What to see in Greece

Paros

Tourist attractions Paros

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Paros is part of the Cyclades island group and is one of the most popular and elegant vacation spots in the Greek islands. Whilst Mykonos might have the nightlife and Santorini might boast dramatic scenery, Paros offers the best of both worlds, and with fewer crowds. Retaining much of its undiscovered charms, if you travel to Paros you’ll find hidden hillside villages, undeveloped beaches and authentic Greek cuisine. On the other hand, its upmarket boutiques and crisp white architecture give the island something of an exclusive feel. In truth, there’s something for everyone on this Greek island, and a trip to Paros is sure to deliver a truly memorable vacation experience!

Historically, the island was famed for its fine white marble, used to craft some of the most exceptional sculptures in the Ancient Greek world. Nowadays, you can still find a number of long-abandoned marble quarries across the island. The landscape of Paros is also dotted with characteristic Cyclades-style windmills, a relic of the island’s agricultural past. 

The capital city of Parikia can be found on the northwest coast and its busy port is an important transport hub connecting Paros with other islands and with the Greek mainland. In fact, ferries connect the island to the Greek capital in 3-4.5 hours, depending on the route, making travelling from Athens to Paros delightfully simple! Furthermore, the island’s airport offers even greater ease of accessibility.

Some of the most popular places to stay on Paros include the capital of Parikia, trendy Naoussa, the mountain village of Lefkes and the historic villages of Kephalos. The best time to travel to Paros is between May and October when the sea is warm enough for swimming.

Things to do on Paros

From relaxing on the beach to shopping along the cobblestone streets of Parikia, there are plenty of things to see and do whilst you are visiting Paros. If you’re looking to explore further afield, you cannot miss out on the village of Lefkes, perched high in the mountains in the central region of the island. Once the island capital, today Lefkes is best loved for its atmospheric streets, colourful architecture and relaxed way of life. It’s the perfect destination for a day trip if you want to enjoy the cooler mountain air and it's a good base for exploring other hilltop villages such as Drios and Lagada. 

Now no trip to Paros is complete without visiting its sister island of Antiparos, just a 10-minute ferry ride from the port of Parikia. This quiet isle is home to a charming village, 15th Venetian castle and several spectacular beaches. Known for its pretty bougainvillaea blooms, Antiparos is also a great jumping-off point for explorations of a number of tiny uninhabited islands.

Back on Paros, one of the best places to visit on the island is the historic Church of the Virgin Mary Ekatontapyliani, found close to Parikia port. One of the best-preserved Paleo-Christian monuments in Greece, this church has its roots back in the 4th-century before later being reformed by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

To delve even deeper into the history of this island a visit to Paros Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to do on Paros. Located in the capital city, the museum was founded in the 1960s and contains many excellent examples of Parian marble sculptures, alongside priceless relics dating back to the days of ancient Greece. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a figurine known as the ‘Naked Lady of Saligios’, thought to be the oldest Cycladic sculpture in the world.

Finally, situated on the rocky northern coast of the island is Paros Park, one of the best places to visit in Paros for nature lovers. Situated on the Agios Ioannis Detis peninsula, Paros Park features breathtaking protected bays and hiking trails, as well as a number of well-preserved ancient sites, including an amphitheatre and the post-Byzantine monastery of Agios Ioannis. Furthermore, the views from Cape Corakas Lighthouse are simply unforgettable, especially at sunset!

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