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Which island should you choose for your holidays, Paros or Naxos? You are not the only one asking this question. Many have asked themselves this before you, including us. The main reason for this dilemma is that the two islands are only a few kilometres apart – it takes almost the same time to get to them from Athens – and they are both rather large (Naxos is even the largest island in the Cyclades). So, Paros or Naxos, which island should you visit? We take stock in this article.
🏝️ The island of your dreams. Paros and Naxos are just two jewels among many others in Greece. If you are unsure of where to go on your next holiday, here are, in our opinion, the most beautiful Greek islands.
🚸 Family trip: Naxos, the peaceful
Naxos: With its sandy beaches and shallow waters, Naxos (📖 read our guide) is an ideal destination for families with young children. The Agios Prokopios beach, for example, is renowned for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. The island also offers several activities suitable for the little ones, such as the Aqua Fun Water Park located near Mikri Vigla beach and pottery workshops organized in Chora (Naxos’ town). For families, accommodation such as Naxos Island Escape offer spacious apartments and a play area for children.
Paros: Although Paros also has child-friendly beaches, such as Livadia, this island is best known for its lively nightlife, especially in the bars and clubs of Naoussa and Parikia. This may not be suitable for families looking for quiet.
✅ Verdict: Naxos seems to be a more suitable option for families thanks to its infrastructure and peaceful atmosphere.
🌹 Romantic trip: succumb to the charm of Paros
Naxos: Naxos offers its visitors numerous romantic panoramas, such as a beautiful sunset from the Portara, the gate of the Temple of Apollo, or the view of the sea from the mountain village of Apeiranthos. Couples can also enjoy a walk hand-in-hand through the picturesque lanes of Chora, the capital, or a candlelit dinner at Nissaki Restaurant, established in 1971.
Paros: Paros (📖 read our guide) stands out with its traditional villages and romantic atmosphere. The village of Naoussa, with its charming port and flowery alleys, is particularly conducive to romantic getaways. The island also offers unique experiences, like a sunset cruise in Parikia Bay or a couples’ dinner at Soso Restaurant, known for its Mediterranean dishes and panoramic views.
✅ Verdict: Both islands have attractions for couples, but Paros, with its magical charm, seems slightly more suited to romantic getaways.
🍃 Nature lovers: Naxos, a land to discover
Naxos: The largest island of the Cyclades, Naxos offers a great diversity of landscapes to explore, such as Mount Zas (Zeus), the highest peak in the archipelago, where hikers can follow a path leading to the cave of Zeus and the summit, offering breath-taking views of the region. The many green valleys dotted with traditional villages, such as Halki with its olive groves and Byzantine churches, are also a treat for nature lovers.
Paros: Paros also has beautiful landscapes, including the Paros Environmental Park, located near Monastiri beach, which offers hiking trails and natural swimming pools. Several paths that cross the island, such as the Byzantine, allow you to discover picturesque chapels, windmills, and monasteries. The island is also home to the Valley of Butterflies, a natural site where you can observe many species during the summer.
✅ Verdict: For nature lovers, Naxos is the destination of choice due to its diversity and natural wealth.
🥂 Lovers of luxury and idleness: Paros will be your cocoon
Naxos: Naxos obviously offers plenty of luxury accommodation, such as the Naxian Collection Hotel, located on a hill with stunning views of the Aegean Sea, and gourmet restaurants serving fine local cuisine, including the Barozzi Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. However, the island is generally more authentic and less geared towards high-end tourism.
Paros: Paros is renowned for its luxurious resorts and spas, such as the Yria Island Boutique Hotel & Spa, offering stylish bungalows, an outdoor swimming pool, and a wellness centre. The island also offers an upscale dining experience, with restaurants like Levantis , which is housed in a 15th-century Venetian mansion in Parikia, offering creative Mediterranean dishes based on local produce. Shopping enthusiasts can also take advantage of Naoussa’s chic boutiques, offering designer clothes, jewellery, and art.
✅ Verdict: For tourists looking for luxury, Paros is undoubtedly the preferred destination, with its high-end accommodation, gourmet restaurants, and elegant shops.
In conclusion, choosing between Naxos and Paros can be difficult, as they are two Greek islands which each offer unique experiences, suitable for different types of travellers. In our opinion, Naxos is ideal for families and nature lovers, while Paros shines with a romantic atmosphere and endless options for luxurious stays. Whatever your preference, these two well-known destinations in the Cyclades will enchant you with their beauty and hospitality.