Athens – Paros – Naxos 6 Days

Itinerary

Day 1:

At 06:15 a.m. we will be outside your hotel (in Athens) ready to meet you and drive you to the port of Piraeus, the larget port in Greece. Departure for Paros will be at 07:25 with Blue Star Ferries. While cruising through the various islands along the way you will experience the Cyclades visually. At 11:45 you will arrive at Paros where we will find us waiting to drive you directly to your hotel where after settling in you may have the rest of the day free to enjoy the island. You will spend the night on Paros.

Day 2:

After having breakfast at your hotel the rest of your day will be yours to explore the picturesque island with its maze of narrow streets and vivid nightlife. The night will be spent on Paros.

Day 3:

In the morning after taking breakfast at your hotel, you will have some leisure time till 11:00am. At this time we will drive you to the port for your departure at 12:00 with Blue Star Ferries. After a short ferry ride, you will be arriving at your next island Naxos at 12:50. We will drive you to your hotel in Naxos where you will spend the night after having the rest of the day free.

Day 4:

The following morning after having breakfast (at your hotel), we will pick you up and drive to Agia Anna Port for a Day Cruise (includes: Self Service Meal). This cruise includes the small, picturesque islands of Pano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi and an added extra the Rina Cave. On returning to Agia Anna Port (Naxos) we will drive you back to your hotel where you will overnight.

Day 5:

Today your free day so after breakfast (at your hotel) set out to explore the island. Naxos is famous for its cheese so be sure to try some varieties before spending the night in Naxos

Day 6:

After breakfast (at your hotel) we meet you again to drive you to the port. Departure will be at 09:45 with Blue Star Ferries. Crusing through the maze of islands and the Aegean blue you will arrive at the port of Piraeus at 14:50 where we will be waiting for you, to pick you up and to take you to your hotel in Athens or to the Airport.

Timetable

Schedule

IconTime

Transfers and Tours:

Transfer Hotel in Athens – Piraeus Port

Transfer Paros Port – Hotel in Paros

Transfer Hotel in Paros – Paros Port

Transfer Naxos Port – Hotel in Naxos

Transfer Hotel in Naxos – Agia Anna Port

Day Cruise 10:00 – 19:00

Transfer Agia Anna Port – Hotel in Naxos

Transfer Hotel in Naxos – Naxos Port

Transfer Piraeus Port – Hotel in Athens

 

History

Paros:

Paros is the third largest island in Cyclades it is 197 sq. km in size but only has a population of around 13.000 people. Paros is situated close to Naxos and Mykonos. The island is dominated by its picturesque villages, beautiful beaches and the Greek island atmosphere. Although the island attracts thousands of visitors each summer, due to its size, it is never overcrowded. Paros has been inhabited since very ancient times and was famous for the quality of its marbles.

Paroikia (Parikia) is the island’s capital and is a beautiful cluster of whitewashed houses, tiny streets and arches. It is an ideal island for those seeking the cosmopolitan bustle as well as the Greek atmosphere and the simple life of the fishing villages.

Paros is well known among the windsurfing professionals all over the world. The Professional Windsurfing Association has been organizing the world cup for many years now on the eastern side of the island. The location of the island, the variety of winds and the location of the beaches make Paros Island ideal place for professional and amateur water sports lovers.

Paros has a small airport but most people prefer to take the scenic Aegean route and travel by ferry through the islands.

Places of Interest

Church of Ekatondapilianiparos

This beautiful Early Byzantine church dates to 326 AD, the Church of Ekatondapiliani meaning the “Lady of Hundred Doors”, is one of the greatest early Christian monuments in Greece. Ekatontapyliani is a renowned Marian pilgrimage (15th August) church, second only to the famed Megalochare church on nearby Tinos Island.

Byzantine museum

There is also the Byzantine Museum of Paros, which is open for the visitors and houses some of the relics of Ekatontapiliani and which has of course its own short history.

The sanctuary of Delian Apollo

On the top of the hill that dominates at Paros’ port and faces Delos, outside Parikia, you will find a sanctuary which is dedicated to Delian Apollo and to Artemis. A 5th century BCE a small marble temple was built and in the temple was the statue of Artemis. The statue is 3.10m, and it dates back to 490-480 BCE .It is housed at the atrium of the Archaeological Museum of Paros.

The sanctuary of Asclepius

At the location of Agia Anna, on the road to Aliki, you will find the sanctuaries of Pythian Apollo and Asclepius. Only the foundations of the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo are preserved today. The sanctuary of Asclepius was built in the 4th century BCE near a spring, which was necessary for the worship rites.

Antiparos

A small neighboring island belonging to Paros is just a 10 minutes journey (from Pounta on the west coast) with a small Ferry. Antiparos is famous for known Cave (full of stalactites and stalagmites), the village “ Kastro” built around the Venetian Castle from which the village gets its name (built in 1440 to protect the locals from the pirate raids) and its exquisite beaches.

