Welcome to Paros
Welcome to Paros - The heart of Cyclades
Paros is the second biggest island of Cyclades, with and area of 165 km² and 10.000 inhabitants.The island has a round, plump-pear shape, formed by a single mountain (724 m (2,375 ft)) sloping evenly down on all sides to a maritime plain, which is broadest on the north-east and south-west sides. The capital of Paros is Parakia, a very popular destination matched only by Thira and Santorini and Mykonos. Situated on a bay on the north-west side of the island, it takes the place of the ancient capital Paros. Parikía harbour is a major hub for Aegean islands ferries and catamarans, with several sailings each day for Piraeus, the port of Athens, Heraklion, the capital of Crete, and other islands such as Naxos, Ios, Santorini, and Mykonos.
Paros has been inhabited since 3200 B.C. According to mythology, the first colonist was Cretan Alcaios, who built the first city in the location where Parikia stands today. During those times, Cretans used Paros –called Minoa at that time– as a naval station because of its position –in the center of Cyclades– and its two safe harbours.
In 1100 B.C., the island started to flourish under the rule of the Ionians, who annihilated the Minoan civilization. One hundred years later, the island was taken by the Arcadians, and their leader, Parios, giving his name to the island. During the Persian wars, part of the Parian army fought beside the Persians and was defeated by the Athenians. In 338 B.C., Paros came under the rule of Philippe of Macedonia. Later, the island passed under the rule of Romans.
During the Byzantine period, a large number of churches, chapels and monasteries were built on the island. Between 1207 and 1389, Paros became part of the Duchy of the Aegean ruled by the Venetians. In 1537, it was conquered by the Turks until the revolution of 1821 when Paros, like the rest of Cyclades, became part of the new Greek state.Paros has been inhabited since 3200 B.C. According to mythology, the first colonist was Cretan Alcaios, who built the first city in the location where Parikia stands today. During those times, Cretans used Paros –called Minoa at that time– as a naval station because of its position –in the center of Cyclades– and its two safe harbours.
Paros is a wonderful island with a plethora of options for sightseeing. There are interesting tourist attractions from antiquity and the centuries that followed, as well as places of natural beauty from caverns to verdant natural reserves very impressive. Among the most extraordinary archaeological, historical as well as natural sites ideal for Paros sightseeing are the Venetian castle ruins in Naoussa, the abandoned windmills in Naoussa, the Mycenaean palace in Naoussa, the Church of Ekatontapyliani in Parikia, the ruins of Asclepion in Parikia, the ancient remains of the Temple of Athena in Parikia, the sanctuary of Apollo in Parikia, the Delion in Parikia, the Frankish Castle in Parikia. Other areas on Paros Island offer astonishing sites as well, such as the ancient marble quarries in Lefkes, a scenic traditional village in the inland of Paros, the Calpaki cave in Dryos and the butterflies in Psychopiana, for those who are interested in outdoor activities in nature.
Even if there is a plenty to see in Paros, the primary attraction which makes it a beloved touristic spot are its beautiful beaches with crystal water and relaxing atmosphere. Some beaches in Paros are organized and lined up with seaside hotels, restaurants and beach bars, while others are totally secluded. Around Naoussa are the stunning beaches of Agii Anagyri, Aliki, Kolymbithres, Laggeri, Megalo Piperi, Mikro Piperi, Platia Ammos and Santa Maria.Other beautiful Paros Beaches are Agia Irini, Agios Fokas, Ambelas, Chryssi Akti, Krios, Livadia, Logara, Piso Livadi and Pounda. Paros is well known for the wide range of water sports activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, kite boarding, waterskiing and many more provided at its beaches. Paros beaches on the eastern side, particularly Golden Beach and New Golden beach, provide nice spots for windsurfing and knite surfing. The beach of Pounta, the well organized beach of Nea Chryssi Akti and Santa Maria are ideal for kite and wind surfing too.
The island of Paros offers plenty of drinking and dancing clubs. It has not exactly the exaggerate entertainments that it is possible to find in the neighbouring islands of Mykonos or Ios but it still gives the possibility to party and having a great time in the evening. Many of the bars, beach bars and nightclubs are concentrated in Parikia and a little further northwards, down the coast at Naoussa, although there are many beach bars throughout the island which organise beach parties and concerts, often lasting all night. Some suggest that Naoussa is a little more sophisticated and it tends to be where the local population go for their night’s entertainment whereas Parikia is thought to be more relaxed and international. The majority of the bars and cafes in Parikia are along the seafront , with the nightclubs at the end of the promenade in and are known as the river bank. Usually people start their night out by "bar hopping" along the promenade, stopping off to eat at one of the many excellent restaurants along the way, and ending up in the club area at the end of the seafront after midnight. Paros offers both romantic and sophisticated restaurants for couples just married spending there their honeymoon and traditional taverns, ouzerias and fast food suitable for families or friends. It is possible to taste all types of music : jazz, blues, rock, mainstream, punk, traditional Greek, classical and so on. Parties and cocktails are not so expensive.
Paros is famous for its marble. Parian marble is of the highest quality and as such first choice for artists all over the world. Most famous are the Venus of Milo and Napoleons tomb.
Standard time zone: UTC/GMT + 2 hours
The climate in Paros Island is similar to the rest of the Cyclades. It is sunny and hot in the summer months and particularly mild in the winter months. In the evenings it can get cool and humid. During July and August, meltemi wind is particularly strong in the island, due to its location in the middle of the Cyclades cluster.
Paros provides a good road network and it is easy to get around. The central bus stations are located at the centre of Parikia and Naoussa, the two main villages of Paros. As this is the cheapest way to see the island, there are very frequent bus routes in summer from Parikia to Naoussa, Alyki, Pounta, Chrisi Akti and other places. From one side of Paros to the other, visitors will have the chance to enjoy the rich diversity of scenery and the gorgeous beaches. Taxis are one of the most relaxing means of transport but also the most expensive. Most of them are found right outside the port, the airport and the central spots of Parikia and Naoussa. Actually the car or motorcycle is the ideal way to explore every corner of Paros and enjoy its unique character. There are many car rental facilities in Paros to make some private trips around the island. There are also small boats that get people to nice beaches around the island. In the specific there are boats from Naoussa to Kolymbithres and Santa Maria. Also from the port of Pounda, near Parikia, there are regular ferries to Antiparos. From Parikia and Piso Livadi, there are excursion boats to other islands.