Are you looking for a stunning Greek island that has it all? Look no further than Paros! Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Paros is a hidden gem that offers everything you could want in a Mediterranean getaway: beautiful beaches, charming villages, rich history, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife.
Paros has something for everyone, whether you’re a beach lover, a culture buff, an adventure seeker, or a foodie. You can spend your days soaking up the sun on one of the island’s many beaches, exploring the traditional villages, hiking the scenic trails, or trying the local cuisine. And when the sun goes down, you can enjoy the lively nightlife in Naoussa or Parikia.
In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the 15 best things to do in Paros. From exploring the charming villages to discovering the ancient sites, from trying the local cuisine to going windsurfing or scuba diving, we’ve got you covered. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to fall in love with Paros!
Explore the Charming Villages
Paros is known for its beautiful and traditional Cycladic villages, and exploring them should be on your itinerary. Naoussa is a must-visit, with its narrow streets, picturesque fishing port, and vibrant nightlife. It is a great place to enjoy a drink or dinner by the sea while admiring the stunning views. Naoussa is also famous for its traditional festivals, such as the Fishermen’s Festival and the Wine Festival.
Lefkes is also worth a visit, with its white houses, narrow alleys, and stunning views of the Aegean Sea. This charming village is located in the heart of the island, and it is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful stroll. The village is also famous for its Easter celebrations, with traditional processions and local delicacies.
Discover the Stunning Beaches
Paros has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit them. Golden Beach is one of the most popular and vibrant beaches on the island, with a long stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It is an ideal spot for windsurfing, but you can also enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
Santa Maria is another stunning beach, located on the north side of the island. It has a wide range of facilities, such as beach bars, restaurants, and water sports centers. Kolymbithres is a unique beach with impressive granite rock formations, creating small coves and pools of crystal-clear water. It is an ideal spot for snorkeling and exploring the underwater world.
Visit the Ancient Sites
Paros has a rich history dating back to ancient times, and there are several ancient sites to explore. The most famous is the ancient marble quarries in Marathi, where the famous Parian marble was extracted. The quarries are impressive, with huge blocks of marble still visible.
The Sanctuary of Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of healing, is also worth a visit. The sanctuary is located in a beautiful location, surrounded by olive trees and overlooking the sea. You can see the remains of the temple, the altar, and the sacred spring. Another ancient site to visit is the Mycenaean Acropolis in the village of Koukounaries, where you can admire the ancient walls and the impressive view.
Paros has some of the best hiking trails in the Cyclades, and hiking should be on your list of things to do. The Byzantine Road is the most popular, starting in Lefkes and taking you through traditional villages, olive groves, and stunning landscapes. The trail is well-marked, and you can enjoy the stunning views of the Aegean Sea.
For a more challenging hike, head to the highest point of the island, Profitis Ilias. The trail starts in the village of Prodromos and takes you through a rocky and steep terrain. The reward is the stunning panoramic views from the top, overlooking the whole island and the neighboring islands.
Try the Local Cuisine
Greek cuisine is famous worldwide, and Paros has some of the best traditional dishes to try. Seafood is a staple, with octopus, squid, and fish being the most popular. Don’t forget to try the local cheese, such as kopanisti and xinotyro, and the delicious meat dishes, such as lamb with artichokes.
Another local specialty is the Parian wine, which has a long tradition dating back to ancient times. You can visit the local wineries and taste the different varieties of wine, such as the white Malagousia and the red Mavrotragano. And of course, you shouldn’t leave the island without trying the famous Parian ice cream, made with local ingredients and served in a variety of flavors.
Paros is a windsurfing paradise, with ideal conditions for windsurfers of all levels. Golden Beach and New Golden Beach are the most popular spots for windsurfing, with strong winds and calm waters. There are several windsurfing schools and rental shops on the island, where you can take lessons or rent equipment.
If you’re a beginner, don’t worry. There are plenty of easy spots to practice, such as the bay of Punda and Pounda Beach. And if you’re an experienced windsurfer, you can challenge yourself with the strong winds and big waves of the Cycladic Sea.
Take a Boat Tour
A boat tour around Paros is a must-do activity, and it’s a great way to explore the island’s coastline and nearby islands. The boat tours usually start from the fishing port of Naoussa or Parikia and take you to secluded coves, hidden beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Some boat tours also include stops at nearby islands, such as Antiparos and Despotiko.
You can choose from different types of boat tours, such as a sunset cruise, a snorkeling tour, or a full-day excursion. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some dolphins or sea turtles along the way.
