Paros Travel Guide: What to See and Do in Paros
The typical Cycladic, whitewashed lanes lined with colorful flowers in Parikia on the island of Paros.
General Information About Paros
Paros is a Greek island located in the central Aegean Sea. It is part of the Cyclades island group and is known for its beautiful beaches, traditional villages, and historic sites.
The island's main town, Parikia, is home to the 13th-century Church of Ekatontapiliani, which is considered one of the most important Byzantine churches in Greece.
Other popular attractions on the island include the lighthouse at Cape Kouloupi, the ancient marble quarries, and the Venetian castle at Parikia. The island is also a popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
As for its geography, the island has a total area of approximately 196 square kilometers and is situated about 150 km southeast of mainland Greece and is situated between the islands of Naxos and Antiparos.
It has a coastline of about 120 km and its highest point is Mount Profitis Ilias, which is about 533 meters above sea level.
Also, Paros is primarily composed of limestone and features rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and sandy beaches. The island also has a number of small rivers and streams that flow into the Aegean Sea.
Location of Paros
Below, we will show you where Paros is located.
Paros in Google Maps
The Amazing History of Paros
Paros has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The island was inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BCE and was known for its valuable marble quarries.
The island was colonized by the Ionians in the 8th century BCE and later became part of the Delian League under the Athenians in the 5th century BCE. During the Hellenistic period, the island came under the control of the Ptolemies of Egypt and then the Romans.
In the Byzantine period, Paros became an important center of Christianity and the island's capital, Parikia, was home to the Church of Ekatontapiliani, which is considered one of the most important Byzantine churches in Greece.
In the Middle Ages, the island was ruled by a succession of conquerors including the Venetians, the Genoese, and the Ottoman Turks. During the Venetian period, the island's capital was fortified with a castle. In the 19th century, the island became part of the newly independent Greek state.
In the 20th century, Paros experienced a significant economic boost from tourism. Nowadays, the island is a popular destination for vacation.
Sites of Interest in Paros
Paros is home to a number of interesting sites and attractions. Some popular sites on the island include:
- The Church of Ekatontapiliani: This 13th-century Byzantine church is located in the main town of Parikia and is considered one of the most important Byzantine churches in Greece. The church is known for its intricate mosaics and frescoes.
- The Lighthouse at Cape Kouloupi: This lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding islands. It is a popular spot for sunset viewing.
- The Ancient Marble Quarries: These quarries were an important source of marble for ancient Greece and are considered one of the island's most important archaeological sites.
- The Venetian Castle: This castle was built by the Venetians in the 14th century and is located in the main town of Parikia. The castle offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area.
- The Paros Archaeological Museum: This museum houses a collection of artifacts from the island's ancient past, including pottery, sculptures, and inscriptions.
- The beaches: Paros is known for its beautiful beaches, many with crystal-clear waters, some of the most famous beaches are: Kolibithres, Santa Maria, Kolympithres, Krios, Pounda, and many more.
These are just a few of the many interesting sites on the island, there are many more to explore.
The Best Things to Do in Paros
If you are planning a trip to Paros and you want to keep busy relaxing, then we have a few options to take your fun very seriously:
- Windsurfing and kitesurfing: Paros is a popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing, with several beaches and spots on the island suitable for these sports.
- Watersports: In addition to windsurfing and kitesurfing, the island offers a variety of other watersports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.
- Swimming and Sunbathing: With its crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches, Paros is a perfect place for swimming and sunbathing. Some of the most popular beaches on the island include Kolibithres, Santa Maria, Kolympithres, Krios, Pounda, and many more.
- Hiking and cycling: The island's rolling hills and scenic countryside make it an ideal destination for hiking and cycling. There are several trails that take you through the island's traditional villages and offer stunning views of the Aegean Sea.
- Food and wine tasting: Paros is known for its traditional Greek cuisine, and visitors can sample a variety of local specialties, including fresh fish, seafood, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. The island also has a long history of winemaking, and visitors can taste a variety of local wines.
- Shopping: The island's main town of Parikia is home to a variety of shops selling traditional Greek products such as pottery, jewelry, and textiles.
- Visit the villages: The island's traditional villages, such as Lefkes, Marpissa, and Naoussa, are charming and offer a glimpse into the island's past. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, visit the local churches, and sample traditional Greek cuisine in the village tavernas.
These are just a few of the many activities that the island of Paros has to offer, there are many more to discover and explore.
