If you’re planning an escape to the Greek Islands, knowing exactly what to do in Paros will definitely make you add this gem of the Cyclades Islands to your itinerary.
Do you enjoy to party during your summer holidays? Or are you just interested in soaking up the sun on pristine beaches? Perhaps an active holiday with a bit of hiking here and some water sports there is your thing. No matter what type of traveller you are, Paros Island is the ideal destination for an amazing getaway.
With a vibrant nightlife that could easily compare to that of Mykonos or Santorini, the most stunning beaches, picturesque traditional villages, excellent food and countless interesting things to see in Paros, this island literally has it all. Add to this the fact that Paros is one of the easiest islands to get around and here’s your recipe for a fantastic trip like no other.
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How Many Days & What To Do in Paros
Considering the many unique things to do in Paros and the fact that, like in any other Greek Island, you should always make time for just being lazy sometimes, we’d say that a minimum of five full days is required. Yet the ideal amount of time to spend in Paros is a week.
Activities in Paros that you most definitely need to try include swimming in the bluest waters, hiking, checking out the island’s natural wonders and exploring the best places to visit in Paros. These are no other than the scenic villages which are either perched on the island’s hills or lazing by the seashore.
So, here’s your ultimate guide on what to do in Paros Greece! Enjoy!
15 Amazing Things To Do in Paros Greece
1. Enjoy The Stunning Beaches
Paros Island is home to so many gorgeous beaches that it will be next to impossible to choose your favourite among them. What we love about beaches in Paros is the fact that almost all of them are super easy to get to. There’s no climbing rocks or driving on scary dirt roads involved to get to even the remotest Paros beaches. And this is priceless.
Hands down the most impressive of all beaches in Paros is Kolymbithres Beach near Naoussa. Spectacular rock formations and transparent light-blue waters render Kolymbithres one of the best beaches in the Cyclades. Other fantastic beaches near Naoussa include Monastiri, Mikri Santa Maria, Santa Maria and Lageri.
The east coast of Paros features some of the island’s most popular beaches such as Punda and Chrissi Akti (Golden Beach). Alongside those, though, there are some more laid-back beaches on this part of the island which are equally fantastic, such as Kalogeros, Logaras and Piso Livadi to name but a few.
The beaches on the south coast of Paros are ideal during the summer months when strong winds blow on the Cyclades Islands. By far the best among them is Faragas Beach.
Last but not least, some of the beaches near Parikia are among the island’s most pristine ones. Don’t miss the chance to visit Krios, Kaminia and, of course, Marcello with its Caribbean-like waters and endless stretches of white sand. Marcello is our personal favourite beach in Paros alongside Kolymbithres and Monastiri.
2. Wander Around Lefkes Village
Lefkes is not just our favourite village in Paros. Lefkes tops the list of places we love the most in Greece. Why? Because Lefkes is undoubtedly one of the prettiest villages in the country.
Built on a mountain slope for fear of pirate invasions, Lefkes resembles an island in a sea of pine trees and magnificent olive trees. A stroll along the village’s main street is enough to make you fall in love with Lefkes before you even decide to get lost in the labyrinth of smaller streets that will literally take your breath away.
Apart from walking around and admiring the village’s gorgeous traditional architecture, you should definitely make time to sit at one or more of the quaint cafés which are scattered across Lefkes. These cafés look as though they’re period movie sets come to life. In fact, one of them was actually featured in a Coca Cola commercial in the past.
It’s hard to choose which of these cafés we like the most. However, To Kafeneio Tis Marigos on the glorious square of Agia Triada Church is unmissable. The church itself, the second largest one on the island, is also worth a visit in its own right.
3. Stroll Around Naoussa At Sunset
Naoussa is one of the best places to visit in Paros. It’s also the most popular spot on the island. Although it feels quite touristy at times, the fishing village of Naoussa somehow manages to retain an aura of authenticity that is irresistible.
The best time to enjoy Naoussa is just before sunset. It is then that the entire village takes on the most spectacular golden hues and gets ready to welcome the night as well as the hordes of people who flock to the Old Port. You see, above all, Naoussa is the indisputable queen of Paros nightlife.
