Paros is one of the largest islands of the Cyclades and one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Aegean. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little streets and villages, as well as its nightlife.
In this post you will find useful information that will help you on your holidays in Paros, such as where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around.
What to expect
Paros is an island that combines tradition and modern Greek life. A characteristic of the island is that whatever type of traveller you are, you will definitely find something to do. Traditional small villages, picturesque alleys, historic buildings and lively nightlife, Paros has definetely a lot to offer.
Lefkes is described by many as the most beautiful village of Paros, and for a very good reason. It is a mountainous village and the first capital of the island. The first inhabitants had chosen Lefkes as their place of residence in order to protect themselves from pirates. So you can’t visit Paros and not enjoy an ouzo in the beautifull village square.
“The most beautiful village of Paros”
HISTORICAL SITES AND DATES
If you are a person who loves history then you should visit the capital of the island, the beautiful Parikia. Around the center of the settlement you will find the 13th century Venetian castle that has a stunning view of the harbor. Here you will also find the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani from the 6th century AD with 99 open doors and one hidden door, according to tradition.
“Ekatontapiliani of Paros”
THE BEST BEACHES OF PAROS
Paros is an island with beaches for every taste. Here you can find beaches with facilities and large beach bars, as well as non-organized beaches for peace and relaxation. Many beaches also offer water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and water skiing.
“Kolibithres of Paros”
Kolimbithres is probably the most famous beach of the island after Pounta. These are 3 small bays with clear, cool waters and a rocky terrain. It is full with umbrellas and sunbeds (10€), but you can also sit for free with your towel on the rocks.
Punda beach is located in the strait between Paros and Antiparos. Because there are strong winds there, you will find many wind-surf and kite-surf enthusiasts practicing their hobby. Also, from the harbour of Punda you can take the ferry to Antiparos. In the area you will find many cafes and taverns, as well as a diving school. At this point it’s worth to clarify that Punda and Punda Beach Club have nothing to do with each other.
Chrisi Akti - Golden Coast
As its name suggests, here you will find an endless golden sandy beach as it is the longest beach of the island. It has private facilities and infrastructure for water sports enthusiasts.
Santa Maria beach is a beautiful sandy beach near Naoussa. Although it is full of private facilities it has many quiet corners to relax with your towel on the sand for free. You can easily get there by bus, car and boat from Naoussa.
It is a quiet and wind-free beach on the south side of Paros. It has private sunbeds but also plenty of space to lay out your towel and sit for free. It is a great option for families with young children, so it may not be the best idea for you and your group if you are not in the mood for noisy children.
“Magnificent beach in Paros”
WHAT FOOD TO TRY - WHAT TO EAT
The local cuisine of Paros is the traditional Greek cuisine with some slight variations. But you can’t visit the island and not try the following dishes.
Gouna is a traditional dish of Paros. To try and describe it, it’s a fish that is sun-dried and then grilled.
Surely, in one of your walks around the seaside taverns of Paros, you will see octopus hanging to dry in the sun. Well, they’re not just there for decoration and to attract tourists, but it’s part of the process for one of their traditional dishes involving the octopus. After the octopus are sun-dried, they are then grilled and make the perfect snack to accompany your ouzo.
Colopia or green-thick-pies are traditional pies baked in the oven. They are usually stuffed with seasonal greens and herbs. Be sure to try their traditional sweet pumpkin pie.
EXTRA TIP: In Paros you will find many great restaurants and it can be a pleasant dilemma to decide which one to try first! Don’t hesitate to ask a local for advice – a local’s advice is always golden.
I would definitely recommend you to eat at To Mouragio (map location)! It has great fresh fish and very good prices.
HOW TO MOVE AROUND
“We never visit an island without my Vespa.”
One solution is definitely to rent a car, a scooter or an ATV (4-wheeler). However, the roads of Paros are narrow and small, so driving may not be the best and safest option for you.
If you don’t have a vehicle and don’t want to rent one, then you can easily get around by using the public busses (called KTEL). The bus routes from spring to autumn are quite frequent and facilitate travel in any direction (villages – beaches).
WHERE TO STAY IN PAROS
Paros offers many different locations to choose for your stay depending on your personal taste and interests.
One of the most popular places to stay is Parikia, with it being the capital of the island and having the main port of the island. Parikia is suitable for families and quieter / chiller holidays but it also has the right amount of bars for those that still want to go out.
Naoussa is definitely the most famous village of the island. This is where the best nighlife happens and you can easily find bigger clubs that promise unforgettable nights. Depending on your mood and style, you can choose one of the two areas in order to avoid constant back-and-forth.
“Parikia and Naoussa in the dusk.”
Punda Beach Coast
“One of the best beach bars I've ever visited.”
Simply put, you should vist Punda Coast at least once. It is a very nice beach bar, which very often throws parties with a DJ or well-known Greek singers. You can also choose between the swimming pool or the sea, which is just a few steps away. If you don’t like loud music and crowds, then don’t bother going. You should be prepared to pay an entrance fee to get in, which may vary from day to day depending on the event.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Fishing boat ride
If you visit the island and have time to spare, you can take a ride with the Regaki. The Regaki is a boat that starts from Parikia at around 10 am and takes you to the crystal blue waters of the island. The boat route is between Paros – Antiparos but also behind Antiparos too. At noon it stops at a beach and the crew grill fish and souvlaki. You eat and drink on the boat and continue your ride until around 6 pm.
Go to Antiparos
The island is very close to Paros and is the best for both day trips and to spend the night there, as it has all the facilities you will need. It is an excellent destination for relaxation and carefree holidays. The beautiful beaches of the island as well as the picturesque alleys will certainly charm you with their beauty and make you want to stay a little longer.
“Panoramic view of Paros.”
Paros is a destination where you will spend as much as you want to spend. It offers endless options for every budget.
Public Transport: A one-way ticket costs 1.80€ – 3.00€, depending on the destination, but you may prefer the full-day ticket at 9€.
Hotels: Hotel rates start from 45€ per night and go up depending on the location and the season.
Food: You will need from 10.00€ – 30.00€ per person depending on the restaurant and the location.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
I hope I have helped you and wish you an unforgettable holiday on this dreamy island. See you on your next trip. Until then, stay safe and travel…