Paros in Greece – the Pearl of the Cyclades
Paros, Greece is one of those picturesque islands in the middle of the Aegean Sea, whose photos can be seen in glossy magazines and in advertising booklets. It’s a great place for beach lovers and lovers of beautiful nature.
Paros is one of the Greek islands of the Cyclades. It occupies an area of 196 sq. km. About 12 thousand people live here permanently. The island lies in the middle of the Aegean Sea.
The largest cities of Paros are Parikia, Paros and Naoussa. The nearest islands are Ios (60 km), the South Aegean Islands (50 km) and Andiparos (30 km).
Paros is known for its rich history and is often associated by tourists with the Paros marble, the local rock from which famous statues of Hellas were built.
Externally, Paros does not differ much from the rest of the Cyclades, which is characterized by minimalistic, white-washed buildings in the Old Town, the presence of a small port and an abundance of bright colors in the courtyards. Nevertheless, the island regularly receives a lot of tourists, who love this place because it is not crowded and beautiful.
A special beauty of Paros is given by the presence of small green hills, on which, as a rule, this or that town or village is located. Almost every village has a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
What to see
The island has a port town Parikia, which connects Paros with the mainland of Greece. Most of the tourists who come to the island do so through Parikia, so it is always crowded and the prices are noticeably higher than in the rest of the island.
Parikia is also considered to be the most partying point on the island, as there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. This is also where most of the hotels and attractions are located.
The historic part of the city is clean, cozy and full of flowering trees. Most of the buildings are white in color and have windows the color of the sea wave.
The church of Ekatondapiliani is the main historical attraction of Parikia. The church was built in the VI century and has an unusual for Greek appearance.
According to one of the ancient legends, the architect Isidore of Miletus entrusted the construction of the temple to his apprentice and he built a church of such incredible beauty that the old master got angry, fought with his opponent on the roof of the building and both crashed.
The locals know and remember the story well, so sculptures of the master rubbing his beard and the apprentice groping his wounded head have been installed in the small courtyard at the temple.
This landmark of Paros, Greece has been destroyed several times, so not all the exhibits have reached our days. Nevertheless, tourists are highly recommended to look into the museum department of the temple, which contains ancient icons and relics of saints, works the oldest in Greece baptistery and has the opportunity to visit the upper choir – previously only women could climb here, but now every tourist can see from a height all the beauty of the temple.
There is a small store in the area where you can buy brochures and religious souvenirs for a nominal fee.
- Location: Prompona 18, Paros 844 00, Greece.
- Opening hours: 09.00 – 18.00.
- Price: 2 euros (museum department).
- Official website: www.ekatontapyliani.gr
Lefkes is located 10 km from Parikia and can be reached by bus or cab. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Greece, as it stands on a high green hill, overlooking the neighboring islands (you could take a picture of Paros in Greece). The resort is home to only 600 people, so it is worth coming here for those who want a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
As in most Greek towns located on the island of Paros, the main attraction of Lefkes is the Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada). It is a Byzantine-style cathedral built of white marble and local rocks. Inside you can see ancient Byzantine icons and relics of saints.
Also in Lefkas there are 2 small but interesting museums: the Folk Art Museum and the Aegean Museum. You can visit them only in summer.
Naoussa is the second largest town on the island of Paros and is known for its marble deposits and interesting architecture. The city has the old port (which is the main, and virtually the only attraction) and lives from which Naoussa certainly lives – it’s safe to say that more than 70% of the population are either fish farmers or sells it to tourists.
The fame of the fish taverns of Naoussa spreads far beyond Paros and seafood lovers should visit this small town.
As for the Old Port, it does not look very old. It is rather a typical Greek seafront with snow-white houses, lots of vegetation and numerous yachts moored at the shore. The main attractions of this place are the numerous fish shops and restaurants.
The Museum of Cycladic Folklore, or simply Benetos Museum, is located just a few meters from the local airport, so there are always a lot of tourists.
This attraction of the island of Paros is unique for several reasons. First, all the products are made by the hands of one person – Benethos Skiadas, who has no art education. Second, in the museum you can see a huge number of ship models from different eras – both ancient galleys and modern sailing ships are represented.
