Are you dreaming of a Greek island getaway that offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches, charming villages, ancient landmarks, and mouthwatering Greek cuisine? Look no further than the Cyclades Islands, where the island of Paros, Greece, beckons with its serene beauty. Paros Island in Greece, also known as the Greek island Paros or Paros Greek island, is a hidden gem nestled in the Aegean Sea. Whether you’re wondering ‘where is Paros, Greece?’ or already planning your journey, this idyllic destination promises an unforgettable escape.
Located in the heart of the Kiklad Adaları, Paros is the third-largest island in the archipelago and is known for its authentic Greek charm and picturesque landscapes.
This comprehensive Paros travel guide will take you through everything you need to know before visiting Paros Island, from the top attractions Paros has to offer and activities in Paros to the best places to stay in Paros and how to navigate the island with ease. Discover how to get to Paros, Greece, explore the island’s transportation options, and consult a Paros map to plan your itinerary. Whether you’re arriving via Paros port or another entry point, you’re in for an exceptional adventure.
Introduction to Paros Island
Location and Access
Paros Island is nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea and belongs to the Cyclades archipelago. It is conveniently located approximately 165 km from Athens, making it easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers. While Paros does not have an international airport, there is a domestic airport on the island, offering daily flights from Athens. Alternatively, visitors can fly to Athens and then take a ferry to Paros, which is a popular option for island-hopping adventures in the Cyclades.
A Brief History of Paros
Paros Island has a rich and storied history dating back to ancient times. It has been a thriving commercial and cultural hub since antiquity, known for its strategic location, rich resources, and exquisite Parian marble. The island flourished during the Archaic period, attracting artisans and merchants from across ancient Europe. Paros has witnessed the rise and fall of different empires, including the Greco-Persian wars, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. Today, Paros remains under Greek rule and is cherished for its historical significance and natural beauty.
Where is Paros
Paros is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 kilometres (5 miles) wide. It lies approximately 150 km (93 miles) south-east of Piraeus.
This section proposes a map of Paros with all the major locations of the island.
Paros has year round daily ferry connections from Pireaus and is on the same ferry route with Santorini and Naxos which makes it the most logical island to visit with those islands. In the summer there are daily connections with most of the other Cyclades Islands as well as Crete.
Exploring Paros Island
One of the highlights of visiting Paros Island is exploring its charming villages, each with its unique character and architectural beauty. The capital and main harbor of the island is Parikia, where you can find a bustling atmosphere, traditional taverns, and the impressive Frankish Castle. Naoussa, located on the northern side of Paros, is a picturesque harbor town famous for its Venetian architecture and vibrant nightlife. For a taste of authentic village life, Lefkes, the old capital of Paros, offers tranquil streets, traditional houses, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Paros Island is renowned for its pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for beach lovers. Whether you prefer sandy stretches or secluded coves, Paros has a beach for every preference. Golden Beach and New Golden Beach are popular among windsurfing enthusiasts, thanks to the ideal wind conditions. If you’re looking for family-friendly beaches, head to Pounda or Santa Maria, where you can relax and soak up the sun. Kolymbithres Beach is famous for its unique rock formations, creating a stunning backdrop for sunbathing and swimming.
Paros Island is steeped in history, and there are several ancient landmarks that showcase its rich heritage. One must-visit site is the Panagia Ekatontapiliani, a Byzantine church in Parikia that dates back to the 4th century. Its intricate architecture and religious significance make it a must-see attraction. Another notable landmark is the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, which features Parian marble and is a testament to the island’s craftsmanship. Exploring these ancient sites will transport you back in time and give you a glimpse into the island’s illustrious past.
In addition to its cultural and historical attractions, Paros Island offers plenty of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Hiking and trekking trails crisscross the island, allowing you to explore its rugged landscapes and enjoy breathtaking views. Horse riding tours offer a unique perspective of the island, taking you through scenic countryside and picturesque villages. For those seeking adrenaline, Paros is a haven for water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, thanks to its ideal wind conditions. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Paros has something to offer.
