Paros is famous among windsurfing aficionados as one of the best windsurfing spots in Europe. It also boasts beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters.
Take a walking tour of Lefkes, the most famous mountainous village in Paros. Wander its quaint alleyways to soak in the serenity and traditional color charm!
1. Visit The Dubliner – Irish Bar
Paros has a fantastic restaurant scene that is a must-do activity for any visitor. You’ll find everything from fancy cocktail bars to local tavernas in the capital town of Parikia and all the way down to the smaller villages of Naousa, Piso Livadi, and Chrissi Akti. Be sure to check out some of the excellent restaurants in the city including the charcuterie at Mira, pizza at Cuore Rosso, or the seafood dishes at Stou Fred.
Another great option is to visit one of the island’s wineries such as the Moraitis winery that can be found near Agioi Anargyroi Beach in the village of Naousa. Here you can learn all about the traditional winemaking techniques that have been used by the family for generations and try some of their delicious wines.
In the evening be sure to head to one of the many fantastic sunset bars such as Bebop or Mira. You’ll have a wonderful view and enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the sun slowly disappear over the horizon. There are plenty of great tavernas in the city as well such as the popular Bountaraki which offers some of the best sea bream and watermelon salads on the island.
One of the most unique things to do in Paros is to visit one of its incredible monasteries such as the St. Antonios Monastery located on top of Kefalos Hill. This monastery was founded in 1597 and is one of the most distinctive religious sites on the island. It is open for tours throughout the day and the views from the monastery are absolutely breathtaking.
If you have some extra time on your hands then it’s also worth taking a trip to the nearby beach of Parasporos. This beach is known for its emerald waters and soft golden sands and it’s a great place to relax for the day or even take a dip in the water. Make sure to get here early to avoid the crowds though as this is a very popular beach!
Another great thing to do in Paros is to visit a small fishing village such as the picturesque village of Naousa. This quaint little village is one of the most beautiful in the entire country and it’s definitely worth a visit. There are a number of great tavernas here as well as some excellent hotels and cocktail bars that offer superb sunset views.
2. Visit Butterflies Valley
If you want to experience some of Paros’ most unique culture, then you must visit the Valley of Butterflies (Petaloudes). This verdant oasis is about 10 kilometres south of Paros. It’s home to a unique ecosystem which includes oleasters, figs, prunus trees and a variety of other plants. It also provides a habitat for the rare Jersey Tiger Moth butterflies. Visitors to the Valley are encouraged to be silent so as not to disturb the butterflies, which hide in clumps of leaves or tucked in brambles. They appear in June and then ‘disappear’ in August to save their energy for mating.
The Valley of Butterflies is a highlight for many visiting Paros and it’s a popular spot for families with children. However, it’s important to visit this attraction early in the day so that you can avoid the crowds of people.
You can also spend time exploring the charming mountain village of Lefkes, which is located just over 11 km (6.8 miles) from Paros. This is a beautiful area that was once the capital of Paros and it features stunning traditional Cycladic architecture. It’s also home to the Church of Agia Triada, which is one of the most impressive churches on the island.
Other highlights of a trip to Lefkes include checking out the small but lovely boutique shops and tavernas in the town centre. Plus, there are several interesting museums and galleries to explore.
Another great activity to enjoy on Paros is taking a hike along the network of trails that run throughout the mountainous areas of the island. These trails start right next to two of the most beautiful beaches on the island, making them a perfect way to get some exercise and soak up the stunning scenery.
If you’re looking for more of a laid-back activity then consider heading to a pottery or ceramic studio. For example, Yria in Parikia or Atelier Noe in the village of Aspro Chorio are both great options for families. Here, kids can learn how to make their own pottery and then paint it later on.
3. Visit Panagia Ekatontapiliani
Floating in the sea, this church is one of the most important landmarks on Paros island. The church is said to contain the Holy Relics of the Virgin Mary and has a history dating back more than 1000 years. It is the most sacred place for the locals and a visit to the church is considered to be an essential thing to do on Paros. The church has an amalgamation of Paleochristian and Byzantine elements. The church has a lot of marble structures that are taken from old temples on the island. Hence it is named as Ekatontapiliani, which means the church with a hundred doors.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the feta-cubed villages, sun-drenched hilltop towns, pretty laneways made for slow meanders, endless golden beaches and hidden coves, and lazy days and long nights filled with delicious food and booze in Paros. But once you venture further afield from the main port, there are a wealth of adventures waiting for you.
The ferries leave multiple times a day for Santorini and most of them also stop at other islands like Naxos and Ios, so taking a day trip to other islands is something that should be on your to-do list!
Another way to see more of the island is by renting a scooter or bicycle. It’s easy enough to do and there are plenty of places that offer rental services. You can choose from different models and prices depending on your needs. You can find some of the best places to rent a scooter on this website.
If you are looking for something more cultural, make sure to check out the Paros Archaeological Museum. It is a huge collection of artifacts from the Neolithic era to the Byzantine period. Some of the highlights include a 6th-century B.C. marble Gorgon statue and the oldest Greek statue of a seated figure.
Lastly, no trip to Paros is complete without watching the sunset. It’s almost ritualistic to stop and watch the beautiful light bathe everything, be it the sea, the town, or the mountains, in golden light.
4. Watch the Sunset
One of the most magical things to do in Paros is to watch the sunset at one of the many stunning beaches or classy cocktail bars. Many of these have uninterrupted views of the awe-inspiring cycladic sunset, which is a highlight that should not be missed. This is a very popular activity, so we recommend booking in advance.
The best time to watch the sunset is during the shoulder season between May and October. This is when the weather is still warm and sunny, but not so hot and crowded. Plus, you’ll be helping to reduce the environmental impact of the peak tourist season by visiting during this period.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants throughout Paros that champion local produce and dishes, but some of our favourites include Mario on the harbour in Naoussa (get the clay pot chickpeas), Tsakpini for Greek food that is authentic and delicious, and Mediterraneo for incredible sunsets and white tablecloth service.
We also highly recommend walking the Byzantine Road which is an ancient trail that was constructed during the Byzantine era. This trail stretches between the villages of Lefkes and Prodromos and is an amazing way to see a different side of Paros.
The other main thing to do on Paros is to visit the storied Church of Ekatontapiliani, which is known as the ‘Church of 100 Doors’. It is said that St Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, stopped at this church on her journey to the Holy Land and vowed to build a basilica here if she found the True Cross. The fabled relic is now housed in the beautiful stone church.
Kolympetheres is one of the most famous beaches on Paros and is a must-see for anyone who is visiting the island. The beach is incredibly pretty with pristine golden sand and vivid turquoise waters. The rock formations and cliffs make this a very unique beach to visit. It’s also a very popular place for water sports as there are lots of facilities to rent equipment. You can also try your hand at scuba diving here too!