The island of Paros, part of the Cyclades archipelago, was one of our great discoveries on our route through Greece. Full of small villages and charming corners, this island will offer you the authentic Greek experience. Below we tell you everything to convince you that Paros should be on your list of Greek islands to visit.
How to get to Paros
There are two ways to reach the island of Paros: by air and by sea.
There is an airport on Paros, however you cannot fly directly from Spain but must always stop over in Athens first. That makes the prices usually higher than the ferry ticket.
This is the best option to reach the island either from Athens or from other islands of the Cyclades archipelago like Mykonos, as we did. The port is in the same city of Parikia, the capital of the island.
Something that surprised us with the ferries is that not in all the routes they are prepared for you to show the ticket in the mobile so it is important to print them. If you don’t bring them from home, they will print them out at the ticket office in the port with the receipt but they will charge you 1 euro for each printed ticket.
Where to stay in Paros
The biggest cities on the island are Parikia and Naoussa but there are options for accommodation all over the island. As we told you above, the port is in the city of Parikia. In addition from this city they leave many lines of public bus towards other places of the island. In short, Parikia is the best connected point on the island and therefore a very good option for accommodation. If you were planning to spend the night in another part of the island, you will probably have to find your own means of transport there (we will tell you the options later).
We stayed at Villa Katerina (in Parikia) and it turned out to be one of the best accommodations on our trip to Greece. It also had a parking lot, which was a big deal since renting a car in Paros is very common and parking places in the main cities are scarce.
How to move around Paros
The island of Paros has beautiful places waiting to be discovered. You have several options to move around the island:
By public bus. From Parikia there are several lines that connect it with the most interesting points of the island such as Naoussa, Lefkes, Marpissa, Piso Livadi and some of the most famous beaches there such as Punda Beach and Golden Beach. We leave the routes and timetables here.
Rent a car. It is a very good option to tour the island. Especially if you are going to travel in high season, we advise you to book it in advance because once you are there it is almost impossible to get a car. We didn’t do it and, without exaggerating, we went in to ask 30 agencies before we could rent one. Besides, you must take into account that it is difficult to find parking. Therefore, we recommend you to look for an accommodation that includes it as the one we recommended above. Car rental prices are around 60-80 euros per day in high season.
Rent a motorbike. Renting a motorbike is another option for travelling around the island. In high season, motorcycle rental prices are about 20-30 euros per day.
Rent a quad (ATV). An alternative to the two previous ones is to rent a quad (or ATV). Rental prices are about 40-50 euros per day (high season).
What to see and do on the island of Paros
To get a good view of the island of Paros we recommend staying there for two or three days. It is a quiet island that has many beautiful corners as well as perfect beaches for water sports.
The most beautiful thing about the capital of Paros is getting lost in the narrow streets of the old town. A few meters away is the church Panagia Ekatondapyliani and Kastro. In addition, from the centre you can walk 15 minutes to Livadia beach.
It is one of the most charming places we saw on our trip to Greece. It is known for being the best place on the island to enjoy its good restaurants. If you stay in Parikia, the perfect plan is to go in the afternoon (you will have more options to park in the free public parking at the entrance of the village) and enjoy the sunset views from its beautiful harbor. Also, at night there is a lot of atmosphere and the restaurants on the quay are full of people tasting the fresh fish of the day. We dine in one of them and we can assure you that it is in our top restaurants of our route through Greece.
Marpissa has a free public car park at the entrance, right next to a very good bakery (if you have the chance go there, it is full of typical sweets of the area). It is a very quiet and small village so you can see it peacefully in an hour. It has beautiful corners and very curious churches and is close to Prodromos, Marmara and Piso Livadi, other charming places on the island.
A must see on the island of Paros. Coming back from Marpisa you will find right on a free public parking curve. If you park there, you will have a spectacular view of Lefkes as the village is located on the slope of Mount Agios Pantes and the lower you go, the further you go. Points of interest include the Agia Triada Church, an impressive cathedral which you can reach by following the main road through the village.
Finally, the island of Paros is well known for its beaches where water sports such as kite surfing or wind surfing are practiced. The best beaches for this are Punda Beach, Santa Maria Beach and Golden Beach. If you are looking to relax, we have heard good things about Farangas Beach and Kolymethres Beach.