Like most islands, the architecture of Paros is all about white houses and churches with blue roofs. But apart from picturesque villages, what else does Paros have to offer?
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Paros crystallises like the sports island: water sports can be practised on almost every beach on the island!
Kite surfing can be done in Pounta, Golden Beach and Molos, Windsurfing in Pounta, Molos, Antiparos, New Golden Beach (Tserdakia), SUP in Antiparos, Golden Beach, Paros Park (my favourite place!). Diving is offered in Pounta and Aliki.
However, if you like water sports so much, get a pair of goggles and discover the blue underworld of the sea by snorkeling.
Hiking and swimming in Paros Park
The natural park on the peninsula of St. Ioannis Detis, near Naoussa, offers a wide range of activities: hiking to the lighthouse or to a cave, discovering the headquarters of the Russian fleet, water sports at its best or relaxing on the small beach of Monastiri…
This remote beach is protected from the winds and is equipped with hammocks for 3.50 euros a day and has a chiringuito that offers a light and healthy meal.
In the evening you can watch a film in the open air cinema, or if you are lucky you can see a concert in the open air theatre. All this next to the beach and respecting the idea of a cultural and sustainable tourism. A unique place in Paros and definitely one of my favourites!
Santa Maria: Water sports village
It is a water sports center (diving, snorkeling and windsurfing) and has a quiet and uncrowded golden sand beach with magnificent views of the neighboring island of Naxos.
If you walk a little bit along the coast, you can discover your own private beach, like I did.
Santa Maria is one of the best beaches on the island of Paros.
If you don’t want to miss any of the hidden beaches of Paros, then I would take a bus and boat tour of the island.
Read more about the best hotels to stay in Paros.
Go on a tour… in spring!
In spring and autumn, when temperatures have not yet dropped and the island is not overrun by tourists, Paros is ideal for hiking.
The hiking trails are well signposted and offer impressive views of the sea and neighbouring islands.
I do not recommend hiking in the summer months (June/July-September) as it is very hot in these months and hiking in the mountains of Paros can be harmful to your health.
Party in Naoussa!
After so many walks and swimming, what better than a big Greek party by the sea?
Naoussa… this lively white port city is ideal if you’re looking for a night out. Many restaurants along the sea offer the day’s catch of the Mediterranean Sea.
Enjoy your after-dinner cocktail in one of the many rooftop bars before heading to one of the city’s many clubs.
If you are looking for an original souvenir: Naoussa also has a lot of shops with beautiful Greek design jewellery.
If you’re looking for a day at the beach, Lefkes is a perfect choice. Located in a stunning valley, this small white village stays cool when Parikia or Aliki are boiling in the Mediterranean sun.
Take the Byzantine Route to discover the hidden corners of this charming village.
Many public marble squares invite you to a “Frappé” (coffee with milk and crushed ice) and to see the daily routine of Cycladic.
On the way to Lefkes, you will pass by the Marathi marble quarry, where the famous Paros marble comes from. Many Greek masterpieces like the Venus de Milo have been sculpted in this fine variety of marble.
Rent a Scooter!
Although local public transport is cheap and takes you to all the main points on the island, a scooter will allow you to discover the hidden gems of Paros. And it’s definitely cooler than a bus without air conditioning!
Stay away from rental agencies in the harbour. If you walk for 10 minutes, you will find scooters for 15 Euro a day and quads for 20 Euro, i.e. on Periferiaki street, at the Iannis car rental.
Eating out at Paros is cheap and definitely a must to discover the local delights. My favourite place was, by local recommendation, “Coralli”, near the campsite at the end of the harbour bay in Parikia. I have repeated it twice!
The food was incredibly fresh and the value for money was excellent: Tzaziki and fish roe salad for 3 euro each, 1/2 l of local wine for 3 euro and the best Greek yoghurt on the island was served with cherries for 0.60 euro! Don’t forget to try the local speciality: sun-dried fish!
A little more expensive, but with fantastic, if not unique, views over a deserted beach and its crystal-clear bay, is “Siparos” near Santa Maria.
This seaside restaurant, all in white, gives you that special Ibiza feeling while tasting modern interpretations of traditional Greek cuisine. The flavours are intense and natural.
Order the homemade Baklava filled with ice cream, brutal!
Walk around Parikia
Parikia, the capital of Cycladic Island, is the nervaltic center of the island. While Golden Beach and Naousa are coveted tourist destinations, Parikia managed to maintain some of its local and authentic vibe.
I loved walking around its picturesque streets at night when all the shops are open and the temperatures are still mild. Here you will find souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts.
Sitting on a terrace on a cobblestone white street surrounded by bougainvilleas while enjoying a refreshing drink is pure happiness.
Visit Panagia Ekatontapiliani
The Panagia Ekatontapiliani is one of the most important Byzantine monuments. The church is located in the centre of the city of Parikia. It is also known as the Church of the Hundred Doors.
The entrance is free of charge
Day trip to Antiparos
The small island of Antiparos is located right in front of the island of Paros. It is the perfect excursion from Paros, in case you stay a little longer on the island.
You can either go by jetski (like us) or take the ferry which leaves every 30 minutes from Parikia and takes only 10 minutes.
Antiparos is known for its unspoilt beaches and for being very quiet. That’s why it’s a house coveted by several celebrities. I recommend enjoying the relaxing vibe of the beach and exploring its caves.