Thirdly, in the small courtyard of the museum you can see models of the most popular buildings of the island: the Byzantine monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissas (Amorgos), one of the local mills, the ancient theater of Milos, the lions of Delos, the dovecote of Tinos and the lighthouse of Andros.
- Location: Aliki 844 00, Greece.
- Opening hours: 09.30 – 14.00 (from May 1 to September 30). During low season the museum is closed.
- Price: 4 euros.
- Official website: www.benetos-skiadas-folkartist-paros-gr.com
Paros is located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, so the beaches (there are about 40) are located along the perimeter of the entire island. They are characterized by cleanliness, the presence of small rocks and fine sand.
Kolimbitres is the most unusual beach of Paros, because it is surrounded on all sides by smooth, gray boulders (you should climb them carefully, because they are very slippery), which seem to be “spread” in the sunlight. Many people associate them with something alien, so the mass of tourists come here not even to have a rest, but because they want to see these bizarre forms.
Interestingly, here you can often meet photographers, who for a nominal fee will take for you some photos of the island of Paros in Greece.
It is 600 meters long and 90-100 meters wide. The sand is fine, has a brownish tint and is almost always wet. There is litter, as no one removes it. The entrance to the sea is gentle, but the bottom is stony, and it is worth to take slates. At low tide, a lot of small coves are formed, in which the water gets warm quickly.
There are always strong winds blowing in this part of the island, so you should be prepared for high waves and constant tides.
Bear in mind that this is a wild beach, so there are no toilets, cafes or stores. The only things you can rent here are sunbeds and umbrellas.
Location: the area of Naoussa village (you must turn left before Mycenae Acropolis).
Golden Beach is a nice sandy beach near the hotel with the same name. Its length is 700 meters, width – about 80 meters. The sand is fine and golden, the water is blue and clear. The entrance to the sea is gentle, there are no stones and rocks. The recreation area is very clean, as it is regularly cleaned by the hotel staff. There are always a lot of people.
Infrastructure is well developed: there are toilets and showers, there are several cafes. You can order food directly to the recreation area from a nearby hotel.
Note that Golden Beach is not suitable for recreation with children, as this area is blowing with strong winds and often high waves. Golden Beach is an ideal place for surfers and windsurfers.
Location: the village of Chrissy Akti.
Santa Maria is a large desert beach in the eastern part of the island. The color of the sand is close to white, the water is crystal clear. Its length is about 900 meters and width is 80-90 meters. The entrance to the water is gentle, there are no sharp rocks and stones.
There are not many tourists, because there are no popular resorts near the beach. But there is no question with the infrastructure – cafes and restaurants are open, there are free toilets and cabins for changing. A few meters from the recreation area there is a buffet-style canteen. For budget travelers, there is a campsite not far from Santa Maria where you can stay for a few nights.
Location: east of Naoussa.
Monastiri is a small, well-equipped sandy beach in the northern part of the island. It’s only 200 meters long and about 40 meters wide. The beach has a perfect entrance to the sea, there are no stones and boulders, the sand is very soft and entrancing. There are not too many people, there is no trash.
The infrastructure is well developed: there are bars, restaurants, toilets and cabins for changing. A large number of rental outlets for sports equipment (surfboards, water skis, bananas). There is an amphitheater, where you can watch a movie, and a few meters from it begins a hiking trail, which goes into the cliffs.
The best way to get to the beach is to take the ferry from Naoussa (€6).
Location: near Paros Park.
Marcelo Beach is a popular beach near Parikia. It is popular because of its access to the sea and cleanliness. It is not crowded, but there are tourists almost at any time of year.
The sand is fine and soft, has a golden hue. The water is clean and clear. The beach is equipped with comfortable sun loungers and there are a large number of cafes. Many people consider Marcelo beach as the best place in Paros for a holiday with children – there are no high waves and there is plenty of space (length about 700 meters).
Location: close to Parikia (can be reached by boat, which leaves every half hour from the port).
The island of Paros in Greece has a little less than 300 hotels, most of which belong to the category from 3* to 5*. Find a cheap accommodation or hostel will be a problem – the resorts are aimed at more affluent tourists.
