Paros is a beautiful island in the Aegean sea that is becoming more and more famous as it is quieter than the most touristic islands, while still offering the quintessential Greek experience and landscapes: whitewashed houses, bright pink bougainvillea trees, charming and picturesque towns and, of course, stunning beaches. All of these give you the opportunity to spend a perfect holiday in Greece and the four days we spent there were definitely amazing!
So, without further ado, here are some of the things you can do in the beautiful Paros:
Walk around the streets of Parikia
Parikia, the main town of Paros, is everything you have dreamed of in terms of typical Greek town with white-washed houses and blue doors and shutters. After browsing the cute shops and taking in all the Cycladic beauty of Parikia, be sure to check out the Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church with a hundred doors) which, according to the tradition, has 99 doors and a secret one. You can also go up to the Venetian Castle, the “Kastro” (yes, there is also one in Milos!) and admire the views from the nearby church of St Constantine!
Discover the vibrant Naoussa
Located in the Northern part of the island, Naoussa is definitely the hip, trendy town of the island, with many bars and fine restaurants, as well as some nightclubs. Even though it can get very crowded in the evening, the city still looks like a traditional Cycladic town, with cute white houses and colourful flowers everywhere. We went there in the morning for brunch before leaving to check out the North coast during the day, then came back in the evening to explore its cute streets and trendy shops before grabbing something to eat.
Go for a hike in Paros Park
In the Northern part of the island, there is a tiny peninsula with a large natural reserve called Paros Park. It is made of many different hiking trails that will take you all around the area to discover a variety of landscapes, including stunning views on the island, a very scenic lighthouse and a rocky area where all the rocks have been eroded by the wind, creating a lace-like impression.
After the hikes, you can relax in one of the many nearby beaches: we went to the quiet Perikopetra but the beautiful Monastiri beach is also nearby if you want to relax on a sunbed! While you are there, be sure to check out the postcard-worthy Agios Ioannis Detis chapel, which is the featured image of my 10-days itinerary post, for a stunning view on the bay of Naoussa.
Relax at Kolymbithres beach
Even though all of the beaches in Paros are beautiful, this one is probably the most unusual. Located not too far away from Paros Park, in the huge bay of Naoussa, this beach is impressive because of the huge blocks of granite that have been shaped and smoothed out by the sea and wind over the centuries, creating a nice surface to lie on. Some portions of it are also just sandy – and you will walk on very smooth sand when you are in the water – which gives the water a stunning turquoise shade.
Hike the Byzantine road
Dating back to the Byzantine era, hence its name, the Byzantine road is the oldest trail of theisland and is paved with Parian marble – but don’t expect to walk on luxurious polished marble of course! Starting from a cute and very quiet little town called Lefkès, the Byzantine road will take you through a typical Greek landscape made of low trees, bushes and aromatic plants to another even quieter town called Prodromos. It is 3,5 km long so it can be done by many but it can also be extended all the way to the sea!
Explore the typical Greek villages
Since we hiked the Byzantine road, we decided to take the opportunity and stop by the towns on the way for a bit longer.
Our first stop was the medieval capital of the island, the quiet Lefkès, where you can check-out stunning views over the surrounding nature from the hill-top church of Agia Triada. From there, we reached Prodromos, a very quiet and tiny village which stunned me with its huge and colourful bougainvillea trees everywhere. There, we stopped for a cold drink in a small café, then walked to Marpissa, another picturesque village, which had quite a number of typical white Greek churches hidden between all the cute houses.
Go to Antiparos
Right in front Paros, a smaller island called Antiparos attracts each year many tourists and – surprisingly – celebrities. Its beautiful beaches and cute main town offer the perfect opportunity for a day trip from Parikia. With trendy and expensive shops and not-so-Mediterranean brunch places… even the touristy shops seemed more high-end!
Despite its smaller size, there are plenty of things to do in Antiparos, aside from browsing the beautiful shops:
- check out the Venetian castle (spoiler alert: it does not look like what you have in mind and can be quite underwhelming)
- take the bus and visit the caves, a natural wonder filled with stalactites and stalagmites in an 85-metre deep vertical cave
- relax at one of the many beaches of Antiparos for a chilled and laid-back afternoon
Taste the food
This is of course a must-do in Paros and in Greece in general! In Paros, there are many restaurants that will serve traditional and seafood- or fish-based dishes to taste the Greek cuisine. Our approach during this trip was to check out what were some of the traditional dishes, then, when the occasion presented itself, we tried it at a restaurant or take-away. We also asked our amazing host to recommend some places, but if you’re more of an extrovert you can obviously just ask around 😉
Have a chill day at the beach
Whether you opt for one of the most famous beaches in Paros (Kolymbithres, Monastiri or Santa Maria), or maybe if you decide to try another one, I’d say that it is essential to have at least one chill day during your trip, just to have a taste of the Greek-island lifestyle. For this, we went to a beautiful beach a bit off-the-beaten-track in a cute town called Aliki. The beach was not overcrowded and the water was probably the most transparent I’ve seen in all of our trip, and we could also spot some cute fish in between its crystal-clear waves.
We had the best time in Paros and I feel like we managed to strike a perfect balance between hiking, relaxing at the beach, eating all the food and exploring around. There are so many things to do there that you can always stay longer, but I feel like four days really allowed to check out the main and best things there are to do!
Have you been to Paros or another Cyclade island?
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