bathrooms – the faucet just detaches and becomes a shower head that you hold. There’s also one at the back of the boat for rinsing yourself off after swimming, so we all used that one and had a communal shower in the open air. Then we got all dressed up, got booze, and went to watch the sunset.

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The restaurant we went to was fantastic. I got fresh dorado, potatoes, greek salad, and a glass of wine for 12 euros and it was so good. After dinner, we went to a jazz bar where the alcohol was ridiculously overpriced so I didn’t drink. Then most of us went back to the boat and talked and got our stuff together for the next day.

Day 5: This day we were meeting up with another group to do a driving tour of Naxos. We met with them super early and went to get the cars. We were super nervous, because we only had one person who really knew how to drive standard but we needed two cars. My brother can kind of drive standard, so he volunteered to drive. But luckily, the rental place had one automatic, which we grabbed and thank god we did. The roads on that island are insane. Seriously. If you’re not a confident driver, don’t go there.

First we went to the monument for the god of fertility, Priapus. It was super pretty and really cool. A lot of it has been remodelled, which is nice because you can see what the structure once looked like.

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After we went to this small church. Unfortunately, no one was there so we couldn’t go in. The next stop was the oldest distillery on Naxos, where they gave us a tour and a sample of the alcohol they made. It was the cutest little place. My brother and I got milkshakes at a local shop (obviously).

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Next we went on a hike to this cave. The hike was mainly uphill, which wasn’t hard. It was the downhill that was tricky, as it was gravelly and dusty, so it was hard to get footing. But the view was fantastic, so it was worth it. There were also so many goats there, which they turn out for the summer. Sometimes you couldn’t see them and we could just hear their bells.

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For lunch we went to the cutest restaurant I have ever seen. It was in this tiny town and it was practically a maze to get there. But the food was incredible. We had tzatziki and greek salad with the best feta I’ve ever had and bread and vegetables and lamb. It was all so good. I was full after the tzatziki honestly.

Then we went to see the unfinished statue of Dionysus (or so the historians think). It’s unfinished because it cracked when they got to the head, so it was left as is to preserve the rest.

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Then we went to the beach in Appollon, which was beautiful. It was so hot that the beach was very welcome. Then we drove back to the port, which our guide told us was called Naxos (I had issues with our guide but I’m leaving that out so as not to ruin my memories). The drive was absolutely beautiful. Because we had an automatic, we didn’t need to worry too much and I could enjoy the views. I took tons of video so my brother could watch later and see them too.

That evening, most of us just went for gyros for dinner. They were less than 3 euros. And they were so. good. Honestly, I cannot stress how good they were. The tzatziki was so good, the pita was so good, the meat was so well seasoned and they were hot and yummy. I don’t think I’ll ever have anything that tasted that good ever again. While we ate them, my brother and I had a heart to heart while watching the boats in the port and then went and got large portions of ice cream. When there’s tears, you can justify two scoops of double chocolate ice cream (you can always justify that though honestly). We then went to the boat and drank some wine and played some cards and had a great night. Another practically perfect day.

Day 6: We woke up in Naxos and had breakfast on the boat. We then sailed to Syros, which is the capital island of the cyclades. It was ruled by the Italians at one point, so it’s very different from the rest of the islands. There’s marble streets and the architecture is more modern. It was beautiful, just a little different from the rest of the islands.

That day was our first day of actually really sailing. The boat rocked back and forth for the whole four-ish hours. Two people got seasick and two others had to take Gravol just in case. We got splashed a lot, so it was colder than the other days. Not quite as relaxing, but it was part of the experience.

When we finally got to Syros, everyone was hungry because it’s impossible to eat when the boat is rocking that much (it’s also worse below deck so no one wants to go get food anyway). So we went and got gyros (of course). They were still less than three euros and delicious. So good.

We spent the rest of the day exploring Syros. We ended up at the parliament building, which had a great view of the port.

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We were there at an awkward time as not much was open. But we got to see the streets without them being super busy, which was nice. There’s something about those marble streets that makes it just so much cuter.

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Our group kind of split up this day, so two of the other girls and I went and had wine and bread at a restaurant, as we had gyros pretty late and weren’t hungry for dinner. Our wine was on 2 euros per class. It was crazy cheap. Then we got my brother from the boat and the two of us got crepes and ice cream. It was definitely and more chill day than the others, which I think everyone needed after the day of sailing.

The port at Syros was also interesting because it was right on the road. It wasn’t a dock that attached to the road. Like, we were literally right there. We walked off the boat and into the seating area of a restaurant. It was a little weird having people that close, but it was also kinda cool cause I could be like “hello yes I am just getting on to this sail boat no bigs.”

After ice cream, we spent the rest of the evening on the boat drinking sangria and reading and talking. It was good.

Day 7: This was our last full day together 😦  We had to sail to Mykonos today, so we all decided it might be good to have an actual breakfast. So we went to one of the restaurants and I got waffles with fresh fruit. It was great.

We then sailed to Mykonos, which was a similar experience to the day before. We got splashed more than the day before, but fewer people got sick, so that was good.

By the time we got to Mykonos, we didn’t quite have enough time to go into town before dinner, so most of us stayed on the boat and showered and packed and just hung out. As it was out last night together, we got dressed all nice to go out after dinner. We also started drinking then, which was maybe not a great idea.

Before dinner, Julle took us to the windmills to watch the sunset, which was a pretty popular spot. We drank Gordon’s Space, which is basically a better version of Smirnoff Ice, and watched the sun set. It was the pinkest sunset I’ve ever seen. My pictures don’t do it justice.

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After, we went for dinner at a restaurant where they knew Julle. I got seafood risotto and white wine and it was all good. After, we went to a bar called the Scandinavian bar. They knew Julle (everyone knew Julle) so we got free shots. We hung out there and had shots and talked to random guys and played never have I ever and it was a lot of fun. Before going back to the boat I got a donut from the restaurant we went to for dinner and it was a great night.

Day 8: Before we all left, two of the other girls were just arriving. They’d stayed in the town all night (lol) and were exhausted but luckily not hungover as they’d been awake for so long they sobered up (that’s how that works, right?).

We had to be off the boat by 10am this day, so my brother and I decided to head out around 9. Julle let us leave our bags on the boat so we didn’t have to carry them all day. We walked into town and found a bakery for breakfast. We spent the rest of the day exploring Mykonos, which is beautiful (I will say, though, that Mykonos is one of the windiest places I’ve ever been. No one tells you that, but Greece is actually really windy). We got some tacky tourist souvenirs but hey, we’re allowed to. We also hiked up through the town so we could get a better view.

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Then we caught our ferry to head to Crete. At the dock, there was this tiny dog that would help the workers bring the boat in. It was the cutest thing.

All in all, it was a perfect week. I wouldn’t change any of it (almost) and if I could relive it the exact same way, I would. I’m forever grateful that I’m lucky enough to have experience this.

If you ever want to go island hopping through the cyclades, I would highly recommend doing it this way (https://www.gadventures.com/destinations/europe/greece/).

Thanks for reading! xx

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