Paros is the second largest island of the Cyclades. It has an area of 196 square kilometres and a coastline 120km long. The island has the advantage of being located centrally in the Cyclades near Naxos, Ios, Sifnos and Syros. Most of the ferries to Naxos and Santorini make a stop first at Paros.
Paros is considered as one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. It is characterized by the many beaches and also the charming villages: Parikia (the main town), Naoussa, Lefkes, Marpissa and other. Naoussa is an old fishing village turned into a cosmopolitan top holiday destination. The village is characterized by its Venetian port and its many fish restaurants. The architecture of the area is also incredible.
- 1 Parikia - the capital
- 2 Naoussa (Naussa) or Agoussa
- Lefkes , a charming settlement located on a green hillside
- Marpissa (& Piso Livadi, Marmara, Prodromos, Molos) has well-preserved old houses and a traditional atmosphere
- Dryos (& Golden Coast, Aspro Chorio, Glyfa, Pyrgaki)
- Alyki (& Agkairia)
- Pounta (& Sarakiniko, Kampos)
In Paros most of the population can speak English except the older generation. In many bars, pubs, restaurants and shops there is somebody who speaks English, Italian, or German.
Many travelers probably don’t even consider Rafina a possible departure port if they are heading to one of the Cyclades, but if you are arriving at the airport of Athens you are often better off taking a ferry from Rafina than traveling to Athens and get a ferry from Piraeus. Another alternative is to fly to Mykonos (which has loads of international flight arrivals) and then take the 1 hour boat ride to Paros.
The ferry landing is haunted by dozens of room-hawkers, and is manic. If you arrive during a high wind and/or at night, it can all be a bit overwhelming. Know where you're going, and book ahead.
Within the resorts walking is the best method of transport. Bus services operate between the towns. Car hire is readily available in all towns and is relatively cheap.
Don't miss the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani which means the church of 100 doors, in Parikia. Naousa (Greek: Νάουσα) is a village in the north eastern corner of the island. There are beautiful beaches and in front of the port unique Venetian castle of the 15th century is situated, built during the dynasty of Sommaripa. As it is half-sunken beneath the surface of the sea remains a remarkable sight. Lefkes village is in the middle of the island with many nice tavernas, and beautiful alleys. From Lefkes you can take a very nice walk at the old stones of the Byzantine Route down to Prodromos.
Paros is also famous for its watersports, specifically wind and kitesurfing. The eastern coastal town of Dryos with neighboring beaches of "chryssi akti" translated golden beach and "tserdakia" known as new golden beach are the most popular surfing destinations. The latter was the site of the 2000, 2003 and 2010 PWA IFCA international windsurfing championships as well as other international events.
A fantastic place to take the kids is Aqua Park. Boats leave hourly from Naoussa and takes approximately 15 minutes.
Tao's is a retreat and meditation centre located on top of a hill, overlooking the Aegean Sea and the neighbouring islands. There are on-going daily activities, self-development seminars and a long-stay Work & Study program, along with Oriental-Thai cuisine and Cafe-Bar.
Greek Water Yachts is a local company for private sailing cruises with skipper. Long or short sailing charters are available to the neighbouring islands either with sailboats or catamarans.
The best beach in the island is Chrissi Aktil. Other standout beaches include Kolymbithres, with its huge rocks and sandy coves, Monastiri, and Santa Maria.
For peace and quiet, go to Laggeri, with its lovely sand dunes, while Tsoukalia, Glyfa, and Glyfades are accessible only by a narrow path or by boat.
You'll need to take the dirt road from Molos to reach Kalogeros beach, with its interesting rock formations.
Popular Pounta and Farangas have plenty of amenities, while equally busy Lolantonis is smaller with natural shade.
At Aliki, divers can explore the remains of an ancient town on the seabed.
Visit as many beaches as you can, don't stay in one every day. Every beach has a different feeling. Try Farangas, Parasporos, Krios, Kato yalos, and Agia Irini. Logaras is very nice for families.
In Parikia's sea front you will find many nice tavernas with excellent food, exactly behind in the old town wander along the narrow streets with the many kind of shops, and the unique cycladic atmosphere. Don't forget to sit in one of the many Ouzeri in Naoussa and taste Gouna fish and octopus in vinegar.
Resalto bar A very nice bar in the port of Drios, plays the best rock music in Paros.
- 1 Archontiko Mary (Αρχοντικο της Μαιρης), Aliki, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Archontiko is located in a small village. The rooms are bright and refreshing, with all the necessary requirements such as a refrigerator, AC, TV, Wi-F8, a private bathroom and kitchenette. White balconies with a fantastic sea view to the horizon. Just 40 metres from the quiet beach of Aliki.
- Corali Hotel, Piso Livadi, ☏ . Check-in: 12:30PM, check-out: 11:30AM. €50.
- [formerly dead link] Dryades Gardens & Studios. Drios phone +30(22840)41422 mobile +30 694 848 0564. Located in the seaside village of Drios, these studio apartments operated by a young Greek-American family offer a clean, comfortable accommodation away from the crowds. All studios are equipped with a kitchenette, wc, air-conditioning, tv and a private balcony or terrace with an unobstructed ocean view. The 4 acre property is landscaped with a wide variety of flowers and fruit trees.
- Aloni Hotel, Piso Livadi, ☏ . Check-in: 12:30PM, check-out: 11:30AM. The Aloni Hotel is situated in the seaside village of Piso Livadi. It offers 37 furnished rooms, an apartment (up to 6 persons) and a suite that may host from 2 to 4 people, all of which are air-conditioned and have a veranda with sea view. €40-185.
- Lefkes Village Hotel, Lefkes, ☏ , , fax: . Hotel with 20 spacious rooms.
Paros is generally a safe island.
Be aware of rental scams, especially with agencies working only with motorbikes and ATVs. Using these types of vehicles is very common on Paros and there are a lot of rental agencies. Some of them are ready to cheat. They will offer faulty motorbikes or ATVs for a lower price, but in case of accident they will demand that the customer pay for the whole cost of damage. They are offering only basic insurance but will present it like full insurance. Also, there is a big possibility of serious injuries.
It is possible to recognize these rental agencies by observing them aggressively attracting tourists and offering lower prices than others. Employees in front of these type of agencies will be loud and ready to promise everything until the contract is signed. It is necessary to check the vehicle before making any decision. Their vehicles are in most of the cases dusty, dirty and look old.
A few minutes walk from the port is Zorba's, a small gyros restaurant with surprisingly fast wifi (20+ Mbps). As you exit the port, cross the street and head left, passing a few other cafés/restaurants.