With all ancient civilisations leaving their distinctive mark on the beautiful, hilly, and fertile Greek island that has been slowly gaining tourists’ deep love over the past couple of decades for being one of the most peaceful destinations in the Mediterranean Sea.
Nothing alike its sassy and extravagant sibling, glam and glitz-surrounded Mykonos island, Paros is a welcoming escape that will steal your heart with its natural allures, golden shores, crystalline waters, laid-back island life, whitewashed Cycladic architecture, chalky white chapels with blue domes overlooking the glistering Aegean Sea, and lots of entertainment and water sports options.
To help you become acquainted with the adorable princess of the greek islands, we have rounded up this elaborate guide, highlighting the best places to stay, eat, have fun, get a tan, and visit in Paros!
The time of the year with the best weather is between April and late September, although you may experience some great warm days even in mid-March and early October. Now, if you would rather soak up an experience with fewer crowds, then prefer to visit the island outside the high season (from mid-June through late-August).
Of course, the peak summer months is wυhen you will taste the most lively and animated side of Paros, though you should not expect the craziness and vibrancy of the Mykonos party scene! Nonetheless, the sea temperature is very comfortable almost year-round, allowing you to enjoy swimming, diving, and scuba diving, especially after the month of June.
Finally, the shoulder season (April, May, and late-September) is ideal for some great sightseeing, activities like cycling and hiking, and visiting the island’s archaeological sites and attractions without rubbing shoulders with the thousands of tourists visiting Paros during the high season.
Some of the main towns in Paros if you wish to be right in the heart of all action and the majority of bars, clubs, artisan workshops, restaurants, shops, and cafes are Parikia and Naousa, on the west and south of the island, respectively. The first being the capital of Paros, it hosts the main local attractions, such as the historic Panagia Ekatontapiliani church, the Paros Archaeological Museum, and the Venetian marble-built Frankish Castle*.
Naousa, on the other hand, also enchants with its cosmopolitan vibes, Venetian castle ruins, charming old harbour, fine dining options, a winery, a few dance clubs, and several high-end cocktail bars. To inject a more traditional flair into your Paros vacation, you could consider staying near the more isolated and peaceful villages of the island, such as Lefkes (the former Paros capital).
* We also strongly suggest visiting the ancient Baptistery, Agios Nikolaos church, the Church of Our Lady, the Byzantine Museum, Paros Park at Monastiri Beach (a fantastic 80-hectare recreation area with an open-air cinema, an ancient theatre, caves, rock formations, and hiking trails), and, of course, Antiparos island.
Accommodation Options – Choose your Level of Luxury
Although not as high-rolling and prodigal as its loving neighbours, Mykonos and Santorini islands, Paros still has a profoundly effective way to pamper her guests and shower them with lavish, royal-like experiences. Simultaneously, it is approachable (budget-wise) for travellers longing to take in the unique appeal and magnetism of the island with decent accommodation that suits a more moderate budget. That being said, the most luxurious hotels are in Naousa while the more affordable options are found around Parikia.
Apart from stylish boutique hotels and resorts, Paros’s hills and waterfront are adorned with stunning private villas (the favourite accommodation option for celebs like Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis). Dazzling with an impressive list of lavish amenities, they greet guests with facilities like private sauna rooms, infinity pools overlooking the glistering archipelago, multiple dining and lounge areas to watch the most amazing sunsets, and even private gyms and tennis courts. e have pinpointed some of the most exclusive Paros villas at the Kinglike Concierge collection, but do feel free to look around yourself as well.
Finally, most cost-effective sleeping arrangements include B&Bs, studios, and RBNBs to choose from, with prices starting from around 70 euros per night (for a single-bedroom apartment or studio).
Where to Shop in Paros – Satisfying the Shopaholic Inside You
Hands down, Market Street at Parikia is the shopping mecca of Paros, gathering the majority of shops on the island. While strolling along the narrow, cobbled streets of Paros, you will come across anything from hand-crafted pottery and shoes to beautiful leather items and graceful jewellery.
Some of the must-stop ones are Leto Fashion Shop (for top-quality designer clothes), Damay Paros (for charming souvenirs and gifts), Galerie de Beaute (body care and beauty-related goodies; also perfumes), Happy Butterfly (gift shop selling handmade toys and crafts, photo frames, evil-eye protection, and more), and Cecelia Art Paros (adorable paintings, pottery, art, and ultra-chic jewellery).
Where to Eat in Paros – Explosive Tastes to Please Your Palate
In Paros, you have the opportunity to taste anything from delicious Mediterranean cuisine and traditional Cycladic flavours to international dishes, sushi, pizza and anything in between. Having said that, Soso is a fantastic Greek fusion restaurant (don’t go anywhere before trying the slow-cooked pork, lamb in lemon sauce, or the haloumi cheese with honey) in a scenic cobblestone alley of Naoussa with a lovable romantic atmosphere.
Other amazing restaurants and tavernas in Paros are the elegant Siparos restaurant that sits comfortably at Santa Maria beach and serves Mediterranean and Greek dishes. These include delicious seafood (the grilled calamari and octopus are to die for) and fresh salads, always paired with exceptional sunset views.
Don’t forget to spend an evening dining at Mediterraneo for a mouth-spoiling fish meze and traditional side dishes, Taverna Yiannoulis for hearty Greek food and the tastiest souvlaki and gyros on the island, and Galazia Hytra for gourmet delicacies and a romantic dinner.
Where to Tan at Paros – From Lively to Uniquely Peaceful
Piso Livadi, Drios, and Aliki are some of the busiest Paros beaches outside the main villages on the island, with an abundance of tourist facilities like tavernas, hotels, and mini-markets. Santa Maria is perhaps the best beach on Paros featuring golden sand, lots of water sports centres, restaurants, and super calm, shallow waters that make it ideal for families with children.
For a bit more unusual setting, definitely head to Kolymbithres Beach that will astonish you with its impressive rock formations, while Chrisi Akti is dreamy for kitesurfing and windsurfing endeavours. Finally, Kalogeros Beach is the go-to place for a dive into healing mud and a natural spa venture. Needless to say, the entire island is fringed with stunning, fine-sand beaches, some more cosmopolitan and others more remote and peaceful, so do consider a sailing cruise or beach-hopping experience.
Where to Party on Paros – Choosing your Type of Entertainment
Apart from exciting boat parties, Paros also hosts great events while also providing a wealth of clubs and bars to entertain her visitors. The top Paros places to have a great time are Naoussa, Parikia, Punda Beach, Krios Beach, and Santa Maria Beach. Pirate Bar, Vavayia’s Cocktail Bar, Toca Cocktail & Kitchen Bar, Kosmos Cocktail Bar, and Koukoutsi Bar. Furthermore, Punda Coast, Monkey’s Cocktail Bar, Akanthus Night Club, and the Dubliner Irish Bar are a few more of the most celebrated after-dark options that will steal your heart with their sophisticated atmosphere, refined luxury, and great selection of drinks and cocktails (most of them also provide sweeping seascapes and island views).
Paros is so much more than just another dot on the map. It is a Mediterranean retreat that combines both the natural blessings of a Greek island with the needed luxury and authenticity for dreamy escapes. Whether you visit her with your loved one, family or friends (or even solo), chances are you will depart from her land feeling utmost bliss and gratitude for the experience.