Classy, fashionable, yet still very traditional, Paros is the quintessential Cycladic island. Timeless villages, sophisticated restaurants, buzzy nightlife, and a world-famous surf scene make Paros a popular destination for sporty adventures or laidback holidays.
DID YOU KNOW?
The stunning cathedral of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, just behind the port, has expanded and flourished since the 4th century. Although the name means ‘the church of 100 doors’, it doesn’t actually have 100 entrances. Can you count them?
The inland villages of Lefkes, Marpissa and Prodromos offer a glimpse of a bygone Greece that’s still very much alive. Wander the whitewashed alleys cascading with bougainvillea, light a candle in the blue-domed chapels, or laze away an afternoon playing backgammon in the village kafenion.
If you’re into water-sports, Paros is the perfect Greek island. ChryssiAkti (Golden Beach) has such great windsurfing conditions that it hosts various world championships. Santa Maria is the hub of water-skiing and scuba diving, while colourful kite-surfers dot the skies above Pounta beach. If you just want to chill, try shallow Logaras, secluded Faragas, or the coves at Kolymbithres, sheltered by granite rocks.
EAT & DRINK
The pretty port capital, Parikia, has restaurants, cafes and bars for every taste. Photogenic Naoussa is full of refined seafood restaurants, clustered along the waterfront. Beautiful people party from dusk until dawn in the seaside bars. You’ll find more traditional fish tavernas in the old-fashioned harbours of PisoLivadi and Aliki. Inland, family-run taverns abound, where everything from the lamb chops to the stuffed tomatoes is locally sourced.
The interior of Paros is etched with strates, stone-paved paths laid centuries ago, when the only form of transport was on foot or on the back of a donkey. Hike these historic trails to discover ancient quarries, Byzantine monasteries, and magnificent views.