Experiencing Paros Island
No visit to Paros Island would be complete without indulging in the delectable local cuisine. The island’s proximity to the sea ensures a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes, including grilled octopus, stuffed calamari, and fried anchovies. Don’t miss the chance to try Parian cheeses, such as kopanisti and xinotyro, known for their distinct flavors. The island is also famous for its fava dip, a creamy spread made from yellow split peas, and traditional dishes like revithada, a chickpea stew. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine and savor the flavors of Paros.
Nightlife and Entertainment
When the sun sets, Paros comes alive with its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options. Naoussa is the go-to destination for those seeking a lively atmosphere, with its array of bars, cafés, and fish taverns lining the waterfront. Parikia also offers a variety of nightlife venues, from trendy cocktail bars to traditional Greek music taverns. Whether you’re in the mood for dancing the night away or enjoying a relaxed evening with friends, Paros has a nightlife scene to suit all tastes.
Shopping and Local Products
Paros Island is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of local products and handicrafts. Wander through the narrow streets of Parikia and Naoussa, and you’ll find boutique shops selling handmade jewelry, ceramics, and textiles. Don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs made from Parian marble, such as statues, vases, or even jewelry. The island is also known for its agricultural products, including honey, olive oil, and wines. Exploring the local markets and shops is a great way to support local artisans and take home a piece of Paros.
Festivals and Events
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Paros by attending one of its lively festivals and events. The island hosts various cultural and religious celebrations throughout the year, offering a glimpse into local traditions and customs. The Feast of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, held in August, is one of the most important religious festivals on the island, featuring processions, live music, and traditional dances. The Paros Jazz Festival, held annually in July, attracts jazz enthusiasts from around the world. Check the local event calendar to see if there are any festivals or events happening during your visit to Paros.
How to get to Paros
Travel to Paros, Greece: With regular and daily connections, it is very easy to travel to Paros from Athens by ferry or plane. There are also many ferry connections between Paros and other islands, while in summer season Paros receives many direct flights from abroad. Here is travel information about the airport, flights, and ferries.
Ferries to Paros
You can travel to Paros by ferry from many different islands of the Aegean sea. To begin with, there is a regular ferry connection between Paros and Athens ports. Ferries depart from both Rafina and Piraeus ports. Rafina port is located closer to Athens’ airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, while Piraeus port is spotted closer to the city center. In each case, the trip lasts from 4 to 6 hours depending on whether your ferry is a normal one or a high speed. Paros is connected with many islands of the Cyclades, too, like Santorini, Mikonos, Naxos, Syros and more. During summer, the island is also connected with Heraklion port in Girit.
Flights to Paros
Getting Around Paros Island
Renting a car is a convenient way to explore Paros Island at your own pace and discover its hidden gems. Several car rental companies operate on the island, offering a variety of vehicle options to suit your needs. With a car, you can easily visit different villages, beaches, and attractions, and venture off the beaten path. It’s important to note that the road signs on Paros are in Greek, so having a GPS or a reliable map is recommended. Parking is available in most towns and at popular beaches, although it can be limited during peak season.
Paros Island has a reliable public transportation system, making it easy to get around without a car. The KTEL bus network connects major towns and villages on the island, offering regular services throughout the day. Buses are an affordable option, and the routes cover most popular destinations, including beaches and tourist attractions. Timetables and route maps are available at bus stations and online. It’s important to check the bus schedules in advance, especially during the off-peak season when the frequency of services may be reduced.
For a fun and adventurous way to explore Paros Island, consider renting a scooter or an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). Scooters and ATVs are popular modes of transportation among tourists, allowing for easy maneuverability and access to narrow streets and beachfront areas. Many rental companies offer scooters and ATVs for hire, and they can be a cost-effective option for short-distance trips. However, it’s essential to adhere to traffic rules and wear appropriate safety gear while riding.
