AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO PAROS, GREECE
Paros is really the quintessential Greek island: whitewashed villages, blue domes churches, beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, excellent food, and of course a very chilled vibe. What makes it even better: Although it is quite well known, the amount of tourists is nothing like Santorini for example and the prices are also much more reasonable in general. I stayed in Paros only a few days, but I wish I stayed at least a week to really explore the island properly and take the time to unwind fully. Here below is everything you should know about Paros, including how to get from Athens to Paros by ferry, what to do on the island, the best beaches, and where to stay in Paros. In case you have more time and you are thinking about island-hopping, you should check out this 15 days Greek island-hopping itinerary.
HOW TO GET TO PAROS?
If you are coming from Athens, the easiest way to go to Paros is via ferry. It takes between 2 to 4 hours to go from Athens (Paraeus station) to Paros but the ferry trip is cheap and very comfortable. For around 45 USD, you get a very comfortable seat in a massive cruise boat, with ample space to move around, options to go to the deck for some fresh air, tables to work on, and a couple of snack shops if you are hungry. You can check the ferry schedule and book your ticket here.
Another alternative is to fly from Athen to Paros. A few local and regional airlines such as Sky Express, Olympus and Hanh Air operate on that route. The flight from Athens to Paros in only 30 min and costs around 150 USD, one way. You can check the flight schedule here.
WHAT TO DO IN PAROS?
SHOP IN PARIKIA
The little streets of Parikia are not only picture-perfect, they are also shopping paradise. You can basically shop a brand new garderobe for your ongoing and upcoming summer trip: long dresses, leather sandals, straw hats, beach bags, and fine jewelry! Roaming around the beautiful streets of Parikia was one of my favorite thing to do.
HIKE IN PAROS PARK
It can be tempting to not do much in Paros, as the rhythm is very slow and relaxing. However, you shouldn’t miss out on Paros Park, on the northern part of the island. There are 3 main hiking routes taking you all around the peninsula. The hike is easy and the views are amazingly beautiful. We started with route 1, all the way to the lighthouse, and then took the route 2 and 5 to Perikopetra Beach, where we took a well-deserved dip in a crystal clear water before soaking up some sun. Then we hiked route 3, walking by the super quiet Tourkou Ammos Beach before heading back. All of it took us about 3h. So let’s go, don’t be lazy, put on some sneakers, you won’t regret it!
Side note …. we never found the Russian Batteries on Route 3! If you spot it, please do let me know, I am very curious.
SUNBATH IN PAROS BEST BEACHES
Dahhh obviously! There are many beaches to enjoy on the island, depending on what you are looking for. Here are some of the best beaches in Paros.
If you want to stay close to Parikiá check out the beautiful Livádia. If you are into kite surfing, check out the constantly windy Poúnda’s beach. For a very different landscape, try Kolimbithres and admire its strange rock formations. If you are willing to hike a little, try to reach Perikopetra Beach and you shouldn’t be bothered with too many people. If you prefer a more lively beach atmosphere, head over to Punda Beach. This is a beautiful beach with crystal clear water and a very trendy beach club.
EXPLORE AND DINE IN NAOUSSA
Naoussa is the second biggest town of the island, all the way north, and has the reputation of a party place. The little port is so lovely and picturesque and with its sunset view, is the ideal place for a sundowner and a dinner.
I recommend Barbarossa, a seafood and sushi restaurant, just by the port, with a beautiful sunset view. Whitefish ceviche for me, lobster and shrimps ravioli for Mr.: Both are highly recommended. This is definitely not one of the many cheap (and often delicious) eats of the island, but it is worth it for both the food, the drinks, and the view!
Even if you are full after dinner, don’t miss out on the ultimate Greek desert, the famous donuts called Loukoumadhes, from Paradosiako. 1 word: YUMMMMMMY !
SAIL AWAY ON A ROMANTIC SUNSET CRUISE
The cherry on top of an already perfect trip, was a private sailing tour, at sunset. Sailing off on a beautiful boat, with only your other half and two crew members, taking a dip in a turquoise bay, and dining on grilled fish while watching the sunset is a truly amazing experience! To book a cruise with Michael Zeppos Sailing Tour, you can contact the captain, Dimitris, directly here.
Private sunset tour: EUR 250 for 2.
If you are looking for more Greece inspiration, check out this article about the island of Crete!
WHERE TO SYAY IN PAROS?
Where you want to stay in Paros really depends on what you are looking for. If you want to stay close to the port, and can’t move around too much, stay in Parikia. If you like an active social scene and maybe a little party, you should consider staying close to Naoussa. On the other hand, if you like the calm of a small town and don’t mind a little drive, stay in Piso Livadi. I have gathered below a few beautiful places across the island, from luxury hotels with outstanding design to affordable and comfortable family hotel.
[LUXURY HOTEL] Parilio Hotel: Close to Naoussa, this gorgeous hotel has 33 suites and a modern design perfectly mixed with Greek traditional architecture. It is all about neutral tones, and naturals materials here, to ensure an ultimate relaxing environment. A real treat if you can afford it.
[HIGH END] Sandaya Luxury Suites: I am in love with the bohemian vibe of this hotel! Warm wooden furniture, bright white wall, earthy fabric, and boho decoration … I wish my house could look just like this and this is definlity where I will stay next time I am in Paros.
[MEDIUM RANGE] Argonauta Hotel: An adorable little hotel in the heath of Parikia, with a familly home feel, and a pretty terrasse
[MEDIUM RANGE] Aloni Hotel: A very simple, calm and comfortable family-owned hotel in Piso Livadi. Rooms come with a terrace and a sea view.
Here you go, this a quick and essential guide of what to do in Paros, the beaches you shouldn’t miss and where to stay on this beautiful island. I hope to go back soon and explore much deeper to be able to give you more recommendations, but in the meantime, please feel free to add anything in the comments below!