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April 5, 2024

Paros Ultimate Travel Guide

A woman dressed in white exploring the island of Paros based on the ultimate travel guide by Path Travel Designs.

Paros, a hidden treasure among the Cycladic islands, often goes unnoticed compared to its popular neighbors, Mykonos and Santorini. However, in this ultimate Paros travel guide, you’ll uncover the ideal town to stay in, explore the beaches worth visiting, and understand why Paros deserves a spot on your Greek travel bucket list.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to the enchanting island of Paros this summer. Experience the allure of this rising star in the Cyclades. Discover why Paros captivates visitors with its authentic Cycladic charm, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes.

Paros Travelling Tips

Paros Island, located in Greece, has experienced a surge in popularity due to the influence of social media and the booming tourism in neighboring Mykonos and Santorini. In this ultimate Paros travel guide, you’ll discover useful tips for traveling in Greece and exploring the wonders of the island. This idyllic island boasts sandy beaches, pristine waters, charming villages, and excellent connectivity.

Language

While visiting Greece, you’ll quickly realize that the locals have a strong command of the English language, despite the fact that Greek is the predominant language. With a heavy reliance on tourism, Greece has developed remarkable proficiency in English, ensuring minimal communication obstacles, even in the smallest Greek islands.

Tipping

Paros | the ultimate travel guide by Path Travel Designs

An issue any Paros ultimate travel guide should include. In Greece, tipping is not obligatory but people certainly appreciate it. While leaving a tip is not mandatory in Greece, as it is in many European countries, people gladly receive a gesture of gratitude or satisfaction in the form of a 10% to 15% tip.

  • Currency: Euros, as of January 1st, 2002

Credit & Debit card payments

Greece has wholeheartedly adopted credit and debit card payments, including at many of its beaches where cashless transactions are available. However, it is advisable to confirm the payment method before placing an order, and it’s always wise to carry a small amount of cash with you.

Weather

Paros | the ultimate travel guide by Path Travel Designs

Paros experiences mild weather throughout the year, with the summer months of July and August being particularly hot. While the Meltemi wind gains strength in August, Paros does not face the same level of impact as Mykonos.

The main villages of Paros

Most guests who visit Paros tend to choose either Parikia or Naoussa as their primary accommodation options. However, Greek vacationers and frequent visitors who come back to the island annually also favor a few other villages like Aliki and Lefkes.

Parikia

Parikia, the primary town and port on Paros, is a sought-after destination for guests who desire a vibrant and central location. Offering a diverse selection of accommodations, excellent dining options, and fantastic shopping opportunities, Parikia has numerous attractions that appeal to visitors.

Naoussa

In contrast, Naoussa is a charming and idyllic town that exudes an almost unreal beauty. Considered one of the most visually stunning towns in the Cyclades, it boasts a romantic harbor where visitors can enjoy dining experiences illuminated by a mesmerizing array of twinkling lights.

How To Reach Paros

By Plane

Paros Island has an airport with regular daily flights to/from Athens. The flight from Paros to Athens takes less than an hour, making it a perfect option for travelers who have limited time or a strong desire to start their vacation quickly.

The airport in Paros is currently small in size, and discussions are underway regarding the extension of its runway to accommodate international flights in the future.

Due to the limited availability of taxis on the island, we strongly advise coordinating a transfer with your accommodation to ensure a smooth transportation experience.

By Boat

Similar to the majority of Greek islands, Paros benefits from a highly efficient ferry network that connects the Cyclades islands. Whether you prefer fast hydrofoil ferries or slower ones, you can reach Paros from Athens in just 2 hours thanks to the diverse ferry options available.

Travelers consider exploring the numerous Greek islands by ferry one of the finest methods of travel. Furthermore, it is among the most cost-effective means of transportation for hopping from one island to another.

  1. The Ferry from Athens: Ferries to Paros operate daily throughout the year, with an increased frequency during the peak tourist season. Usually, three ferry companies provide service to Paros on any given day. The average duration of the ferry trip from Athens Pireaus to Paros is approximately 4 hours.
  2. Arriving From Mykonos: Probable the most popular route international guest choose is flying into the International Airport of Mykonos and from there taking a boat to Paros. The ferry ride from Mykonos to Paros takes approximately 35 min with a high-speed vessel, and around 1.5 hr with a conventional ferry.

Parikia Port

Upon arriving on Paros by ferry, visitors are immediately greeted with the breathtaking beauty of the island. The efficiency and remarkable organization displayed by the ferry operators in swiftly disembarking and loading passengers and cargo deserve admiration and contribute to the overall awe-inspiring experience.

The process happens swiftly that by the time you gather your belongings, swiftly disembark from the ferry, and set foot on solid ground, they have already commenced loading the ferry again, and it departs within moments.