Best Time to Visit Paros
Weather and Climate
Paros Island enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and hot summers. The best time to visit Paros depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to engage in. May and September offer pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and lower accommodation rates, making them ideal for those seeking a quieter experience. The summer months of June, July, and August are the peak tourist season, with higher temperatures and a buzzing atmosphere. If you’re a beach lover and enjoy the vibrant energy of peak season, summer is the perfect time to visit Paros.
Peak and Off-Peak Seasons
The peak season in Paros Island typically runs from June to August, coinciding with the summer months and school holidays. During this time, the island experiences an influx of tourists, and popular attractions and beaches can get crowded. Accommodation rates and flight prices tend to be higher during the peak season. If you prefer a more relaxed and peaceful experience, consider visiting Paros during the off-peak seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy the island’s beauty without the crowds.
Things to do in Paros
Let’s explore the best things to do in Paros!
Paros Cyclades is among the most popular islands in Greece, attracting thousands of visitors every yaz. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, the traditional architecture, and the fun nightlife. The most important sightseeing in Paros is the Byzantine Monastery of Ekatontapiliani, meaning the church with the hundred doors. Many other monasteries are found around the island, such as the Monastery of Logovarda. However, Paros is mostly famous for its stunning beaches and the Cycladic villages. Naoussa, Lefkes, ve Parikia are the most picturesque villages in Paros, while the most popular beaches to swim include Kolymbithres, Golden Beach, New Golden Beach, and Santa Maria.
- Panagia Ekatontapiliani: In the capital is an early-Christian wonder, the Panagia Ekatontapiliani church founded by St Helen 1,700 years ago.
- Frankish Castle: The Castle of Parikia was constructed in 1260 by the Venetians. Parts of ancient temples were used for its construction. Today, this is a picturesque quarter in Parikia.
- Byzantine Museum: Housed in the Church of Ekatontapiliani, the Byzantine Museum of Parikia exhibits a collection of rare and valuable icons, various religious relics and other ecclesiastical items dating from the post-Byzantine period.
- Naoussa Old Port: Easily the most beautiful feature of Naoussa in the north of Paros is its sweet little rectangular harbour guarded by the Venetian fort, which we’ll talk about below.
- Marcello Beach: Ten minutes around the bay from Parikia is what most people agree is the best beach on the island.
- Kolymbithres Beach: Ten minutes from Naoussa, this beach is actually a string of sandy coves, all separated by surreal granite rocks that also litter the water around the bay.
- Paros Park: The Ai-Yannis Detis Peninsula in the north of Paros has been turned into a culture and recreation park.
- Naoussa Venetian Castle: This town was a pivotal commercial port in Venetian times, and as a response to the growing threat from the Ottoman Empire the lord of the island Crusino I Sommaripa built a fort to guard the harbour.
- Archaeological Museum of Paros: Given the island’s distinguished history a visit to the Archaeological Museum should be high on your agenda if you’re interested in Ancient Greece.
- Faragas Beach: The quiet south coast of Paros is windy and heavily indented, with small coves in between the rugged headlands.
- Moraitis Winery: Winemaking has a tradition on Paros that dates back at least 5,000 years to the Cycladic era.
- Golden Beach: Awarded the Blue Flag year in, year out, Golden Beach is an aptly named sandy bay in the southeast of Paros.
- Museum of Cycladic Folklore: On the edge of the southern town of Aliki is a quirky private museum that is all the work of a single man, Benettos Skiados.
- Valley of Butterflies: This valley is located near the Monastery of Jesus of the Woods. In hot months, butterflies go there to reproduce. Such a natural reserve is found only in two places in Greece, Paros and Rhodes.
- Mycenaean Acropolis: On a hill overlooking Kolimbithres, remains of an old Mycenaen town have been found. According to scientists, the Acropolis was built in the 13th century BC.
