- Paros is known for its stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters. Popular choices include Golden Beach, Kolymbithres, Santa Maria, and Pounta.
- Parikia, the capital, boats traditional Cycladic buildings, picturesque streets, and the iconic Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church.
- Naoussa, a fishing village, is known for its vibrant atmosphere, beachfront taverns, and Venetian port.
- The island's reliable winds make it ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
- Paros serves as an excellent base for Greek island-hopping. With convenient ferry connections, you can travel all around the nearby islands of the Cyclades island group.
Due to Paros’ central location in the Aegean Sea as one of the Cyclades islands, it was a prominent maritime hub during ancient Greek times. Numerous Byzantine-era churches still stand today.
White-washed traditional villages with blue doors, accented with marble cobblestone streets, flanked by rich magenta bougainvillea—that’s a general description of the Aegean aesthetic you'll find on Paros.
Wondering whether to include Paros Island in your Greek vacation itinerary? Keep reading our guide to Paros, Greece, to learn all about this gem of the Cycladic islands and everything you need to know before visiting.
When to Travel to Paros
Traveling to Paros is ideal during the summer months. The travel season lasts from late April to early October, when the weather is warm and optimal for swimming, sailing, and sunbathing. Most hotels open during this period, with a few offering stays from late March to late October.
Situated in the Aegean, Paros is accessible via plane through Athens, Crete, and Thessaloniki. There are also two ferry options from Athens to Paros, a standard-speed ferry that takes four and a half hours or a high-speed ferry that arrives in less than three hours.
Naturally, high-speed ferry tickets from Athens to Paros are pricier; however, they are worth the extra cost in order to save time and travel in comfort.
Sightseeing, shopping, and dining, however, are always enjoyable in Paros, even outside the warmest months of the year.
Where to Stay When You Visit Paros
When you visit Paros, we highly recommend staying in the picturesque village of Naoussa on the north coast. It is the most energetic town in Paros, offering all the best luxury hotels with private pools, nightlife, cafes, shopping, and architecture.
Naoussa doesn’t allow cars, and the town’s walkable location is perfect for experiencing this Greek island’s overwhelming serenity. Book a hotel in central Naoussa for easy access to all the action. Get lost in the stunning white and blue alleyways as you seek out a cafe, bar, or restaurant.
Pro tip: Be sure to spend some time exploring the town in the morning before the crowds emerge.
Staying in the capital of Paros, Parikia is another great option. With easy access between Parikia and Naoussa, you can enjoy all the best this island offers.
The Best Hotels for Paros Travel
Here is a list of some of the best hotels in Paros to consider for your stay:
- Adonis Hotel Studios & Apartments: Offering magnificent views of the Aegean Sea and the town, this hotel boasts a friendly staff and flexible accommodations.
- Hotel Papadakis: Curated to immerse guests in a fully Cycladic essence, this boutique hotel provides a modern take on traditional Greek style. It is especially beloved for its sweeping views of the town and beaches.
- Sandaya Luxury Suites: This luxurious boutique hotel is a boho-chic retreat, offering visual appeal at every turn with its clean, modern decor. For couples, families, and just about anyone in search of relaxation, Sandaya offers it all.
- White Blossom: A stunning escape from the crowds and hustle, this small hotel sits just above Livadia Beach. While close enough to all the action in Parikia, it is a tranquil escape promising relaxation and luxury.
- Bohemian Luxury Boutique Hotel: This adults-only hotel is a quiet refuge for those seeking romance and peace. Great views and a pool with a bar make this a great spot for luxuriousGreek romantic vacations for couples. Some rooms even include a private outdoor tub!
Getting Around Paros and Public Transportation Options
Cycladic aesthetic in Paros - credits: Shutterstock.com
One of the loveliest aspects of Paros is its convenient public transportation system. Instead of hectic hustling, getting around the island is efficient and easy.
Local buses are inexpensive and stop at all the major beaches and towns throughout Paros. You can rent a car or scooter if you want independence as you explore the island. There are also boats that take visitors to the local beaches from Naoussa’s ferry port, offering a scenic route to the sea.
Must-See Sights in Paros, Greece
Paros boasts numerous historical sites and adventurous pursuits, depending on your taste and interests. Here is a brief look at the top things to do in Paros.
