My name is Mariza Christofi. Welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Paros. I was born and raised in Athens, the capital city of Greece. I am 22 years old and love to travel to the islands of Greece and photograph the simple yet beautiful blue and white colours of the islands.
What made me fall in love with the Greek islands was just the simple beauty of each island. The calm, natural waters take my breath away every time. When I was little we went to Paros every summer. As I got older, I had the chance to see more of the islands and immerse in the local cultures.
Visiting the Stunning Paros Every Summer
I try to visit Paros every summer. It’s always on my bucket list. I love the diversity and beauty of this Cycladic island. If you like tranquility you can find quiet villages and secluded beaches. Similarly, if you like the hustle and bustle of the world you can find towns with a vibrant nightlife.
The truth is that each time I visit Paros I have a different experience. There are times when I go for three days and other times when I go for a week or month. These things always depend on my job and schedule.
A typical day for me starts at the beautiful Naoussa in the morning for a coffee. Then I’ll head off for a walk in the wonderful Lefkes or Parikia. In the afternoon, I try to find a secluded beach on the island to sunbathe and go swimming. Then it’s back to Naoussa for a drink at night.
My Favourite Place in Paros: Naoussa Village
Most of the photos I take on Paros are from Naoussa. It’s my favourite place and holds a special place in my heart. I love getting lost in its alleys and capturing its colourful corners that are full of ornaments and intricacies. There are many shops to enjoy as well as cafes, bars and restaurants.
10 Best Things To Do in Paros
Paros is the quintessential Greek island in the Cyclades home to beautiful old villages, magnificent monasteries, fishing harbours, secluded beaches and a vibrant nightlife. For travellers who want to experience the best of Paros island I recommend the following 10 experiences:
1. Visit the Picturesque Fishing Village of Naoussa
As I said before, the picturesque fishing village of Naoussa is my favourite place in Paros. You have to explore the streets and alleyways from dawn till dusk to experience her beauty. Despite the popularity and tourism development, Naoussa has kept its authenticity and traditional character.
2. Eat Delicious, Fresh Seafood from Tsachpinis
Tsachpinis is a famous seafood restaurant where fresh fish is served daily. The restaurant is located on the waterfront in Naoussa. It’s the perfect seaside setting to enjoy fresh seafood as well as a fresh sea breeze in summer. Eat your food on the tables outside, mingle with the locals and enjoy the scene.
3. Wander through Parikia, the Capital of Paros
Parikia offers wonderful walks through its alleys. The capital of Paros is home to 3000 inhabitants and is the main connection to other Cycladic gems such as Santorini. Parikia was built in an amphitheatre style and has stunning architecture and buildings to explore.
4. Watch the Sunset from the Castle of Parikia
Arguably one of the best views in Paros, the view from the Frankish Castle in Parikia is not to be missed! It’s a great spot to watch the sun fall into the sea. This is an absolute gem of a spot especially if you’re into sunset photography. The castle was built in the 1200s by the Venetians.
5. Discover the Charming Hillside Village of Lefkes
Lefkes is a traditional village that you must visit – especially for its local foods and meat! You will be licking your fingers all day long here. The town of around 500 permanent residents is built on a verdant hill at an altitude of 300 metres above sea level. You can even see Naxos Island from Lefkes!
6. Party at Pounda Beach and Santa Maria Beach
If you’re a party animal I recommend Pounda Beach and Santa Maria Beach. Both of these spots are perfect for swimming, live music, enjoying a drink and dancing the night away. The cocktails are especially fantastic. Pounda Beach is reminiscent of Paradise Beach in Mykonos.
7. Take a Boat from Naoussa to Kolympithres Beach
Jump on a small fishing boat from Naoussa to the epic Kolympithres Beach. This is one of the most famous beaches in Paros with huge blocks of granite surrounding the bay. The rocks of granite have been sculpted into unique shapes from exposure to the sea and wind over thousands of years.
8. Day Trip to the Remote Paradise, Antiparos Island
Antiparos is one of those Greek islands that has managed to stay a hidden gem for a while now. The island is known locally for its stunning beaches with the most sandy and crystal-clear waters in the area. On the southern side, you can find caves full of stalactites and stalagmites.
9. Marvel at the Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church
The Panagia Ekatontapiliani church located in Parikia is one of the largest churches on the island and houses a lot of history inside its walls. The name Ekatontapiliani means the “Church of a Hundred Doors”. According to tradition, it has 99 doors and a secret door that holds many mysteries.
10. Watch the Ships Come and Go from Parikia
Visit Parikia one sunny afternoon, get some ice cream and sit on the rocks next to the port so you can see the ships coming and going. It’s a simple pleasure but I love doing it. In the middle of summer, there is a lot of traffic that goes through this port and I love people-watching in this area.
Mix and Mingle with the Locals of Paros
The locals are super friendly with visitors and tourists. They’re always willing to help people with any questions that they may have and to guide them in what they’re looking for. Hospitality is important to the people of Paros.
If you want to feel like a real local “man” on the island then you should dress comfortably, put on a straw hat and go to a traditional cafe to drink Greek coffee. You will fit in well! Also, go to a local tavern for fresh seafood.
The best way to immerse yourself in the Paros way of life and to meet locals is to eat what they eat where they eat it. Food is a big part of island life and it’s absolutely delicious! It doesn’t matter where you go, you will always find delicious food. Tsachpini, as mentioned before, is a great place to start.
Be sure to order some octopus, squid, mussels and Greek salad. You don’t just have to order fish, although the fresh fish is divine from this restaurant. Strike up a conversation with some locals and see where it takes you.
I also recommend trying the following places which are favourites of mine: Bountaraki, Distrato Cafe Bistrot, Barbarossa Restaurant and Linardo. Plus there are many more fantastic food and drink options in Parikia.
Best Places to Stay in Paros
The best places to stay in Paros all depend on your preferences. If you like tranquility then it would be a good idea to look for accommodation in Parikia, Lefkes, Prodromos and a few other beautiful villages.
On the other hand, if you like a place with a bit more atmosphere then I recommend Naoussa. I don’t have a specific hotel, airbnb or guest house in mind but all the places here are hospitable and wonderful!
What you Need to Know Before you Go
Before you visit Paros, it’s good to know that apart from the beautiful villages and stunning beaches – there is also a festive spirit here. The Barbarossa Pirate Festival happens every year on the 23rd of August. It’s a festival that celebrates the victory over the Turkish pirate Barbarossa.
Back in medieval times, pirates were a threat for the locals of the Aegean Islands. They were notorious for raiding towns and killing and pillaging along the way. This festival is a representation of the raids, performed by young people. Fireworks are displayed and food and music is enjoyed.
This festival began in 1965 and continues to this day. It’s an incredibly unique festival to attend. So if you’re planning on being in Paros in August make sure you go along. Dancing the night away is a lot of fun, even if you don’t know how to dance!
No matter when you visit Paros, every trip to the island is unique. The aura that Paros gives makes you full of happiness and joy. The destinations are beautiful and nothing will disappoint. Enjoy your time in Paros.