The following resorts are popular among travelers: Parasporos, Logaras, Naoussa and Parikia. The latter are most popular because they are port towns and tourists prefer to stay there straight away so as not to waste time traveling to neighboring resorts.
Logaras is known for its comfortable hotels – there are many more than in neighboring resorts. Prices are quite high. Parasporos is known for its beaches and beautiful promenade.
Speaking of the prices for accommodation, it should be noted that relatively inexpensive housing options can be found only in Parikia – as it is the largest city on the island, and the price range is the most significant here. The cheapest room in a 3 * hotel for two per day in high season will cost 30 euros. The average price varies from 70 to 90 euros.
The situation at the neighboring resorts is similar – the prices start from 40 euros and the average price per night is in the region of 80-90 euros.
Rent apartments can be a little cheaper – a large and comfortable one-bedroom apartment will cost 30-40 euros per night.
All prices on the page are for May 2020.
The main means of communication between Greek islands is plane – in Paros there is a small airport (PAS), which takes flights from the mainland of Greece. Prices start from 70 euros for a flight from Athens to Paros.
The most popular way is by sea – there are many small islands near Paros, which can be reached only by ferry or boat. Ferries run on 34 routes, the most popular of which are:
- Athens – Paros (21 euros per ticket);
- Crete – Paros (33 euros);
- Milos – Paros (13 euros);
- Ios – Paros (10 euros).
Blue Star Ferries has the lowest prices. The other companies offer tickets for similar routes several times more expensive. You can buy tickets either at port ticket offices or on the website where all ferry companies in Greece are represented: https://www.ferriesingreece.com.
- It is said that the Ekatondapiliani church in Parikia has exactly 100 doors.
- Almost 50% of the population of Paros island is involved in fishing, so all restaurants serve only fresh fish.
- One of the most mysterious sights on the island is considered to be the cave of Antiparos, which for many centuries, people could not enter. Explorers first got there only in 1973, and found there hundreds of bright stalagmites.
- According to legend, it was on Paros where the Venerable Theoktista lived. She spent her entire life in seclusion and the only food they consumed were seeds.
- Since 90% of tourists come to the island in summer, life on Paros almost comes to a standstill in winter – most of the museums and galleries close down and some bars stop working.
- In Greece, there is an unusual tradition connected with the island – all Greek students in their first year of study should necessarily rest together in Paros.
Paros, Greece is one of the most picturesque parts of the Cyclades islands, which is visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
The most beautiful places of Paros:
Author: Maria Protasenia
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Paros is a beautiful island lying in the Aegean Sea and is a part of the Cyclades. The famous Paros marble is extracted in the mountains of the island and it was used for the construction of many buildings and carved monuments in antiquity. For example, it was used for the sculpture of Aphrodite (Venus) of Milos, the temples of Apollo on Tilos, Hermes at Olympia and for some parts of Solomon’s temple. Mountains make up a small part of the landscape and the island is mostly flat, with palm and olive groves, endless vineyards and miles of beautiful beaches with the purest golden sand. Recently, the romantic island of Paros has been enjoying a runaway popularity among tourists.
Few tourist centers offer bright, cloudless skies all year round and Paros has more than 300 days of sunshine a year. The weather on Paros island is perfect to enjoy the tourist season all year round.
The climate is Mediterranean with dry, hot summers, especially in July and August when the temperature during the day is around +30. But during this time there is a northerly wind that blows through the island and makes Paros a perfect place for windsurfing. Rain lovers will be disappointed as it’s a rare occurrence here.
Evening landscape of Naoussa
This island in Greece has a huge historical heritage. The city of Parikia, the capital of the island, holds many architectural and historical monuments. In the center of the city there is a beautiful Venetian fortress with white houses surrounded by jasmine bushes. From the center you can walk along a wide asphalt road to the main attraction of the island, the church of Ekatontapiliani. It is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece and is the oldest active church on the island. What is surprising is that it is perhaps the only structure on the island that is not white. According to one of the many legends, the church was founded by Saint Helen, the mother of Constantine (the first Christian emperor of Byzantium). The church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and every year, on August 15, there are large-scale celebrations with fireworks and public festivities.
