With wonderful beaches washed by an Aegean sea of incredible colors, Paros does not fear comparisons with other famous Greek islands always in the first places in the preferences of mass tourism.
Long gone are the times when the island of Paros was considered only a crossroads for more famous destinations such as Santorini and Mykonos or was confused with Naxos, with which in reality it has little in common. Home of the classical poet Archiloco, today Paros really has something to offer for everyone.
You choose whether to immerse yourself in classical culture by visiting the small but interesting museums of the island, explore the traditional villages of the hinterland or go wild in the legendary beach parties of Pounda. The island’s picturesque beaches are sure to please everyone.
Although Paros has developed a thriving tourism industry, with a proliferation of luxury hotels, chic clubs and trendy nightclubs, it still remains less rowdy than other popular Greek islands.
Fascinated by Paros, but not sure which location to choose as your base? Do some research or follow our advice below on the island’s main resorts.
The capital of the island of Paros is a charming town with a labyrinthine old town, crowded with stores, cafes and restaurants, a busy port from which ferries come and go to other islands and mainland Greece, a charming waterfront that in the evening teems with people walking and beautiful sandy beaches in the surroundings.
Parikia has experienced in recent decades a remarkable tourist development, so the offer of hotels and rooms with private individuals is very good and you will not be difficult to find an accommodation with a good quality / price ratio, especially if you are looking for a medium category structure.
Equipped with all tourist services, such as bars and restaurants, agencies, car and motorcycle rentals, Parikia is an ideal base for exploring the island in comfort; it is also the recommended destination for those who love nightlife.Accommodation in Parikia
Traveling north from Parikia you will reach the picturesque Naoussa, the second most important tourist resort on the island, which stretches along the wide bay of Plastira.
Once a quiet fishing village, today it is a chic and worldly, but not boisterous, resort where luxury resorts and beachfront hotels abound.Accommodation in Naoussa
Alyki is another fishing village converted to tourism, but without the trendy ambitions of Naoussa: in this area there are plenty of vacation homes and apartments for rent.Accommodation in Alyki
Marpissa is a pretty village without pretensions, with typical white houses, windmills and a labyrinth of cobbled streets, just 2 km from the center is its characteristic port, Piso Livadi.
Much more relaxed and “seafaring” than the tourist Parikia and Naoussa, Marpissa is the best place to get in touch with the local reality and the local people.
The offer of accommodation is scarce, but in the surroundings you can find a good choice of vacation homes and rooms with private individuals.
A sleepy village surrounded by greenery at an altitude of 250 meters, Lefkes is as traditional as you can imagine. Wonderful to visit in a day, it can also be an original base for exploring the island, suitable for those who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle and wake up to the sounds of nature.
There are few hotels and a few rooms for rent: if you choose this remote location for your sweet nights in Paros, it’s a good idea to book well in advance.
Impossible to make a list of all the beaches on the island of Paros: they are many and varied! Mark the names of those who in our opinion are the beaches not to be missed:
The most famous church on the island of Paros, as well as one of its main cultural attractions and one of the most beautiful churches in the Cyclades islands, is Panagia Ekatontapyliani in Parikia; the name means “Our Lady of the Hundred Doors”.
Built in 326 AD, the church is actually a complex comprising three distinct religious buildings: Agios Nikolas, the largest church, decorated with beautiful Parian marble columns; the elegant Church of Our Lady; and the Baptistery.
For a taste of extraordinary classical Greek culture, don’t miss the Archaeological Museum in Parikia, which boasts some truly exceptional pieces including a 5th-century statue of Nike, a 6th-century BC gorgon, and a collection of ancient porcelain.
Housed in the Ekatontapyliani church complex, the Byzantine Museum of Parikia displays icons and other interesting objects of sacred art.
Also take a look at the ruins of the fortress built by Venetian duke Marco Sanudo in 1260 on the remains of ancient buildings (parts of the temple of Athena and Apollo are still visible) and the ancient cemetery dating as far back as the 8th century AD.
A very popular trip from Paros is the one to the small “sister” island of Antiparos, separated by a narrow arm of the sea and easily reachable by boats departing from Pounda.
The great attraction of Antiparos are its impressive caves, which with their monumental stalactites and stalagmites represent an extraordinary natural spectacle (as well as, we add, a very pleasant refuge to escape from the summer heat).
Of course, many tourists come here in search of beautiful beaches and their expectations are certainly not disappointed! The most beautiful is probably Agios Giorgos, a beautiful white sand beach in the south of the island; you can find other fascinating beaches along the west coast, near the villages of Siphnaikos Yialos and Psaralidaki.
Before leaving the island, take a walk in the pretty village of Antiparos, with its characteristic small square and the small harbor.
An original place where to find refreshment are the historical Moraitis Cellars, which since 1910 have been producing fine wines made of monemvassia, the autochthonous grape of the island.
At the end of a fascinating visit to the cellars with stone vaults, a tasting will make your body temperature rise again: you can taste up to 12 wines at your choice.
Thanks to a wide choice of clubs, bars and discos Paros is an island recommended for those who want a vacation full of nightlife.
The trendiest places are of course the two largest cities, Parikia and Naoussa, and the beach of Pounda. Of the three, Naoussa is the most chic: do not be surprised to find a selection of customers according to the look at the entrance of the premises.
If you’re already past the age of getting high, or if it’s simply not your thing, you might appreciate the many traditional events that are organized on the island.
The Holy Week celebr ations are very heartfelt, but the most impressive traditional festival is on August 15, with religious ceremonies in Parikia Cathedral and fireworks in the square.
The seafaring traditions of the village of Alyki are revived during the annual fish festival held in August, a village festival with food stands, folk dances and folklore in which the locals participate enthusiastically.
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to Paros: the easiest solution is to reach Athens with a low cost flight and from there take a plane or a ferry to the island.
The flight takes only 40 minutes, while the sea crossing can take from less than three hours to more than five.
Paros can also be reached by ferry or hydrofoil from Santorini and Mykonos: depending on the island of departure and the type of boat you choose, the crossing can take from 45 minutes to 4 hours. You could then combine this island with other destinations.
Other solutions involve numerous changes and could be much more expensive.
The most famous product of the island of Paros is a fine variety of white marble called Pario marble: still mined today, it was used in the past to carve the Venus de Milo, considered one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, and to decorate the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.