Situated in the Aegean Sea, Paros is a Greek island known for its clear water, traditional villages and excellent seafood. One of the quieter islands, Paros is part of the Cyclades island group and it's easily accessible from Piraeus, the port of Athens.
Over the last two thousand years, Paros has been a home to Ionians, a territory of Naxos (the neighbouring island) and a base for the Persians, Crusaders and Ottoman Empire. As a result, its architecture reflects its fascinating history including a 4th-century Byzantine church complex.
Now, Paros is a popular holiday destination for Europeans who flock to its sandy beaches during the summer months. Spring and autumn are a bit quieter, while still being warm enough to swim, with more accommodation options available. There are many charming places to base yourself in Paros, from beach resorts to tiny fishing villages. Here are a few of our favourites.
Two excellent beaches
Plenty of historical landmarks to see
Bustling marina with great tavernas, bars and shops
As it is the capital of Paros, Parikia is the best place to stay on the island for a first-time visitor. Oozing charm and Greek authenticity, the town is notable for its quintessential narrow cobblestone paths and brilliant blue and white domed buildings which will instantly seduce you. Not least because they are home to some of the island's best tavernas, artisanal workshops and local produce shops.
Overall it is an easy place to explore on foot, with plenty of historical landmarks. These include the magnificent Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church of 100 Doors), a Byzantine church that was built in the 4th century A.D. and the striking ruins of a Frankish castle that was built by the Venetians back in the 13th century.
Much of the activity in Parikia is centred around the bustling marina that features plenty of tavernas and bars, many of which provide sensational sea views as well.
On either side of it are two fabulous beaches. Livadia Beach, towards the northeast, is Parikia's main beach, while Parasporos is located to the southwest. Both of these are fabulous places to sunbathe, relax and go for a swim.
Stay at the Apollon Boutique Hotel. This 3-star hotel is just 50 metres from the beach and offers a buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi
Stunning natural bay setting and charming pedestrian streets that are resplendent with colourful bougainvillea
Historical sights like the Venetian fortress, Mycenaean Acropolis and Zoodochou Pigis Church
Three beaches and a fantastic winery in town
For those who are wanting to sightsee during their time on Paros, the town of Naoussa is the best place to base yourself. As well as being blessed with plenty of impressive points of interest like the Venetian fortress, Mycenaean Acropolis, Zoodochou Pigis Church and the Agios Ioannis Detis Monastery, transport links are pretty good here. So you will easily be able to get to other parts of the island.
Sitting within a natural bay that resides at the northern end of Paros, Naoussa is more modern and cosmopolitan than Parikia, however, it still retains a small village Greek Island charm.
It's close to three excellent beaches, namely the family-friendly Monastiri Beach, the stunning Kolymbithres Beach, which features moon-like rock formations and Lageri Beach, which is a popular beach where clothing is optional.
Compared to most other places on the island the nightlife here is much more happening. You'll find plenty of exceptional seafood restaurants and trendy cocktail bars along its waterfront, and along its Cycladic warren of pedestrian, bougainvillea-filled streets.
There is even an excellent winery in the town too which is a must-visit for oenophiles.
Stay at the Hotel Senia, which offers luxury rooms and suites in a convenient seafront location that is just 200 metres from Naoussa Town.
Low key romantic vibe
Wonderful bars and fish tavernas
Beautiful beaches to sunbathe and relax on
If you are a couple that is searching for a low-key destination to enjoy a romantic Greek Island holiday experience, then the stunning coastal village of Aliki should appeal to you. Situated 13 km south of Parikia, this quaint fishing village strikes the perfect balance between offering plenty to see and do, while not being too busy.
Rich in traditional character, like most of the other fishing villages on the island, Aliki has plenty of tavernas and bars that serve up delicious seafood and ouzo, along with lots of good times in abundance.
It also has some terrific sandy beaches to walk and sunbathe on - many of which feature small coves that are ideal for relaxation and privacy - as well as several historical buildings, landmarks and cultural points of interest, like the fascinating Museum of Cycladic Folklore, to see.
Shopping is pretty good here too, and the accommodation is quite affordable. While good transport links will also easily take you to see other parts of the island.
Stay at the Parosland Hotel to enjoy comfortable Cycladic-style accommodation that is just 300 metres from the sandy beach of Agios Nikolaos.
● Sunbathe on the best beach in Paros
● Enjoy windsurfing and water sports
● Dine at one of the fantastic fish tavernas that line the seafront
If you want to spend most of your time in Paros on the beach then Chrissi Akti Beach, on the east coast of the island, is the place to head to. Affectionately referred to as 'Golden Beach' by some, it takes the form of a long stretch of soft, fine sand that glistens in the sun as a result of its glass-like composition. It's so idyllic, you are sure to take lots of snaps for your Insta!
As the water is pretty shallow for quite a long way out, this is a very popular beach amongst families, especially those with young children.
It is also one of the world's leading spots for windsurfing - the annual Professional Windsurfing World Cup takes place here every August. So you should be mindful of this if you plan to stay on this part of the island and book your accommodation early.
Along the beach, you will find several water sports centres, which offer equipment rentals and lessons. You will also find several hotels, seafood tavernas and mini markets to provide you with all the refreshments you need.
Stay at the Poseidon of Paros Hotel & Spa for comfortable accommodation with tremendous sea views and an excellent range of amenities including a swimming pool.
Stunning mountain village with incredible panoramic views of the sea and Naxos Island
Historic area with lots of cultural landmarks and stunning architecture
Popular 3.5 km hiking trail that connects Lefkes to Prodromos village
Set within the greenest part of the island, Lefkes is a traditional, and beautiful mountain village in the centre of Paros. Located at the island's highest altitude, it showcases incredible panoramic views of both Naxos island and the sparkling blue hues of the Mediterranean Sea.
During the medieval era, Lefkes was the capital of Paros, and this is reflected in the stunning collection of historical neoclassical, Venetian and Cycladic architecture that resides in the area. Its most iconic structure is the Church of Agia Triada which was built in 1830.
The area is a lovely place to hike around, with the Byzantine Road being especially popular. Stretching for about 3.5 km, this wonderful, stone, ancient, footpath dates back to 1000 A.D and links Lefkes with the pretty Prodromos village.
As a rule, most people visit Lefkes on day trips to check out its fabulous galleries, museums, boutiques and tavernas and tend not to stay overnight.
Consequently, the handful of guesthouses and hotels that are located in the area tend to offer cheaper rates to attract tourists. So staying here could save you a bit of money.
Stay at the Villa Byzantino, a charming boutique hotel that showcases stunning scenic surroundings.
Charming fishing village
Wonderful tavernas and bars that locals frequent
Gorgeous beaches free from tourist commercialisation
For those who are looking to experience an authentic slice of Paros Island life then Piso Livadi will provide this for you in spades. Renowned for its bona fide Greek hospitality, laid back ambience, incredibly flavour-some food and pristine beaches, Piso Livadi is a charming fishing village that accommodates plenty of boats moored in its marina.
If you get up early enough, you'll be able to see local fishermen head out in the morning to catch the seafood that is served in the tavernas which line the waterfront. Many of which are owned by the families of the fishermen.
Its main downtown area is a lovely spot for people watching, and you'll also get to mix shoulders with locals in the bars, shops and places of worship, like the church of Agios Georgios Thalassitis, which is notable for its numerous frescos.
Situated on the east side of the island, Piso Livadi also has three lovely beaches to enjoy, as well as an eclectic mix of boutique stores and mini markets to browse around.
Stay at the Summer Senses Luxury Resort and treat yourself to deluxe accommodation and a five-star experience.
Last Updated 14 October 2022