Paros Island Holidays Travel Guide


Endless sandy beaches, blue-domed chapels, quaint villages, vivid night life, luxurious hotels, stylish crowds, water sports, delicious traditional delicacies… We know you want it all. And, trust us when we say that, Paros has it ALL!

 

But, we are also aware of the fact that organising your holidays on Paros island from scratch can be time-consuming. No worries, we got you covered! Keep reading to find out all you need to know about this Cyclades stunner without losing time browsing lengthy travel guides.

About Paros


Paros island shares the same rocky landscape, amazing beaches, tiny whitewashed houses, and blue-domed churches with the neighboring Cyclades islands. Its two main villages, Parikia and Naoussa, are the epitome of Cycladic beauty, as well as where the epicenters of the island’s nightlife are!

 

Why is Paros famous?

Because Paros has it all! From vivid nightlife to paradise beaches and from luxurious hotels to exciting activities, Paros island ticks all the boxes! Although it used to be one of those quiet, non-touristy islands, Paros has been transformed into one of the most cosmopolitan destinations in Greece, over the last years!

 

When the sun goes down, Naoussa and Parikia burst with people who party, eat, wander, and make the best out of their summer nights. Taste traditional delicacies at the local restaurants, dance the night away at the bars and clubs, stroll along the narrow paved alleys… Live your best life at Paros!

 

As for the beaches in Paros, they are hands down, some of the best beaches in the Cyclades island complex. Let us paint the scene… Golden sand, crystal clear waters, endless coasts, and lush green backdrops… Utterly seductive! There’s one specific reason, though, why the beaches in Paros are famous: water sports! If you are a water sports enthusiast and a thrill-seeker, you’ll find your paradise on this beautiful island.

 

Ready to explore Paros?

 

Where is Paros located?

 

Paros sits in the heart of the Aegean sea and belongs to the Cyclades island complex. Located close to some of the most popular islands of the Cyclades, like Santorini, Naxos, Ios, and Mykonos, it is a great base for island hopping in Greece! Paros is located 145 km away from Athens (Rafina), 80 km away from Santorini, 45 km away from Mykonos, 14 km away from Naxos, and 90 km away from Ios.

Read also: Rhodes island holidays travel guide | Crete island holidays travel guide | Corfu island holidays travel guide

 

What is the best time to visit Paros?

The best time to visit Paros is between spring and early fall (April to October). Especially during the summer months, the island bursts with life! People from all over the world fill the bars and narrow alleys of Paros, having the time of their lives. If you want to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Paros beaches, then summer is the best time to visit, as the water is warmer. July and August are the peaks of the tourist season, so Parikia and Naoussa are always overcrowded. To avoid the crowds, April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Paros.

 

The weather in Paros

  • Autumn (September to November)

    Highest: 77 F/ 25 C Lowest: 55 F/ 13 C

  • Winter (December to February)

    Highest: 59 F/ 15 C Lowest: 48 F/ 9 C

  • Spring (March to May)

    Highest: 72 F/ 22 C Lowest: 50 F/ 10 C

  • Summer (June to August)

    Highest: 81 F/ 27 C Lowest: 66 F/ 19 C

 

What are the most popular events/holidays/city-breaks in Paros?

St Basil Day/New Year, Theophania / Epiphany
Carnival season, Valentine’s Day, Tsiknopempti (Meat Thursday)
Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday), Carnival season, Independence Day (March 25th)
Easter Week, Easter Sunday, Saint George feast
Labor Day, Saint John the Theologian festival
Klidonas festival
Fish and Wine Festival, Saint Marina feast, The revival of “Tsabouna” feast, Saint Anna feast
Sotiras festival, Assumption of Mary feast, Naoussa Pirate Festival, Saint Fanourios feast
“Trata” festival, Panagia tis Faneromenis feast
“OXI” Day

 

Did you know?

Paros is very famous for its marbles. The dazzling white Parian marble has been made for centuries at the marble quarries of the island. The Ancient Greeks used that marble to create some legendary sculptures, like the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which is displayed at the Louvre Museum.

 

What are the best things to do in Paros, Greece?

  1. Visit all the beaches in Paros

    There’s no denying it: Paros beaches are some of the best beaches in Greece! Their golden sand, crystal clear waters, and raw natural ambiance make them irresistible. The beaches you should definitely visit are Golden Beach, New Golden Beach, Livadia, Kolymbithres beach, and Santa Maria beach. But, more on that later!

  2. Party in Naoussa and Parikia

    Naoussa and Parikia are the places to go for nightlife in Paros! Every night, the bars and clubs come alive and the narrow streets of the fishing villages overflow with youngsters. In Parikia, most bars and clubs are located at the harbor and the old market area, while in Naoussa, the majority of the nightlife is concentrated in the potami (river) area.