The postcard-like Old Port is a unique place. It is there that smartly dressed tourists frequenting high-end restaurants co-exist with fishermen sitting on wooden stools and chatting the evening away. This fascinating blend is proof enough that Paros, no matter its popularity, is still an authentic island that offers glimpses into the wonders of local life as long as you look past its trendy facade and focus on these tiny yet invaluable every-day moments.
The best thing to see in Naoussa is definitely the enchanting Venetian Castle. If it’s not too windy, it’s really worth walking all the way to the Castle. However, make sure you’re extra careful as the path is always wet, thus slippery. Last but not least, don’t leave Naoussa without a stroll around its whitewashed narrow alleys.
4. Feel The Authentic Vibes of Parikia
Parikia is the island’s largest settlement. It is probably the most underrated place in Paros. Home to the island’s main port, Parikia often goes unnoticed. This is because most visitors that arrive to Paros by ferry head straight to Naoussa or elsewhere without giving Parikia a second glance. Don’t be these visitors or you’ll miss out on Parikia’s many hidden treasures.
The Old Town of Parikia, this magical maze of whitewashed streets, gorgeous bulidings and quaint cafés, is utterly beautiful. If we’re being honest, Parikia is way more authentic than Naoussa. Strolling around the narrow alleys of Parikia is a unique opportunity to watch local island life go by in the most charming way.
One of the best spots to enjoy a fantastic sunset in Parikia is the Castle. From there you can enjoy unique views to the port and the Aegean Sea beyond. Another fantastic time to visit the Castle of Parikia is early in the morning when the Old Town is sleepy and, thus, indescribably lovely.
5. Check Out Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church
Apart from all its other charms, Parikia is also home to one of the top attractions in Paros: Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church. The latter is an architecturally gorgeous church complex with great historical significance. Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church is the second largest Marian pilgrimage site in the Aegean Sea, second only to the Church of Our Lady on nearby Tinos Island.
6. Discover The Lesser Known Villages
Besides Naoussa, Parikia and Lefkes, there are many other lesser known villages in Paros which are really worth your time and attention. In this section, we will show you around some of them. We’re sure that you’ll agree with us that they’re definitely among the best places to visit in Paros.
First of all, no trip to Paros is complete without a visit to superb Marpissa. The latter is an all-white dream of a village with breathtakingly beautiful island architecture.
Another village not to miss is picturesque Prodromos. This is a tiny settlement where brightly coloured bougainvilleas are the only things to interrupt the almighty Cycladic whiteness.
Similarly, Kostos is yet another scenic village with a picture-perfect café where you’ll want to spend endless lazy hours.
Contrary to the three villages mentioned above, the last place on our list of lesser known gems to discover in Paros is a seaside one. Piso Livadi is an easy-going fishing village. It’s home to a pristine sheltered beach and some of the best restaurants to try fresh fish on the island.
7. Visit One of The Oldest Wineries in Paros
Paros has a long wine-making tradition. This is why you most definitely need to try local wine while there. Better still, the best souvenir from Paros to take back home with you is a bottle or three of the island’s best wine.
The history of wine-making in Paros will fascinate you and the best place to learn everything there is to know about local wine is Moraitis Winery. The latter is one of the oldest and most important family-owned wineries in Paros. This winery’s history goes back as early as 1910.
Paros produces three DOC wines: red, white and Malvasia, a superb dessert wine. At Moraitis Winery you can learn everything about the island’s wine-making history, visit the old cellars and have a glass or more of the best local wine. The winery is open from April to October (sometimes even November). Booking your visit in advance (either by phone or e-mail) is highly recommended.
8. Spend a Day At Paros Park
The Environmental & Cultural Park of Paros is situated in the peninsula of Agios Ioannis Detis near Naoussa. The park is a multi-purpose open space and a true natural and cultural jewel in Paros.
There are many exciting things to do in Paros Park. First of all, you can have a swim in the crystal clear waters of Monastiri, one of the best beaches in Paros. If you’re looking for a quieter place to relax though, choose one of the peninsula’s remotest beaches such as Perikopetra or Tourkou Ammos.