Near the church there is an archaeological museum that is also worth a visit. It has a rich collection of archaic and classical sculptures, archaeological finds from the Neolithic to the Roman period. In three kilometers from the island’s capital there are ancient quarries, where the most beautiful Paros marble in the world was extracted. Bright white with a slight pink tint of special purity and transparency, the stone once brought great wealth to the inhabitants of the island.
If you wish, you can walk through the local villages and towns, shining white small houses so beautiful that they seem illustrations of the book of fairy tales.
One of the most interesting villages is Lefkes, it is located at the very top of the island. The village is built in the shape of an amphitheater. Almost all the houses and churches were built in the XV-XVII centuries. The main attraction of the village is the Church of the Holy Trinity, made entirely of white marble.
The village of Nausa is a truly picturesque place. Its narrow cobblestone streets with lovely arches and churches are so pleasant to stroll through and enjoy the view. Here is the Venetian castle, built in the fifteenth century, today half submerged in the sea. The port of Naoussa was once a refuge for pirates.
The snow-white Paros
The most amazing place is the valley of the butterflies (or Petaludes as the Greeks call it) which is near Parikia, on the hill of Psychopiani. Throughout the summer here in a wonderful natural park with various exotic plants and waterfalls, you can see thousands of rare beautiful butterflies. You have to walk slowly so as not to frighten these beautiful and fragile creatures.
There are many more interesting things worth seeing on the island of Paros: the monasteries of the Life-giving spring of Logvarde and St. Arsenios with the church of the Savior, the church of St. Constantine, the ancient cemetery near Parikia, the Frankish castle, the Mycenaean Acropolis, the sanctuary of Apollo, the stunning cave at Andiparos and much more.
Recreation and entertainment
The abundance of beaches allows tourists to rest in a new place at least every day. Paros beaches are really very beautiful and the water in the Aegean Sea is crystal clear. Let’s mention some of them. The beaches of Parikia: Livadia, Krios, Marcelo and Kaminia are sandy beaches, clean shallow sea and therefore ideal for holidays with small children.
The beaches of Naoussa Gulf: Piperi, Agia Anargyri and of course the famous Kolimbitres beach with its bizarre shapes of the surrounding rocks and white sand. Now move east from Naous, where there are the beautiful beaches of Langheri, Santa Maria and the quiet and secluded Ambelas and Damuli. There are even places for lovers of “natural tanning” – the nudist beach of Monasteri. Not far from the village of Marmara there is the beautiful Molos beach, a great place for windsurfing. Moving further to the east of the island, you will meet near Marpis the beaches of Piso Livadia and Logaras.
Our next stop is the famous Punda beach. There is a big choice of water activities, water sports, bungee jumping, loud music, lots of bars. Here rest mostly carefree young people. Punda is the most bustling and crowded beach of Paros. The beach of Dryos is seen even farther. This beach is different from the others. It has a pebbly beach, dark blue water and beautiful carved rocks.
The list of Paros beaches is long. All beaches are different and every tourist can find one to his or her liking.
Beach of Naoussa, Paros island
In addition to swimming in the sea, Paros island offers plenty of activities – canoeing, water skiing, sailing, surfing, swimming and diving schools. Various sports competitions are held here. And for children there are playgrounds, water slides. Will be interesting for both children and adults Paros water park with 13 water slides, which uses sea water.
The island has tennis courts, open tennis academy, riding centers. You can rent a mountain bike or a car to get around the island and see everything you want. In the cozy restaurants of Paros you can enjoy local Greek cuisine, mostly fish, vegetables, herbs and beans. A visit to the island’s winery is a must. After the wine tour you will be invited to a tasting, and in the store at the winery you can buy any wine you like.
Shopping lovers will not be disappointed, there are hundreds of stores and stalls on the island where you can buy souvenirs, Greek art, local handicrafts, ceramics, jewelry and much more.
How to get there
The fastest way to get to the island is by plane from Athens. It takes about 30 minutes.
You can also take a passenger ferry. You will spend about 5 hours. It is twice as fast to take a small fast boat – only 2 hours, but it is also more expensive.