When you think of Greece, you imagine whitewashed houses and a turquoise, blue sea. That's exactly what you will find when you travel with us to the glamorous islands of Naxos and Paros. The well-traveled know these islands, yet the islands, unlike Santorini and Mykonos, are not over-touristed. Our trip will start in Athens, the birthplace of democracy. Here, you will visit the ancient site of the Acropolis and the modern Acropolis Museum. You’ll wander the narrow Plaka (old town) streets, looking for unique souvenirs. You’ll eat your way through the city on a culinary adventure, all before you board the plane to the Greek Islands. Our first stop is Naxos, a laid-back island wrapped in long beaches and boasting a charming main village. The second stop is Paros, with its pulsing nightlife and world-class shopping. Both islands have some of the best beaches in all of Greece. Late September or early October is a lovely time to swim in the warm Aegean Sea.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Fly in to Athens Airport (ATH). After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, grab a taxi and make your way to the Gatsby Hotel in Athens. Taxis are plentiful at the airport. If you'd prefer a private car and driver, we can arrange that for you.
Take some time to rest, relax and get settled in. We’ll meet in the lobby around 5pm for a welcome drink before heading out on our walking food tour. We’ll have fun trying all the Greek food you've never heard of, most of which you won’t find at home.
Rest will come easily tonight.
Walking food tour
After breakfast, we'll head to the Acropolis, perhaps the most important ancient site in the Western world. Crowned by the Parthenon, it stands sentinel over Athens. It's visible from almost every point in the city. We'll enjoy a private, guided tour of this 5th-century BC architectural marvel and the dazzling museum at the foot of the Acropolis' southern slope, showcasing its surviving treasures.
From the Acropolis, we’ll walk to lunch at Ergon House. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore on your own! Spend time wandering the narrow streets, looking for quaint shops with unique gifts. (We'll point you in the right direction)!
We’ll meet in the lobby to walk to dinner at Kuzina at the foot of the Acropolis and the ancient Agora. We’ll dine on the rooftop. You'll find the view spellbinding.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll head to the airport for a short flight to our first island. Located in the Aegean Sea, Naxos is part of the Cycladic Islands. Once in Naxos, we’ll transfer to the Nissiki Beach Hotel to check in.
We’ll start with a guided walking tour of Naxos Town, so you'll have the opportunity to learn about the town's 5th century BC castle and the unfinished Temple of Apollo. Dinner is at the family-owned Doukato, where we'll sample local Naxos cuisine made from fresh local ingredients in a charming setting.
Guided Walking Tour
Breakfast - Dinner
Today will be a special day!
After breakfast, we’ll drive into the hills of Naxos for a truffle hunt. We'll have a guided walk through this truffle-rich region with our truffle guide and his specially trained truffle hunting dog. We’ll also learn about one of the world’s most expensive food products, including where and how to find them. You'll get to smell and try freshly picked truffles under the trees where they grow.
We'll have worked up an appetite, so we’ll savor lunch near our hotel. Then, take time to relax in a nearby spa. Everyone will receive the Luxury Cycladic Islands Treatment consisting of time in the jacuzzi, the thermal hammam and a short but relaxing massage.
Dinner continues from our truffle hunt. Enjoy your treasures in a decadent meal paired with delicious local greek wines.
After breakfast at the hotel, we pack up and head to the port to board a ferry to the island of Paros. Enjoy a relaxing time on the water.
Once we arrive in Paros, we’ll drive to our Bohemian Luxury Hotel, drop off our bags and check-in. After a little time to settle in, we’ll meet our guide, a professional photographer who has lived in Paros for over 40 years, for a walking tour of Naoussa town. We'll learn to take pictures with our trusty phones, along with the history of Naoussa Town.
Afterward, we’ll have time to wonder and shop before we sit down for dinner at Archipelagos next to the harbor. Fresh fish will be plentiful.
Guided Walking Tour
Today, after breakfast, we’ll drive to the middle of the island to visit a traditional Paros town. Lefkes is a picturesque village with winding alleys adorned with vibrant pink bougainvillaea. We’ll meet our guide, who knows not just the town but the whole island. We’ll walk around until we reach our destination, a small traditional church with stunning views.
We’ll have lunch in Lefkes before we drive back to Naoussa. We'll be wine tasting at Moraitis Winery in the afternoon. Moraitis is the oldest working winery in Paros and is located just down the street from our hotel. We’ll indulge in wine and cheese coupled with lovely views.
Enjoy dinner on your own tonight, alone or with friends. Of course, we’ll have recommendations to share with you.
Guided Walking Tour
Breakfast - Lunch
Today, excitement awaits! After breakfast, we’ll board a luxury cruise boat for an incredible day at sea! We’ll cruise around Paros, viewing different parts of the island that we couldn't see from a car. We’ll stop to swim at the Blue Lagoon with its amazing crystal-clear water. We’ll cruise the sea cave of Antiparos. It consists of magnificent rock formations combined with crystal waters accessible only by boat! For lunch, we’ll have a traditional Greek BBQ on the beach before we return to the hotel.
Our last dinner will be at Daverona. Here, we’ll toast our week in Greece and new friends made as we gaze upon the whitewashed houses of Paros.
Paros and Athens
We’ll have an early breakfast before we head to the airport for our flight back to Athens. Plan an afternoon flight or perhaps extend your stay in Athens. Our time in Greece may be over but you’ll have memories and stories for a lifetime.
Flight to Athens
Group Airport Transfer
The centrally located Gatsby Athens is applauded by many for its easy access to shopping, restaurants, and attractions.
Situated on the beach in Naxos, Nissaki Beach Hotel will be our home away from home while we are in Naxos.
Because of her Greek background, Stacia is in her happy place the minute she steps off the plane in Greece. She loves exploring ancient and modern sites and wandering in local markets looking for unique items to decorate her home. Olive oil and spices are some of Stacia’s favorite gifts to take home to friends and family. When not in Greece, Stacia enjoys hiking in her hometown of Denver and the mountains beyond.
Jewels of the Cyclades
Gorgeous beaches, white washed houses, ancient ruins, typical Cycladic architecture, and charming churches - yet less discovered than Mykonos or Santorini.
Lodging at unique hotels
Spa treatment in Naxos
All entry fee and tickets listed in the itinerary
All transportation during the trip (except where indicated)
All meals (except where indicated) including beer or wine with dinner
In country flights
Expert guides, guided tours, and trip leaders
Wine tastings listed in the itinerary
Luxury Boat Cruise
Roundtrip airfare to Athens.
All personal souvenir purchases
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
You'll want to fly into the Athens International Airport
The trip officially starts on the afternoon of September 27th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Athens, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room until the trip starts.
About 6-8 weeks before the trip starts, we'll organize a Zoom video call to discuss all the details of the trip and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
Highs of 72 degrees and lows of 69, late September and early October on these two islands is idyllic and still warm enough to swim. Athens temperatures are virtually the same however at times it can get a bit chilly at night so bring a light jacket or sweater.