In the midst of Greece’s alleged bankruptcy, I spent two weeks on one of the Cyclades islands Antiparos, a very small and charming fishing area.
You must have courage to get there, because it usually takes two days: I drove from Saint-Tropez to Nice, where I boarded a flight to Athens, then took a high-speed ferry to Paros, followed by a second, smaller ferry across to Antiparos.
My children and I were invited to stay with dear friends; there is not a single hotel on Antiparos. It consists of one road with little shops, mini grocery stores, cafes and restaurants. I can’t tell you how nice it is to not see any major branded stores. There were only local vendors, selling cheesy souvenirs and silver and gold charms. I bought an evil eye on a gold bracelet — do not leave Greece without getting one. I also got to know the local butcher very well. You get to sip on moonshine while waiting for him to carve out 10 lamb chops from a whole lamb.
We had dinner a few times in town, at Lolo’s, a yummy pizza place, and Yorgi’s Taverna. You can also have drinks at the little bars in town — there’s one called Bangaloo — not to be confused with Bungalow 8.
My favorite meal of the day was lunch, which we ate around 4 p.m. We would drive to different beaches, each equipped with a taverna, which is like a local diner but better. Octopus was always on the menu, along with feta cheese and fried zucchini. Fish is hard to come by in Greece due to overfishing, but you can still bribe the local fishermen to sell you some large fish.
In terms of sports, Paros has a very famous school for kite surfing. I tried it out and had the time of my life, but was sore all over my body. You can also take a boat and sail to neighboring islands, like Sifnos and Kimolos. Some of the best places are those that can only be reached by boat and are totally unspoiled.
I was so relaxed in Antiparos that I literally lost track of the days and entered into a light state of nirvana.
Editor’s Note: Coralie Charriol just returned to New York from a two-week vacation in Antiparos, Greece.