Paros is one of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea off the coast of mainland Greece. The island’s proximity to many of Greece’s most popular tourist spots has made the quaint streets of Paros a convenient alternative to the hustle and bustle of Mykonos and Athens. While the island was once known solely for its marble, the traditional architecture and excellent beach sports of Paros make the island worth a visit.
Like many Greek islands, Paros is esteemed for its beautiful beaches. Some of the most popular are Kolymbithres, Monastiri, Santa Maria, and Farangas beaches. In addition to sunbathing, the shorelines of Paros are popular for various sporting activities. Perhaps the most widely enjoyed is windsurfing. During the summer months, winds from the north, fondly referred to as Meltemi, create the perfect atmosphere for windsurfing, drawing fans of the sport from all over the world. Paros is often the host of the sport’s world cup. Newer on the scene, yet just as popular, is the Paros-born sport of kitesurfing. Traditional water sports are also common on Paros beaches, including water skiing and wakeboarding.
The current city of Parikia, the capital of Paros, sits at the same harborside location where the island’s ancient capital once stood. While the town is the cultural center of the island and home to several thousand people, the port at Parikia also serves as a transportation hub for many other major Greek destinations. Every day, boats arrive from and depart for Athens, Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and other islands in the Aegean Sea. Characterized by a large windmill at the entrance to its port, Parikia offers the beauty of the whitewashed walls and blue doors and windows of traditional Cycladic Greek architecture. The town is home to several historic sites, including Panagia Ekatontapiliani, a beloved Byzantine church on the town’s main square. There is a 13th century castle, named Kastro, overlooking the town, containing borrowed columns and pieces from the ancient temple that once stood in its place. Though many artifacts were taken to museums in Athens, ruins of other ancient temples still litter this ancient city.
Paros Hotels & Lodging
Paros Hotels & Lodging
Most of the lodging options on Paros are located in the towns of Parikia and Naoussa, ranging from luxury resorts to small bed and breakfasts. One of the most popular is the Saint Andrea Seaside Resort in Naoussa (pictured), boasting beautiful grounds and excellent service. There are also plenty of private villas and apartments to rent throughout the island, such as the Paros Butterfly Villas in Butterfly Valley.