Where to eat and drink in Paros
There are many places to eat and drink in Paros, this popular island of the Aegean Sea. Restaurants and taverns are found almost anywhere around the island. The majority of restaurants are found in Parikia and Naoussa, the two main towns. Many taverns are also found in villages and beaches, from Santa Maria and Ambelas on the north to Alyki, Drios, Logaras and Golden Beach on the south.
As Paros is famous for its vivid nightlife, there are many bars and clubs for a night drink. Bars and beach bars are found in many tourist places, while most clubs are found at the beach promenades of Parikia and Naoussa. A walk around the villages will also bring visitors to many cozy cafes. The most picturesque cafe in Paros is found in the beautiful village of Lefkes.
Best Restaurants in Paros
Most Paros restaurants are nice fish taverns and places with traditional Greek dishes. A large number of beachfront Paros’ restaurants are found in the villages Parikia, Naoussa, Aliki, Logaras, and Ambelas as well as along the beaches. All organized beaches in Paros have nice taverns with sea view and offer fresh seafood. As this is a cosmopolitan island, many restaurants in Paros also have international cuisine, like Thailand, Chinese or Italian. To accompany your meal try the local house wine, as Paros is a famous wine-producing island.
- Soso Restaurant, Naoussa
- Barbarossa Restaurant, Naoussa
- Buon Vento, Marpissa
- Magaya Restaurant, Parikia
- Ouzeri Ton Naftikon, Naoussa
- Siparos Restaurant, Naoussa
- The Little Green Rocket, Parikia
- Yemeni Restaurant, Naoussa
- Anna’s Restaurant, Drios
- Aroma Traditional Tavern, Parikia
Best Bars in Paros
Paros has become a very active island in the last years, so it has plenty of night entertainment options. Boasting an exciting nightlife with many drinking and dancing venues, it attracts tourists from all over the world, who wish to have fun, while enjoying Greek hospitality and a spectacular landscape.
- Linardo, Naoussa
- Agosta Bar, Naoussa
- BeBop, Parikia
- Golden Garden Bar, Golden Beach
- Pirate Bar, Parikia
- Pounda Beach Club, Pounda
- The Dubliner Irish Bar, Parikia
- Cabana Bar, Parikia
- Kiaola Bar, Parikia
- Nemo bar, Naoussa
Villages in Paros
The villages of Paros stand out for their traditional atmosphere with the whitewashed houses, the paved streets, and the small churches. Parikia and Naoussa are the most tourist villages, but also beautiful are other villages on the island of Paros, such as Lefkes, Marpissa, and Prodromos.
Paros has some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Greece. Paros beaches are characterized by their crystal water and relaxing atmosphere, attracting many visitors every summer. Some beaches are organized and lined up with seaside hotels, restaurants and beach bars, while others are secluded. The most famous one is Kolympithres beach, characterized byneautiful blocks of granite. An other famous one is Santa Maria beach, characterized by its lenght and the beautiful sand. The beaches on the eastern side, particularly Golden Beach and New Golden Beach, provide nice spots for windsurfing while Pounda area is worldwide famous for kitesurfing. Do not confuse it with Pounda beach which is famous as a party beach.
You will find below a list of the best beaches in Paros island.
Best Beaches on Paros
- Kolymbithres: Just a short boat or car ride from Naoussa with crystal clear waters. You do not want to miss this one!
- Golden Beach: Blue flag beach ideal for water sports due the strong winds on that side of the island.
- Punda Beach: Daily beach parties can be found here; ideal for young adults looking to have fun.
- Monastiraki Beach: A small secluded beach that can be reached by boat or car from Naoussa. I recommend climbing over the hill to reach the beach behind the old church. The waters are cleaner than the crowded beach in front of the restaurant.
- Santa Maria: An organized sandy beach close to Naoussa. Ideal for families or watersports.
- Other nice beaches include: Logaras, New Golden Beach, Farangas and Ambelas.
