Paros Island: The Best Things to do

Paros Island, Naoussa small port

Paros island is in the top-five most-popular Cycladic Islands along with Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and Milos and one of the most stunningly beautiful Greek islands.

Paros is located in the center of the Greek island group widely known as the Cyclades.

Cyclades Greek Islands Map
Cyclades Map

On the northernmost of Paros, you find Andros island, on the south is Santorini, on the west are Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, and Milos islands, and on the east the long island of Amorgos.

Greek Priest in Paros, Marpissa village

Paros island has a cosmopolitan vibe and a posh side, just like Mykonos, but with much more reasonable prices. The Paros beaches are also simply gorgeous, and there are so many more things to do in Paros compared to other popular Cycladic islands.

Kolimbithres Beach in Paros island

Some of the best things to do in Paros Island are:

The picturesque villages of Parikia, Naoussa, and Lefkes, the many wonderful beaches with crystal-crystal waters like Kolimbithres, a large hiking Park in the north of the island, a 4th century Church, and some of the best seaside restaurants in Greece!

Naoussa, Marios Restaurant

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Up next I am going to tell you about the best things to do on Paros island!

There are public buses on Paros and water taxis but I got around the island with a car from RentalCars.com as it offered the freedom to explore Paros in depth.

Get your interactive map of Paros here, to drive to any of the places listed on our things to do in Paros.

Paros Island Map

How to Get to Paros Island

You can fly to Paros island from Athens Airport. There are several flights per day and the flight lasts about 40 min. Check Skyscanner for cheap and available flights.

Paros island is well connected by ferries from Athens main port (the fastest ferry takes about hours to reach Paros), or Rafina, Athens smaller port. Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper to secure your seat, especially if you travel during the summer.

If you prefer to avoid the hassle of public transport and wish for some luxury pampering, you should book a private transfer with English speaking chauffeur from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries. Check availability and prices on Viator here

Where Best to Stay in Paros Island

Picturesque Alley in Paros

Most visitors stay either in Parikia or in Naoussa, as they are the two main largest places in Paros with many beaches, great eateries, vibrant nightlife, and shopping choices.

Parikia is super convenient to stay, especially if you spend only one night on Paros, as it is the island’s main port. It is 11 km far from Paros airport, it is quieter than Naoussa and the hotels offer much better deals.

Magginas Studios in Parikia is an exceptional, traditionally Cycladic-looking budget hotel, near the center and the beaches. Great value for money. Check availability and prices in Booking.

Parilio Hotel in Naoussa

Naoussa is to the north, 9 km far from Parikia, and 20 km from the airport which is at the south of the island.

Parilio, a Member of Design Hotels is one of the best hotels in Greece, with world-class service. It is a luxury hotel, located in the beautiful bay between Naoussa and the famous Kolimbithres beach. Check for prices and availability on Booking.

On the northeast of Paros, lies Santa Maria, a very long, popular, sandy beach with crystal clear water, ideal if you love windsurfing and just a 5-minute drive away from Naoussa.

Seven Santa Maria Hotel

A fantastic hotel there is Seven Santa Maria, a mid-range hotel, in gorgeous white and blue scenery and perfect Greek island lines. This is my favorite hotel in Paros. Check availability and prices on Booking.

Evita Apartments Balcony

Evita Apartments is located in Aliki, a picturesque, quiet fishing village in the southern part of Paros. There you will find 3 beaches, some excellent seafood restaurants, and cafes. Aliki is 6 km far from the Paros airport and 11,7 km from Parikia port.

Evita Apartments is a fantastic seafront budget hotel, with a kitchen you can cook in and a balcony you can watch the sea all day if you want to! Check availability and prices on Booking.

The Best Things to Do in Paros, Greece

1. Explore Parikia: Paros’ Port

Parikia port

Parikia is the capital and largest village on Paros and has been a commercial center throughout the centuries. Parikia is the first place in Paros that you get to see as soon as you arrive on the island and everyone knows they have arrived at their destination when they see Parikia’s landmark: the famous Parikia windmill!

