The Greek island of Paros, one of our best-loved destinations.
One of the best-loved holiday destinations in Greece is the island of Paros. In the heart of the Cyclades, the island offers unrivalled natural beauty, beaches with crystal clear waters, traditional villages and breathtaking landscapes.
The island of Paros has long been wealthy, due to its high-quality translucent marble that was mined and valued by both sculptors and architects of Ancient Greece. The Venus of Milo was made from Parian marble. Paros is also an ideal island from which to visit the neighbouring Cycladic Islands of Delos, Mykonos and Naxos among others. Read our blog for inspiration on these wonderful destinations. Add to this the many stunning beaches and it is easy to see why the island remains among the most visited.
Where to visit:
Parikia, is the old town and capital of Paros – a beautiful Cycladic village with impressive neoclassical mansions. Although it is the biggest town in Paros, it has maintained its authentic Cycladic architecture. It is a labyrinth of whitewashed cubic houses, shops and tavernas. A host of great hotels, restaurants, and cafes can be found at the port and in the town’s picturesque neighbourhoods. The most important sight in Parikia, a few steps from the port is the Byzantine-era Monastery of Panagia Ekatondapiliani. Built mainly from stone and marble, it features elaborate archways that connect the main Church of the Virgin Mary with the numerous chapels, monk cells, and the Baptistery.
A must-visit place in Paros is the buzzing town of Naoussa, the second largest town and the centre of nightlife, with fine restaurants and luxury hotels. Being a true Cycladic gem, Naoussa has gracefully retained its traditional architecture and authentic essence despite the substantial growth of the tourism industry. Naoussa is built around its port and it offers a variety of excellent shops, seafood taverns, bars, with plenty to do day and night. The Venetian Fort of Naoussa is located in the old port and it is the most characteristic spot of this lovely town. Originally constructed in the 15th century by the Venetians, the fortress was used as a watchtower for pirate and enemy attacks and as a front line in times of war. For dining, try Yemeni with tables outside in the small laneways. The menu is extensive as is the wine list and the food is some of the best on the Island. Booking essential. And for a cocktail try Sante, where you’ll find the perfect spot to sample Paros nightlife nestled in the traditional alleyways under a shady Eucalyptus tree.
Another village worth a visit is charming Lefkes, located at the highest point of Paros enjoying stunning views of the island. The village is set up in the mountains and is surrounded by a rich green landscape. It has very well-preserved Cycladic and neoclassical buildings, beautiful squares and narrow marble alleys. The Museum of Aegean Folk Culture at Lefkes offers a tour of the culture of the Archipelago; discover the Aegean world through its exhibits, which include pieces related to the architecture, traditional trades and geology of the islands.
The Greek islands are synonymous with glorious beaches and Paros has its fair share of beautiful bays and coves, a joy to explore.
The exquisite Golden Beach (Chryssi Akti – pictured) is arguably one of the top bays in Paros, located 20 kilometres southeast of Parikia. It has crystal water, soft sand and the beach hosts an international windsurfing competition every summer. Enjoy the crystalline waters and soft, golden sand for an idyllic day. While you’re in the area you can dine at Kima beach restaurant with great food and outstanding service. The setting is directly on the ocean in Drios and the seafood experience rivals the best you’ll find anywhere in Greece and beyond. Drios is a small haven of calm compared to bustling Naoussa, Lefkes and Parikia.
Kolimbithres is another one of the most famous beaches of Paros in the huge bay of Naoussa, or Plastira Bay. This beach is particularly impressive because of the huge blocks of granite boarding it, sculpted into strange smooth shapes by the sea and the wind over the centuries. Many consider it one of the most beautiful Greece beaches.
The small fishing port of Piso Livadi is located a couple of kilometres south of Marpissa and 17 km south-east of Parikia. Piso Livadi used to be a calm little village but it has been transformed for tourists. This resort has many restaurants and cafes located on the waterfront and is famous for its fine Greek cuisine. From this little port, daily trips for Naxos, Ios, Santorini and Amorgos are organized regularly. Whilst here dine at Markakis Restaurant for excellent service and delicious cuisine. Tried and tested are the cod balls and samphire locally called Armyra, also recommended, the fish soup, eel on fava & sea urchin.
Where to Stay:Yari Island Boutique Hotel and Spa
The Yria Hotel is a luxury resort nestled in the area of Parasporos, amidst flourishing gardens and crystal clear waters. The serene atmosphere is perfect for a romantic hideout or a peaceful family holiday retreat. Rooms of all types and sizes are offered in Yria hotel to match every taste. There are classic or deluxe rooms, junior suites, villas and maisonettes to choose from. They are all well-equipped with natural luxury amenities, wireless internet, Hi-Fi, DVD and selection of books. All units come with en-suite bathroom with bathtub and private balconies with a variety of viewpoints, from the orchards to the glittering sea. All rooms are elegantly decorated and beautifully furnished. The villa is further embellished with a panoramic view of the channel between Paros and Antiparos and direct access to the pool and Jacuzzi. From casual dining to private candlelit dinner, Yria hotel in Paros provides guests with a variety of culinary options. Guests can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at the restaurant, local delicacies and snacks at the open-air lounge and savoury drinks at the cocktail bar. Leisure activities and relaxation are also catered for. There is a plunge pool with Jacuzzi, steam room, rain shower, spa suite, gym and tennis court all available to guests.
The Parilio Luxury Hotel
Hidden among pine trees and lush vegetation, the modern Parilio Luxury Hotel is located in Kolymbithres and is part of the Design Hotels collection. It is a modern hotel, with a unique design inspired by the landscape, history, and mythology of Paros. You will find suites that have a housing capacity of 2 or 3 guests, with an interior design based on earthy colours. In addition to the magnificent views of the surroundings that the suites offer, they have also been equipped with comfortable furniture. This property is 4 minutes walk from the beach. Situated in Naousa, less than 1 km from Kolymbithres beach, Parilio, features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. 1.7 km from Piperi Beach and 2.9 km from Agioi Anargyroi Beach, the property provides a bar and a garden. Venetian Harbour and Castle is 2.1 km from Parilio, while Wine Museum of Naousa is 2.8 km from the property.
Calme Boutique Hotel
Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Calme Boutique Hotel, 4 minutes walk from the beach in Drios Village. Featuring an à la carte restaurant and a fitness centre, the elegant and Cycladic-style Calme Boutique Hotel, is made of stone. It offers exclusive accommodation with private or shared pool and free Wi-Fi. Fitted with design furniture and elements of local architecture, all air-conditioned rooms of Calme Boutique open to a furnished terrace with the Aegean Sea, pool or garden views. Each comes with a TV or flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a mini fridge. Bathrobes and slippers are included. Guests may start their day with a continental or champagne breakfast. Gourmet dishes are prepared at the Seven Senses restaurant. A restaurant, a café bar and a mini market for the general supplies can be found 500 m away. Sun loungers are offered at the sun terrace by the pool and free bikes are provided. A children’s playground for the younger guests’ entertainment and a fitness centre are available. Boudaraki Beach is 300 m and the popular Chryssi Akti Beach is at a distance of 700 m. Paros National Airport is 15 km away and the island’s port is approximately 22 km away.
Byzantine-era Monastery of Panagia Ekatondapiliani.
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