When you plan a holiday to the Greek islands, you will have hundreds of different islands to choose from, and unless you have an unlimited time at your disposal, you’ll have to select a few to visit, leaving the rest for another trip in the future. For this holiday in August, we selected two fairly well-known, yet not-so-famous Cyclades islands: Milos and Paros.
We had a total of 10 days of holiday there, which included the time needed to reach Athens and then each individual island, so we also squeezed in an express visit of Greece’s lively capital. I found that for this, visiting “only” two islands was ideal, as it gave us time to explore them well, but also to see a variety of landscapes and places.
Day 1: reaching the first island / exploring Athens
This first day was dedicated to traveling to Athens and then to Milos, our first stop. However, our flight to Athens had such a delay that we missed our ferry and were unable to reach Milos. So, we booked a tiny hotel in Athens for the night and another ferry for the next day, and wandered about the capital in the evening. This whole situation was rather expensive but – to my great surprise – we did get a great compensation from our airline, so if this ever happens to you, take those 30 minutes to fill in the reimbursement form!
Day 2: Milos island beaches
This second day started off with a nice ferry ride to the main city of Milos: Adamas. We checked-in in our amazing hotel, got some gyros to go and directly went to a few beaches in the South of Milos: the small and secluded Tsigrado beach and the beautiful Fyriplaka beach. Then, we ended the day with a gorgeous sunset in the moon-like Sarakiniko beach, in the Northern part of the island, followed by a delicious dinner by the sea in Adamas.
Day 3: Ancient theatre and fishermen’s villages
On this third day, we rented a quad to explore some areas of Milos that are less accessible by public transport , and this took us to see the Roman amphitheatre, the place where the Venus of Milo was found, some very cute and colourful fishermen’s villages (Klima, Areti, Firopotamos and Mandrakia) and the beautiful Plathiena beach. We finished the day with a short hike to the “castle” of a town called Plaka, where the sun was starting to set. It was absolutely gorgeous! On this day, we saw so many beautiful things that definitely need an itinerary and post of their own!
Day 4: leaving Milos and getting to Paros
This was the end of our stay in Milos, so we spent this last morning wandering about the town of Adamas and its cute shops. Around midday, we started waiting in line for the ferry to Paros, which was late and took longer than expected to reach Paros’ main city, Parikia. We only got there after dark so we just grabbed a quick bite to eat and checked in our accommodation.
Day 5: Parikia and Byzantine road
On our first day in Paros, we explored Parikia in the morning, wandering aimlessly in its tiny streets and stopping here and there in some shops. Then, after a small lunch, we took the bus to a charming town called Lefkès, where we walked a hiking path called the Byzantine road, that took us to Marpissa, another cute town, with a stop in the quiet yet postcard-worthy Prodromos. It was such a nice hike and when we headed back to Parikia, we just relaxed at the beach with a nice drink.
Day 6: Antiparos
In front of Paros island, there is another small island called Antiparos, which is apparently very famous, especially among celebrities. For our second day in Paros, we decided to spend a chill day to explore this cute island that had obviously wealthier summer inhabitants than Paros itself. There, we visited a breath-taking cave and relaxed at one of its many beaches, before heading back and walking around in the main town, browsing through the quite expensive shops.
Day 7: Northern Paros and Naoussa
On day 7, we rented a quad in the morning and headed North to explore Paros Park, a preserved area with loads of hiking routes. After hiking around the area and admiring the rock formations, we went to a bunch of different beaches around there, the most notable one being the Kolymbithres beach, that is unlike anything I had ever seen. After this relaxing and refreshing break, we reached Naoussa, which is probably the most active town in Paros, with loads of people coming to enjoy its nightlife. With our quad of questionable quality and safety we then slowly headed back to Parikia for the night.
Day 8: Aliki
For our last day in Paros, we decided to take it slow and went to a small coastal town called Aliki. After a nice lunch by the sea, we just found a cute beach and stayed there for most of the day, taking in the sun and swimming in the truly crystal-clear water – really, I have rarely seen such transparent water!
Day 9: back to Athens
Our last full day in Greece was spent first on the ferry to Athens, then exploring the city. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we focused on the main landmarks, starting by the Syntagma Square, where we saw the changing of the guards (called Evzones), the ancient Agora and the Acropolis – which was absolutely stunning. It is also that evening that we had one of our favourite meals of the whole trip, in a small restaurant that served delicious food.
Day 10: Athens and back home
Finally, for our last morning, we tried to make the most of our Acropolis ticket which allowed us to visit many more places, so we visited a variety of landmarks in Athens, including Hadrian’s Library and the Roman Agora. When the time came, we then headed to the airport and took our flight back – without delay this time!
Overall, I couldn’t imagine a better way to discover the Cyclades for the first time, and this was, I think, the perfect itinerary that gave us a great balance between cultural stuff, relaxing by the beach, exploring cute towns and hiking in nature. I realise that with this post I barely scratched the surface of all the thing we did, but at least it provides a good overview of what is doable in this amount of time.
Have you ever been to Greece?