Getting Around in Paros

Probably one of the most asked questions. So it has to be part of this Paros ultimate travel guide. Opting to rent a vehicle greatly facilitates the exploration of Paros Island. Having your own set of wheels proves highly beneficial due to numerous beaches and villages that are challenging to reach without personal transportation. In under an hour, you can effortlessly drive across the entirety of the relatively small island of Paros. Alternatively, you can also rely on the local bus system to navigate around the island, and you can find the Paros bus timetable here.

Renting a vehicle is an absolute must to fully experience the awe-inspiring island of Paros. Missing out on such opportunities to explore an abundance of captivating places and beaches would be a great disappointment.

The roads on Paros consist of narrow country lanes that wind around the island, often with numerous curves. Overtaking can be quite difficult in such conditions, but there is no need to hurry on Paros.

An alternative to renting a car is renting a scooter or an ATV. ATVs and scooters are highly popular on Paros, and parking is generally easier compared to cars, especially during busy summer months. These vehicles also make off-road exploration more accessible, despite having fewer off-roading options compared to neighboring Milos.

Paros Villages Worth Visiting

Parikia, the capital of the Island

Parikia, the capital of Paros, is a vibrant town that serves as a convenient hub for ferry trips to nearby Cycladic islands. Charming shops line its narrow streets, offering luxurious jewelry and handcrafted items. At night, Parikia comes alive with a bustling nightlife of diverse restaurants and bars, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Additionally, visitors can explore the remnants of the Frankish Castle, a historical site from the Venetian era, hidden within Parikia’s winding streets.

Another site in Parikia worth visiting is The Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani. It is a well-preserved Paleo-Christian church. It was originally built in the 4th century AD and underwent modifications over time. With its blend of Paleochristian, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine elements, the church incorporates marble fragments from ancient Paros. Its name, Ekatontapiliani, means “the Church with the Hundred Doors.” There are 99 doors and, according to tradition, a secret door will open when the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople becomes Orthodox again.

The mountain village of Lefkes

Lefkes, a charming traditional village nestled in the mountains of Paros, offers a delightful experience. Accessible by rental car or bus, you can spend a pleasant morning strolling through the town. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Church of Agia Triada or relax in a cozy cafe at the town square, observing the local life of Lefkes. As you wander through the hilly backstreets, the soothing chirping of cicadas accompanies your exploration. Moreover, the area boasts several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, inviting adventure seekers to embark on scenic treks.

The cosmopolitan village of Naousa

Naoussa, a picturesque fishing village, boasts a vibrant restaurant scene and offers an excellent range of accommodations. Exploring Naoussa feels like entering a postcard, with every street adorned with colorful bougainvillea. Quaint cocktail bars entice you at every turn, and the sparkling sea is always within reach. The shopping experience is equally remarkable, with designer stores showcasing exquisite jewelry, pottery, and high-end clothing nestled throughout the charming alleyways. If you seek to immerse yourself in Greece’s sheer beauty, Naoussa offers it abundantly.

The island of Antiparos

Even though, technically this is a different island, it can not be missing from this Paros ultimate travel guide. Getting from Paros to Antiparos is convenient. At the ferry crossing in Pounta, you can line up your car and wait for the ferry that departs every 30 minutes, taking just 7 minutes to cross. The bus is also an option, but check the timetable. During the summer, late-night ferries are available until 2 am, allowing you to enjoy Antiparos without worrying about missing the return trip. Antiparos offers nature retreats and uncrowded beaches, while also featuring vibrant restaurants, bars, and stylish boutiques. Book accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season.

  • Insider Tip: You might even bump into Tom Hanks and any guests he may have invited as he does own a summer villa on the island.

Paros Beaches

Paros impresses visitors with its abundance of stunning beaches, often exceeding their expectations. The island offers a wide variety of beach options to explore. Thus, allowing you to spend your day seamlessly moving from one beach to another.

Kolymbithres Beach, close to Naoussa, is a stunning beach with clear, shallow water ideal for safe swimming, especially for children. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for rent, and water taxis from Naoussa offer convenient access.

With over 40 beaches on the island, this list may become quite long!

Is Paros A Party Island?

Paros offers a vibrant nightlife in Naoussa and Parikia. Moreover, beach clubs are available on both Paros and Antiparos. While not as renowned as Mykonos or Ios, Naoussa’s old town provides excellent nightlife, including busy cocktail bars. Santa Maria Beach and Punda Beach feature popular beach clubs with sun loungers, umbrellas, and a lively beach bar. DJs play music until late during the high season at these clubs.

Compared to Santorini and Mykonos, Paros is more affordable, offering a range of options for different budgets. While there are expensive boutiques and high-end restaurants in Naoussa, dining and drinking in Paros is generally more budget-friendly. Your money will go further here, and the sunset views are always free.