The windmill in Parikia port

Parikia has a maze of whitewashed streets and passages, is fully touristically developed with all kinds of restaurants and taverns, vibrant nightlife, and craft workshops.

Parikia – Omorfa Taxidia

The Best Things to See in Parikia Paros are:

4th century Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani

Panagia Ekatontapiliani

The Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani is one of the most important and the largest Paleochristianic Monuments in Greece.

Internal of the Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church

The Church was built by Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos in the 4th century A.D. as an offering to Mother Mary (Panagia) for saving his mother Eleni from a storm while she was traveling for a pilgrimage to Palestine. Inside the Church, you will find the Byzantine Museum with rare icons and religious objects.

The Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani is a 3-minute walk southeast of the ferry port with a free entrance.

The Archaeological Museum

The museum in Parikia contains important statues and rare antiquities from the Cycladic Civilization, Classical era, and Byzantine art. The museum is open year-round every day (except Mondays) from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Ancient Cemetery

The Ancient Cemetery in Paros was used from the 8th century BC until the 2nd century AD and it’s one of the most important burial sites in the Cyclades.

The Frankish Castle Ruins

Remains of the Castle in Old part of Parikia

Not much remains today from the castle built by Duke Sanoudos in the 13th century but it is a beautiful stroll in this side of Parikia and you can still see a tower and a couple of marble walls. The marble walls come from the ancient Greek temples that used to stand in the area which is a huge pity. You will find it near there Old Town of Parikia.

Explore Naoussa, Paros Chic Seaside Resort

Naoussa lovely alleys

Naoussa, the most beautiful town in Paros, is located on the north of the island, 9 km from Parikia. Naousa is a traditionally looking Cycladic town with lovely cobblestone alleys, bougainvillea-laden whitewashed houses, top-tier stylish restaurants and bars, galleries, and beautiful churches.

Naoussa small port

One of the best things to do in Paros Naoussa is to spend time at its small, rectangular, gorgeous port, usually full of colorful fish boats. At the end of the port stands the impressive half-sunken Venetian Castle built in the 14th century, a fantastic point to watch the dazzling sunset in Paros.  

Naoussa port

If you are looking for luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants, nightlife parties, and posh boutiques, you will find them all in Naousa.

What are the Best Beaches in Paros?

Paros has some of the best sandy beaches in the Cyclades, with warm light blue crystal clear Aegean waters, so clear that even the tiniest fish and the smallest pebble can be seen on the bottom of the sea.

Paros has many beautiful beaches to choose from and if you have a car, you can go around the island and explore them. Some of the best beaches on Paros island are:

Kolimbithres

Kolimbithres, Paros

Kolimbithres beach in Paros, just 2 km from Naousa, is the most famous and popular beach on the island. What makes Kolimbithres unique is the million-year-old granite’s impressive rock formations all around the beach and the crystal clear blue shallow waters.

Details of Kolimbithres rocks

Kolimbithres is a series of three small beaches, which as you can imagine, gets extremely busy during the peak summer season. Kolimbithres is partially organized with sunbeds and umbrellas at a certain cost. However, there is free space a bit far from the organized part of the beach. If you want to enjoy swimming in Kolimbithres, go early in the morning or in May – June.

If you like this white rocky type of beaches you may find the Sarakiniko Beach on Milos Island also interesting!

Golden Beach or Chrissi Akti

Golden Beach off-season

Golden Beach is on the southeast coast of Paros and one of the best things to do here is windsurfing and kitesurfing sports. Actually, Golden Beach was the location of the Windsurfing World Championship held in August for many years.

The beautiful golden sand, the crystal clear waters, the outdoor activities, beach bars, and restaurants attract a lot of people, so expect a very busy beach during summer.

Monastiri Beach

Monastiri Beach

Monastiri or Agios Ioannis Beach is a spectacular organized beach with shallow azure waters with a chic beach restaurant where you can have lunch or refreshments.

