Paros, or Πάρος, is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. Part of the Cyclades island family, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 km wide and Antiparos lies to its immediate southwest. Paros is approximately 161 km south-east of Piraeus, the main port of Athens.
Historically, Paros was known for its fine white marble, which gave rise to the term “Parian” to describe marble or china of similar qualities. Most famously, the Venus de Milo was carved from Parian marble, as was Napoleon’s tomb. Abandoned and some working marble quarries and mines can still be found on the island today.
Unrivaled natural beauty, beaches with crystal clear waters, Byzantine footpaths connecting traditional villages and breathtaking landscapes make Paros one of the best loved holiday & wedding destinations in Greece.
The island is a main ferry hub for onward travel to other islands in the Aegean and a perfect home-base for island exploring.
Paros climate is temperate, like the rest of the Cyclades Islands. During summer season the weather is sunny, hot with occasional strong winds called meltemia, very much appreciated by windsurfers and kitesurfers. Summer evenings are usually cooler, with a little humidity – the perfect weather for your celebrations and holdidays.
From the month of January to April, Paros island’s temperatures vary from 11°C to 15°C. During the month of May, temperatures climb up to low to mid 20°C. During summer months the weather warms up and can reach the mid and even high 30°C. If you prefer cooler temperatures, September and October are the ideal months.
Getting to Paros
Paros is connected by ferry to Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio in Athens and the rest of the Cyclades. Ferries take approximately 3-4 hours, depending on whether you choose the smaller speed ferries, larger high speed ferries or more luxurious ferries.
You can reach Paros by aeroplane from the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki too and there is a new airport is in progress. So fingers crossed for chartered flights from Europe real soon!
Your wedding & event planner will advise you on the best domestic transfer options for you and your guests.
Towns & Villages of Paros
Parikia is the capital of Paros, and it’s ideal for care-free walks on the narrow streets – where tourists blend with locals’ everyday lives. You can enjoy the special atmosphere of the life on an island any time of day or night, with its shops, bars, restaurants and tavernas. But there are parts in it that take you on a journey back in the past of Paros. In the oldest part of the town there is a 13th century Venetian castle, as well as a number of byzantine churches, that have preserved the essence of the island in their architecture and style.
Wander through beautiful traditional village of Naoussa on the northern gulf of Paros, where the ruins of a Venetian fortress stand at the entrance to its small harbour. The unique juxtaposition of this colourful traditional fishing harbour and a trendy waterside lounge scene with its tavernas and ouzeris, its bars and its clubs is one of the most picturesque and photographed spots on all of the Greek islands.
Lefkes is located at the highest point of Paros and you can enjoy stunning views of the island from this mountain village. It’s surrounded by a rich green landscape and has very well preserved Cycladic and neoclassical buildings, beautiful squares and narrow marble alleys.
Marpissa, founded in the 15th century, is a traditional village with a distinctive medieval character. It is located on a hill, a few kilometres away from the beaches of Logaras and Piso Livadi and rich in remains of antiquity, built on the site of an ancient town.
On the east coast is the charming low-key family friendly village of Piso Livadi, with cafes, traditional restaurant and a surprisingly strong jazz scene.
Drios, Golden Beach and New Golden Beach where once lesser known areas of Paros, but are fast gaining in popularity for a mixture of off the beaten track and luxury. These areas are wind- and kite-surfing heaven for the more adventurous.
The tranquil island of Antiparos is 1km southwest of Paros, and only 10 minutes with ferry from Pounda (not to be confused with Punda beach) on Paros or excursion boat from Parikia port. It’s wonderful sandy beaches with azure waters ans quaint shops makes it ideal for a day trip.
Hotels, Apartments & Villas on Paros
Paros can be commended developing just enough to offer superior acoomodation while stil staying true to it’s authenticity.
Whether you are looking for an exquisite suite , a super luxureious villa – or whether you prefer to stay in traditional architecture and character hotels featuring more simple rooms, you’ll find the perfect home away from home for your holiday and celebration stay!
Getting Around the Island
Paros has a good public transport network, and buses connect the island’s towns and villages to the most popular beaches and to each other .
Taxi’s are generally readily available, however it’s advisable to book important transfers during high season times of mid July to mid August.
To explore the true and hidden beauty of the island, we recommend renting a car, scooter or even a quad bike.
