A rugged section of coastline near Parasporos beach on Paros
True colours: One of the things we most remember from our first trip to Paros 10 years ago was an afternoon walk along the island’s rocky coast just west of Parasporos beach. We were mesmerized by the constantly-changing sea colours, which ranged from a deep cobalt blue to a vivid emerald green, with an astonishing array of turquoise shades in between. It was fascinating to observe the colours shift as we moved from one cove to the next. Below are some of the photos we shot during our hike. You can view those and more images in larger format in the Coastal Colours on Paros album on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page.
Paros’s Yria Hotel has a beautiful big pool that’s perfect for swimming laps …
… plus a comfy poolside terrace that’s perfect for lounging and relaxing
Dreamy setting: Our only visit to Paros, so far, was back in June 2005, but I still recall how relaxed I got chilling out on the beautiful swimming pool terrace at the Yria Hotel near Parasporos beach.
I remember getting a drink from the bar and plunking myself down in a big wicker armchair near the pool, where I quickly drifted off into daydreams while watching the thin beige drapes in the sheltered poolside lounge billow in the soft breeze blowing off the nearby sea.
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Children play outside shops on a street in the Paros port town, Parikia
The snow-white Santorini clifftop villages of Imerovigli and Fira provide a dramatic, distant backdrop for the distinctive blue and orange colours on the exterior of the caldera-view Armeni Village Rooms & Suites …
… which we photographed during a visit to Oia in 2005 …
… but as this photo I discovered today on the Armeni Village website indicates …
… the hotel has ditched the blue and orange, and now sports a simple stark white exterior. (Photo from the Armeni Village Rooms & Suites website.)
Santorini whiteout: We’ve been to Santorini three different times, but I’ve always had vivid memories of a specific hotel we photographed in the incredibly picturesque and romantic village of Oia back in 2005 — memorable because of its distinctive blue and orange exterior.
After looking at the photos today, I checked out the Armeni Village website and was surprised — and, to be honest, a little dismayed — to see it doesn’t look quite the same. The blue and orange paintjob is history, and the hotel now sports a simple but sophisticated stark white exterior.
The Armeni Village certainly looks elegant, and expensive, but to me seems to have lost much of its charm and appeal by whitewashing its eye-catching colour scheme. Now, it’s just another typical white Greek luxury hotel on a spectacular cliffside location.
But at least one important thing hasn’t changed: the hotel’s incredible caldera views.
If you want to experience them for yourself, you can still reserve a double room for as little as €110 per night — provided you can travel in April or early May. If you wait until June, that same room will cost you €170. And if you can’t travel until July or August, get ready to fork out at least €230 per night. Might sound like a lot of money for a room, but then it’s in Oia … and that marvellous, timeless view is priceless.
The bottom of the oval swimming pool at the Naxos Beach II Hotel is decorated with a large illustration of the Portara, the island’s most famous monument
Good swims: Our all-time favourite swimming pool in the Greek Islands is the only one in which we actually got to spend quite a bit of time splashing around without feeling like we were going to freeze. As I’ve mentioned before, we usually find the water in hotel swimming pools too chilly for swimming when we travel to Greece in the spring. We’ve found some pools to be too cold to our liking even in late September, too! But we didn’t have any complaints about water temperature in 2005 when we stayed at the Naxos Beach II Hotel during our first visit to Naxos.
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Our biggest hotel room key — ever — had to be the one that opened our studio at the Naxos Beach II hotel on a hillside in the Stelida district of Naxos.
The key was’t just big, but it was heavy, too. It nearly poked a hole in my shorts pocket, so we turned it in to reception every time we left the hotel.
Here I am wielding the big key after opening our studio’s split door