Go Scuba Diving
If you’re a scuba diving enthusiast, Paros has some excellent diving sites to explore. The waters around the island are crystal-clear, with an abundance of marine life, such as octopuses, barracudas, and groupers. There are several diving centers on the island that offer courses and equipment rental.
Some of the most popular diving sites are the wreck of the cargo ship Anna II, located off the coast of Naoussa, and the reef of Cape Arapis, where you can see colorful corals and sponges. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some rare species, such as the Mediterranean monk seal or the loggerhead sea turtle.
Visit the Folklore Museum
The Folklore Museum in Parikia is a great place to learn about the island’s rich history and traditions. The museum has a collection of traditional costumes, furniture, and tools, as well as exhibits on the island’s festivals and customs. You can learn about the traditional weaving techniques, the local pottery, and the production of olive oil and wine.
The museum is located in a beautiful old house, with a lovely courtyard and a small garden. It is a great place to escape the heat and the crowds and learn more about the local culture.
Take a Cooking Class
If you’re a foodie, taking a cooking class in Paros is a great way to learn about the island’s cuisine and culture. You’ll get to learn traditional recipes, using fresh, local ingredients, and get hands-on experience cooking. The cooking classes usually take place in a traditional house or a local restaurant, and they are led by experienced chefs and cooks.
You can learn how to prepare traditional dishes, such as the famous Greek salad, the moussaka, or the stuffed tomatoes and peppers. And of course, you’ll get to taste your creations and enjoy a delicious meal with your fellow students.
Visit the Butterfly Valley
The Butterfly Valley, also known as Petaloudes, is a unique natural phenomenon and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. During the summer months, thousands of butterflies migrate to the valley, creating a stunning sight. You can also take a walk along the river and enjoy the lush vegetation, with the sound of the waterfalls in the background.
The valley is a great place to relax and connect with nature. You can bring a picnic, read a book, or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some other wildlife, such as turtles or hedgehogs.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Paros has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Naoussa is the center of nightlife on the island, with a wide variety of options for every taste. Whether you prefer dancing all night or enjoying a drink by the sea, Paros has it all.
Some of the most popular bars in Naoussa are the Pirate Bar, the Wine Bar, and the Cocktail Bar. They offer a great atmosphere, delicious drinks, and live music or DJs. And if you’re in the mood for some dancing, head to the Club Rendezvous or the Barbarossa Club.
Visit the Monastery of Agios Arsenios
The Monastery of Agios Arsenios is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. It is located in the heart of Parikia and is dedicated to Saint Arsenios, the patron saint of Paros. The monastery has a beautiful courtyard and a small museum with religious artifacts.
The monastery is also famous for its holy water, which is believed to have healing properties. You can fill a bottle with the holy water and take it home as a souvenir or for personal use. And if you’re lucky, you might witness a religious ceremony or a festival, such as the celebration of Saint Arsenios on July 19th.
Take a Day Trip to Antiparos
Antiparos is a small island just a short ferry ride from Paros. It is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque villages. The most famous attraction is the Cave of Antiparos, a stunning natural cave with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
The village of Antiparos is also worth a visit, with its traditional houses, narrow streets, and charming squares. You can enjoy a coffee or a meal in one of the local tavernas or explore the local shops and boutiques.
Watch the Sunset
Paros has some of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece, and watching the sunset is a must-do activity. Some of the best spots to watch the sunset are the fishing port of Naoussa, the ancient ruins of the Sanctuary of Asclepius, and the Monastery of Agios Arsenios.
You can enjoy the stunning colors of the sky, with shades of orange, pink, and purple, and the peaceful atmosphere of the island. And if you’re lucky, you might witness some dolphins or sailboats passing by.
Paros is a fantastic destination for anyone who loves beaches, culture, history, and delicious food. With so many things to do, you won’t get bored on this beautiful island. Make sure to explore the charming villages, try the local cuisine, go hiking, windsurfing, scuba diving, and take a boat tour. And don’t forget to watch the beautiful sunsets.
What is the best time to visit Paros?
The best time to visit Paros is from May to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
Is Paros expensive?
Paros is relatively affordable compared to other Greek islands, but it can still be pricey during the peak season.
How do I get to Paros?
You can get to Paros by plane or ferry from Athens or other nearby islands.
Can I rent a car on Paros?
Yes, you can rent a car, scooter, or ATV on Paros to explore the island.
Is Paros family-friendly?
Yes, Paros is a great destination for families, with plenty of beaches, activities, and attractions suitable for children.