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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fast Boat to Naxos

Since May was still early in the tourist season, ferry service was limited. There was 1 slow boat (2 1/2 hours and €9) once a week from Mykonos to Naxos. Otherwise, you had to take a fast boat. The fast boat in the morning was already sold out when we tried to purchase tickets the day before. We ended up with the afternoon ferry, which departed at 2:15 pm. It left from the New Port in Mykonos. Cost was 28.50 for the 45 minute ride.

Fast Boat--Champion 1. This was a huge boat that also carried cars.

The fast boats had airplane-style seating. The Champion 1 is the granddaddy of fast boats and was large enough so you could get up and walk around. There was an upper level for first class. 

Naxos does have an airport and there are daily flights from Athens.

2015 05 27

Monday, June 29, 2015

Avli, Part 2

We had an afternoon ferry departure and went back to Avli for lunch--BONUS!

Amuse bouche of tomato and cheese crostini.

Watermelon with Feta, Mint Leaves, Rusk and Ouzo Dressing--€8. My husband saw this being served the night before and couldn't wait to try it. He loved the salad. The ouzo was very subtle and the balsamic was delicious with the watermelon.

Klefticko--€12. This was another dish I saw being served the night before. It was tender lamb, potatoes and vegetables cooked in parchment. This was flavorful but a little heavy for lunch in May.

Complimentary dessert--baklava drenched in honey. Delicious!

2015 05 27

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Avli Tou Thodori

According to TripAdvisor, the #1 rated restaurant in Platys Gialos is Avli Tou Thodori. It's on the beach. Turns out, the restaurant is owned by the same people who own our hotel and as guests of the hotel, we got a 10% discount at the restaurant. I would eat there even without the discount--it was one of the best meals we had in Greece.

The restaurant has glass doors that are opened at lunch and closed in the evening when it gets too cold. Eat there or order a drink and you get complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas.

Eggplant Baked with Sundried Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Herbs--€7.50. Loved this dish. I was surprised with the sundries tomatoes but it gave it just the right kick.

Grilled Calamari with Fresh Salad & Eggplant Salad Dip--€14. Absolutely delicious! The calamari was tender and had great flavor. The eggplant dip was even tastier than the calamari.

Moussaka (served in a crock then spooned onto a plate)--€9.50. This was about 1/3 of the entire crock. It was delicious as well.

Mango Sorbet--can't remember how much it was. This was so flavorful and creamy but unfortunately not house-made.

We got complimentary LOUKOUMADES! We loved these even better than at breakfast. They were light dough balls soaked in honey. Loved the Nutella and ice cream too.

2015 05 26

Saturday, June 27, 2015


After we returned from Delos, we wanted to grab a quick bite. I had read about Jimmy's on TripAdvisor.

Beef pitas--€3. Flavorful, juicy and delicious.

2015 05 26

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thursday Night Dinner

Here's last night's Wine Pairing Dinner at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa. 4 courses with 4 wine pairings--all for $24.95.

Pesce Bianco--Local Wild Petrale Sole, Lemon-Caper White Wine Butter Sauce, paired with 2014 Tenuta Sant'Antonio Scaia Garganega/Chardonnay I.G.T., Veneto, Italy. The sole was delicious and the white wine butter sauce was amazing. It was just the right amount of tartness.

Risotto Con Salsiccia--Carnaroli Rice Cooked with Homemade Italian Sausage, Sweet Onions, Brodetto Di Pomodoro, Sage & Parmigiano-Reggiano, paired with 2013 La Follette Wines Pinot Noir, North Coast. The risotto was flavorful and had a nice little spicy kick.

Bistecca Alla Griglia--Grilled Marinated Flat Iron Steak Garnished with Organic Fingerling Potatoes, Arugula, Sweet Corn & Grilled Peppers Served in Black Olive Barolo Sauce, paired with 2012 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Wetzel Family Estate. The steak was beautifully cooked medium rare.

Crostata Di Fragole E Rabarbaro--Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette Garnished with Chantilly Cream, paired with 2014 Ceretto Moscato d'Asti D.O.C.G., Vignaioli di Santo Stefano, 
Italy. I love the Ceretto Moscato--just the right amount of sweetness with just a slight effervescence.

2015 06 25

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Delos is a sacred island just a 30-minute ferry ride from Mykonos. This is the mythical birthplace of Apollo & Artemis. The island is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Delos was one of the three most important religious centers in Greece and a center of commerce but is now just a bunch of rocks.

Ferries depart from the old jetty in Hora several times a day. There are no ferries on Monday when the site is closed. Roundtrip ferry tickets cost 18 and entry to the site itself costs €5. You can purchase a tour for €40 that includes the ferry ride, entry to the site and a guided tour. It's a good idea to take the tour because there isn't much information in English and it's hard to figure out how to navigate the island.

Terrace of the Lions--the most famous site on the island. These were thought to have been given by the people of Naxos to Delos in the 7th century BC to guard the Sacred Lake. These lions are replicas. Some of the original lions were in the museum on the island.

We climbed Mt. Kynthos, the highest point on the island at 113 m. The climb is beautiful and gives you a nice view of the entire island. You can even see Mykonos in the distance.

Temple of Isis on the way to Mt. Kynthos. This was the best preserved temple on the island.

We took the 10 am ferry and returned on the 1:30 pm ferry. The 10 am ferry was packed and once on the island, it was crowded with tour groups. When we left at 1:30, there was hardly anyone left on the island. If you don't take the tour, you might consider getting to the island on the 11:30 ferry and returning on the 3 pm ferry to avoid the crowds.

