Paros tours and activities
Paros is one of the largest Cycladic Islands, and one of the most diverse islands in the Greece. It was inhabited as early as the 5th millennium BC, and it’s first noted in one of Homer’s works. The island’s history is quite intriguing, as it has been under temporary occupation by the Dynasty of the Ptolemy, the Romans, the Venetians, and the Ottoman Empire while also being a pirate bay for many years.
In the present day Paros is a very popular tourist destination, and not without good reason. White traditional houses adorned by bougainvilleas, a maze of cobbled streets, adorable cafes and restaurants dotted around the island compose a picturesque scenery that draws you in. Moreover, Paros’s waters are mesmerizing; whether you are looking to party at the island’s busy beach bars, do water sports or prefer to enjoy the sea in peace and quiet, Paros will not disappoint. And if you are willing to go off the beaten track, you can visit the island’s mountain villages, the wetlands that are home to various migratory protected species, the paths accessible only by bike or on horse, and explore yet another of the island’s faces.
What to See in Paros
Stroll in the cobbled streets of Parikia and walk in the Venetian Castle, then down to the bay to enjoy a mesmerizing sunset. Visit Naousa, once a pirate bay, presently the party-hub of the island. Sample the nightlife, but don’t forget to admire the picturesque city with the Venetian Fortress at its port first. Let the party go on in the morning at the beach bars in Punda Beach in the east part of the island, or Santa Maria Beach near Naousa.
If however you prefer to enjoy the island on land, try hiking to Aghos Antonios Monastery through the beautiful scenery of Kefalos Hill, east of Marpissa Town, or try cycling and horse riding around Paros to make sure you include those picturesque little mountain towns such as Lefkes, Prodromos, Marpissa, Kostos and Prodromos, for a more authentic taste of Greece.
Beaches of Paros
If you are not into wild partying, then opt for the infamous Kolymbithres Beach, the Ahi Giannis, Parasporos, Aghia Irini, Voutakou and the Monastiri Beach, while naturists will love the Laggeri Beach. Northen prevailing winds in Paros mean it is also a windsurfers’ and kite surfers’ favourite destination. Most fleet to Chrysi Akti Beach, where windsurfing world championships have been held since the early 90’s, while kite surfers favour Punda Beach. There are also two water parks in Paros, a few scuba diving schools and many more fun activities for you to try at sea.
Getting Around in Paros
What to Eat in Paros
The local cuisine, based on fresh local produce, is simple but mouthwatering! Make sure you try the gorgeous local seafood dishes, such as sundried grilled octopus, Gouna (sundried grilled mackerel), Salatouri (sea-skate salad), and Kakavia (a soup made with a variety of fish and vegetables). Also indulge your palate with Revithada (chickpea dish), tomato salad with capers and Ksinomizithra (a local type of cheese), stuffed kalamari, and Karavolous (an escargot dish). You can’t miss Paros long bakery tradition, evident by the presence of windmills as well as the numerous shops selling different types of bread and pies. Try the Cheese pie, Kolokithopita (pumpkin pie), Kolopia (pies filled with greens), Marathopita (fennel pie). Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kserotigano, and Lamprokouloura (braided sweet bread), Rafiola, Skaltzounia, Pastelaria and sweet preserves.
Wines will not be disappointing either! Paros produces 3,500 tons of grapes annually, including the gorgeous varieties Savvatiano, Mandilaria, Mavrotragano, Asyrtiko Maloukato and Potamisi. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
And a tip!
Once a year every church in the island organizes a fair in honor of its saint-patron. Catch local fairs and folk festivities in Naousa on August 6th, Parikia on August 15th or Lefkes August 29th and immerse yourself into folk culture!
Paros is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 kilometres (5 miles) wide. It lies approximately 150 km (93 miles) south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets totaling 196.308 square kilometres (75.795 sq mi) of land. Its nearest neighbor is the municipality of Antiparos, which lies to its southwest.