Agios Ioannis Blue Dome in Monastiri beach

Right by the water stands the beautiful white Monastery of Agios Ioannis Detis with a blue dome, a favorite spot for photographs.

If you cross over some rocky area on this beach, you can get to the next and much quieter beach to enjoy in peace the lovely natural environment.

Explore Mountainous Lefkes Village

Lefkes Village

One of the best things to do in Paros is to go to Lefkes village. Lefkes is full of Venetian, neoclassical, and Cycladic beautiful houses with its most prominent landmark being the Church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), built in 1830.

The surrounding hills in Lefkes have some of the remaining Paros windmills, a great place to explore on foot.

Marpissa village

The other three beautiful villages in Paros are Prodromos, Marmara and Marpissa. In Marpissa village there are two interesting museums: Sculpting Museum and Folk Museum, open until noon.

Go to Paros Butterflies Valley Park

Paros moths – Cyclades Map

The Park is home to the Jersey Tiger Moth, a daytime moth that appears on the island in June and disappears in August. The park, a nice shady area, is open from June through September and is about 5.5 km from Parikia.

What are the Best Outdoor Activities in Paros?

Hiking in Paros

Byzantine Road – credit Paros.gr

Paros Island is formed by a single mountain, Profitis Ilias (724 m peak), which ends up in small hills around the seaside of the island. Paros has a hiking trail network of approximately 35 km, not all of them well-marked.

The most popular hiking on Paros is the 1000 years old trail called the Byzantine Road.

Paros Lighthouse Korakas

The Byzantine Road is 3.5km long, paved with Parian marble, and connects Lefkes and Prodromos Village.

My favorite hike is in Ai Giannis or Monastiri Park and towards the amazing Korakas Lighthouse in the north of Paros.

Scuba Diving in Panteronisia

Panteronisia by Beach House Antiparos

Panteronisia are islets around Paros, famous for their emerald waters and their underwater caves. Expert divers, go to the largest islet, Tigani, where there is an underwater cave 30 meters deep in the sea. The divers go inside the large cave through a big opening and they can take their masks off and wander around the cave.

To me sounds like a very terrifying activity as I am totally scared of caves but to the divers and cave funs, it is one of the most exciting dives ever.

Windsurfing

Paros Windsurfing

The best beaches for windsurfing in Paros are Golden Beach and the nearby New Golden Beach in the south, Santa Maria beach on the northern side of the island, and Pounda Bay on the side of Parikia.

There are also shops to rent or buy equipment and tutors to teach you how to windsurf available at all beaches.

Catamaran Cruise around Paros

Book a tour around Paros, go to Panteronisia, Antiparos and Despotiko islet in a luxury catamaran ship with Greek lunch included.

Check availability and prices on Viator here (prices per group)

Day Trip to Antiparos

Antiparos Island

10 minutes by ferry from Parikia port lies the low-key but very picturesque island of Antiparos, home to a number of celebrities like Tom Hanks.  Antiparos is a very traditional and laid-back island and if you have time, you should definitely spend a night there.

What are the Best Places in Paros for Nightlife?

Naoussa and Parikia are the places where you will find most of the bars and clubs, suitable for any taste for your nightlife. Paros, along with Mykonos and Ios are considered the most all-night party-islands, so depending on your age you will definitely find the nightlife that you are looking for in Paros.

When I was in my early twenties the most trendy bar back then was Linardo Bar in Naoussa and I know that it is still working.

Getting Around Paros

There are public buses, taxis, and water taxis that will take you almost anywhere in Paros. However, if it is possible for you, I recommend renting a car and driving around the island. I loved having the freedom to find hidden sites, stay as long as I wanted wherever I wanted.

Parikia’s main seaside promenade after 7 pm is only a pedestrian zone and the same applies to Naoussa and most villages that cars either don’t fit or are prohibited.

Island Hopping from Paros Island

Folegandros island Chora sunset1
Folegandros Sunset

Paros is centrally located in the Cyclades and very well connected by ferries to all neighboring islands such as Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini, Syros, Small Cyclades, Andros, Tinos, Amorgos, Ios, Folegandros, Serifos, Milos, Astypalea, and Herakleion in Crete.

