Right in the heart of the Cyclades, Paros is an Aegean island famous for its great beaches, watersports and the vibe of its main town. But it’s also got another side you’ll love to discover, blending style and tradition in an irresistible way. And just a 10-minute boat trip away, is its perfect little brother, Antiparos.
Feeling the vibe of Parikia
Sugar-cubed houses with colourful doors and balconies, cobblestoned alleyways and the scent of jasmine. The main town and port of Paros captures all the magic of the Cyclades, but it also has an atmosphere of its very own. After being greeted by the windmill in the port, you’ll be seduced by the Cycladic architecture, especially up in the Castle district. Look for the church of Panagia Ekatondapyliani (a hundred doors) and the Archaeological Museum. And on an island famous for its swagger, pop into the lively cafes and bars as well as the gorgeous boutiques.
Strolling around the fishing village of Naoussa
You could spend hours exploring the narrow alleyways of Naoussa. On the one hand, it’s a charming little fishing village, with taverna tables piled high with delicious dishes. But you’ll also find stylish art galleries and elegant shops. There are the remnants of a Venetian Castle in the port and a Folk Museum to visit. Until evening falls and the cafes and bars come alive and another mood takes over.
Spending the day at Kolymbithres beach
Just across the bay from Naoussa, accessible by road or boat, is perhaps Paros’ most iconic beach. Kolymbithres is a series of sandy coves but the area is best known for its smooth granite rock formations.
Sculpted into incredible shapes by the wind and sea, they wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art gallery. But even they can’t keep your attention for long once you set eyes on the crystal-clear, shallow water. There are several tavernas and beach bars nearby. Completing the scene is the magical view of the island of Agia Kali, just opposite.
Legendary watersports and more signature beaches
Paros has been synonymous with watersports for decades, with windsurfing aficionados considering it one of the best in the world for their sport. And not just windsurfing… kitesurfing, kiteboarding, jet skiing, scuba diving and more sedate activities such as kayaking are available at many beaches. The best known are Golden (Chrysi) and New Golden beach, Pounda (where the Windsurfing World Cup is held each year) and Santa Maria. And don’t think you need to be an expert, with equipment and certified trainers widely available for all levels.
Dining by the sea and Parian wine
From all the fishing boats in Parikia and Naoussa, you’ll have guessed that seafood is king on Paros, whether you’re in a traditional taverna or being given the white tablecloth treatment as the sun sets over the Aegean. Chargrilled octopus, stuffed squid, gouna (sundried mackerel served with lemon) and much more await. Other favourites are the cheeses (spicy graviera, aromatic krasotiri and smooth myzithra), pulses, mushrooms, snails and homemade pies. And make time to visit a local winery to learn more about Paros’ excellent wines and local grape varieties such as Mandilaria.
Parian charm revealed in the villages
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in everything authentic and traditional about Paros than exploring its villages. Lefkes, right in the heart of the island, was the original capital, with neoclassical houses, peaceful alleyways, flower-filled courtyards and panoramic views.
Exploring the countryside in Paros Park
Your next excursion takes you to Paros Park, a local initiative that has turned 800 acres of the Ai Giannis Detis peninsula into an environmentally protected area. There are three well-marked walking paths that allow you to enjoy the peace and tranquility and a side of Paros you probably weren’t expecting. Along the way, you can visit the pre-Byzantine Monastery of Ai Giannis Detis and the 19th-century lighthouse of Korakas.
Discover Antiparos, a celebrity getaway
The last item on your bucket list isn’t on Paros at all. Antiparos is Paros’ little brother, just 10 minutes by boat from the little port of Pounta, with fantastic beaches, great places to eat and a stylish main town of its own. You can take a day-trip here at any time of year or spend the night to soak up the special nighttime atmosphere… and feel everything you love about Paros but with even more privacy. You’ll quickly understand why Antiparos has become a celebrity hideaway.
Experience Paros island
Great vibe or Cycladic traditions? Or both? Paros can be whatever you want it to be… especially if you visit in quieter times of the year (May-June or September-early October) when the experience will be even more personal.