Things to do on Paros

For a medium sized island there is quite a lot to see and do on Paros. With close proximity to some fantastic neighbours such as Mykonos and Naxos, and a circular shape that allows for easy day tripping its the perfect place to holiday. There’s a fantastic range of accommodation and the island is easy to access. Whether you like to explore the medieval villages, hang out in the lively squares and tavernas or the beautiful Paros beaches you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like.

When to visit Paros

Like most of the Greek Islands the months between April and November are when Paros is at its best and when ‘the season’ is underway with all the shops, tavernas, hotels and activities open for business. July and August are peak season and it can get crowded in parts as well as more expensive but it can also be a lot of fun.

There are over 6000 people that live on the island and there are schools, businesses and services that operate year round for the local community in particular. We think the very best time to visit Paros is June when the water is warming up, the prices are reasonable and everyone is getting geared up for the high season.

How to get to Paros

Another great thing about Paros is its accessibility. There is a new domestic airport with daily flights from Athens, more in Summer, but no international flights ( yet). It is often the first port of call to the Cyclades from Athens on the Ferry route before the ferries move on to Mykonos, Naxos and beyond and those islands are easy to visit as day trips too. The high-speed ferry to Piraeus port in Athens takes 3 hours and the slower Blue Star Ferry takes just over 5.

You can also connect with the Western Cyclades islands like Milos and Syros and the ports of Rafina and Lavrion on the mainland. 

 

 

Towns and Villages

 

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parikia paros

Parikia

The capital and main port of the island, Parikia is also the commercial and business hub. There are many restaurants and cafes along the waterfront and through a maze of alleys and narrow whitewashed streets in the old town.

All of the major banks and services are located here as are laundries, supermarkets, the hospital and various tourist services.

This is where you will also find interesting historical monuments and points of interest such as the Byzantine church and Windmills.

greece fishing village

Naoussa

Naoussa is located at the very north of Paros 15 minutes drive from Parikia. Still a working fishing village it is quieter than Parikia during the day but really comes alive at night when all the bars and restaurants can be at capacity and some stay open until sun up.

Much of the nightlife revolves around the small compact harbour where it’s also the most expensive, but  there many mid range and cheap and cheerful places in the winding back alleys. There are also some great boutiques and shops and a lovely square, Church and beach. The many ducks who live in the creek near the bridge are quite iconic.

Paros traditional village

Lefkes

Lefkes is a small medieval town nestled in the mountains behind Naoussa with stunning views over Naxos. It’s very quaint and very cycladic with whitewashed buildings, blue doors and  pink Bougainvillea at every turn. 

You can expect to find some excellent handmade local pottery, jewellery and other crafts on sale as well as honey, produce and figs sold by the roadside. Its a lovely place to visit for lunch and a stroll around and it is possible to stay there as well. At night it is mostly just locals.

paros marina village

Piso Livadi

Piso Livadi is a a small and picturesque fishing port on the south-east coast of the island. It is a working fishing village and some of the big charter boats leave from here as well.

There are a number of small excellent tavernas famous for their local seafood dishes. 

The local bus service stops regularly at Piso Livadi and there are a number of small accommodation options too.

beachfront taverna paros

Drios

Located towards the southern end of the island Drios and was once the ancient port of Paros. It has a couple of lovely beachfront tavernas overlooking the beach and its a great spot for a late lunch and a swim as there are nice big shady sea pines on much of the beach.

There is a small pier on the beach and a number of places to stay. Lolantonis beach just south of the village is particularly nice with turquoise water and plenty of shade.

greek church paros

Marpissa

 Located near Lefkes on the eastern side of the island, of which Piso Livadi is the port.

Marpissa is a large village and home to four windmills in the main square. A path leads from the square to the monastery of Agios Antonios on Kefalos Hill,an extinct volcano, where the view of the sea and the surrounding islands is among the best in Paros.

paros beach with girl

Ampelas

Ambelas is a small village and beach about 15 minutes drive from Naoussa. There is a small man-made seawall that ensures calm water almost every day and a couple of very good tavernas on the beach, including the very popular Thalami, Chistianta and Aspro.