- ATV touring: One of the most popular activities in Paros is ATV touring. In just an hour, you can view all the island has to offer. If you have more time to spend, book a one-day ATV tour to soak in the views, enjoy time at secluded beaches, and stop for delicious eats at a beach bar along the way.
- Visit the Temple of Panagia Ekatontapiliani: Reportedly commissioned by the mother of Constantine the Great, this temple is one of the best-preserved landmarks from the Byzantine era, dating to 326 AD.
- The Valley of Butterflies: Get your nature fix in this wondrous grove of olive, fig, mulberry, and pear trees, known for the many butterflies that fill the valley in the summer months.
- The Village of Lefkes: Paros has many charming traditional villages, but Lefkes may be its most beautiful and cosmopolitan village. Enjoy the scenic views and a coffee as you stroll the cobblestone streets.
- The Venetian Castle: Considered the crown jewel of Naoussa, the Venetian Castle dates to the 15th century. It offers a wondrous look at the past, despite being half-sunken on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
Top Ten Best Beaches in Paros
Paros is one of the largest islands in Greece, so you can expect phenomenal golden beaches. Whether you want a party beach or a tranquil seaside escape, no trip to Paros is complete without a swim in the Aegean Sea. Here are our top ten picks for the best beaches in Paros.
Kolymbithres Beach is one of the most fantastic beaches in the country, superior to most on other Greek islands, with towering rock formations and soft, golden sand. Natural pools form in the rocks creating bathtubs along the shore.
2. Piso Livadi
This is a very popular spot for the locals. Definitely not a party beach, Piso Livadi offers a relaxing, calm beach vibe for those seeking more nature and less action.
While there are no umbrellas and loungers on this beach, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops within walking distance.
3. Chrysi Akti
One of the most popular beaches on Paros, Chrysi Akti -or Golden Beach- offers shallow, crystalline water and wind streams perfect for windsurfing. This beach caters to everyone with luxurious sunbeds and umbrellas, lifeguards, and beachside bars.
Faragas is another popular beach at the southern end of Paros. The shallow bay offers clear waters prime for watersports. Luxurious accommodations and a busy beach bar add to the excitement.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors soak up the sun on Punda every year, which is the premier party beach of Paros. Loud music, dancing, drinking, and partying sum up the Punda scene!
6. Santa Maria
Near both Naoussa and Parikia, Santa Maria is absolutely stunning. It features a bay protected from the northern winds and almost always remains uncrowded.
Just three kilometers from Parikia, this gorgeous beach offers unforgettable sunset views. Parasporos Beach is famous for its all-day and late-night partying. Two beach bars and two traditional taverns serve up beachside refreshments and great Greek fare.
8. Agia Eirini
Two pristine beaches merge to create this calm, protected bay. It seems more like a lake than the sea, offering an atmosphere for total relaxation. Purchase refreshments at the beachside tavern and enjoy them in the shade of palm trees.
Though not technically on Paros, this exclusive island is just next door and serves as a luxurious celebrity hideout.
10. Kalogeros Beach
This rocky beach features striking geography and a unique, healing mud. Many locals and visitors visit for DIY spa days.
Where to Eat: Dining in Paros
From gyros to baklava, Greek food is popular across the globe. In Paros, you can enjoy authentic local cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the past two decades, Paros has experienced immense tourism growth. Positively adding to its appeal are the many world-class taverns and restaurants serving up exquisite local foods.
Paros offers superbly fresh foods, and despite the demand from tourism, the island has not sacrificed quality and tradition for mass production. Freshly baked loaves of bread, local produce, fresh seafood, along with international influence are some of the highlights. Paros also has a thriving wine culture, producing fine white, red, and rosé wines.
Of all the amazing aspects of this beautiful Greek island, the food scene is at the very top. Dining in seaside taverns, sipping Greek coffee in charming cafes, and enjoying the abundance of fresh seafood; it’s an experience for the senses.
The Best Taverns in Paros
Looking for an authentic Greek tavern experience? Check out the eateries we have selected for our Paros, Greece travel guide:
- Lolandonis: In eastern Paro, the rustic, authentic gem, Lolandonis, offers an array of fine cuisine.