  3. Get an adrenaline rush from water sports in Paros

    Paros is popular for one thing in particular: its wind conditions, which are ideal for water sports. No wonder Paros is one of the top worldwide destinations for water sports, especially windsurfing and kite surfing! In fact, the Windsurfing World Championship used to be organized in one of the most popular beaches in Paros, Golden beach. No matter if you are a water sports pro, or you want to make your first steps in water activities, Golden Beach, New Golden beach, and Santa Maria are the best beaches for water sports!

  4. Travel back in time at the Archaeological Museum of Paros

    The Archaeological Museum of Paros is the best place to immerse yourself in the island’s long history. It was built in 1960 and hosts, among others, Archaic and Classical sculptures, as well as findings from the Neolithic, Early Cycladic, Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic eras. Some of the most important exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of Paros are the marble statue of Gorgon, the marble statue of Artemis, and the marble statue of Nike.

  5. Go to the Byzantine Museum

    Paros island is home to landmarks that date back to the Byzantine era, such as the Panagia Ekatontapiliani monastery. In Byzantine Museum, though, you’ll have the chance to see a selection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine religious exhibits that represent the whole Byzantine era. Such items are holy 17th and 18th-century icons, relics, and various ecclesiastical items. Byzantine Museum is located in Parikia Paros, inside Panagia Ekatontapiliani monastery.

  6. Discover the legend of Panagia Ekatontapiliani

    For a spiritual twist, visit the monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, the most popular attraction in Paros. This beautiful Byzantine church is located near the port of Parikia, the capital of Paros. Its name, Ekatontapiliani, means “with a hundred doors”. The legend has it that the monastery has 99 doors and a last, secret one, that will open when Constantinople will be Greek again. Constructed in the 4th century, Panagia Ekatontapiliani is one of the most important religious monuments and best-preserved Paleo Christian monasteries in Greece.

  7. Marvel at the Venetian Fortress

    The imposing Venetian Fortress, in the old port of Naoussa, is the most popular attraction in Naoussa! It was constructed in the 15th century by the Venetians, to protect the island’s port from invasions and is connected with the island via a narrow stone passage. Even though the observatory of the Venetian Fortress is half-sunk into the sea, the fortress still keeps its medieval charm!

 

What are the shopping hours in Paros?

Shops in Parikia and Naoussa, the most popular villages in Paros are open every day from 9 am to 10 pm. In other villages the shops close earlier, usually at 9 pm, and often close for a lunch break.

 

Key facts about Paros

  • Population

    13,710 (2011)

  • Currecy

    Euro

  • Language

    Greek

  • Average Temperatures

    Warmest Month: August (81 F/ 27 C)
    Coldest Month: January (48 F/ 9 C)

  • Tipping

    Tipping in Paros is not obligatory, but highly appreciated. How much you’ll tip is up to you, depending on how satisfied you are with the service. We advise you to tip in cash so that the money will go straight to the person that served you.

  • Loved by

    Groups of friends, party animals, couples

The history of Paros

Paros has an enduring history, as it has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Many civilizations colonized the island, like the Arcadians and the Ionians. Throughout the years, Paros had other names, like Demetrias, Plateia, Hyria, and Strogili. The island started to prosper during the period from 800 to 700 B.C, thanks to trade and shipping. During this period, the inhabitants of Paros also colonized other places, like Thassos and Parium.

In antiquity, Paros seemed to be a wealthy island and a leading trade force. Later on, during the Greek War of Independence in 1821, Paros was one of the first Greek islands that gained independence from the Turks. It also became home to the national heroine of the Greek Revolution, Manto Mavrogenous.

 

How to get to Paros?

Getting to Paros is simple. You can reach Paros either by ferry from Athens, or the islands of the Cyclades to Paros, or by a flight to Paros, from Athens International airport and other airports in Europe.

 

Getting from Athens to Paros by ferry

Catching a ferry from Athens to Paros is the cheapest way to get to the beautiful island. Many ferries depart daily from Athens to Paros, so you will easily find the itinerary that serves you best!

Ferries from Athens to Paros depart from the two main ports of Athens, Piraeus port and Rafina port. Traveling from Piraeus is a better option if you stay in Athens city center and move by public means of transportation. On the other hand, Rafina port is a better option if you have a car, as Rafina is 40 km away from Athens city center and 10 km away from Athens International Airport.

Depending on the type of the ferry (regular or high speed), the trip from Athens to Paros may last from 2 to 5 hours. As for the cost, a ferry ticket from Athens to Paros costs around 35 € to 50 €.

The Greek ferry companies that serve the itinerary from Athens to Paros are Blue Star Ferries, Golden Star Ferries, SeaJets, and Fast Ferries.

