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Paros:
A Cosmopolitan Destination

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Discover Paros

Paros is the third largest Cycladic Island and is situated in the centre of the Aegean, west of Naxos. Its capital and port, Parikia, is the oldest known settlement in the Cyclades.

A place that values simplicity and uncomplicated symmetry, it is characterised by gentle landscapes, low hills with picturesque white villages, countless churches, and sandy beaches.

It has been famed since antiquity as the home of the much sought-after Parian Marble, which inspired the creation of some of the greatest classical masterpieces of sculpture and architecture, from the Venus de Milo to the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Praxiteles’ Hermes.

Today, Paros is a cosmopolitan destination with high-quality tourist infrastructure and a vibrant nightlife, while it is also a water sports paradise for young people – and the young at heart!

Discover the island by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Paros.

7 memorable experiences on Paros
  1. Watching the sunset from the imposing Cave of Archilochus at the entrance to the port of Parikia.
  2. Getting to know the great winemaking tradition of Paros. Its vineyards have been producing fine wines since the era of the Cycladic civilisation, a tradition continued in the present day by the white Monemvasia and red Mandilaria varieties.
  3. Hiking along the legendary “Byzantine Way”, a thousand-year-old marble-paved path of 3.9 kilometres connecting the villages of Lefkes and Prodromos.
  4. Climbing up to the historic 16th-century Monastery of Saint Anthony to enjoy the panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding islands. It stands at the top of Kefalos Hill, an extinct volcano whose crater is located below the holy altar of the monastery.
  5. The Night of the Corsairs, a re-enactment of the looting of Naousa by pirates, held on 23rd August, when flares are let off and wine and seafood mezes are served.
  6. The Festival of Karavolas, which takes place at the end of August, in Lefkes. This is one of the biggest folk festivals in the Aegean, where the merrymaking goes on all night, the singing and dancing never end, and the wine keeps flowing. It celebrates the big snails (karavoli) that are served during the event.
  7. Easter in Marpissa. On Good Friday, an impressive Passion Play is performed in this picturesque village.
Beaches of Paros

Paros has many wonderful beaches to suit all tastes. Some are more tourist-oriented, with a wide range of amenities, while others are off the beaten track and provide greater seclusion. Apart from the outstanding Kolymbithres, it is also worth discovering:

  • Monastiri, with its shallow waters and golden sand, a particular favourite of by families.
  • Punda, with its water sports and uninhibited beach parties that appeal to young people.
  • The soft sand of the fashionable Golden Beach, an international paradise for surfers.
  • The exotic Laggeri, with its sand dunes and cedar trees, which is ideal for those seeking some privacy. It is also favoured by naturists.          
  • Santa Maria, for fun and games on a long stretch of sand.
  • The well-hidden Voutakos, with views of Antiparos, for lovers of tranquillity.
  • The sheltered Farangas, a tourist beach popular with families.
  • Kalogeros, with its rocks of loamy sand that you can use as a beauty mask!
Postcards from Paros: 10 things not to miss

The Church of Our Lady of the Hundred Gates
Known as the “Hagia Sophia of the Aegean” this magnificent 4th-century church in Parikia is one of Greece’s most important early Christian monuments and one of its largest sites of pilgrimage. According to tradition, it was built by the first emperor of Byzantium, Constantine the Great, whose mother, Saint Helen, had stopped here while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Its name derives from its many gates, one of which is hidden, while its 4th-century baptismal font is one of the oldest and best preserved in the Eastern Orthodox world.

Paros Archaeological Museum
Constructed in 1960 and featuring a rich collection of finds from excavations in Paros and Antiparos, this is one of the most important museums in Greece. Its exhibits date from the Neolithic to the early Christian period.

Butterfly Valley
Located in the Psychopania area, this is one of the country’s most important natural habitats. Visitors can see a dense forest of cypresses, plane trees, laurels, wild olives, and fruit trees, with running springs, which from May to July every summer is home to the beautiful Jersey Tiger Moth.

The Ancient Quarries
The famous Parian Marble was quarried outside the pretty village of Marathi, between Parikia and Lefkes. A tour of corridors and tunnels carved with the inscriptions of ancient artists is a highly atmospheric experience.

Lefkes
Situated on a pine-covered hillside in the mountains, Lefkes is one of the largest and grandest villages of Paros, with spectacular views of the east coast. A walk around its narrow, whitewashed streets with their distinctive Cycladic architecture and churches leaves an indelible impression. The main pedestrian street, called Ramnos, is lined with beautiful neoclassical buildings, and is overlooked by the arresting Church of the Holy Trinity (1835) at one end.

Kolymbithres
This beach resembles an outdoor geological park with granite rocks carved by time and the wind into various sculptural forms. The landscape is unique, with a succession of sheltered coves lapped by limpid waters in every shade of blue.

Parikia Castle
Built in 1260 by the Venetian Duke of Naxos, Marco Sanudo, this imposing fortress is located in the Old Market of Parikia and was constructed using parts of temples from the ancient city, so that marble columns and various geometrical patterns are breathtakingly incorporated into its walls. Inside are small chapels and the Church of Saint Constantine, an exceptional Byzantine monument with stunning sea views.

Naousa
This once quiet fishing village has developed into a cosmopolitan resort and the heart of the local nightlife. The brilliant white settlement with its narrow streets and Venetian architecture curves around an attractive harbour full of fishing boats. At night, the illuminated Venetian castle (Kastelli) at the edge of the harbour makes it a splendid setting.

Marpissa
One of the island’s most authentic villages, with a unique medieval atmosphere. The winding streets with their whitewashed arches, 16th- and 17th-century houses, and tiny scattered churches, are like something out of a fairy-tale. The four white windmills on the small central square, which date from the 18th century, are one of the most photographed sights on Paros.

Antiparos
A day trip to this dazzling white getaway with a cosmopolitan atmosphere just one nautical mile from Paros will be a memory to treasure. Its 15th-century Venetian castle and charming shops immediately catch the eye, while its interior boasts one of the world’s oldest and most extraordinary caves.

Tastes of Paros

If you choose one of the itineraries to Paros, don’t miss the opportunity to find out about its rich fishing tradition, as fans of fish and seafood will be in seventh heaven here. However, the local cuisine has plenty more to offer besides: try chickpeas baked in the oven in a clay pot, gouna (sun-dried salted fish), salatouri (a skate meze), snails with skordalia (garlic dip), kalfa (a kind of large thick asparagus), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), snails cooked either yiahni (in a stew with onions and fresh tomatoes) or with myrmitzeli (handmade orzo), cod with chard or spinach, rabbit stew, and lamb patudo (stuffed with herbs).

MAP OF PAROS
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