The ancient cemetery

The ancient cemetery is located at the port of Parikia, on the street along the coast. It was used from the 8th BCE century to the 2nd century AD. There are many child burials in cubical graves, in pots (pot burials) or in marble sarcophagi. The majority of the tombs date back to the second half of the 7th century BCE.map

The ancient quarries

Next to the picturesque settlement Marathi, only a few kilometers from Parikia, you will find the ancient marble quarries of Paros. Here, they used to quarry the famous Parian marble, also known as “lychnites”. It was given this name because marble was quarried in deep galleries, under the light of lamps (“lychnos”). Some famous works of Pariamn marble are Venus of Milos, Hermes of Praxiteles, the Kore from the Acropolis, Nike of Delos, Nike of Samothrace, the temple of Apollo and the Sifnian treasure at Delphi, the temple of Zeus at Olympia and the temple of Apollo at Delos.

The valley of butterflies

The valley of butterflies is located four kilometers to the south west of Parikia. It is a biotope with a small stream, which is covered by dense vegetation. This area is ideal for the Tiger moth butterfly. It is a brown and yellow butterfly with a bit of black and white spots and two orange-red back wings, which appear when it flies. The butterflies gather at this specific area in June and they “disappear” in August.

History

Paros has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic Ages, around 4000 BCE, but in all likelihood from much earlier too, possibly dating back as far as Paleolithic times or so the evidence found in several places around the island would suggest. In the Cycladic times, or early Bronze Age (3200 – 2000 BCE), the islandwas on the rise and many ruins of villages from this era have been found. Many ancient tombs have been found decorated with classic Cycladic sculpture.

According to myth, Alkios, the 1st king of Paros built a city on the site of modern day Parikia (during the Minoan period 2000 – 1500 BCE). Crete at this time was a major sea power, and saw Paros as an ideal base due to its strategic position and its’ blend of safe harbours, and the fertile plains made the island into a major naval station. At this time Paros became known as Minoa, an honoured title given to Royal Cretan cities.

It was round 1100 BCE that the Ionians invaded, destroying the Minoan civilization. Not for long though, as roughly a century later (1000) BCE, the Arcadians took over under the leadership of Parios – hence the name Paros.

From 800 to 700 BCE Paros began to thrive. It became a prosperous maritime power, trading and even colonizing other islands. It was during this time, the Archaic Age, that the arts flourished and many temples were built, one dedicated to the Goddess Athena was built in Parikia, although its marble blocks were later recycled into a Venetian castle built on the same site, remnants of which are still visible today. This was also the era of Paros’ famous satirical poet Archilochos. At this time Paros also became famous for its’ marble. Nowhere else had there been found marble of such high quality, translucent to a depth of 3.5cm. It became highly prized and was used for famous works of art such as the temple of Apollo on Delos, the Praxiteles of Hermes, the maidens of the Acropolis, and possibly the most famous of all Greek statues , the Venus de Milo, now housed in the Louvre In Paris. The ancient marble mines are still possible to visit today at Marathi, in the hills above Parikia, although apart from the marble that was excavated here to make Napoleon’s tomb they have not been used for centuries, possibly even millennia.

During the Greco-Persian Wars of 499-449 BCE Paros disastrously sided with the Persians, and the result was that Athens, dispatched a fleet under the leadership of Themistocles, which forced the Parians to surrender and ally with Athens.

Then in 338 BCE Paros came under the authority of Phillip of Macedonia, The ancient graveyard on Parikia’s seafront dates from the Macedonian period.

When Paros became part of the Roman Empire it continued to produce great works of art until it became an island of exile. As Christianity spread during the Byzantine era there was an explosion of church and monastery building including what is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece, the Church of a Hundred Doors, or Ekatontapyliani.

Later during the 7th century AD constant pirates on the island made the inhabitants flee for safety and Paros became practically deserted and it became widely known as a pirate hideout.

In 1207 Paros became part of the Duchy of the Aegean, under the rule of the Venetian Marco Sanudo and later passed from one Venetian family to another until in 1537 it was captured by the pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, an event still “celebrated” today in Naoussa’s annual pirate festival on 23rd August.

In 1560 yet another long period of occupation started when Paros fell under Turkish rule, becoming part of the Ottoman Empire until the Greek Revolution in 1821 when it finally gained independence and was incorporated into the New Greek state.

Naxos:

Naxos is the largest island of Cyclades and it is located in the center of this complex, between Paros and Mykonos.  It is renowned for its rich history and beautiful architecture, many myths come alive here.

Interesting for sightseeing are the three “Kouroi” of Naxos, that is to say statues of young men, left unfinished at the place where once the artists had started to sculpt them. All three statues are naxos-logodated to the Archaic period (7th – 6th centuries BCE). Two of them lie at Flerio, near the village of Melanes, (about 9 kilometers from the town of Naxos, Chora), whereas the third and bigger one is found near the village of Apollonas (35 kilometers from Chora). The island is ideal for families and romantic couples; Naxos is famous for the exotic beaches. Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Orkos and Mikri Vigla are among the most beautiful beaches on the island, while the entire western coastline is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing due to the strong winds that blow there in the afternoon. A drive to the inland will bring you to picturesque villages and interesting sightseeing.