 

Getting to Paros by air

There are frequent direct flights to Paros airport from countries such as the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and many more. However, if you want to explore Athens before heading to Paros, the best option is to catch a flight from Athens to Paros. During the summer months, there are many flights throughout the day.

Where to stay in Paros?

Parikia

Parikia is the capital of Paros and one of the island’s most beautiful villages. Nestled in a picturesque cove, Parikia is built around one of the island’s ports, boasting a wonderful view of the Aegean sea.

 

A stroll around the narrow cobblestone alleys of Parikia will reward you with many surprises! The little corners embellished with colorful flowers, the dazzling white houses, and the little traditional shops ooze a unique charm. There are also lots of attractions in Parikia, such as the Venetian Castle, the Archaeological Museum of Paros, Panagia Ekatontapiliani monastery, and Agios Konstantinos church, which is the perfect spot for sunset watching.

 

Along the coastal road of Parikia, Giannis Parios street, you’ll find a selection of restaurants, bars, traditional taverns, and shops. In Parikia, you’ll also find many clubs and bars, where you’ll sip on fancy cocktails, drink countless shots, and dance the night away!

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Parikia are: White Blossom, Akrotiri Hotel, Paros Palace, and Diplos Studios.

Naoussa

Naoussa is a quaint seaside settlement in Paros. Boasting the traditional Cycladic architecture and a cute little port, Naoussa is one of the most picturesque villages in Paros. In Naoussa, you’ll find many amenities, along with excellent hotels to stay.

 

Originally a fishing village, Naoussa still keeps its traditional charm, despite the touristic development! Right at the little harbor, you’ll find one of the most beautiful sites in Paros: the Venetian Castle (also known as Castelli), which was built by the Venetians in the 15th century. Other than that, the Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros, Naoussa Byzantine Museum, and Agios Antonios church are also worth a visit.

 

During the day, people stroll around Naoussa and take in the beautiful setting. When the sun goes down, Naoussa bursts with life! A surge of people of all ages and nationalities fill the harbor promenade, where most restaurants, bars, and clubs lie.

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Naoussa are: Quartano Luxury Cycladic Residence, Yades Suites – Apartments & Spa, Hotel Papadakis, and Adonis Hotel Studios & Apartments.

Lefkes

Located 11 km south of Parikia, Lefkes is the most mountainous and the greenest village in Paros. Backed by a pine tree forest, this traditional settlement boasts a divine natural landscape and oozes charm in abundance!

 

Wandering at its picturesque little alleys, you’ll come across whitewashed houses, little shops, whitewashed churches, traditional washhouses, and the House of Literature, a hub for writers.

 

Every summer, the traditional Karavolas feast takes place in Lefkes Paros, attracting visitors from all over the world. There is delicious food, local wine, folk music, dancing, and welcoming people that introduce visitors to the village’s tradition. So, if you want to get familiar with Paros’ culture, try planning your visit around the Karavoles feast.

 

If you crave relaxation and serenity during your holidays in Paros, then Lefkes is an ideal place to stay. What’s better than being in the heart of nature, yet a short drive away from the island’s center of activity?

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Lefkes are: Lefkes Village, StudioCalypso, and Villa Byzantino.

 

How to get around Paros?


Paros is a big island, so the car is the best way to get around. However, there are alternatives, like the bus and the taxi. The cheapest means of transportation in Paros is the bus, while the car and the taxi are more expensive.

 

Getting around Paros by car

The best way to get around Paros is by car. Since the island is quite big and there aren’t buses to all beaches, the car is a great option if you want to hit the road for a long ride around the island. Your best bet is to hire a car once you arrive at Paros, either by ferry or by air. There are many car rental companies both at the port and the airport, so it shouldn’t be hard to hire the perfect car for your needs. The cost of renting a car is about 30-40 euros per day, but it can drop to 20 euros if you opt for a motorbike.

 

Getting around Paros by taxi

An alternative to the car is the taxi, an equally convenient, yet rather pricey means of transportation. However, every year, the taxi prices are fixed for every route, so you’ll know how much you’re going to pay for each itinerary beforehand. We recommend asking the taxi driver for his number so that you can call him when you need a taxi during your stay. This way, you won’t need to spend time searching for a taxi.

 

Getting around Paros by bus

The bus is a much cheaper means of transportation. A local bus runs between Parikia, Naoussa, Pounda, Golden beach, and more points of interest. The most popular bus routes are from Parikia to Naoussa and from Naoussa to Parikia. The buses that serve this itinerary run every day from 8 am to midnight throughout the summer. However, buses to/from other villages and beaches run until 9 pm, so make sure you check the bus timetable before your trip.

 

How much will you spend on Paros per day?

