Located in the cluster of the Cycladic islands, Paros possesses everything you would fancy when dreaming of a Greek island vacation: unique beaches with azure waters, fish tavernas, whitewashed houses, and traditional, Cycladic churches.
Here is a list of the best places to see in Paros.
Best places in Paros
Among the different villages to visit on the island, Naoussa is probably the most popular. Originally an old Venetian port, Naoussa is probably one of the best-known parts of Paros and certainly one of the most picturesque.
While on Naoussa, a stroll along the alleys of the port is a must. Dining in one of the many tavernas that populate the waterfront area is something both locals and tourists seem to enjoy. Octopus hanging to dry, a glass of ouzo, and a chat with friends amount to a perfect evening in Paros.
Lefkes, located in the mountains, is a perfect option if one wants to spend a day away from the beach. Situated in a wonderful valley, the area is often a few degrees cooler than the seaside shores, offering a much-needed escape from the extreme summer heat.
Tavernas, traditional cafes (kafenion, in Greek), and the typical architecture of the place all make Lefkes into a postcard-worthy experience.
Before arriving at Lefkes, one may stop at the Marathi Marble Quarry, home to the well-known Parian marble. Several Greek sculptures have been crafted using this fine marble.
Parikia, the capital
Parikia, the capital of the island, is a lively center with an interesting nightlife for the younger—and not so young—visitor. Also known as Paros Town or simply Chora, it has about 3,000 inhabitants. This little town is the main center of Paros and is home to its main harbor, as well, serving many other islands.
Amphitheatrically built around the port, the city provides postcard-perfect examples of typical Cycladic architecture which incorporates whitewashed cubic houses and colorful windows and doors.
The windmill located at the entrance of the port is an island landmark.
This traditional settlement develops around the hill of Kastro (Castle), a site comprised of narrow alleyways that form a maze where getting lost is not a burden but a magnificent visual experience.
Churches abound in the area with the notable churches of Agia Eleni and the Panagia Septemvriani. The famous Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Our Lady of the Hundred Doors), also located in the area, is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece.
In Parikia, visitors can also explore the Archaeological Museum of Paros, home to a collection of various findings from the Neolithic and Roman periods.
Above Parikia, the Monastery of Agii Anargiri rewards visitors with stunning views of the sea.
Beaches of Paros
Amongst the most beautiful beaches on Paros, Santa Maria is the place to go for those keen on water sports, such as diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing. Due to its extension, it manages to maintain a quiet atmosphere and is not overcrowded.
For those into kite-surfing, Pounda is another good option. Rather lonely and relaxed, Pounda also offers excellent views of the nearby Antiparos, as well as several daily ferries that connect both islands.
Kolimbithres is another famous beach and is located in the bay of Naoussa, also known as Plastira Bay. Huge granite formations smoothly sculpted by the elements provide the impression of a lunar terrain.
Sandy bays and coves form small, natural sea pools where it is possible to spend the day sometimes in total privacy.
Golden Beach (or Chrissi Akti) is probably the loveliest beach on the island, The extensive sandy beach is quite well-known by windsurfers thanks to ideal winds in the area. In fact, every August, the beach hosts the Professional Windsurfing World Cup which sees the arrival of international windsurfing champions.
About twenty kilometers from the island’s capital of Parikia in the southern part of Paros is the beach of Logaras, a long, sandy beach containing bars, tavernas, and hotels. It is a favorite family destination.