Where to stay in Paros
You will find below our selection with the best hotels on Paros island! Want to see more? View all hotels in Paros.
Naoussa is a charming harbor town on the northern side of Paros and is a popular choice for visitors seeking a vibrant atmosphere and stunning views. The town is known for its picturesque alleys, traditional Cycladic architecture, and colorful fishing boats. Naoussa offers a wide range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to cozy guesthouses. Many hotels in Naoussa boast fantastic sea views and proximity to the town’s lively nightlife scene. Staying in Naoussa allows easy access to beautiful beaches, such as Kolymbithres and Santa Maria.
Recommended hotels in Naoussa
- Budget hotel : Irini Rooms
- Mid-range hotel : Paliomylos Spa Hotel
- Luxury hotel: Lilly Residence Boutique Hotel ( adults only)
View all hotels in Naoussa Paros!
Parikia, the capital of Paros, is a bustling town with a rich history and a vibrant atmosphere. It offers a mix of traditional charm and modern amenities, making it a convenient base for exploring the island. Parikia is home to the island’s main port, making it easily accessible for travelers arriving by ferry. The town offers a variety of accommodation options, including budget-friendly hotels, luxury resorts, and charming guesthouses. Parikia’s central location allows for easy exploration of the island’s attractions and provides a vibrant dining and shopping scene.
Recommended hotels in Parikia
- Budget hotel : Livadia Hotel
- Mid-range hotel : Akrotiri Hotel
- Luxury hotel: Minois Village Boutique villas and spa
View all hotels in Parikia Paros!
Other Accommodation Options
Apart from Naoussa and Parikia, there are several other areas on Paros Island where you can find excellent accommodation options. The popular beach resort of Golden Beach is ideal for those seeking a beachfront stay, with a range of hotels and resorts offering direct access to the sandy shores. Piso Livadi, located on the eastern coast of Paros, offers a tranquil setting and a selection of charming guesthouses and apartments. Additionally, the village of Lefkes, nestled in the mountains of Paros, provides a serene escape and a chance to experience rural island life.
Tips for a Smooth Trip to Paros
Currency and Payments
The official currency in Greece is the Euro (EUR). ATMs are widely available on Paros Island, especially in Parikia and Naoussa, allowing you to withdraw cash as needed. Credit cards are widely accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. It’s always a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases and in case you encounter establishments that only accept cash. Currency exchange services are also available at banks and exchange offices in Parikia and other major towns.
Paros Island is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, it’s always advisable to take standard safety precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Keep your valuables secure and be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. It’s also essential to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan to engage in water sports or outdoor activities, follow safety guidelines and consider taking lessons from certified instructors.
Local Customs and Etiquette
When visiting Paros Island, it’s important to respect the local customs and etiquette. Greeks are known for their warm hospitality, and it’s customary to greet people with a friendly “Yasou” (hello) or “Kalimera” (good morning). Dress modestly when visiting churches or religious sites, covering your shoulders and knees. It’s also polite to ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, especially in more remote villages. Lastly, make an effort to learn a few basic Greek phrases, such as “Efharisto” (thank you), to show appreciation for the local culture.
For more detailed information about Paros Island, including its history, geography, architecture, museums, and local products, refer to the official tourism websites and guidebooks. These resources provide comprehensive insights into the island’s unique features and help you plan your itinerary accordingly. Additionally, consider joining online travel forums or social media groups dedicated to Paros Island, where you can connect with fellow travelers, ask questions, and share experiences. The firsthand knowledge and recommendations from other visitors can enhance your trip to Paros.
Paros Island in Greece is a hidden gem in the Cyclades archipelago, offering a delightful mix of natural beauty, rich history, and authentic Greek charm. From its stunning beaches and picturesque villages to its ancient landmarks and mouthwatering cuisine, Paros has something to captivate every traveler. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, this enchanting island will exceed your expectations. Plan your visit to Paros Island, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this idyllic Greek paradise.
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