Paros

Paros is a major island of the Cyclades group.

Understand

Map of Paros

Paros is a Greek island in the Cyclades group, neighbouring Naxos and is one of the most popular holiday destinations for visitors to the Greek islands.

Paros is the second largest island of the Cyclades. It has an area of 196 square kilometres and a coastline 120km long. The island has the advantage of being located centrally in the Cyclades near Naxos, Ios, Sifnos and Syros. Most of the ferries to Naxos and Santorini make a stop first at Paros.

The island is the third in popularity of the group. First are Santorini and Mykonos.

Paros is considered as one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. It is characterized by the many beaches and also the charming villages: Parikia (the main town), Naoussa, Lefkes, Marpissa and other. Naoussa is an old fishing village turned into a cosmopolitan top holiday destination. The village is characterized by its Venetian port and its many fish restaurants. The architecture of the area is also incredible.

Cities

Talk

In Paros most of the population can speak English except the older generation. In many bars, pubs, restaurants and shops there is somebody who speaks English, Italian, or German.

Get in

By sea

Ferries and highspeed catamaran services run daily from Piraeus, Cyclades and Heraklion, Crete.

Many travelers probably don’t even consider Rafina a possible departure port if they are heading to one of the Cyclades, but if you are arriving at the airport of Athens you are often better off taking a ferry from Rafina than traveling to Athens and get a ferry from Piraeus. Another alternative is to fly to Mykonos (which has loads of international flight arrivals) and then take the 1 hour boat ride to Paros.

The ferry landing is haunted by dozens of room-hawkers, and is manic. If you arrive during a high wind and/or at night, it can all be a bit overwhelming. Know where you're going, and book ahead.

By plane

Olympic Airways and AirSea Lines operate a daily air service from Athens.

Get around

Within the resorts walking is the best method of transport. Bus services operate between the towns. Car hire is readily available in all towns and is relatively cheap.

See

Remote Light House

Don't miss the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani which means the church of 100 doors, in Parikia. Naousa (Greek: Νάουσα) is a village in the north eastern corner of the island. There are beautiful beaches and in front of the port unique Venetian castle of the 15th century is situated, built during the dynasty of Sommaripa. As it is half-sunken beneath the surface of the sea remains a remarkable sight. Lefkes village is in the middle of the island with many nice tavernas, and beautiful alleys. From Lefkes you can take a very nice walk at the old stones of the Byzantine Route down to Prodromos.

Do

A fantastic place to take the kids is Aqua Park. Boats leave hourly from Naoussa and takes approximately 15 minutes.

Visit as many beaches as you can, don't stay in one every day. Every beach has a different feeling. Try Farangas, Parasporos, Krios, Kato yalos, Agia Irini, Logaras is very nice for families.

Paros is also famous for its watersports, specifically wind and kitesurfing. The eastern coastal town of Dryos with neighboring beaches of "chryssi akti" translated golden beach and "tserdakia" known as new golden beach are the most popular surfing destinations. The latter was the site of the 2000, 2003 and 2010 PWA IFCA international windsurfing championships as well as other international events.

Tao's is a retreat and meditation centre located on top of a hill, overlooking the Aegean Sea and the neighbouring islands. There are on-going daily activities, self-development seminars and a long-stay Work & Study program, along with Oriental-Thai cuisine and Cafe-Bar.

Eat

In Parikia's sea front you will find many nice tavernas with excellent food, exactly behind in the old town wander along the narrow streets with the many kind of shops, and the unique cycladic atmosphere. Don't forget to sit in one of the many Ouzeri in Naoussa and taste Gouna fish and octopus in vinegar.

Drink

Resalto bar A very nice bar in the port of Drios, plays the best rock music in Paros.

Budget

Mid-range

Stay safe

Paros is generally a safe island.

Be aware of rental scams, especially with agencies working only with motorbikes and ATVs. Using these types of vehicles is very common on Paros and there are a lot of rental agencies. Some of them are ready to cheat. They will offer faulty motorbikes or ATVs for a lower price, but in case of accident they will demand that the customer pay for the whole cost of damage. They are offering only basic insurance but will present it like full insurance. Also, there is a big possibility of serious injuries.

It is possible to recognize these rental agencies by observing them aggressively attracting tourists and offering lower prices than others. Employees in front of these type of agencies will be loud and ready to promise everything until the contract is signed. It is necessary to check the vehicle before making any decision. Their vehicles are in most of the cases dusty, dirty and look old.

Connect

A few minutes walk from the port is Zorba's, a small gyros restaurant with surprisingly fast wifi (20+ Mbps). As you exit the port, cross the street and head left, passing a few other cafés/restaurants.

Go next

Move on by boat to Antiparos, Naxos, Syros, Mykonos, Ios or Santorini.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.