Paros isn't the first island that comes to mind when thinking about the Greek Islands, but it's one of the most well-rounded places to visit in The Cyclades. It nails all the boxes on a holiday check list, and its central location in the island group makes Paros easily accessible by both ferry and plane. Below is my complete guide to the island including the best beaches, day trips, restaurants, boutique hotels, villages, viewpoints and more. This post may contain affiliate links.
Every shade of blue in the pedestrian corridors of Lefkes village. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People dress, linked here.
A gelato a day on Paros.
HOW MANY DAYS ON PAROS?
For travelers trying to maximize their time in the Greek islands, three full days on Paros will get you the best beaches, restaurants, villages and shops. For a more relaxed visit that might include longer beach days, and a daytrip to neighboring Antiparos, a full week on the island is ideal. I've done both, and I highly recommend the full week.
Kolymbithres Beach. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People cut-out one-piece linked here.
Kolymbithres is my favorite beach on the island. The rock formations are stunning and form lots of secluded coves.
It's like Joshua Tree meets the Aegean Sea. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People cut-out one-piece linked here.
WHEN TO VISIT PAROS?
Paros is best experienced May through September when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. That said, high season in the Greek islands is July and August when crowds peak and temps are at their highest. For the best balance of weather and people, I'd recommend late May, early June and September.
Parikia is a maze of charming white-washed lanes and corridors. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People dress, linked here.
I found a cat with a coat pattern that matches the town's cobbled streets.
The vibrant Naousa waterfront is my favorite spot to hang in the evenings.
So many charming bars whose tables spill out onto the streets and squares.
32 Agosto has the yummiest create-your-own popsicles - there are locations in Parikia and Naousa.
THINGS TO DO ON PAROS
A visit to neighboring island Antiparos is a must while on Paros. It can be reached via a quick 10-minute ferry journey from Parikia (Paros) to Pounda (Antiparos). Or the island can be explored by boat. I prefer the boat rental option - the coastline is completely epic, and most of it is only accessible by water. Seacret Cruises offers private full-day tours - they know all the best secret coves, sea caves, blue lagoons and moonlike rocks for cliff jumping.
My favorite time to visit Kalogeros is in the evening. The beach doesn't face the sunset, but a pink glow settles over the calm water and otherworldly rocks as the sun goes down. A beautiful spot for sunset swims that looks like another planet.
Kolympethres is arguably the prettiest beach on Paros. It's located in dazzling Plastira Bay where oversized slabs of granite serve up picturesque sunbathing spots for beachgoers, and the craggy rocks create little coves. Water is calm, clear and sparkles under the midday sun.
The former capital of Paros is a charming maze of alleys connecting mostly residential homes to a handful of restaurants, cafes, shops and churches. Lefkes is situated in the middle of the island, a 15-minute drive from Naousa. There is a small parking lot at the edge of town where tourists can park, and then explore the pedestrian village on foot.
Tiny village on the island's west coast that can be explored in an hour. Marpissa is home to several lovely churches, cobbled passageways and scenic lanes.
MONASTERY OF ST. JOHN'S OF DETI
A beautiful blue dome church perched on the rocks, St. John's of Deti is located right next to Monastiri Beach.
A sandy beach located across the bay from Naousa where the water is calm, turquoise and completely serene. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available to rent.
Naousa is by far the prettiest town on Paros. Stone lanes lined with blooming bougainvilleas lead the way to upscale boutiques, cafes and the bustling waterfront. Naousa has some of the best shopping in The Cyclades, and the waterfront is one of my favorite dining scenes in all of Greece.
A challenging, expansive escape room in Parikia - a fun evening activity if you are on the island with a group. There is a sister escape room in Athens that is considered one of the top 10 escape rooms in the world (same creators).
Parikia is the first (or last) place you'll see on Paros if traveling by ferry. The port town is a bustling hub of restaurants, shops, bakeries, cafes, tourist agencies and churches - a lovely place to spend an afternoon, and then grab dinner.
ST. ANTONIOS MONASTERY
It's a steep drive up a mountain to reach St. Antonio's Monastery. Park just below the church, and then walk to the top. The 360-views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding white-washed villages are beautiful, and the white monastery surrounded by blooming flowers and trees is lovely.
We took a boat trip over to neighboring Antiparos to explore the island's epic coastline.
I found the perfect floatie to bring to Greece, linked here.
Cliff jumping into this calm clear water was one of my favorite adventures on boat day. It feels like jumping from moon rocks!
The Antiparos coast is riddled with secret coves, blue lagoons, sea caves and the bluest water.
Highly recommend Seacret Cruises for private trips to Antiparos.
Brought this tiny portable inflator with me to Greece - inflated the floatie in two minutes. So handy (I bring is on all my island trips!), linked here.
WHERE TO STAY ON PAROS
Acron Villas is a collection of Cycladic villas that sit perched above Naousa Bay. Villa options range from two to five bedrooms, all equipped with private pools, gardens, full kitchens and spacious living areas. This is a wonderful upscale option, particularly if you're traveling in a group. And location is ideal - five minutes from the prettiest beach on the island and 10 minutes from Naousa Town.
Gorgeous collection of villas overlooking one of the prettiest secluded beaches on the island. Villa sizes range from three to six bedrooms - a great option for groups! The beautiful Amalgam Homes vary in amenities but most include a full kitchen, living space, dining area, patios, private pool, laundry room and even a private Greek chapel. And all are outfitted in bright whites and aesthetic neutrals. I stayed in Agia Thalassa, and it was amazing!
Aperado Paros House is located in Krotiri up on a quiet hill, a five-minute drive from the Parikia port, shopping and restaurants. The spacious two-bedroom house has been beautifully designed, and designated an Airbnb Plus property. There is a terrace, pool and tennis court, all shared with other units in the little complex.
