Paros is a Greek island with a unique charm and a fascinating history. While many other Greek islands are famous for a particular ‘theme’ such as the exciting party island of Mykonos or the romantic scenery of Santorini, Paros defies definition. It is a much more varied island with a mix of activities, history, archaeology, water sports, and its own bustling nightlife. It was once a trading center exporting marble, but today attracts tourists from all over the world. To help you when you’re planning your itinerary, here are four of the best things to see and do in Paros.
1. Visit the Old Town
Make sure you walk the cobblestone alleys of the Old Town in Naoussa and the picturesque port. This area’s narrow maze-like passages are part of Paros’ architectural identity, and you’ll find some great bars and restaurants with tables outside so you can sit and watch the world bustle by.
2. Enjoy a Night Out
Some people refer to Paros as a smaller version of the party island of Mykonos, but it is much more than that. Paros offers a unique nightlife of its own and often at more affordable prices than Mykonos. There’s a more traditional quality to the nightlife in Paros, but you can still find beach parties and boat parties to keep you busy during both the day and night. When you’ve had enough fun, you can retreat to one of the boutique hotels or luxury villas on the island for some recuperation.
3. Explore the Island’s History
You can’t get far in Greece without stumbling across history, and Paros is no exception. The Archaeological Museum has exhibits dating back to the Neolithic period. The Frankish Castle in the port town of Parikia was built by Venetians in the 13th century and provides a great view over the town’s rooftops. Parikia is also home to the Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Our Lady of a Hundred Doors) is an impressive 4th century Byzantine Church is considered one of the most important sacred sites in Greece as the oldest remaining Byzantine.
4. Go Outdoors and Get Active
Paros is an excellent destination for water sports such as canoeing, kiteboarding, windsurfing kitesurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, and scuba diving. In fact, the Windsurfing World Championship was held there for years. If you’re interested in hiking, Paros Park includes 800 square kilometers of stunning hiking trails, mountain routes, and beautiful bays. During the annual festival of the Park (June-October) a variety of jazz, classical music and traditional Greek concerts and fascinating cultural events take place here. If you have time, you should also take a boat ride around the island so you can explore the coves and hidden gems such as Kolybithres beach.
5. Head to the Beach
There are plenty of beaches on Paros, but the trick is knowing which ones to go for! The most popular beach is Golden Beach which offers a wide range of water sports, as does Santa Maria although this beach is also popular with families. The beach parties tend to happen on Pounds beach while Faragas and Kalogeros (which has clay mud baths) are more secluded and relaxing.