Where is Paros?
Paros is an island of the Cyclades group (South Aegean sea), located between Sifnos and Naxos. It is one of those places which can offer something for everyone - sandy beaches with and without facilities, picturesque fishing ports, windmills, a bit of nightlife and plenty of dazzling white buildings.
What is Paros best known for?
The typical Cycladic architecture in white and blue, the old harbor of Naoussa, the sandy beaches and Antiparos island.
How to get to Paros?
• By plane: The island has a small airport for charter flights, mainly from and to Athens.
• By ferry: Ferries depart from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina, and the journey takes from 3 to 4 hours depending on the boat type. In the summer Paros has regular connections with the other islands of the Cyclades group.
Where to stay in Paros?
The main village is Parikia, also known as Paros Town. This is the place where ferries arrive and depart, with many hotels, restaurants and public services. The second largest settlement is Naoussa, a picturesque fishing village in the north with lively spirit. Almost all photos of Paros you have seen on the web are from the harbor of Naoussa and its old town with the small labyrinth-like alleys, cozy little bars and shops for hand-made souvenirs.
Popular seaside resorts are Piso Livadi, Logaras and Aliki, the rest are rather beaches with accommodation and food facilities. In the inner part of Paros there are a few old villages with typical for the Cyclades architecture and preserved old houses (a walk there is highly recommended).
Which are the best beaches of Paros?
Although small, the island is blessed with plenty of sandy beaches, some of them with beach facilities and water sports, others almost empty. Popular organized beaches are Santa Maria, Chrissi Akti, Livadia, Marcelo and Kolympithres. If you prefer smaller and quieter beaches, visit Aliki, Logaras or Farangas. If you seek isolation, Molos, Kalogeros and Glifades are just for you.
Depending on the wind direction (the meltemi wind is often present) you can always find a sheltered cove in some part of the island, especially on the south coast.. Don`t worry about time, distances are short and traveling is quite easy here. Kite surfers will be happy at Pounta beach.
Which are the best things to see and do in Paros?
♦ Naoussa with its old harbor, old town and Venetian fortress at the harbor.
♦ The old town of Parikia with the Frankish castle.
♦ The Monastery of Agios Antonios near Marpissa - it has panoramic view over the entire island.
♦ The villages of Lefkes, Kostos and Marpissa.
♦ Day trip to Antiparos - it takes only 15 mins by the local ferry. You can come and get back any time you want.
♦ The Valley of the Butterflies, nature park close to Parikia.
♦ The tiny isthmus at Langeri beach (northwest).
♦ Day trip to the historical Delos combined with a few hours on Mykonos island.
♦ Day trip to Naxos or the Small Cyclades (Koufonisia, Iraklia and Schinousa).
♦ The ancient marble quarries at Marathi.
What to eat in Paros?
Like all islands, Paros cuisine emphasizes on sea food and fish specialties, along with classic meat and vegetable dishes. You can see octopuses drying in the sun in front of many tavernas and we noticed that the octopuses of Paros look fatter than those we have seen elsewhere in Greece. The best seafood spaghetti are served by the tavernas at the old harbor of Naoussa.
Local specialties include fried cheese with honey, lichnarakia (small sweet cheese pies) and pasta flora (jam tart).
Our personal experience
We did like the vibe of Paros and returned to the island a couple of times. During our first visit our son saw so many octopuses and windmills for such a short time that we had to talk about them most of the time. And even now, if he sees a photo of Paros he exclaims "Oh, there are the octopuses! And the windmills!".
We always stay in the area of Logaras and Piso Livadi which is a very suitable location to explore the island. The beach of Logaras is good enough to spend the day at the beach even if you are tired to go anywhere else, and Naoussa is just within 10 minutes drive for evening walks. The interesting inland villages of Marpissa, Prodromos and Lefkes, and the monastery of Agios Antonios are also nearby. One of our favorite spots on the island is Aliki - it has a small sandy beach and a couple of seafood tavernas right next to the beach, among the fishing boats (if you come by boat, you can moor it just beside the tables).