The islands of the Cyclades lie leisurely in the middle of the Aegean Sea southeast of Athens. They consist of 2200 islands, islets, rocks but only 33 of them are inhabited. They belong to the prefecture of Syros with Ermoupolis as their capital city and look like music variations on the same theme offering the visitor a unique feeling of calm and relaxation. They are also known as the "white islands" because of their traditional cycladic architecture and their milk-white colour against the bare land and the deep, blue sea. My husband and I have already been to Mykonos, Syros and Naxos and were so impressed by the breathtaking views and the cycladic harmony and beauty that we decided to spend our vacation in the Cyclades, this summer as well. This time, we spent three days in Athens and a week on Serifos. We also visited the nearby island of Sifnos.
DAY 1 - Friday, July 6 - Athens
We took the early morning flight of Aegean Airlines to Athens, which left on time at 05:10. and landed at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos at 07:45. By 07:30, we checked in at Titania Hotel in the city centre. As our room wasn't ready yet, we left our luggage at the reception and set off to enjoy sight seeing in Athens and shopping at Monastiraki. Having visited Acropolis and the Parthenon many times, we preferred to explore the city centre which sits amongst the ruins of Ancient Greece. Our walk through Athens took us to Stadiou Street - one of the city's large avenues and from there we headed to Syntagma Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which stands in front of the Old Royal Palace and is guarded by the Evzones of the Presidential Guard. We watched the change of guard for a while before visiting the ruins of Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus
As it was very hot that day, we continued our walk through Zapeion National Garden - an oasis of peace and quiet in the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Time flew by so fast! We didn't even realise it was already 1:00 pm. Only then did we realise that since breakfast at home at 03:30, we hadn't had anything to eat! It was such a bad idea to decline breakfast on Aegean Airlines! We dared the heat and walked back to Stadiou Street and from there to Aiolou Street where we had a glass of ouzo and appetizers called ouzomeze. Finally, we had lunch at Paradosiako - a traditional Greek restaurant. After lunch, we went back to the hotel and had a good siesta!
In the evening, we met our good old friends, Titos and his wife Mary who we hadn't seen in a long time. We had a drink at Olive Garden - the roof garden bar & restaurant at our hotel and then a great dinner at Kouvelos Tavern in Koukaki.
DAY 2 - Saturday, July 7 - Athens
Our second day in Athens was entirely devoted to shopping. We shopped at Attica - one of Athens' most renown department stores. I got a boho style black dress for the beach, a total white outfit, sandals, a couple of T-shirts, a handbag and cosmetics. Alkis got linen trousers and shirts and a pair of beige sneakers. Soon after lunch, we took a taxi to Piraeus Port. Our boat to Serifos sailed off with a two-hour delay! That was the beginning of a quite eventful arrival on the island of Serifos!