The Greek Islands: Naxos & Paros

Sandwiched between the touristy Mykonos and Santorini, we spent two days each in Naxos and Paros. These islands had a much slower, calmer pace.

Naxos felt like a quieter Mykonos, with similar white wall and grey stone winding alleys (sans tourists). We loved walking through the Old Market, popping into shops and getting lost. After exploring the town, we hopped on a 20 minute bus ride to the nearby beaches were we lounged all afternoon.

We spent our second day on an all day sail around the island, stopping at hidden coves, diving off the catamaran and swimming onto secluded beaches. It is here where our mini fiasco began…

While climbing down from a rock formation to hop back into the sea and swim to our boat, Josh accidentally gouged a chunk of his foot on a rock. I, not fully understanding the gravitas of the situation, asked him to swim around a little and pose for a photo in the bright blue sea. (Josh politely obliged and we now have this exact moment captured for eternity.) Once we returned to our catamaran and Josh’s wound started dripping bright red blood onto the sparkling white deck, we quickly realized that it wasn’t just a scratch. The crew and I made an instant silent pack to pretend that the wound wasn’t that bad, while a speedo sporting Frenchman on the boat looked at Josh’s foot and grimaced with a heavily accented “ouch!“. Once on shore, we spent some time debating if stitches were necessary and decided to head to urgent care. (It’s worth noting I stopped for ice cream before this and that it was quite good.)

It is here, ladies and gentlemen where the miracle of functional healthcare appeared before us.

We walked to the hospital where Josh was seen by a doctor who cleaned out and wrapped the wound and shared next steps. We then walked to the pharmacy for the prescribed antibiotics and tetanus shot which he received on the spot. This whole expedition took under an hour and cost us under $30!! In fact, we still made our dinner reservations early that evening. Josh is fine, and moreover we’re grateful for how easy the entire process of getting medical attention was.

The next morning we took a 30 minute ferry to the island of Paros, where we stayed in a seaside town called Naoussa.

We were surprised to see a lot of the cafes closed in the middle of the day, especially on a weekend, until a shop owner informed us that the town was experiencing a power outage with no estimated timeline for a resolution. I was a little disappointed at first, but quickly realized that we could explore the streets of Paros without dealing with the crowds the town usually sees! Electricity was restored within a few hours, but we were lucky to get nice photos before the hustle and bustle returned.

On our second day we took a water taxi to Monastiri Beach, where we had a lovely afternoon lounging around, and spent the latter half of the day eating gelato and enjoying the town.

Overall, we didn’t love Paros and thought it was a little overrated. Perhaps we were oversaturated with island hopping by that point, but we felt that Paros was touristy and expensive for no reason. It was the only island where I noticed different prices on menus than were actually charged, and the old “bread on the table isn’t free trick”.

If you choose to visit Naxos and Paros, you can access all of my favorite places there via the Pauline’s Google Maps Pins: Greek Islands. You won’t find many for Paros, but if you visit and fall in love with it- I’ll be curious to hear about it!