Paros is blessed with beaches golden sands and a choice of atmospheres to making every type of beach goer happy – from intimate secluded coves to party beaches for the young and adventurous. Many of the crystal clear water beaches have been awarded with a Blue Flag for the cleanliness of the water.
As far as organised beaches go, bustling Punda Beach is the party place for young tourists, while Santa Maria offers a summer atmosphere for the more refined traveller looking for chair-side service and exquisite cocktails.
Kolimbithres has left visiters in awe with it’s warm waters and natural rock formations, while Monastiri beach is a favourite on windy days and the best spot for wakeboarding.
Golden and New Golden Beach is windsurfing and watersport paradise. And explore the small and secluded treasuresalong the way – nudist beaches, mud therapy beaches, blue lagoon-like alcoves – Paros has it all.
Dining on Paros
Traditional taverns with fresh quality produce to world famous gastronomy created by internationally revered chefs, your dining experience on Paros will not disappoint.
Parikia has a large choice of reastaurants and taverns, from casual dining to creative mediterranean cuisne. Family friendly. Naoussa is a favourite among delicate palettes, with it’s gourmet style taverns and exquisite restaurants back-dropped by the most breathtaking scenery. Or enjoy local wine and dishes by a Michelen-star trained chef on Santa Maria beach.
Whereveryou dine, be sure to try the Parian delicacies. Beautiful bottle and carafe wines are created locally and make the perfect accompaniment to the fresh seafood and grilled meats Paros and Greece is famous for. Wet your appetite with grilled octopus, or ‘gouna’, a sun-dried mackerel fish, grilled and served with a bit of lemon. And a trip to Paros is not complete if you don’t try the island’s homemade spirit, souma
Paros combines Cycladic tradition and exciting Paros nightlife, and you choose when you want your peace and when it’s time for all night island-style revelling.
A the heart of Paros’s nightlife is Naoussa , with it’s lively waterside lounge and bar scene. Parikia have late night cafes perfect for a refreshing cocktails before moving onto one of the capital’s nightclubs that only start getting busy around 1am. And for indie & jazz lovers, the bars in Piso Livadi are a pleasant surprise.
Siteseeing on Paros
Seeped in history, archeology and culture, the following attractions are well worth a visit on Paros:
- The Church Panagia Ekatontapiliani, literally meaning “church of the hundred doors”.
- The monastery of St Anthony
- The Archeological Museum
- Museum of Popular Aegean civilization
- The ”Skorpios” Folklore Museum
- Ancient Marble Quarries
- Ancient Cemetery
- Agia Anna Hill
- The Monastery of Loggovardas
- The Venetian Castle
- The Church of Agios Nikolaos
- The Mycenaean Acropolis
- The Church of Agia Triada
- Butterfly Valley – Petaloudes
- The Antiparos Cave
Annual Events on Paros
The Greek Orthodox Easter and the celebration of the Virgin Mary on August 15th every year are the patron events of Paros. The island is heaving with life and positive energy during these periods.
A every summer, Paros offers a great selection of cultural events and religious festivals. Keep and eye out for music festivals held by the Paros Environmental Park and parties with DJ brought in from all over the world at well-know beach bars and clubs.
- First Monda y of June: The Holy Trinity Church in Lefkes
- June the 26th and the 27th: The Feast of Saint John in Alyki
- First Sunday of July: Fish & Wine Festival in Naoussa
- July: International Jazz Festival, Island-wide
- August 6: Fish Festival in Alyki
- August 15: Panayia in Parikia & Naoussa
- August 29: Ayios Ioannis at Lefkes
- September 4: The Feast of the Holy Cross in Agairia
What to Do on Paros
If you’re concerned that too much relaxing on the beach will rust those cogs, there is plenty to do on the island too:
- Mountain biking
- All kinds of watersports
- Spiritual retreats
Galleries, Arts & Culture
Many talented artists from mainland Greece and all over the world have selected Paros for their inspiration, creating and exhibiting their art in the numerous galleries and showrooms of the Island.
- Apothiki Contemporary Art Gallery
- ArtPas Foundation
- Gallery Pondoporos
- Metaxas Gallery
- Peter Seibt
- Venus Art Gallery
The island is also home to the Aegean Center of Arts & Culture, that attracts students of all ages from around the world every summer for workshops on any genre imaginable – including vocal training, writing, photography and all forms of painting.