Paros Pictures, Greece

Paros island view, with Parikia town, Cyclades islands, Greece

Paros island view, with Parikia town, Cyclades islands, Greece

Why visit Paros?

Parikia town, Paros island, Greece

Parikia town, beside the port.

Paros is a pleasant surprise after the tourist feeding-frenzy of its neighbours Santorini and Mykonos. Even though the small port functions as a hub for ferries around the Cyclades island group and beyond, Paros is not at all overwhelmed by visitors. The main town (on the right in the photo above), Parikia, is as usual whitewashed and charming, with the same old narrow, wiggling anti-pirate street system in the old town (hora) and fresh waterfront (below).

With the Cyclades focus elsewhere Paros just gets on with being a regular, classic Greek island, with comfortable numbers of tourists, good seafood, excellent beaches and a relaxed atmosphere.

Paros town pictures

Parikia old town street, Paros island, Greece

Parikia old town, Hora, one of Greece’s Cyclades Islands

Paros’ old town, also known as Parikia, is a typically delightful maze of pedestrian-only streets, white houses with blue woodwork, tropical flowers flopping around and many odd little bars and restaurants. In the photo on the right is the remains of the Frankish Kastro, AD 1260, mainly a wall embedded with chunks of an ancient temple to Athena.

The island is not spectacularly attractive or especially interesting but is quiet, comfortable and has various pleasant beaches.

Parikia old town whitewashed street, Paros, Greece

Parikia old town street.

Ekatontapiliani church, Parikia, Paros island, Greece

The Ekatontapiliani church in Parikia hora (old town).

The Panagia Ekatontapiliani started life in the 4thC, supposedly built by Helen, the mother of St Constantine. It was rebuilt in 1773 after an earthquake. Ekatontapiliani means 100 doors but only 99 have ever been found. So there’s a challenge for the tourist who likes to explore!

Paros church artefacts

ekatontapiliani pulpit, Paros

Pulpit in Panagia Ekatontapiliani

Ekatontapiliani church jewellery offerings, Parikia, Paros island, Greece

Jewellery offerings in Panagia Ekatontapiliani.

Ekatontapiliani church statue of Plato, Parikia, Paros island, Greece

A humorous statue of Plato in Ekatontapiliani church, among many other interesting artifacts.

Paros Beaches

Kolymbithres Beach

Greece islands, Paros, Kolymbithres beach

Kolymbithres Beach on Paros, transport hub of the Cyclades islands.

Paros has a handful of excellent beaches but the heavily promoted and horribly exposed beaches on the east coast – such as Golden Beach (photo below) – are not best for regular sunbathers and swimmers, they are better suited to board surfers.

Kolymbithres is very, very small but very, very lovely. Soft sand strewn with bizarre Gaudi-ish rocks, protected by large Naoussa Bay in the north of the island, shallow and crystal clear water, this should be a prime target for people with toddlers, though there’s not much in the way of services available, if any. Own transport will be needed.

Livadia Beach

Greek islands, Paros, Livadia beach

Livadia Beach, near the port and town on the west side of the island, protected by Parikia Bay.

Paros island generally is a surprise. As a transport hub for the Cyclades Island group you might expect it to be a big port and nothing more, but it has some good beaches – including Livadia beside the small port, a stupendous church that is the oldest in use in Greece, and a charming little old quarter with no shortage of romantic bars and restaurants.

Naoussa Beach

Greek islands, Paros, Naoussa beach

Naoussa Beach, small and a little stony but adjacent to a cheerful tourist village and sheltered in a beautiful environment. Naousa is almost opposite Kolymbithres beach in Naousa Bay.

Monastiri Beach

Greek islands, Paros, Monastiri beach

Monastiri Beach, near Kolymbithres; quiet but also dull and disappointing.

Golden Beach

Greek islands, Paros, Golden beach

Golden Beach is a spacious but very exposed strand of hard sand on Paros’ southeast coast that is brilliant for wind surfers but not sun bathers. This beach has been the site of international windsurfing and kite surfing competitions, confirming the regular breeze situation.

Logaras Beach

Greek islands, Paros, Logaras beach

Also on the east coast Logaras takes the booby prize for worst popular beach on the island; shabby, stony, exposed and overrun by tourists from nearby apartments and hotels, on a good day.