Paros Island, located in the heart of the Aegean Sea, is one of the most beloved destinations in the Cyclades archipelago. Known for its picturesque villages, golden beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, Paros offers something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top tourist sites, best beaches, restaurants, and places to stay on the island, as well as ferry services to other popular destinations.
Top Tourist Sites
Paros Island boasts an impressive array of tourist sites, from ancient monuments to medieval fortresses and traditional villages. Here are three must-see destinations that you should add to your itinerary:
- Parikia Town
The capital and main port of Paros, Parikia Town, is a charming labyrinth of narrow alleys, white-washed houses, and blue-domed churches. One of the most significant landmarks of the town is the Panagia Ekatontapiliani, also known as the Church of 100 Doors. This 4th-century church is considered one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece, and its intricate architecture and stunning mosaics are a sight to behold.
Another highlight of Parikia Town is the Venetian Castle, also known as Kastro. Built in the 13th century, this imposing fortress offers panoramic views of the town and the sea. You can also visit the Archaeological Museum of Paros, which houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts, including pottery, sculptures, and jewelry.
- Naoussa Village
Located on the northern coast of Paros, Naoussa Village is a postcard-perfect fishing port with a vibrant nightlife and a plethora of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The village is dominated by the Venetian Castle, which dates back to the 15th century and served as a defensive stronghold against pirate attacks.
Another must-see attraction in Naoussa is the Church of Agios Nikolaos, a stunning whitewashed church with a blue dome that stands out against the azure sea. You can also explore the quaint alleys of the village, which are lined with traditional houses, flower-filled courtyards, and hidden cafes.
- Lefkes Village
Nestled in the heart of Paros Island, Lefkes Village is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the island’s rich history and culture. This traditional settlement boasts a network of narrow streets, stone houses, and arched passageways that lead to quaint squares and hidden gardens.
One of the main attractions of Lefkes Village is the Folklore Museum, which showcases the island’s traditional costumes, tools, and crafts. You can also visit the Agia Triada Church, a 19th-century church with a stunning marble altar and a bell tower that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Paros Island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and idyllic coves. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot to relax or a lively beach with water sports and beach bars, Paros has plenty to offer. Here are three of the best beaches on Paros:
- Golden Beach
Located on the southeastern coast of Paros, Golden Beach is a long stretch of golden sand that offers a wide range of water sports activities, including windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddleboarding. The beach is also home to several beach bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy refreshing cocktails and delicious seafood while soaking up the sun.
- Santa Maria Beach
Located on the northern coast of Paros, Santa Maria Beach is a family-friendly beach with crystal-clear waters, soft sand, and a relaxed atmosphere. The beach is divided into two bays, each with its own character. The first bay offers sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as a beach bar that serves refreshing drinks and snacks. The second bay is quieter and more secluded, ideal for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful swim.
- Kolymbithres Beach
Located on the northwestern coast of Paros, Kolymbithres Beach is a unique and stunning beach that features a series of granite rock formations that have been eroded over time by the sea and wind, creating natural pools and sculptures. The beach is also known for its crystal-clear waters and soft sand, making it a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. There are several beach bars and restaurants in the area, as well as water sports facilities.
Paros Island is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and tavernas that serve traditional Greek cuisine, fresh seafood, and international dishes. Here are three of the best restaurants on the island:
- Barbarossa Restaurant
Located in Naoussa Village, Barbarossa Restaurant is a popular spot that offers stunning sea views and a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant serves a wide range of seafood dishes, including grilled octopus, fresh fish, and lobster spaghetti, as well as traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka and souvlaki.
- Siparos Restaurant
Located in the heart of Parikia Town, Siparos Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers a sophisticated dining experience. The restaurant serves contemporary Greek cuisine with a creative twist, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes include the octopus carpaccio, the sea urchin risotto, and the lamb shank with fava puree.
- To Ouzeri Restaurant
Located in Lefkes Village, To Ouzeri Restaurant is a traditional taverna that offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant serves a wide range of Greek meze dishes, including tzatziki, fava, stuffed vine leaves, and grilled sardines. You can also try the local wine and the homemade raki, a traditional Greek spirit.
Best Places to Stay
Paros Island offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and apartments. Here are three of the best places to stay on the island:
- Parilio Hotel
Located in Naoussa Village, Parilio Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel that offers stunning sea views, elegant design, and impeccable service. The hotel features 33 spacious rooms and suites, a swimming pool, a spa, and a restaurant that serves creative Greek cuisine.
- Saint Andrea Resort Hotel
Located on the southeastern coast of Paros, Saint Andrea Resort Hotel is a stylish and contemporary hotel that offers direct access to the beach and stunning sea views. The hotel features 56 rooms and suites, a swimming pool, a spa, and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine.
- Rooms and Apartments Studios Anna
Located in the heart of Parikia Town, Rooms and Apartments Studios Anna is a budget-friendly option that offers comfortable and clean accommodation. The property features 12 rooms and apartments with a kitchenette, a balcony or a patio, and free Wi-Fi. The property is located within walking distance from the port, the beach, and the main attractions of the town.
Ferry Services to Other Islands
Paros Island is well connected to other popular destinations in the Cyclades archipelago, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, and Ios. There are several ferry services that operate daily from the port of Parikia, as well as from the port of Naoussa during the summer months. Some
of the most popular ferry companies include Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, SeaJets, and Golden Star Ferries. The travel time and ticket prices vary depending on the destination and the ferry company, but it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during the high season.
Here are some of the most popular ferry routes from Paros Island:
- Paros to Mykonos
Mykonos is one of the most popular destinations in the Cyclades, known for its vibrant nightlife, picturesque architecture, and stunning beaches. The ferry ride from Paros to Mykonos takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the ferry company and the type of vessel.
- Paros to Santorini
Santorini is a world-famous destination that is known for its dramatic landscape, stunning sunsets, and unique architecture. The ferry ride from Paros to Santorini takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the ferry company and the type of vessel.
- Paros to Naxos
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago, known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque villages. The ferry ride from Paros to Naxos takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the ferry company and the type of vessel.
- Paros to Ios
Ios is a popular destination among young travelers, known for its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and affordable prices. The ferry ride from Paros to Ios takes around 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the ferry company and the type of vessel.
Paros Island is a must-visit destination in the Cyclades archipelago, offering a perfect balance of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern amenities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventurous outdoor experience, or a culinary journey, Paros Island has something to offer for every taste and budget. Don’t forget to visit the main tourist sites, such as the Parikia Old Town, the Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church, and the Frankish Castle, and to try the local delicacies, such as the fresh seafood, the traditional cheese, and the sweet wine.