Paros is much cheaper than the neighboring Mykonos and Santorini. Generally speaking, you’re going to spend about 85 € (102 $) per day during your stay in Paros. More specifically, you’ll spend 30 € (36 $) on food, 10 € (12 $) on transportation, and 40 € (48 $) per person for a double room in Mykonos.

 

What are the must-try foods in Paros?

  • Karavoli

    Karavoli is one of the most popular local specialties. Karavoli is a dish that consists of big snails usually boiled and topped with garlic sauce. You’ll find this dish at most taverns and religious feasts that take place throughout the island. It might not sound tempting, but, trust us, this dish is worth a try.

  • Parian chickpea balls

    Chickpea balls are the Greek version of falafel. You’ll find them in many islands of the Cyclades -every island has its recipe. Parian chickpea balls are traditionally made on Mondays, with leftover chickpeas from the weekend. However, you’ll find them every day at the local taverns.

  • Octopus

    Octopus is a favorite of the Greeks but especially loved by islanders. Every island cooks octopus differently and incorporates it in several traditional recipes. In Paros, mermitzeli is the most popular octopus-based dish. It is made with handmade pasta rice, fish octopus, tomato sauce, and spices. Other octopus recipes are roasted octopus and octopus salad. Yum!

  • Pitarakia

    Pitarakia is small cheese/zucchini/spinach pies, usually deep-fried or roasted in a traditional wood-fired oven. They are also known as kolopia and are usually served as an appetizer.

Useful Information

Greece is a European city and a part of the Schengen Agreement. So, if you’re a European citizen or citizen of a country member of the Schengen Agreement, you only need a Passport or an Identity Card to enter the country. If you’re a citizen of a country that is neither European nor a member of the Schengen Agreement, you need a visa to visit Greece.
Medical Emergency:112 Fire Service: 199 Ambulance: 166 Police: 100 Paros Municipality: 3022840-21200/21222 Health Center: 302284360000 Local Police: 302284023333

Health care & Safety

Health care in Paros

The Greek Health Care System is public and provides free treatment to citizens and expats. You can visit a public practitioner for free or a private practitioner with a charge. In both cases, you have to pay for prescribed medicines. In case of emergency, you can call a public EKAV ambulance (166) or the European emergency number (112).

Safety in Paros

Paros is a perfectly safe island to visit. However, you should take reasonable precautions and use common sense on your trip. Our tips are to keep an eye on your belongings (especially in crowded places, like clubs), never leave your belongings unattended on the beach, avoid holding much cash with you, and get familiar with the road to your hotel.

 

What are the best beaches in Paros?

Golden beach

This is one of the most popular beaches in Paros, especially with water sports enthusiasts. As you can tell from its name, Golden beach is covered with 700 meters of fine golden sand. It has crystal clear water, perfect for swimming and water activities. The beach also has perfect wind conditions for windsurfing, so numerous windsurfers flock to it every summer. No wonder Golden beach was playing host to the Windsurfing World Championship for several years.

 

Kolymbithres

The natural beauty of this beach is unbelievable -it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece! Kolymbithres boasts unique geology, with peculiar white rock formations carved by the water and the wind through the years. There are also many small sandy coves, where (if you’re lucky enough) you can isolate yourself. The scenery is mesmerizing!

 

Santa Maria

Located close to Naoussa, Santa Maria is a go-to for youngsters. This beach is organized and has a wide variety of facilities, including a windsurfing center, a snorkeling center, beach bars, and restaurants. Behind the beach, there’s also a camping area, so you can choose Santa Maria for your stay if camping is your jam.

 

Livadia

Livadia beach lies in Parikia, about 700 meters away from the village’s harbor. Despite its location in the capital of Paros, Livadia keeps its natural charm. This beach has calm and crystal-clear waters, fine sand, and a bunch of facilities, including water sports centers, umbrellas, sun loungers, and bars. It’s a great option for those who stay in Parikia!

 

Gifts for your loved-ones from Paros

  • Traditional Parian pasteli

  • Thyme honey

  • A bottle of local wine

  • Capper

  • Pottery

  • Barley rusks

  • Amygdalota (almond sweets)

  • Cherry pie

 

Conclusion


Paros sounds amazing, right? There are so many things to do, foods to try, and leading hotels to stay in Paros that there’s no way you get bored. Not to mention the countless events that take place throughout the island every summer!

So, are holidays on Paros island on your bucket list or you’ve already been there? We can’t wait to read your answer in the comments. Oh, and don’t miss to share this article on Social Media!

 

Other Travel Guides you may be interested in: Santorini island holidays | Mykonos island holidays | Naxos island holidays | Crete island holidays | Rhodes island holidays | Athens holidays | Corfu island holidays

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