Best Places to See on the Greek Island of Paros



Naoussa, Paros (Source: François F.-Dubois [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5 from Wikimedia Commons).
Located in the cluster of the Cycladic islands, Paros has all the perfect ingredients you would fancy when dreaming of a holiday on a Greek island. Unique beaches with azure waters, fish tavernas, whitewashed houses, and traditional Cycladic churches.

Often chosen by Greek families as their summer destination, Paros still retains some of its local traditions without falling into the traps of mass tourism and unstoppable growth.

Naoussa

Panoramic view of Naoussa (Source: Tango7174 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Among the different villages to visit on the island, Naoussa is probably the favorite one. Originally an old Venetian port, Naoussa is probably one of the best-known faces of Paros and certainly one of the most picturesque.

Port of Naoussa (Courtesy of Gabi Ancarola).

While on Naoussa, a stroll along the alleys of the port is a must. Dining in one of the many tavernas that populate the waterfront area is something both locals and tourists seem to enjoy. Octopus hanging to dry, a glass of ouzo and a chat with friends are the ingredients for a perfect evening in Paros.

Lefkes

The village of Lefkes (Source: Kondephy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Lefkes, in the mountains, is a perfect option when wanting to spend a day away from the beach. Situated in a wonderful valley, the area is often a few degrees cooler than the seaside shores, offering a great alternative from the extreme heat during summer.

Tavernas, traditional kafenion and the typical architecture of the place, turn Lefkes into the perfect postcard of the Cyclades.

The marble of the Venus de Milo is believed to have been extracted from this 100-metre-long (330 ft) quarry. (Source: Kim Traynor – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Before reaching Lefkes, it is possible to make a stop at the Marathi Marble Quarry, home to the well-known Parian marble. Several Greek sculptures have been crafted using this fine marble.

Parikia, the capital

Parikia, the capital (Source: Olaf Tausch – Own work, CC BY 3.0).

Parikia, capital of the island, is a lively center with an interesting nightlife for the younger – and not so young – visitor. Also known as Paros Town or simply Chora, it counts about 3,000 inhabitants. This little town is the main center of Paros and it is home to its main harbor as well, serving many other islands.

Amphitheatrically built around the port, the city counts with postcard-perfect examples of the typical Cycladic architecture made of whitewashed cubic houses and colorful windows and doors. The windmill located at the entrance of the port is probably one of the landmarks of the island.

This traditional settlement develops around the hill of Kastro (Castle), a place made of narrow alleys that form a maze where getting lost is a magnificent visual experience. There are many churches around the are, such as the church of Agia Eleni, the Panagia Septemvriani, and the famous Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Our Lady of the Hundred Doors), one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece.

Panagia Ekatontapiliani in Parikia (Source: Konstantinos Stampoulis [CC BY-SA 3.0 gr] from Wikimedia Commons).
In Parikia, visitors can also explore the Archaeological Museum of Paros, home to a collection of various findings from the Neolithic and Roman periods. Above Parikia, the Monastery of Agii Anargiri rewards visitors with stunning views of the sea.

Beaches of Paros

Among the beautiful beaches to enjoy on Paros, Santa Maria is the best place to go for those keen on water sports. There, it is possible to find all the facilities for diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing, while due to its extension it still manages to maintain a quiet, not crowded atmosphere.

For more information about Paros, check the author's Digital Guide to Paros, Antiparos and Despotiko.
For more information about Paros, check the author’s Digital Guide to Paros, Antiparos, and Despotiko

For those into kite-surfing, Pounda is another good option. Rather lonely and relaxed, Pounda also offers excellent views of the nearby Antiparos, as well as several daily ferries that connect both islands.

Kolimbithres is another famous beach and it is found in the bay of Naoussa, also known as Plastira Bay. There are huge granite formations which have been smoothly sculpted by the action of the elements, giving the impression of a rather lunar atmosphere. Sandy bays and coves form small natural sea pools where it is possible to spend the day, sometimes in total privacy.

A view of Naoussa from Kolimbithres (Source: Smtunli, Svein-Magne Tunli – www.tunliweb.no – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0).

Golden Beach (or Chrissi Akti) is probably the best beach on the island, The extensive sandy beach is very well-known by windsurfers thanks to the ideal winds that affect the area. In fact, every August the beach hosts the Professional Windsurfing World Cup which sees the arrival of windsurfing celebrities from all over the world.

South of Paros, the beach of Logaras is 20 km away from the island’s capital, Parikia. Logaras is a long sandy beach where there are also bars, tavernas, and hotels and it is one of the favorite destinations for families.