This elegant boutique hotel located on the outskirts of Naousa town is home to more than 40 rooms and suites, several with private pools. The vibe at Cove Paros is Boho elegance - the pool scene is stunning boasting shallow turquoise water, plush neutral sun beds and raffia umbrellas. Rooms are beautifully appointed, designed with Cycladic styled cues. Lots of whites and neutrals.
If a one bedroom studio suits your holiday, this Airbnb Plus property is a gem. The space is absolutely charming with flagstone floors, concrete bathrooms finishes, wooden detailing and even a small bougainvillea outside the front door. Ideally located in Naousa, walking distance to shops, restaurants and the waterfront.
A 33-luxury suite hotel, located just inland from Naousa Bay. Parilio boats minimalist design throughout the property including archways, columns and concrete materials all in neutral tones. The spacious suites open up to private patios, some with plunge pools. Parilio is a short drive to Kolimpithres Beach and Naousa.
Parocks is a gorgeous luxury option located on the island's east coast. It feels wonderfully secluded, but the property is just 10-minutes from main Naousa town, and one of the island's prettiest secret beaches is a short stroll away. Rooms are simple, stylish and luxurious.
Beautiful two-bedroom villa located in Parikia. An Airbnb Plus property, the villa is modern and spacious, and the grey and white color palette is incredibly soothing. Nereids Villa has a beautiful terrace, private pool and sunbeds.
Sandaya Luxuruy Suites is boho chic luxury in the heart of Paros. The property design has all the Cycladic feels including turquoise plunge pools, white concrete, tan trims etc. Ideally located walking distance from Naousa's shops and restaurants.
Our beautiful private pool at Acron Villas overlooked sweeping views of the Aegean Sea and little Naousa.
This three-story villa was a dream stay on Paros.
PLACES TO EAT & DRINK ON PAROS
Delicious popsicle shop with storefront in Parikia and Naousa. Simple select a flavored popsicle (hazelnut, chocolate, passion fruit, mango, etc), select a dip and select a topping.
ALLAS SOUVLAKI & MORE
Popular spot in Naousa for gyros, souvlaki, tzatsiki and pita. Very affordable.
Cuore Rosso serves authentic, thin-crust pizza baked in a wood fire oven. Located in Parikia, this place is nothing fancy, but it's darn delicious and always busy.
This waterfront restaurant located in little Piso Livadi might be my favorite on the island. The speciality is seafood, everything comes out fresh, beautiful and delicious. Highlights on the menu were the fried zucchini, tzatziki and sea bass cooked in butter, olive oil, capers and lemon juice.
Barbossa, Sigi Ikthios, Tsachpínēs and Mario are just a few of the al fresco waterfront dining options on the Naousa harbor. Some are tastier than others, and everything is overpriced. But Naousa's waterfront dining scene is such a vibe.
SANTE COCKTAIL BAR
Lovely cocktail bar located in the heart of Naousa with tables scattered across a tiny square in front of an old church. Sante is open all day, but tables fill up in the evenings.
There are several gelato shops on the island, but Scream in Naousa is my favorite (mostly because they carry mint chocolate chip).
Siparos is an open-air restaurant, about a 10-minute drive from the main Naousa town. The speciality is seafood - lots of fresh, delicious options on the menu. The scallops are 5 euros a pop, but an absolute must.
Best spot in Naousa to get fried Greek donuts topped with honey, cinnamon, white chocolate or dark chocolate. A cheap and delicious treat while shopping in town.
Wonderful sushi restaurant located in Naousa (and a nice break from Greek cuisine). UMI Sushi serves a fresh selection of nigiri, rolls, tataki, salads and tempura.
I devoured this lemon butter sea bass for lunch at Markakis, in Piso Livadi.
The scallops are five euros a pop at Siparos, but completely worth the price.
UMI Sushi is a welcome change of cuisine in Naousa.
I lost count of how much fish I ate in Greece.
Greek donuts drizzled with chocolate from To Paradosiako ... SO GOOD!
Cuore Rosso is a gem in Parikia. It's nothing fancy, but it's always bust and the best pizza I've had in Greece.
One of my favorite dishes in Greece is fried zucchini + tzatziki.
Barbarossa is one of the most famous restaurants on the island. While it's a great waterfront vibe, I found the food completely overpriced and not very good.
GETTING AROUND PAROS
Paros is a small island, but everything is pretty spread out. You'll maximize your time if you have a set of wheels. Rental agencies can be found in the port town of Parikia, all agencies walking distance after disembarking from the ferry. I rented our car with Budget Car Rentals, and they were great. We arrived by ferry, but departed at the airport where someone picked the car up, free of charge. Almost all rental agencies in Greece will ask for an International Driver's License, so best to be safe and get one before arriving in Greece. If you live in the USA, you can easily pick one up at AAA.
Charms line the street in Parikia.
Paros is my favorite island in Greece for shopping.
The streets of Parikia are lined with shops, cafes and gelato.
I made so many four-legged friends on Paros. Cats are everywhere!
The quiet lanes of Marpissa Village. OUTFIT DETAILS: Heartloom dress linked here.
All the vibes on the Naousa waterfront.
GETTING TO PAROS
Paros is connected to other destinations in Greece by both air and sea. All flights to Paros connect through Athens, but the island is easily accessible by ferry from Mykonos, Ios, Milos and Naxos. I used Ferry Hopper to book all my ferry tickets within Greece.
Cute corners in Lefkes Village. OUTFIT DETAILS: Free People dress, linked here.
The island's towns and villages have some of the prettiest flowers and trees in the Cyclades.
The Venetian Castle.