Eating in Paros
Paros, like many other Greek islands, has a rich culinary tradition that is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean diet. Visitors can find a wide variety of traditional Greek dishes on the island.
A great recipe you can try is Moussaka, a casserole-style dish made with layers of eggplant, ground meat (usually beef or lamb), and a creamy béchamel sauce. Also we recommend Dolmades, stuffed grape leaves filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat.
Another delicious dish you should try is Souvlaki, grilled meat skewers, usually made with pork, chicken, or lamb, and often served with tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce) and pita bread.
We also invite you to order Gyros, similar to souvlaki, but with meat that is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then sliced and served in a pita with various toppings such as tzatziki, tomatoes, and onions.
And a very popular dish is Spanakopita, a savory pie made with spinach and feta cheese, wrapped in phyllo dough.
If you aren’t too hungry but you can it, then ask for Feta and olives, feta cheese and olives are staples of the Greek diet and can be found in many dishes on the island or Greek Salad, a traditional Greek salad consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, and olives, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
To finish, don’t leave the island without trying Fish and seafood. Paros is an island, so it's no surprise that fish and seafood are a staple of the local cuisine. Visitors can find a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood dishes on the island, including grilled octopus, sardines, and sea bass.
There is also a great variety of desserts in Paros, such as: Baklava, Rizogalo, Galaktoboureko, Melomakarona, and many more.
And to drink, try the wines, after all you don’t want to disappoint Dionysius.
These are just a few examples of the delicious traditional Greek food that can be found in Paros. Visitors can also find a variety of tavernas, restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Greek dishes and seafood, as well as new and creative Mediterranean cuisine.
How to Get Around in Paros
There are several ways to get around Paros, Greece:
- Bus: The bus system in Paros is a convenient and affordable way to get around the island. Buses run regularly between major towns and villages and can be a good option for exploring different parts of the island.
- Taxi: Taxis are widely available on Paros and can be a good option if you are in a hurry or need to travel a longer distance.
- Scooter or ATV rental: Renting a scooter or ATV is a popular way to get around Paros, as it allows you to explore the island at your own pace. These vehicles can be rented from several companies on the island.
- Bicycle rental: Bicycles can also be rented on Paros, and is a great way to explore the island at a slower pace.
- Car rental: Car rental is also available on the island, but keep in mind that the roads can be winding and narrow, so it may not be the best option for all travelers.
- Boat rentals: there are also boats for rent in Paros, which can be a great way to explore the nearby beaches and islands.
- And the best option of all: the private transfer of Greca, with drivers who know the place and would make all the work for you to travel comfortable and relaxed.
What to Give If You Travel to Paros
If you are planning a trip to Paros and would like to bring a gift to a loved one, you will find very interesting places to go shopping on the island.
Some typical souvenirs of Paros, Greece, include:
- Handmade ceramics: Paros is known for its traditional ceramics, which can be found in a variety of styles and designs. You can find pottery items such as plates, bowls, vases, and other decorative items.
- Jewelry: Paros is also known for its jewelry, particularly its traditional gold and silver jewelry. You can find a variety of designs, including traditional Greek-inspired pieces as well as more modern designs.
- Textiles: Paros is also known for its textiles, such as handmade linens and cotton fabrics, which can be used for clothing, tablecloths, and other household items.
- Olive oil: Paros is home to several olive groves, and you can find high-quality olive oil produced on the island.
- Hand-painted icons: Paros has a long history of icon painting, and you can find a variety of traditional and modern hand-painted icons on the island.
- Wines: The island is also known for its wines, you can find a variety of red and white wine to take home as a souvenir.
- Handmade soaps and cosmetics: The island is also known for its handmade soaps and cosmetics made from natural ingredients such as olive oil, herbs, and other local ingredients.
Cultural Aspects in Paros
The culture in Paros is heavily influenced by its location and history.
Greek Orthodox Christianity is the main religion in Paros, and you can find many churches and chapels on the island. You can also find many religious festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the feast of the Assumption and the feast of the Annunciation.
As for the art, Paros has a rich history of art, and you can find a variety of traditional and modern art on the island. This includes traditional pottery, jewelry, textiles, and icons, as well as contemporary art galleries and exhibitions.
Also, music is an important part of the culture, and you can find live music performances on the island, especially during the summer months. The island is also known for its bouzoukia clubs, which are venues that feature live music and dancing.