The characteristic landmark – a trademark of the island, is none other than the Portara, the Great Door. This is a big marble gate, the ruins of the temple of Apollo, and like any door, it is located at the entrance of the island to accommodate its visitors. The Portara is like a huge picture frame on the horizon and people often gather there at sunset to admire the sun and ‘framed’ take pictures.

The most significant archaeological site of the island is the Ancient Sanctuary of Apollo and Demeter; a well-preserved temple, near the village of Sangri. Their most important finds are exhibited in the Museum Collection very near the site.

 Mythology

According to mythology, Zeus, the king of gods grew up in Naxos, hidden away from his father, Cronus. But Zeus’ son Dionysus, the god of wine also grew up on the island. Dionysus loved Naxos so much that he made its lands fertile, full of vineyards, producing a wine of excellent taste and fine quality. The locals then built a temple to Dionysus to honour their god.

After killing the Minotaur of Crete, Theseus took Ariadne, (daughter of the Cretan King Minos) who helped him find his way in the labyrinth where the Minotaur was kept, and stopped in Naxos on his way back to Athens. He left Ariadne (or Ariadne left him, depending on the version of the legend) and Dionysus fell madly in love with her. The god took the young girl to Mount Drios and, from their union; Oinopion (Wine Drinker), Staphylos (Grape) and Evanthi (Lovely Flower) were born.

Ancient times

Historically, Naxos was the one of most important centres of civilization of all the Cyclades (during the ancient period, 4000-1000 BCE). The Thracians were the first to inhabitant Naxos and they remained for two centuries, until the Carean took control of the island. It is believed that the island owns its name to Naxos, the leader of Thracians. Then the island was dominated by the Ionians who contributed in its development and growth, with sea trading which made it very wealthy during the 7th century BCE. In the beginning of the Persian War, Naxos revolted and encouraged other cities to join the struggle against the Persians. Then the Peloponnesian War came along and, the Athenians lost to the Spartans who took control of the island. Later, Naxos felt under a succession of authorities which were the Macedonian Empire, the Ptolemy of Egypt, and the Rhodians and, in 41 BCE, the Roman Empire. Christianity appeared on the island during the 1st century AD.

Venetian period

The Venetians marked an important period in the history of Naxos. In 1207, Marco Sanudo took the Cyclades and established a duchy, called the Duchy of the Aegean and Naxos was its capital, a new ruler was installed creating the beginning of a long line of Dukes in Naxos. The first reaction of the inhabitants of Naxos was negative against the Venetian ruler but they were obliged to admit their defeat. During those years, Marco Sanudo divided the island into 56 provinces, distributed among the various Venetian nobles, and built the beautiful and powerful castle on top of Naxos Town. The Jesuit Commercial School was also founded inside the castle. The power of Marco Sanudo lasted until 1564, when the Turks occupied all of Greece. During the Turkish Ottoman rule though, Naxos had a privileged place because the Venetian negotiated to keep their authority so the Turks left the island alone. The only thing that the Turks demanded was to receive their taxes on time. The island of Naxos became part of the liberated New Greek State in 1831.

Additional Info

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  • Island hopping packages are individual tours and not group tours. They do not include flights from/to your country.
  • Extend your stay on the Island – Just ask for it when you make your reservetion.
  • The order of visiting the islands can be changed according to the traffic and weather conditions.
  • Accommodation on the islands is based according to availability
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Useful Tips

Tips

  • Suitable clothing and athletic walking shoes are recommended for your comfortpc5oy5nRi
  • Hats, sun glasses and suntan lotion are highly recommended.
  • Photography is permitted throughout the tour, excluding some museums.
  • Clothing: When visiting Churches and Monasteries entrance will be allowed only to those with proper outfits i.e. Gentlemen (long trousers) and ladies (skirts, not short ones). These are places of worship and we pay them the respect they deserve.

Cancellation Policy

  1. Firstly and most importantly. ALL CANCELLATIONS MUST BE CONFIRMED BY  Olivesea.gr
  2. In respect to Island Hopping cancellations. There is NO cancellation fee (deposit or full amount) WILL be refunded. That’s right you will be fully refunded 100% the amount you have paid whether it is a deposit or the full amount , just so long as you cancel your reservation at least 30 days before your service date.cancellation-policy-image
  3. Apart from the above cancellation limits, NO refunds will be made. If though, you fail to make your appointment for reasons that are out of your hands , that would be, in connection with the operation of your airline or cruise ship or strikes , extreme weather conditions or mechanical failure. You WILL be refunded 100% of the paid amount.
  4. Let it be noted that, if your cancellation date is over TWO (2) months away from your reservation date, It has been known for third party providers such as credit card companies, PayPal, ect. to charge a levy fee usually somewhere between 2-4%.
  5. Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  6. Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked.
  7. Olive sea.gr reserves the right to cancel your booking at any time, when reasons beyond our control arise, such as strikes, prevailing weather conditions, mechanical failures, etc. occur. In this unfortunate case you shall be immediately notified via the email address you used when making your reservation and your payment WILL be refunded 100%.
  8. Please take the time to carefully go through the individual terms and conditions for your information and protection. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you have read and understood the various terms associated with your contract in advance to placing any bookings.