There is a concession on the island that sells cold drinks and snacks. The island doesn't have much shade so bring lots of sunscreen.

2015 05 26

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Right next door to Vegera was an ice cream shop and they had baklava.

This was a large slice and cost €4. This was perhaps the best baklava we had on the entire trip. It was full of honey but it was not too sweet.

2015 05 25

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Our hotel had recommended Vegera in town. It sits on the waterfront, near the small Agios Nikolaki.

Agios Nikolaki.

There was a nice outdoors area at the restaurant.

Spicy cheese spread and olives were presented when we sat down.

We decided to order a variety of "mezes," small plates of appetizers. The Greeks eat their large meals at lunch then have a light dinner. 

This was Fried Zucchini with Herb Yogurt Sauce--€6. Remember that my favorite fast food is fried zucchini from Carl's Junior? I thought this would be larger chunks of zucchini with a nice coating, just like the ones I like. These were thinly sliced and were slightly greasy. I was disappointed. The yogurt sauce was delicious though--the Greek yogurt was so rich and thick.

Fried Anchovies--€7. I was disappointed with this dish as well. One of my favorite memories from a trip to Croatia was tiny fish, crisply fried. These were much larger and I had to pull out the spine. Apparently, the Greeks eat the spine but I thought it was too big to eat.

Grilled Octopus--€10. This was a nice dish but it was a small portion.

Sauteed Myconian Sausage Deglazed with Lemon--€7. The sausages had a nice spicy flavor and were lean. I liked them.

We did have 2 glasses of Greek wine--an Assyrtiko for €7 and an Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc for €9. I liked the Alpha Estate better--it had more intense flavor. These turned out to be the most expensive wines we had the entire trip. In fact, the whole meal turned out to be the most expensive of our whole trip. I guess it was good that we went here first, before we knew any better.

2015 05 25

Monday, June 22, 2015

Souvlaki at Sunset

After we left the beach, we took the bus into Hora and walked around. It was now after 6 pm and 2 of the cruise ships had already left. The town was much more manageable but there was still quite a crowd. We walked around town and explored the maze of streets.

The Greeks eat late--dinner doesn't usually get going until after 8 pm. We came across this souvlaki place in town and picked up a snack to tie us over until dinner.

Pork souvlaki--€2.40. Slices of pork with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onion and French fries.

We sat near the Panagia Paraportiani and watched our first Greek sunset. Absolutely gorgeous!

2015 05 25

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lunch on the Beach

After getting settled in the hotel, we went in search of lunch on the beach.

It was a surprising scene. There was a small strip of sand and it was packed with beach chairs and umbrellas.

We chose a restaurant in the middle of the beach. It featured a 2-course lunch with a glass of wine for€14.80. For the first course, we chose stuffed grape leaves with tzatziki sauce.

Another option for the first course was a rocket (otherwise known as arugula) salad in a lemon-mustard sauce.

Grilled pitas.

Gyros plate.

Lamb Chops on the Grill.

Lunch included 2 beach chairs and an umbrella. We sat and watched the scene. Our first Greek beach and not exactly what I was expecting. It was hordes of Brits, Germans and Greeks crowded on this small strip of beach. A few people braved the water, which in May was still a little chilly.

2015 05 25

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Argo Hotel, Mykonos

We wanted to have a loose itinerary and originally had not planned on reserving hotels. After watching a Rick Steves' program on the Greek Islands, I was intimated by the scene at the port as innkeepers accosted the disembarking passengers. I made reservations at the first island so I could gauge the situation and not have to deal with finding a room for the first night.

We booked the Argo Hotel in Platys Gialos for €88/night. It was 1 block from the beach and featured a room with a sea view and free buffet breakfast. There was a bus stop just outside the hotel. The bus to Hora was €1.60 and took 10 minutes.

The room was fabulous. It was clean, the beds were comfortable and the bathroom was nice. The only complaint we had was the wifi was weak. The hotel did have 2 computers and a printer in the lobby that you could use.

Our room had a small balcony overlooking the pool and in the distance, the sea.

Welcome drinks on arrival.

The buffet breakfast was fabulous. There were hot & cold items. My favorites were the spanakopita (spinach pie), yogurt & tomato bruschetta and loukoumades (Greek donuts--served with Nutella)--delicious!

2015 05 25

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday Night Dinner

Last night was one of my favorite menus at Thursday Night Dinner at Flavor Bistro. Four courses with 4 wine pairings for $24.95.

Capesante--Pan Roasted Day Boat Scallops Served in Citrus Vin Santo Garnished with Italian Style "Fennel-Arugula Slaw" & Crispy Potatoes, paired with 2013 Treana Winery Marsanne-Viognier, Central Coast. The vin santo is so good, I wiped my plate clean.

Risotto D'Anatra--Carnaroli Rice Cooked with Duck Confit, Sweet Peas & Organic Alba Mushrooms Served in Red Wine Reduction, paired with 2012 Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil, Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne, Estate (Organic), Southern Rhône, France. The risotto is so good with the duck confit.

Agnello Alla Griglia--Garlic-Lavender Marinated Lamb Loin Chop Garnished with Slow Cooked Ratatouille & Creamy Fontina Polenta Served in Sugo D'Erbe, paired with 2012 Navarro Vineyards & Winery Zinfandel, Mendocino. The lamb is delicious and there is just a hint of lavender.

Crostata Di Albicocca--Apricot Galette Served with Vanilla-Pistachio Custard, paired with 2011 Bonterra Vineyards Late Harvest Muscat, Bartolucci Vineyard (Organic), Lake County. The apricots were so rich and flavorful.

2015 06 18