Paros in Greece
Paros is located in the centre of the Cyclades, north of Santorini and west of Naxos. The island has more than 13,700 permanent inhabitants, making it the third most populated island in the Cyclades. The surface area is 197 km2, the third largest island in the Cyclades. The two main villages are Parikia (4,300 inhabitants) and Naoussa (2,500 inhabitants). The two nearest neighbouring islands are Antiparos and Naxos. The highest mountain is Aghioi Pantes, 771 metres above sea level. The main occupations are tourism, agriculture, fishing and wine production. Paros has since ancient times been known for its wine, today there is one large winery called Moraitis, located in Naoussa. It is possible to buy a wine called Naoussa Boutari in Sweden, but it is not produced on Paros, but on the Greek mainland (Macedonia).
Paros was, together with Ios and Santorini, a
playground for the youth that was island hopping in the 1980s. It
is here where it all began. Paros was also my first acquaintance with
the Greek islands. I fell head over heels. When I looked out over Paros'
port town Parikia from the ferry deck, I was lost in admiration. That
something could be so beautiful? It was my first island hopping, we entered
the ferry at Piraeus and the first stop was Paros. I had certainly been
to Greece before, Corfu and Rhodes
on package holidays, but this was something totally different. When the
ferry was nearing the port I stood on the top deck with steady look, I
began to see the first small white houses that came into sight in the
distance, finally the retina was covered by the dollhouses which I
later learned was called Parikia. For the first time in my life I
found myself in the picture of Greece as I for so long had longed for.
I was not disappointed, Paros became my paradise and I returned year after
year. Today, I do not visit Paros as often, but the feeling I had then,
when the ferry was put into the harbour, are still there. And I still
think that Paros is one of the most complete islands in the Cyclades.
Piso Livadi is one of several fine villages on Paros.
Paros' greatest gift to us tourists are the many beaches, many of them are at least as good as on the neighbouring island of Naxos. And some of the villages belongs to the most attractive villages in the Cyclades, I am thinking of the mountain village of Lefkes and the fishing village of Naoussa. Surely Naoussa has developed a lot over the last ten years, tourism dominates, but Naoussa still offers a lot of charm and a cosier port than the one in Naoussa one has to search long for. Paros also has a hiking-friendly countryside.
The island's sometimes exuberant nightlife is widely known among younger island hoppers, but Paros is still a long way after the big party islands of Ios and Mykonos. The nightlife is mainly concentrated in Parikia where there are discos and bars opening late and closing early. In Parikia there are also some jazz clubs and places that play Greek music. It is far calmer in Naoussa, but also here you can dance through the night and drink cocktails in bars. Regarding to the second pleasure, to go out and eat, Paros offers a plethora of restaurants, tavernas, pizzerias, ouzeries, snack bars and gyros places. When you get tired of the Greek food, you can console yourself by Mexican or Asian food. The range are, in other words, wide.
Paros is also something of a small paradise for shopping enthusiasts, mainly along Market Street in Parikia and in Naoussa's narrow and pedestrian alleys where jeweller's shops and trendy clothing stores lying closely together. You will also find many leather shops, artisans, art galleries and a few music stores where you can buy Greek music. Local products such as spices, honey and capers are available everywhere. But the souvenir shops dominates and the selection is exactly the same no matter where you are in Greece.
Golden beach is one of the beaches on the east coast.
You can read more about Paros using the links at the top of this page. A short summary of the information comes here:
It is possible to travel to Paros on a package holiday from many countries,
check with a travel agency in your country. If you are travelling independently
it is easiest to fly to Santorini because of the excellent boat connections
to Paros. Another option is to go by air to Athens and continue by ferry
from Athens' port at Piraeus.
The island is blessed with many attractive villages. The capital,
and the island's port, is called Parikia and is very pleasant. The island's
most beautiful village is Naoussa and it is one of my favourite villages
in all of Greece. Other cosy villages are Lefkes, Aliki and Piso Livadi.
Paros has plenty of nice sandy beaches and it is a shame that
not more people know about it. Kolymbithres (see the picture at the
top) opposite Naoussa is in my opinion the island's best beach. Other
nice beaches are Monastiri, Golden Beach, Santa Maria, Pounda, Ambelas,
Logaras, Livadia and Krios.
Sights do not seems to be Paros' cup of tea, but there are some
things you should see. The Cultural Park of Paros, The Valley of Butterflies,
The marble quarries in Marathi and the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani
in Parikia are the main attractions.
Paros, just like Naxos, offers a nice range of hotels and pensions.
In other words, it is difficult to choose. It is even difficult to choose
where on the island you should be staying. Personally I almost always
stays in Naoussa, but I have also stayed in Parikia several times. If
you want to stay where it is a little quieter, choose Aliki or Piso Livadi,
or why not the mountain village of Lefkes.
Read more about Paros via the links at the top of this page.