Its a great place for a long lazy lunch and swim.

santorini town

Aliki

Aliki means ‘salt-marsh’ in Greek and this village is named after the adjoining salt marsh at the southern end of the island.

Close to the airport in Aliki there are some lovely small tavernas and cafes as well as the Cycladic Folklore Museum. Many cultural events are held in Aliki such as the feast of St. John of Klidonas in June, the feast of Christ the Savior on the 6th of August and the feast of the Holy Cross in September.

Beaches

Paros beaches are quite beautiful and there is a lot of variation – some are wide and deep, others are shallow and sheltered.  You can find large rocks and white sand and everything in between. Many are well serviced and are easy to access and several are perfect for a long lazy lunch or early dinner even if you don’t want to swim.
naoussa beach paros

Kolymbithres

The beach at Kolymbithres is one of the most famous in Paros. It is located west of Naoussa in Plastira Bay and is surrounded by huge boulders of granite that have been worn away over the centuries into smooth platforms used by tourists to sunbake and relax.

The water here is shallow and crystal clear and there is a great Taverna right next to the beach called  Anemons which does great home cooked food.

To get to Kolymbithres you can drive and park along a number of sandy tracks or catch the small ferry over from Naoussa.

 

naoussa beach paros

Monastiri

A little further along the bay from Kolombithres you will find Paros Park, an environmental and cutlural reserve covering the peninsula. It is made up of a monastery, a museum, an open air theatre, a number of walking/hiking routes and a couple of lovely beaches. One of those beaches is Monastiri which now has a very good modern taverna and beds and umbrellas for hire.

The cove here is protected from the wind and the water is very calm making it an excellent spot for families with young children in particular. Make a day of it and explore the whole park. There is ample parking on site and entrance is free.

naoussa beach
naoussa beach paros

Piperi

The main beach of Naoussa, Piperi is located at the southern end of the town and is about 200 metres from the main fishing port.

Its is a wide sandy beach which is surrounded by a number of excellent hotels and villas and looks over the bay towards Paros Park. There are a few umberellas but no beachfront tavernas. It can get choppy when the Meltemi wind blows in which case you are better off heading over to Monastiri ( above) or the beaches in the South of the island.

windsurfing beach paros

Golden Beach

If you’re into watersports then Golden Beach is the place for you.

Located at the very south of the island it can get very windy here especially when the Meltemi ( strong summer wind) is blowing. There are some good hotels and tavernas and couple of places to rent windsurfers, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and wakeboards. There’s even a couple of funky shops and boutiques.

 

safe beach naoussa

Santa Maria

Santa Maria is located about 10 minutes drive east of Naoussa and is surrounded by beach bars, tavernas and restaurants.

Tradtitionally it has been very popular with Scandanavian families but is getting more popular with all visitors each year especially younger people who are attracted to the water sports and the beach bars, some of whom have DJ’s late into the night.

There is large camp ground called Surfing Beach Paros which also has a ( rather strange) mix of cabins and motel style accommodation. There are a number of luxury villas available around the area.

 

paros beach

Marcello

Marcello is located directly opposite Parikia and is a calm, protected beach with good swimming conditions. There are a couple of beach bars and several places to rent chairs and umberellas if you wish.

Its a great place to spend a few hours watching the ferries and sometimes the cruise ships come and go. 

You can get there by car ( there is some limited parking), a 30 minute walk along the beach tracks or there is a small ferry that departs Parikia every 30 minutes in summer and also services nearby Krios beach too.   

paros beach

Molos

Situated on the Eastern side of the island Molos is quiet, wide shallow bay with no services. It can be found by turning off the main ring round at Marmara or Marpissa and eventually following a dirt round around the bay.

There are a couple of small rooms for rent and otherwise it is often frequented by locals. Its very clean and great for kids.

paros beachfront

Piso Aliki

A large calm and quiet beach just south of Aliki village at the Southern end of the island.

