Why we love Paros - Top 5 Cyclades ExperiencesJul 13, 2021
Paros. If you know the island, we needn't say more. If you're new to this Greek Isle, nestled gently in the heart of the Cyclades, let us give you a few reasons that this spot is absolutely not to be missed! Paros is a rocky island encompassing the full breadth of Grecian beauty, from crystalline bays to sun-washed marble ruins. It is less touristed than its sister islands, Mykonos and Ios. These islands, along with Naxos, and Antiparos make up the Cycladic island grouping in Greece.
Why choose Paros for our next set of transformative trips? Because the last thing you need when you're doing yoga on the beach or sipping wine right off the vine are a bunch of tourists and buses crammed right next to you vying for the same view. Instead, we've opted for an island with a bit more privacy, far more beaches, and the best authentic cuisine to be found. For those considering joining us in Paros, or for those making their way to the Greek Isles this year, here are our top 5 Paros and Cyclades experiences!
1) Island hopping- If you find yourself in the Greek Isles there are few better ways to spend your time than out on the water. Be it a small local boat that takes you from village to village, a ferry to a neighboring island, or a full day of island hopping, skipping across the expanses of bright blue is a magical experience. On our trip we'll be taking a full day's sailing journey through the islands, stopping for snorkeling and swimming all along the shores. Longer sailing trips or sunset cruises offer unforgettable views and remarkable experiences.
2) Beach-sploring! - Each island is dotted with stunning inlets, bays, and beaches. You'll be delighted to find the diversity of the coast. Some are rocky shores with colorful Mediterranean fish swimming at your feet while others are bright long strips of san, sun, and waves. Make sure to do research into the beaches you want to see. On Paros we'll be opting for a sunset beach hike where an isle-native and expert guide will bring us through the rocky terrain, between stunning beaches, pausing for sunset moments at each.
3) Enjoy the local cuisine - The Cycladic Islands are some of the rockiest and, traditionally, most barren. As such, their cuisine is a delightful mixture of carefully crafted recipes using only the freshest ingredients. Each island will have slightly varying specialties, so try your favorite fried feta cheese local wine on more than one island! Our local Greek chef will be crafting healthy, tasty Mediterranean meals and showcasing the cuisine's history!
4) Press some oil, Grind some granite, Get involved! - The Greek people love sharing their rich history and eclectic culture with visitors. Not only will they welcome you onto their beaches, but they'll happily delve into the history of their homes. The best way to learn is through doing! So, roll up your sleeves and learn the ancient craft of granite sculpting, find a local to take you fishing, or press olive oil in the same tradition as centuries past.
5) Enjoy the shopping and the nightlife! The Cyclades are home to fantastic shopping opportunities. You can opt for locally crafted artisan works on Paros or glitzier souvenirs on Mykonos! There is plenty to see in the downtown of each island, so check out the shops on each if you want to bring some magic home with you! If you are a nightlife person head to Parikia or Mikonos, the hubs of Paros and Mykonos. Ios is also home to plenty of late night partying with beach bars abuzz through dawn.
Recent years have been especially troubling for the state of the Greek economy. From its status as one of the poorest European Union countries with massive numbers of youth emigrating from the islands inland to the the death blow dealt by COVID, Greece is barely starting to reemerge. Since the pandemic, Greece has taken things extremely seriously. They were among the first European countries to mandate the months'-long lockdowns and the most aggressive about making their vaccines available throughout the Greek Isles. Because of their safety consciousness and vaccine rollout they have already reopened fully to tourism! Yes, there are Grecians on boats, stopping door to door on the tiniest of coasts, offering vaccine doses.
Beyond the Nest wants to support the vaccine efforts of the country and inject our capital into their economy to help them thrive! We work to provide trips to places where our injection of tourism dollars will go the farthest. This is also why we work directly with every villa owner, driver, chef, UNESCO tour giver, and everyone in between. Through coming together again and traveling safely to the Greek Isles we can reconnect and manifest a life we love living, all the while helping the locals and the local economy move powerfully past the challenges of the pandemic.