Another outstanding aspect of the culture in Paros is the importance that it gives to festivals. Throughout the year, Paros hosts various festivals and events that reflect the island's culture and history. Some examples include the Paros Jazz Festival, the Paros International Film Festival, and the Paros Wind Festival.
To end up, something you will notice as you put a foot on the island, is the beautiful architecture, due Paros has a mix of traditional and modern architecture, with many whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, as well as more modern buildings.
What to See and to Do in Paros
Paros is an incredible destination thanks to its beautiful landscape, its cultural heritage and incredible architecture, which combines ancient and modern constructions. In addition, the island offers multiple activities for those who like a vacation full of adrenaline and also for those who enjoy relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere.
In turn, due to its proximity to Mykonos and Santorini, many travelers combine their trip to Paros with these sites.
Do you want to marvel at the best landscapes? Would you like to swim in crystal clear waters? Do you want to watch the sunset while you walk among the typical white houses of the Greek islands?
If your answer is "Yes" in Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Paros, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.
There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!
Beaches of Paros
Paros is known for its beautiful beaches, which offer a variety of options for swimming, sunbathing, and other activities. Some popular beaches on the island include:
- Santa Maria Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the south coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
- Kolympithres Beach: This is a small, secluded beach located on the north coast of the island. It is known for its clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling.
- Pounda Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the west coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
- Golden Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the north coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
- Kolibithres Beach: This is a small, secluded beach located on the northwest coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
- Parasporos Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the southwest coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
- Logaras Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the southeast coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing and windsurfing.
- Ambelas Beach: This is a long, sandy beach located on the east coast of the island. It is known for its crystal clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
When to Visit Paros?
The best time to visit Paros depends on your personal preferences and travel plans.
The Summer, from June to September, is the most popular time to visit Paros, as the weather is warm and sunny, and the beaches and other outdoor activities are at their best. It's also the peak tourist season, so you can expect crowds and high prices for accommodation and activities.
In spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) the weather is still mild and the crowds are less. However, some of the beaches and other outdoor activities may not be as pleasant as during the summer.
And during the winter (November-March) the island is quieter during these months, but the weather can be quite cold, wet and windy, so it may not be the best time for beach activities. However, it can be a great time to visit if you're looking for a more low-key and less crowded experience.
It's worth noting that the island is known for its windy conditions, especially during the months of June to September, which makes it popular for windsurfing and kite-surfing.
Typical Cuisine at Paros
Paros has a rich culinary tradition that is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean diet. Visitors can find a wide variety of traditional Greek dishes on the island.
A great recipe you can try is Moussaka, a casserole-style dish made with layers of eggplant, ground meat (usually beef or lamb), and a creamy béchamel sauce.
Another dish we recommend is Spanakopita, a savory pie made with spinach and feta cheese, wrapped in phyllo dough.
And for dessert we invite you to try the amazing Greek yogurt, especially if it comes with honey and fruits.
How Much Does a Trip to Paros Cost?
The cost of a trip to Paros can vary depending on several factors such as the time of year, the length of your stay, your accommodation, and your travel plans. Next we mention some estimated prices:
Accommodation: The cost of accommodation on Paros can vary widely, from budget-friendly hostels and apartments to luxury hotels. You can expect to pay anywhere from €20-40 per night for a budget-friendly option, and €80-200 or more per night for a luxury option.
Food and Drink: The cost of food and drink on Paros can vary depending on where you go, but you can expect to pay around €10-15 for a meal at a budget-friendly taverna, and €20-30 or more for a meal at a more upscale restaurant.
Souvenirs: The cost of souvenirs on Paros can vary depending on what you're looking for, but you can expect to pay anywhere from €5-20 for a small ceramic item, €20-50 for a piece of jewelry, and €50-100 for a traditional handmade textile.
The cheapest time to travel to Paros is generally considered to be during the off-season, which is typically from November to April.
The best season to visit Paros is generally considered from June to September. During these months, the weather is warm and sunny, and the beaches and other outdoor activities are at their best.
To visit Paros, you will need to have a valid passport or ID card, as it is located in Greece, which is a member of the European Union.
The cruises include the entrance ticket, snacks and drinks. Each case is different, so you should check it beforehand.
This will depend on the number of destinations included in the cruise and the nights chosen.
Yes! The tours hired from Greca can be in Spanish or English. Check with your travel agent.
From Greca we can assign you a private transfer so that you can enjoy your visit to Paros with comfort and safety.
With Greca we make sure that you have availability of excursions in all destinations. Best of all, you won't have to wait to buy your tickets or stand in long lines for each attraction!