This is a great beach for families with no bars and only one restaurant at one end, although it is only a short walk around the headland if you want more.

The water is clear and calm and generally quite warm compared to some. The beach is mostly pebbles but there are some sandy parts as well.

paros beachfront

Faragas Beach

Hidden away on the southern coastline you will be rewarded with a few wrongs turns when you finally stumble across this beach. Calm and clear with soft sand the water quality here is excellent.

There is only one taverna which also services the sunbeds and it has some really beautiful gardens as well. There is not a lot of accommodation around here but rather the sort of place you come to spend the day.

best beach paros

Insider Tip

If you’re traveling with children one of the best beaches on Paros is Monastiri in the Paros Park reserve. Here the water is calm and shallow and the beach is protected from any wind. There is a small bar and restaurant and it costs 12 Euros for two lounges and umberellas. You can drive or get the taxi boat from Naoussa for 7 Euros and it takes 15 minutes. Chrys - Paliomylos Spa Hotel, Naoussa

Wineries

The Cyclades islands have a very special and unique terrior ( soil/conditions) as a result of the volcanic soil, the strong winds, the sea salt and the climate. Despite there being very dry conditions the volcanic soil is able to absorb a lot of moisture, particulalry from the night fog.

There is a also a unique way of growing the grapes on the Cyclades islands. Due to the wind the vines are shaped into circular wreaths on the ground instead of on trellises and this, and some low stone walls, protect them from the strong summer winds.

greek winery

Moriatis Winery

Moriatis is a large winery ( by island standards) with its cellar door right in the heart of Naoussa. They have excellent whites, reds and rose and you can also buy a light meal or snack at the complex.
santorini wine

Asteras winery

Asteras  is small family owned winery located about 5 minutes outside the town of Naoussa near the turnoff to the village of Glifades.

They use Asyrtiko and Malagouzia grapes grown both locally and at Monemvasia.

 

Shopping

There are some lovely shops on Paros with things on offer to suit all budgets.

Parikia and Naoussa are filled with small boutiques, souvenir shops and specialty stores and there are a couple of large supermarkets including a Carrefour. Contemporary jewelry, accessories and homewares are particularly good and there are some excellent pop up style shops in Summer particularly in the more popular beach areas.

shopping in the greek islands
homewares paros

History

 

The Church of one hundred doors

Also known as Panagia Ekatontapiliani

This is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece. Built originally in the 4th century  legend has it that 99 doors have been found in the Church and that the 100th will be discovered when Constantinople (Istanbul) is returned to Greece again.

Entrance is free

opening hours (at publication) are 7am‑10pm.

In the low season: 7am‑2pm and 4pm‑8pm. ( check before you go as this can change)

byzantine church greece

Day trips 

Antiparos

Ferries from Paros to Antiparos depart every 30 minutes from Parikia and the trip is about 15 minutes.

If you have a car, you can catch the car ferry from the township a little further south of Parikia called Punda and the trip takes 7 minutes.

Antiparos is a small unassuming island yet is famous as being home to a number of celebrities particularly Tom Hanks and his Greek wife Rita Wilson who are much-loved by the locals and participate in many local events when they visit each summer.

greece bouganvillea
fish drying in greece
day trip from paros
greek island trellis

Delos & Mykonos

Do a day trip to the neighbouring islands of Delos and Mykonos. One is favoured by the rich and famous and known for its high scale resorts and beach clubs whilst Delos was once thought to be the birthplace of Apollo. It is uninhabited and home to significant ancient ruins.

 

ancient greek ruins
ancient greek ruins

Sailing the Small Cyclades

On Paros, it’s possible to join a boat, or privately charter one, from either Naoussa or Piso Livadi to explore the neighbouring island of the Small Cyclades. This is a group of spectacular islands at the southern end of Naxos which include Koufonisia and Donousa.

The cost of a day out varies dramatically depending on the size and style of the boat and the time of year.

sailing greek islands
tiny church greek island

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