Postcards from Paros – Under the Bougainvillea Tree

Blue, white and pink….

Over the years we have been lucky enough to visit some incredible and beautiful countries, from travelling around Australia, drinking fine wine in New Zealand, swinging in hammocks in Fiji,  crazy tuk-tuks rides in Sri Lanka, Hot Chocolate in Paris to hiking the Cinque Terre, all absolutely beautiful and amazing experiences in themselves but for me, time on a Greek Island is the most wonderful and precious of them all.  It is always warm, the sun seems to always shine, you slow right down, you take in the calm and white and blue decor, breathe in the sweet scent of the pinkest Bougainvillea (do they even grow over here?) the blue skies are endless, you swim and float and dive in the clearest and calmest water, you indulge in copious amounts of the creamiest Feta, Tzatziki and olives. But… The most  important of all, it warms the soul, it warms the heart and makes you feel as if time has stopped, and stopped in a very happy place.

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After a lovely 24 hours in Mykonos we headed on down to the port to catch our boat to Paros….Of course, this is Greece, it was late, but there are worse places to wait for transport.  The ferry took about 35 minutes and in no time we were settled in to our Perfect Paros apartment, PantaRei https://promisetocarrythecases.com/2016/09/16/perfect-panta-rei-paros/ relaxing on the beaches and getting to know the old town.

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PantaRei is situated in the harbor town of Parikia, and is the  is the epitome of the perfect Greek Island, blue and white domed Chapels scatter the island, windmills circling, cubed white washed traditional homes, a labyrinth of winding cobble stone paths, with a picture postcard at each turn.  Cats, cats and more cats walk, roll, climb and curl up on the streets. The cheery, busy town is the home to the friendliest and warmest people that greet you to their island.  We had four days and four nights on this special Isle and could not wait to take it all in.

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Paros is a relatively small island and in a car probably takes about an hour and half to drive around, in a Quad bike,  a little more but we thought the later was the fun way to do it.  So after breakfast, we hired a Quad, very simply, with the instructions: This is go, this stop and don’t take selfies, have fun! Don’t worry Ma, I held on real tight.  But alas no need to stress the island was so quiet and we happily climbed the winding roads,  high up into the island, with endless views out to the water, heading to the beautiful, peaceful mountain village of Lefkes.

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Lefkes is situated about 9km away from Parikia, and is a quiet serene village high amongst the hills.  The beautiful, white alley ways and buildings create a pathway to the very impressive Cathedral of Agia Triadia, this is shaded by olive trees and sits next to a square of blue door cafes and pink, pink Bougainvillea.  My most favourite spot!

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We spent an hour or so, wandering the streets, stopping for coffee under the vines and talking to every cat we met, there were a few. 

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From Lefkes we hopped back on the Quad bike to make our way to Naoussa for lunch not before stopping off at Santa Maria beach, (well mostly stopping because we got happily lost) for a swim in the warmest, clearest, bluest water…..Yes the day had started well!

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Naousa is a popular but very chic fishing village on the North coast of the island. The waterfront is an array of activity, with boats coming and going,  with colourful fishing nets covering the streets, seagulls squawking and flying low, stalls selling shells and souvenirs, and squid hanging out to dry (sorry to my veggie friends)  Behind the water front are alleyways of small boutique shops selling jewellery, clothes and souvenirs.  We had lunch at the taverna Mare Nostrum, along the harbour side next to the quay, white and blue tables stood very closely to the water. We tucked into mouth watering  Greek salad, squid and fish moussaka.  Honestly one of the best lunches I have eaten.  The staff were so friendly and kind, offering us a complimentary dessert of Galaktoboureko, which although full of moussaka still managed to stuff down.  Well why not, all that was left to do with the day was to find a beach to swim, sun and sleep. 

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So peeling ourselves away from the taverna we headed to Kolybithres, this time with rocks and eroding slate to rest upon and a beautiful little donkey roaming around, just to add to the perfect picture.  Swimming, reading, sunning and sleeping hit repeat for the rest of the afternoon!

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When we first decided to return to the Greek Islands, it was because days like this circled in my mind.  We had the most idyllic, funny and peaceful holiday all in one day…..

….So if you need to find me I will forever be in my happy place, sitting under the Bougainvillea tree, where time stops, where I just take it all in and where I am very, very happy….. Just maybe with the added plate of moussaka…….

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More from Paros soon ……..

Our flights were booked through http://www.easyjet.com/en/ We flew from Gatwick to Mykonos and caught the boat from Mykonos to Paros on the speedy service which was about 40 minutes. http://www.ferries.gr/greek-islands-ferry/We booked it all independently and before we left the UK.  We found Panta Rei on www.airbnb.co.uk  but you can book direct through their website http://www.pantareirooms.com/

We hired quad bikes from Paros European Rent, which is along the sea front in Parikia

We visited Santa Maria and Kolybithres beaches and ate lunch at  Mare Nostrum in Naousa.

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