Secondly, Paros Park is the ideal place to enjoy a day hiking through a scenic landscape like no other. There are three easy walking paths to choose from. Walking Path 1 will take you to Cape Corakas Lighthouse. If possible, be there at sunset so as to witness the most magical golden hour.
As far as cultural events go, from June to October you can attend the open-air Festival At The Park which hosts a series of events, mainly plays and concerts. Last but not least, you can watch a film under the stars at Cine Enastron, the park’s open-air movie theatre.
9. Learn The Ancient History of Paros
The island of Paros is rich in ancient history. Paros has been inhabited since 3200 BC. Due to its strategic position and fertile soil, the island has always been an important city-state. Yet, the main reason why Paros has been wealthy and prosperous since the ancient times, is the island’s top quality marble, the famous Parian marble. Nowadays, you can still visit the ancient marble quarries near Marathi.
Other places of interest related to the ancient history of Paros are the Asklepion, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the ancient god of medicine and Delion, a sanctuary dedicated to ancient gods Apollo and Artemis built atop a hill facing the sacred island of Delos.
However, the most impressive relic of the island’s antiquity is the Ancient Cemetery in Parikia. The latter is also the easiest archaeological site to get to as it lies within very short walking distance from the island’s main port. The Ancient Cemetery was used from the 8th century BC until the 3rd or 4th century AD and it’s one of the most important burial sites in the Cyclades.
10. Walk The Byzantine Road
The Byzantine Road is the oldest walking path in Paros. It’s 3.5km long and it’s paved with Parian marble. The Byzantine Road starts from Lefkes and ends in Prodromos Village. Walking its entire length is a unique experience not to be missed.
11. Take The Ferry To Antiparos Island
Perhaps you’ve never heard of this before but Paros has a sister island which is a lot quieter yet equally amazing. Antiparos Island is literally just off the west coast of Paros to which it connects by frequent ferry service. Most visitors choose to see Antiparos on a day trip from Paros. However, we strongly advise you to spend at least a couple of days there. If you want to know why, check out our full guide to Antiparos Island now!
12. Go Hiking
We’ve already mentioned the walking paths of Paros Park as well as the Byzantine Road. Yet these are only a small sample of the hiking opportunities that Paros has to offer its visitors. With a network of about 35km of trails, hiking in Paros is the best way to get acquainted with the real island and its secrets.
Hiking trails in Paros range from easy to moderate to difficult ones. Yet all of them have one thing in common. They offer breathtaking views to the most unspoilt scenery which is dotted with lonely churches, rugged windmills and century-old stone houses.
13. Do Water Sports
Although not great fans of water sports ourselves, we can’t overlook the fact that Paros is heaven on earth for active holiday lovers. Windy Paros offers unique opportunities for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The island is a popular destination for scuba diving as well.
14. Visit The Valley of The Butterflies
You’ve probably heard of the Valley of the Butterflies in Rhodes. But did you know that Paros is home to its very own Valley of the Butterflies too? We hadn’t and we just couldn’t wait to visit. Yet summer 2020, which is when we last visited Paros Island, had other plans for us. Due to restrictions imposed in order to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, the Valley of the Butterflies was closed when we visited in early July.
However, if you happen to plan a trip to Paros from late May to late July, make sure you visit this site of jaw-dropping scenery so as to get a glimpse of the Jersey Tiger Moth butterflies in their natural habitat.
15. Indulge in Ferryspotting At Cape Agios Fokas
If you, like us, enjoy spending time doing nothing but watch the ferries come and go, then you should definitely visit Cape Agios Fokas at the entrance of Parikia Bay. While you wait for the next ferry to spot, you can check out the tiny Agios Fokas church, swim in the small beach that is right next to the church or explore the stone buildings that keep the area’s lonely lighthouse company.
How To Get To Paros
You can get to Paros either by ferry or by plane. From Piraeus, the main port of Athens, ferries to Parikia Port are very frequent, especially in the summer months. During peak season (July and August) you can also get to Paros from Rafina Port near Athens. Last but not least, there’s frequent ferry connection between Paros and other Greek Islands such as Naxos, Sifnos, Andros, Amorgos, Astypalaia and many more as well.