- Locally crafted wine, homemade oils, locally grown produce, and meats cooked over a wood fire create a genuine local experience,
- Tsachpinis: Specializing in seafood, this tavern offers the best quality foods. For nearly 40 years, Tsachpinis has enjoyed serving visitors and treating them to such seafood delights as sun-dried octopus and fresh grilled cuttlefish.
- Koutouki: Located in Parikia with excellent views, this is one of the best restaurants on the island.
- ts expansive menu features unique versions of classics, including Greek salad and dakos salad. Usually less crowded than other hotspots, Koutouki offers a great vibe and friendly staff.
- Ouzeri Halaris: To get to Ouzeri Halaris in the quiet beach village of Piso Livadi, you'll wind your way through gorgeous Lefkes.
- After a day on the sandy beach, stroll over to Ouzeri Halaris and savor the delicious fare.
The Best Restaurants in Paros
For a more formal dinner, explore these restaurants in Paros:
- Mario: Relaxed but upscale, Mario is a popular spot with modern Greek specialties and plenty of fresh seafood.
- Run by chef Yannis, Mario features the finest produce from the restaurant’s family farm. They also offer an extensive wine selection with both local and international wines.
- Siparos: Located near Santa Maria Beach, Siparos has an elegant, lively atmosphere. Enjoy local seafood and meats, complemented by fresh pasta, herbs, and exceptional cocktails.
- Blue Oyster: A sophisticated but relaxed restaurant, Blue Oyster sits on a terrace on the beach of Ampelas.
- It has stunning views of the Aegean Sea and features a menu rich in fresh seafood, especially shellfish, with a signature Greek flair.
- Barbarossa: Luxurious and vibrant, Barbarossa is a long-standing hotspot in Paros. This cafe-restaurant offers unique takes on Aegean cuisine, sushi, seafood, and cocktails with international influence.
- It has proudly served the likes of royals and celebrities while staying dedicated to the traditional food culture of the Greek islands.
Street Foods in Paros
For quick bites served hot and fresh by local vendors, sample these street food options:
- The Foodie Bar: Simple, fast, and effective. Foodie Bar offers late-night hours, perfect for after a fun night out. Grab sandwiches, gyros, burgers, crepes, waffles, and Mexican options, and enjoy the relaxed outdoor setting.
- Chaniotis Burger: Since 1981, this has been the premier burger joint in Paros. Superior local ingredients and 100% beef mean exceptional burgers.
- Souvlaki Kargas: Souvlaki is the ultimate Greek street food, similar to kebab meat skewers, and this is the place to grab it when you’re in Naoussa.
A Few Points to Know About When Dining in Paros
You have endless restaurants to choose from in Paros, from casual eats to high-end fine dining establishments. During the high season, make reservations at least three days in advance.
Unlike many other places in Europe, tipping is a gesture of appreciation in Paros. Generally, you should tip €2 to €5 for satisfactory service.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Paros
As the gem of the Aegean islands, Paros is a remarkable destination offering the finest points of Greek culture.
Its food scene, ancient ruins, traditional villages, golden beaches, and picturesque beauty offer endless options for savoring the finer points of the popular Greek islands.
If you're planning to visit Greece, keep Paros at the top of your bucket list.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Paros?
Paros is easily accessible by both ferry and plane. To reach Paros, you can take a ferry from Athens' ports (Piraeus or Rafina) or fly directly to Paros Airport from Athens or other major cities. Flight and ferry schedules vary depending on the season, so it's advisable to check the timetables in advance.
What are the main towns to visit in Paros?
The main towns to visit in Paros are Parikia, the capital, and Naoussa, a charming fishing village.
Are there any historical sites to explore in Paros?
Yes, Paros has several historical sites worth visiting. The Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church in Parikia is a must-see, known as one of the oldest churches in Greece. The Archaeological Museum of Paros showcases artifacts from ancient times. Additionally, the Byzantine Trail offers a glimpse into the island's past with its churches, monasteries, and castles.
What water sports can I enjoy in Paros?
Paros is known for its ideal wind conditions, making it a popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Pounta Beach is particularly renowned for these activities. You can also enjoy sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters around the island.
What traditional dishes should I try in Paros?
Paros offers a delicious selection of traditional Greek cuisine. Some must-try dishes include fresh seafood like grilled fish and octopus, Greek salads with locally sourced ingredients, and the island's signature almond-based liqueur, soumada.