Big call! I know. But we were practically forced to relax on Paros because we stayed in the postage stamp sized village of Piso Livadi. This darling town is located on the east coast and I’m not sure I can emphasise enough just how small it was. I overheard an English girl on the bus telling her friend “it’s more like a corner than a town!”, that sums it up pretty well.
So it isn’t a bustling metropolis with lots to see and do. Which is exactly how I like my islands. Slow! And beautiful:
Piso Livadi literally has two streets with a few shops and restaurants. One of them happens to feature classic Cycladic architecture; white cubic buildings, cobblestone streets and there’s a blue domed church as well. Perfect!
It’s very popular with sophisticated French families in pastel espadrilles.
This tiny gyros restaurant was bustling by 9:30pm. It’s so sweet looking and such a nice change because usually you buy gyros (a wrap or what we would call a souvlaki or kebab in Australia) from rather ugly storefronts adorned with CocaCola signage.
The town is set around a tiny bay with restaurants along the waterfront and some more accommodation up on the hill.
You can swim in the main bay or explore around the headland and find another beach, and yet another beach around the next headland. The water is glorious, as per usual.
I spent most of my time reading Cloud Street by Tim Winton and catching up on podcasts.
On our second night we went to the famous gyros place. We went early to avoid the rush (also the chic European thing of eating really late just doesn’t work for us!) but there was one eager patron ahead of us:
We ordered lamb gyros not realising it was lamb sausage instead of lamb off a spit. It was ok but I prefer classic pork. But for 2.50 euros you can’t really go wrong. Our entire bill was about 8.50 including half a litre of white wine.
We then strolled along the waterfront in the fading light.
And then retired to our own balcony for this view:
We stayed at Villa Melina and it was hands down, the best value for money of anywhere we stayed on this trip. For only 17 euros each (cheaper than dorm beds on most islands) we got a private room with air con, an en suite, balcony, fridge and tv; not that we watched it! The room was cleaned daily, there was a pool and we also got the most ridiculously amazing breakfast every morning:
Jana who runs the villa bakes the breakfast cake. It was outstanding. We almost needed to lie down afterwards.
We worked off the breakfast with a lot of snorkelling, hard work given the strong current and the need to dodge sea urchins on the rocks.
We grabbed a cheap bakery lunch. Delicious Greek pastries like this spanakopita (spinach and feta) one are only a couple of euros.
We got chatting to a guy in the bakery who told us that in Greece the word ‘kangaroo’ is slang for someone who thinks they are ‘kind of gangsta’. He used the example of someone who revs their engine really loudly at the traffic lights. You would call that person a kangaroo. He had no idea how it all started!
We treated ourselves to a non gyros dinner on the waterfront as the sun was setting.
We went to Markakis and it was superb.
We ordered a vegetarian plate for two, goats cheese and some sausages.
It was way too much and I was stuffed before the sausages even made it to our table.
Greek food fills me up maddeningly fast. Luckily I recovered before the complimentary panna cotta arrived. I do love the trend of a free small dessert here, such a lovely way to finish off a meal.
The next day we headed to the ‘big smoke’ of Naousa, population almost 3000!
We were there during siesta time (3-5pm). It still makes me kind of chuckle how everything just shuts down in the middle of the afternoon here. Shops and restaurants close, good luck checking into your hotel and even the cats observe the quiet hours!
On the back of our villa door was a sign with some information (check out time etc) and it actually stated that quiet hours are protected by laws. Crazy! I hate sleeping during the day, I usually wake up wondering who I am and what year it is. I do enjoy strolling the streets when it’s quiet though.
The next morning we jumped on a ferry to Naxos, very relaxed and recharged.
Definitely the place to go if you can handle doing nothing for a few days. Or you can rent a car and explore the entire island!