Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Paros island is the third-largest island of the complex. Third in popularity after Mykonos and Santorini, Paros is considered one of the most beautiful islands of Greece with very exquisite beaches and interesting architecture. Easily accessible by ferry or plane from Athens and from other islands, Paros is preferred by both families and youngsters.
Parikia, Paros’ capital city, has outgrown its village roots but remains one of the most beautiful locales on Paros. The setting is typical of a Cycladic island: narrow streets, white-washed houses, hundreds of pots with colorful flowers, and visitors and locals blending in perfectly with the activities of everyday life: dining, shopping, or simply wandering around the beautiful streets. Parikia, with its modern shops, bars, and tavernas, has become quite a cosmopolitan village but also has some parts that will take you back in time. One such place is the old quarter of the town with the 13th century Venetian castle, built with ancient material –claimed to be from a temple of Demeter present on the island in ancient times. What is more, as far as the religion is concerned, the Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Virgin Mary of the Hundred Doors) is located near Parikia and this is one of the oldest churches in Paros. The tradition says that this monastery was constructed by the orders of Saint Helene, while she was traveling to the Holy Lands to find the Cross of Jesus Christ. It is considered as the most important monument in the island.
Naoussa is considered to be one of the prettiest villages in the Cyclades and, despite the tourism development, this lovely village has manage to keep its authenticity, its traditional character and its charm, with its whitewashed and flowered little houses and its tiny whitewashed churches and chapels, surrounded by labyrinth-like narrow, stone paved streets. The beautiful picturesque fishing village of Naoussa is located in a huge bay in the northern part of Paros, 10 kilometres east from the capital, Parikia. The lovely village of Naoussa is built amphitheatrically around a tiny picturesque port where little colourful fishing boats called caiques moor and remains of a Venetian castle can still be seen, creating a unique and enchanting atmosphere. Little taverns and ouzeries are boarding the port, giving a friendly and traditional atmosphere. The main square offers much you will require in terms of buses, cash withdrawal and there is an information booth in the corner of the square. Though Naoussa is much quieter than Parikia, it offers several animated bars and nightclubs, opened until dawn. Every 23rd of August, nine days after the Assumption of the Virgin, a great festivity is celebrated in Naoussa, during which a representation of the pirates raids is performed by the young people of the village, fireworks are thrown while dancing, eating and drinking continues until dawn. Many archaeological sites and monuments can be found in the area which are well worth visiting.
Paros has some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Greece. Paros beaches are characterized by their crystal water and relaxing atmosphere, attracting many visitors every summer. In the following list you can find a ‘’best of’’ the beaches
Kolymbithres: Kolymbithres is the most famous beach in the area of Naoussa, the second largest village of Paros. The beach is known for its clean water and the rock formations.
Santa Maria Santa Maria is a beautiful, organized beach in a close distance from Naoussa. Many watersports centres are located along the coast.
Pounda Pounda is a nice sandy beach close to Parikia. It gets very popular for its beautiful environment and the beach bars. From Pounda, ferries leave frequently to the neighbouring island of Antiparos.
Monastiri Monastiri is a small rocky bay on the northern side of Paros. This beach is organized and accessible from Naoussa. Some fishing boats and yachts moor there in summer.
Golden Beach This is one of the most popular beaches of Paros. It has crystal water, soft sand and the wind is great for windsurfing there. In fact, an international windsurfing competition takes place there every summer.
Plus! : Antiparos Island
In prehistoric times Antiparos was connected to Paros, but over time Antiparos was separated from Paros to become an autonomous island that didn’t follow the same path of development of its bigger and more famous neighbor. That’s why Antiparos has been for many years a more sophisticated destination for people who love the authenticity and the original beauty of the Aegean archipelago. Today you will find a lovely Cycladic village, with the ruins of a Venetian castle and with all the charm you will expect to find in an isolated setting of the Cyclades. This explains why Antiparos has been attracting crowds ranging from sophisticated Greeks to Hollywood movie stars.
You can go to Antiparos by ferry boat from Punta beach (a ten minute ride) or by a smaller boat from Parikia (a half an hour ride). Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit because you will be tempted to swim at one of the many sandy beaches with amazing blue waters, such as Glifa, Plaka, or Akrotiri, as well as the isolated beaches of Livadi and Monastiri bay. Antiparos is worth a visit not only for the beauty of its main village and its beaches but also for visiting a real monument of the Cycladic nature: the impressive cave on Agios Ioannis hill.