Check no-hidden fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper, for details on timetables and ferry prices.

When is Best to go to Paros

windmill and flowers in Paros
Old Windmill in Paros

The warmest time to go to Paros island is between May and October and even in November, as the Cyclades have calm winters. July and August are the busiest, hottest, and windiest (meltemia) months for the Cyclades and Paros island.

A great time to go to Paros is during Easter, with magnificent Greek Orthodox celebrations, a lot of food, wine, and nightlife as well, usually in April. The sea will be cold to swim in but hiking will be at its best as the whole island will be covered in wildflowers and the weather is simply perfect.

Easter in the Cyclades is very popular between Greeks so you better check for availability early on Booking.com.

How many Days do you need in Paros?

Paros has fanatic and devoted fans, a lot of them either going there every year while others have purchased a house and visit as often as they can. If you are on island hopping vacation, you should spend a minimum of two days on the island to cover all the basic sites.

Sun going down in Paros

I understand that people who are traveling from far are trying to see as many islands as they can in one go. The problem with too much island hopping is that you only get to see the ports of the islands, which are more or less similar. I am more into exploring a place in-depth and get that way long-lasting memories.

How to Get to the Cyclades from Athens

FERRIES: The most usual way is to take the ferry from Athens ports (Pireaus, Rafina or Lavrion). Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees. If you travel in the summer you better book your seats in advance.

AIRPORT: There are some international flights going straight to certain islands, like Santorini or Crete, you better check Skyscanner, for charters or direct flights from your own country.

Otherwise, you can catch a flight from Athens International Airport. Find below the list of the Greek Islands that have an airport:

AstypalaiaChiosChaniaHerakleionRethymno
Crete-SitiaCorfuMilosNaxosParos
MykonosSantoriniSyrosSkyrosKalymnos
KarpathosKasosKosLerosRhodes
KastellorizoLemnosSamosLesvosIkaria
KefaloniaZakynthosKytheraSkiathos

How to Get to Greece

Like most visitors to Greece, you will probably have to fly to Athens or Thessaloniki International Airports to get to your final destinations.

For the Cheapest, Fastest, Best Worldwide Flights, I highly recommend the Skyscanner search engine site.

Private Transfer to your Hotel

Book a private transfer with English speaking chauffeur from Athens International Airport or Piraeus Ferries to any hotel in Athens. You avoid the hassle of public transport and minimize the risk of having your luggage lost or stolen. Check this professional and reliable private transfer in a Luxury Mercedes Van here

Where to Stay in Athens

Looking for the Best Hotels near old Athens Plaka and Acropolis Parthenon? Or you would like to stay at a beachfront hotel? Perhaps you are more in-budget hotels interested? I have collected the best options for you below:

Santorini Oia and swimming pools

Best Santorini Budget Hotels

Enjoy gorgeous Santorini in beautiful accommodation in the best budget offers!

A traditional flower pot in a Greek yard in Kythera island

Kythera

Amorgos island chora 2

Amorgos

Port in Spetses with ships and buildings

Spetses

A Message from Evgenia

I hope you have enjoyed my post on Paros Island! If you need local help with organizing your visit, please send me an email at  info@travelthegreekway.com, and I will get back to you with ideas.  Until then stay safe and travel the world!
Evgenia 
Travel the Greek Way

Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece

  • Airflights: Cheap/Fast/Best Worldwide Flights from KAYAK or SkyScanner search engine site
  • Map of Athens Metro
  • Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals, have info on hotels and Airbnb’s alike, with breakfast or not, free cancellations, and great prices!
  • Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
  • World Nomads Insurance: I feel insecure traveling to another country without having even the most basic of insurances. Insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations
  • Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com
  • Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
  • iVisa: For any questions, you may have about your documents, passport if you need a visa, a new photo, or any visa-related matter, iVisa is your man (or woman!)
  • Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100EMERGENCY NUMBER 112
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