Paros

Whitewashed houses, blue windows, small fishing ports, sandy beaches and many windmills - this is the landscape of Paros. This attractive island of the Cyclades had kept its secrets until the beginning of this century when mass tourists discovered it and photos of the island started to appear in magazines and websites. Today photos of the scenic Naoussa port of Paros can be seen in all articles about the Cyclades group.

Paros is located in the middle of the group and it is very close to Naxos. It is connected with daily ferries to the ports of Piraues, Rafina and Lavrio on mainland Greece, and to many other islands of the group so getting on Paros by sea is very easy. There are also links to some of the North Aegean islands (Ikaria, Fourni and Samos) and to the Dodecanese (once or twice a week in the summer). The ferries arrive at the capital Parikia, on the west coast, and the small airport of the island is in the south part. Paros is very well developed for tourists and it offers numerous hotels and places to stay.

Traveling around Paros is easy. The island has a good road network and almost no highlands, except in the middle. The coastal road encircles the entire island and the distance from the northernmost to the southernmost part of Paros is about 30 km. Parikia, the capital, is the largest settlement of the island but Naoussa is the one that you see on most photos. Naoussa is the old capital of Paros, famous for its picturesque fishing port and old quarter with maze-like streets. It is also a place popular among artists and craftsman, and plenty of shops there sell original hand-made souvenirs and clothes. Other popular seaside villages are Piso Livadi, Aliki and Parasporos. The inner villages are recommended for a walk, especially Lefkes, Marpissa and Kostos.

Paros is very rich in beaches and almost all of them are sandy, with shallow water. There are both organized beaches with beach bars, entertainment and water sports, and more isolated ones where people rarely come. The southwest coast of Paros is known as a kite spot due to the north Meltemi wind, and the long beach of Chrysi Akti (Golden Coast) in the east is popular among surfers.

The small island of Antiparos lies just 1 one km off Paros and its southwest coast. It feels like a part of Paros but yet it is a distinct place with its own character. Boats to Antiparos leave from the harbor of Pounta every 20 minutes in the summer. On Antiparos you will find one main village with tavernas, cafes and hotels, and beautiful small coves where you can enjoy privacy on the beach are scattered all over the island. Some small hotels and villas can be found on the beaches, too. The main village is also called Kastro because it was built around the walls of an ancient Venetians castle, the ruins of which can still be seen. Another interesting place on the island are its sea caves (reachable only by boat).

Interesting place to see on Paros:
- The old town of Parikia with the Frankish castle
- Naoussa and its smaller old harbor
- The Venetian castle of Naoussa
- The Valley of the Butterflies, nature park close to Parikia
- Agios Antonis Monastery near Marpissa, from which you can see almost the entire island
- The authentic villages of Lefkes and Marpissa
- The island of Antiparos
- The small peninsula in the northeast part of Paros, with deeply indented coast and a number of beaches

highlights: picturesque fishing ports, whites houses and sandy beaches, island in Cyclades Islands, Greece

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