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In search of exoticism and escape? Perhaps the ideal destination for you is Paros. This confetti of land is located in the Aegean Sea, in the Cyclades archipelago of which it is the third largest island. Nestled between Naxos and Antiparos, which are its closest neighbours, Paros is known not only for producing the most translucent marbles in the world, but also for its picturesque, traditional villages and magnificent beaches with crystal clear waters. Its rich history which dates back nearly 7000 years, its cultural and architectural heritage, and its mild Mediterranean climate will convince you that this is where you visit for your next vacation. To prepare you, we have compiled a list of 10 essential things to see and do on the island of Paros.
Without tourists. Paros and more widely the Greek islands are cheap destinations to be privileged after the summer. Here is our selection for September.
🗒️ What you need to know before your trip to Paros
Before starting our list of must-do things to do on the island of Paros, here are some tips for your next trip.
How to get to Paros?
This depends on where you arrive in Greece, but you will presumably land in Athens. From the capital, it is quite easy to get to Paros. It is served by the ports of Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrio. The majority of ferries depart from Piraeus, which is easily accessible from Athens airport. This journey will take about three hours on a fast boat (the most expensive), and 4 to 5 hours on a classic ferry – but, honestly, you will find that time is not really an issue when sailing between the islands. You can also reach the island by air, since there are daily connections between Athens and the small airport of Paros.
How to get around the island of Paros?
Paros is a little less than 200 km2, so is quite possible to go around the island in one day on a quad. You’ll find plenty of these – as well as scooters and small cars – for hire around Parikia. It is also perfectly possible to travel by bus.
Which hotel to choose in Paros
As on the other large islands of the Cyclades, Paros is not lacking in hotels. We are not going to launch into a whole list, but to give you three that, in our opinion, deserve to be stopped at.
If you want a cheap, warm, colorful hotel with a manager who provides valuable advice on visiting Paros, then head to Viva Margarita in Parikia.
For an establishment with slightly superior services without breaking the bank, but located in Naoussa, then you can be safe in choosing the Hotel Iris.
Finally, for those wishing for a dream stay in a luxurious establishment at a decent price for the services offered, then the Mythic Paros was made for you – with the added bonus of a magnificent view of Antiparos. Bear in mind that it is not for children.
Which island to visit from Paros?
Besides Antiparos, which is almost part of Paros, the nearest island is Naxos. More imposing, it is perfect for hiking. From Paros, you can also easily reach the islands of Amorgos, Ios, Syros (the capital of the Cyclades), Tinos, and the famous Mykonos and Santorini.
Come on, a getaway to Santorini? A getaway to Santorini from Paros is well worth the few hours you’ll spend on the ferry. Not convinced? Watch our video.
🔝 The 10 essential things to do on the island of Paros
Let’s get to the heart of the matter. The heart of your stay. Without further ado, here is our selection of essential things to do in Paros.
At the start of our top 10 things to do in Paros, we invite you to discover the capital city of this island, Parikia. It is the historic centre and the largest city on the island, at which you will also arrive on your ferry. Walking through the cobbled streets, you will undoubtedly be amazed by the beauty of its old churches and the white houses typical of the city. You will also have to discover the basilica of Panaghia Katapoliani, the Byzantine museum, and the archaeological museum of Paros, the most famous attractions of the city.
Stroll around the port of Naoussa
Paros boasts one of the prettiest ports in the Cyclades. Located in the small village of Naoussa 10 kilometers from the capital, this port was the main port of Paros in ancient times, from which the famous marble of the island was transported. Today, it is used both as a fishing port and a marina, with bars and restaurants on its terraces which always welcome crowds of people, especially in the evening. Naoussa is particularly appreciated by the French.
Two places are to be seen: the Kasteli, a small 15th-century Venetian castle located at the end of the port, and the Saint Nicolas Church, dedicated to the patron saint of sailors.
Explore the village of Lefkes
We spoke above of the beauty of the villages of this island. Well, Lefkes, from this point of view, is unmissable. It nestled below the pine forest on the hill, making it the most mountainous and greenest village in all of Paros. This explains why tourists flock there. You can visit the old laundries that some housewives still use, the House of Literature, and the alleyways of taverns and shops.
See Paros Lighthouse and Cape Korakas
The remote Cape Korakas lighthouse is on the northwest coast of Paros. Literally meaning “the crow’s park”, it is located in the environmental park of the island, on the peninsula of Detis. Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts are guaranteed to enjoy a visit to this place.
Eat fresh fish in Piso Livadi
This small fishing port on the east coast of Paros is definitely worth a visit. It is undoubtedly one of the most traditional ports on the whole island. A stroll along the water’s edge is therefore essential in order to discover, in particular, the fish restaurants and cafes there. With its shallow waters and playgrounds, Piso Livadi is a popular spot for families from Greece and from elsewhere.
Visit Paros Park
Among the things to do on Paros, you must include a visit to` this magnificent environmental and cultural park. Stretching over the magnificent peninsula of Ai Yiannis Detis near Naoussa (mentioned above), this nature reserve, created in 2009, offers various activities, including hikes along seven marked trails. You can also take advantage of the events and festivals held there or visit the Detis museum.
Bask on Golden Beach
Of course, Paros also has sumptuous, fine sandy beaches. One of the most beautiful is the Golden Beach – Chrissi Akti,in its Greek name. The English name comes from the fact that its sand contains glass elements, and the grains sparkle in the sun’s rays. Located in the southeast of the island, it offers a magnificent natural spectacle and is also popular with windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts. What’s more, its bars and restaurants make it a very popular place in the evening.
Marvel at Kolibithres Beach
It is always a pleasure to walk on this magnificent white sand beach, which is perhaps the most legendary on Paros. It is recognizable from its original large, gray rocks, its crystal-clear waters, and the landscapes which surround it. You can relax and eat at one of the many bars and restaurants that this beach is home to.
Have fun at Palm Beach Paros
Want to relax and sunbathe while sipping on a cocktail? What could be better than doing it at Palm Beach Paros? A very trendy resort run by a French family, it is located just 10 minutes from the capital. It is the perfect place to spend a quiet day, alternating between your deckchair and the pretty beach of Agia Irini. Palm Beach Paros also offers excellent facilities for water sports. If you want to reconnect with western urban luxury and finesse, then this is the place for you.
Take a boat cruise
You are on an island, so why not take advantage of this to have a good time on a boat, exploring the coast! You will have the opportunity to admire the magnificent beaches and the beauty of the landscape of this island region from an entirely new angle. Some boat tours offer swimming in isolated places set up for this purpose, and other water activities. In particular, you should find out about the port of Parikia.
There you have it, our selection of must-do things to do in Paros is complete. An oversight? Do not hesitate to send us your suggestions in the comments.