Paros and Naxos are two islands in the Cyclades archipelago in Greece that are a bit closer to the mainland than Santorini. They’re well-known for their good food, picturesque mountain towns, and that’s about it. If you’re single and looking for some easy-come, easy-go romantic company, these aren’t the islands for you. However, if you’re looking for hectic mountain passes with perfect tar, these still aren’t the islands for you. Sorry, chums.
Not as bad as Santorini, not as good as your shit neighbourhood run. Because of the structure of these islands (many small towns connected by road), better tar is necessary for the layman, but that doesn’t mean perfect skating surfaces are a priority. This is no Fair Cape.
That being said, there are plenty of fun bombs that some soft 70mm wheels won’t handle. Just watch out for the cats’ eyes – they are pretty much just super gnarly metal staples that have been driven into the road. One wrong move and you’ll be one kneecap less.
Again, there are heaps of runs here that would be perfect with some paving. Again, you’re screwed by the chunder. But if you go with some mates and an ATV, you’ll definitely have fun bombing down some sweepers, hitting a hairpin, and getting towed up the next hill. Naxos has some pretty typical, but interesting whitewashed alleyways that will keep you on your toes if you try to surf down them on a short wheelbase. Beveled or round-tipped wheels are crucial for this fun but dangerous activity. If you’re amped on tackling big sets of stairs, you will be in heaven. Someone should really film a street vid on Naxos.
The roads here are wider and more plentiful, and sweepers are more prevalent than tight, 180° hairpins, so traffic is less daunting than Santorini. These are quieter islands too, and I got more than a few “Fuck yeah’s!” from fat American tourists and thumbs-ups from locals. Skating seems to be welcome here.
You just can’t beat Greek islands in the scenery department. Olive trees, white houses with blue roofs, views, and beaches everywhere you look.
Overall score: 7/10.
But a better 7 than Santorini. There’s definitely more fun to be had on these islands in every way, including skating. You must hire an ATV or a scooter to explore the full extent of these islands – I didn’t have enough time to cover everything and I’m sure there’s more than I found.