Alternatively, you can get to Paros Island by plane from either Athens or Thessaloniki in Greece.
How To Get Around Paros
As mentioned early in this guide, Paros is one of the easiest Greek Islands to get around. Which is absolutely amazing if you ask us. There are no dramatic mountain tops nor any difficult dirt roads whatsoever. Paros is generally smooth and flat and, thus, very easy to see and enjoy. Driving is by far the best way to explore Paros because it gives you total freedom to explore everything at your own pace.
If driving is not an option though, we’ve got good news for you. Contrary to what happens on other Greek Islands, Paros has a really reliable public transport system. There are frequent buses that will get you almost everywhere you may want to go on the island. For timetables and other useful information click here.
Where To Stay in Paros
When it comes to choosing your accommodation in Paros, there’s a lot to take into consideration. First of all, you need to decide if you want to stay near the sea or at one of the quaintest villages in the mountains. So, if you’re dreaming of a peaceful beach holiday in Paros maybe you should go for Drios in the south or Logaras on the east coast.
If you prefer a village in the mainland though, maybe you should choose a hotel in Lefkes or even Marpissa. On the other hand, Parikia is a wise option if you’re not driving. However, the best place to stay in Paros, especially if this is your first trip to the island, is Naoussa.
During our recent trip to Paros, we stayed at Adonis Hotel in Naoussa and we couldn’t be happier with our choice. Staying there meant that we had literally everything, as in restaurants, bars and fantastic beaches, within short walking distance from our room. What else could we possibly ask for?
Adonis Hotel is a complex of smartly decorated rooms and apartments just a stone’s throw from the peaceful Piperi Beach. Most importantly, though, Adonis Hotel is an easy 10-minute stroll from the Old Port of Naoussa.
Apart from the hotel’s hard to beat location, what we liked about Adonis Hotel a lot was the fact that our room was clean, comfortable and utterly relaxing.
Most of all, though, we loved how Nikos, the manager, and everyone else at Adonis Hotel went out of their way to make us feel perfectly at home.
What & Where To Eat in Paros
When in Paros, do your best to try as many local delicacies as possible. These include chickpeas in the oven, fried chickpea balls, meatballs and, of course, the king of Parian cuisine, gouna. The latter is fresh mackerel which is first sun-dried and then grilled to perfection.
Here’s our list of the best restaurants in Paros. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. It’s just a selection of some of the places we’ve tried during our trips to Paros Island throughout the years.
- Aranto in Lefkes is hands down the best restaurant in Paros. It serves local recipes with a twist. Everything we tried there, from appetizers to mains to dessert, was absolutely mouthwatering.
- Kafeneio I Palia Agora in Naoussa serves exquisite meze dishes and the best chickpeas in the oven on the island.
- Halaris in Piso Livadi is a top-quality fish tavern and one of the best places to try gouna in Paros.
- Chaniotis in Parikia is renowned for the old-style burger it serves. For some, trying this burger is a valid reason to visit Paros in itself.
- Burger Street in Parikia is a new addition to the island’s fast-food scene. It claims the title of the best burger place in Paros. For me, it IS the best burger place because it serves a couple of delicious vegetarian burger versions alongside the meat-based ones.
- Kafeneio Tis Marigos in Lefkes is the most picturesque place to enjoy a beer or three accompanied by simple meze dishes.
- Café Symposio in Parikia is a beautiful all-day traditional coffee shop. It serves coffee, refreshments, sweets, drinks, light snacks and meals.
Why Visit Paros
You now know what to do in Paros, this gorgeous island in the heart of the Cyclades which has something for everyone. But what makes Paros truly unique and really worth a trip in its own right is the fact that it’s an island that has it all and it’s extremely easy to get around.
From relaxing on pristine beaches and hiking in the midst of gorgeous scenery to exploring fascinating archaelogical sites and tasting local cuisine, Paros is an island that guarantees a fantastic and, most of all, hassle-free and relaxing holiday under the Greek sun.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Paros now!
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Disclosure: We were guests at Adonis Hotel, yet, as always, all opinions are our own.