Paros has some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the Greek islands. Paros beaches are characterized by their crystal water and relaxing atmosphere, attracting many visitors every summer. Some beaches in Paros are organized and lined up with seaside hotels, restaurants and beach bars, while others are totally secluded. Paros beaches on the eastern side, particularly Golden Beach and New Golden Beach, provide nice spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Panagia Ekatontapyliani (Our Lady of a Hundred Doors) is a spectacular 4th century Byzantine Church in the port town of Parikia. It is considered one of the most important sacred sites in Greece as the oldest remaining Byzantine. The legend says that “99 doors have been found in the Church and the 100th will be discovered only when Constantinople is Greek again”. The icon of Panagia in the church is considered miraculous.
The Archaeological Museum of Paros can be found behind Panagia Ekatontapyliani in Parikia. Its collections date from the Neolithic period to early Christianity. Even though this is not a big museum it includes some important exhibits, like the 6th century BC marble statue of Gorgon, the 490BC colossal worship statue of Artemis, and a Neolithic figurine of a woman sitting with crossed legs with her hands under her chest.
The port town of Parikia is a charming, traditional town with beautiful cobblestone alleys, whitewashed houses and countless attractive little shops and cafés. The boutiques in Parikia offer great shopping. The traditional shops that sell local art, Greek style jewellery by talented artists, and various imaginative souvenirs are also worth exploring.
You have not really seen Paros if you haven’t walked the white-washed cobblestone alleys of the Old Town in Naoussa which lead to its picturesque port. A trademark of Paros’ identity and local architecture, these little, narrow maze-like passages may be peaceful and quiet during the hot summer mornings, but as soon as the night comes, they team with people and life. Take the opportunity to sit in one of the numerous bars and restaurants that place their tables outside to enjoy the island vibe.
The natural Park, unspoiled rock formations that are a great sample of Cycladic beauty are one. The walking paths that introduce you to the beautiful nature on the island all year round is another. If you visit during the summer, you should definitely have a swim at the gorgeous beach of Monastiri (AiYannis) or watch a film for free under the stars at the open movie theatre Cine Enastron. During the yearly festival of the Park (June-October) a number of jazz, classical music and traditional Greek concerts and fascinating cultural events also take place. The Cycladic monastery of Ai Yiannis Detis and the Museum of the Park with the permanent historic exhibition ‘The Island of Paros through the Russian cartography 1770-1774’ are also well worth a visit.
Paros has a long tradition as an island that is ideal for water sports. The Windsurfing World Championship was held for many years at the Golden Beach and still attracts lovers of the sport. Sports like surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, kayaking and canoeing, kiteboarding, water-skiing, jet skiing, and scuba diving are available with certified trainers at beaches like Golden Beach, New Golden Beach and Santa Maria.
Lefkes is a picturesque mountain village in Paros that is famous for its traditional character. Lefkes had been the first capital of Paros which was built by immigrants from Crete and locals who were looking for protection against pirate attacks. It is built in an amphitheatre shape with many beautiful, neoclassic buildings, quirky little passages and charming ‘hidden’ cafés where you can enjoy the architecture. Lefkes is also known for its taverns, which specialize in delicious grilled meats