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 (culture, beaches, towns, restaurants, hotels and shopping), and its central location in the island group makes Paros easily accessible by ferry. Oh, and there's an airport! It's a desirable addition to an island hopping itinerary. If you're planning to tack Paros onto your visit to Mykonos, Naxos or Milos, this is blog post is for you - it's my complete guide to the island.
Monastery of St. John's of Deti.
HOW LONG 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 Anti-Paros, four to five full days on the island is ideal.
Naousa is a labyrinth of charming alleyways lined with shops, restaurants and little cafes.
St. Antonio's Monastery sits perched on a hill with 360 views of the entire island.
Absolutely smitten with Lefkes Village. Outfit details: Lulu's skirt linked here.
THINGS TO DO ON PAROS
Visit neighboring island Anti-Paros and spend the day exploring the Chora, visiting Anti-Paros Cave and sunbathing on Soros Beach and Agios Giorgos. It's a quick 10-minute journey from Parikia (Paros) to Pounda (Anti-Paros) by ferry. One-way tickets are available on the boat - cash only.
Popular beach on the island's southeast coast that is particularly popular for windsurfing. Sand is soft, water is blue and there are sunbeds and umbrellas available to rent.
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. 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.
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 Monastriki Beach.
A sandy beach located 12 km east of Nafpaktos 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.
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. It gets fairly busy in the evening, and parking can be tricky.
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.
Found my dream neighborhood in Lefkes Village.
So much love for Greece.
Dinner on Naousa's vibrant waterfront is an absolute must on Paros.
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.
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.
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 also a short drive to both Kolimpithres Beach and Naousa.
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 Bohemian 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 Naoussa.
This three-story villa was a dream stay on Paros.
PLACES TO EAT ON PAROS
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. We ate here twice for dinner, it was so good.
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, but all sit in the heart of Naousa's vibrant dining scene. A great place to spend a summer evening.
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.
UMI Sushi was one of my favorite meals on Paros, and a welcome change of cuisine.
I lost count of how much fish I ate in Greece.
My favorite gelato on the island.
Greek donuts drizzled with chocolate from To Paradosiako ... SO GOOD!
Cuore Rosso is a gem in Parikia. It's nothing fancy, but the best pizza I had during my month in Greece.
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.
Kolympethres Beach. Outfit details: One piece cut-out linked here.
Village views from St. Antonio's Monastery.
GETTING TO PAROS
Paros is connected to other destinations in Greece by both land 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.
If you visit in early summer, there are blooms all over Naousa.