If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan yet relaxing destination in Greece, then Paros is the place for you. Beautiful azure waters coupled with elegant and chic cocktail bars and restaurants, calls for the ultimate Cycladic destination. There are so many things to do and see in Paros that you will find yourself reluctant to leave this island when the time comes! So, without further ado, here is the complete travel guide to Paros, Greece.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Get to Paros, Greece
- 2 Getting Around the Island
- 3 Where to Stay in Paros, Greece
- 4 Things to do in Paros, Greece
- 5 The Best Beaches in Paros, Greece
- 6 Other Useful Information about Paros, Greece
How to Get to Paros, Greece
Ideally, the best time to visit Paros is between May and October where the weather allows for swimming in the water. You can reach Paros either by ferry or by plane. Although, the airport first opened its doors a couple of years ago, it is easy to find connecting flights to and from Heraklion (Crete), Athens, and Thessaloniki. This is especially ideal for visitors from other countries that are looking for a quick and convenient way to reach the island. The ride is about 50 minutes from Thessaloniki, and only about 35 minutes from Athens. From the airport, you can take a private transfer with Welcome, the number one trusted transfer company in Greece. You can book a transfer from Paros Airport to any location on the island here. Of course, there are also bus shuttles, taxis and rental cars available on the island. If you choose to reach Paros by ferryboat from Athens, you have the option of taking either the high-speed ferry that is about 2:45 hours or the regular ferry that is about four and a half hours long. For booking any ferry tickets in Greece, I recommend using Ferryscanner.
Getting Around the Island
Paros has a great public bus system that can take you to most beaches and towns on the island. This is especially convenient for anyone on a budget, as the bus ride is only 1.80€. You can find the bus timetable with all the routes here. As mentioned above, rentals are also commonly found on the island where you can rent cars or scooters. Lastly, if you are staying in Naoussa there are daily boat rides from the port to nearby beaches for a very low cost. Renting a car is ideally the best way to go because you have the freedom to explore the beaches that public transportation doesn’t reach. However, during my stay in Paros I relied solely on buses and boats to get around the island and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.
Where to Stay in Paros, Greece
Although Parikia is the capital of Paros, Naoussa is the place to be. After Mykonos, and Santorini, Naoussa is the most lively and cosmopolitan destination of the Cycladic islands. Because cars are not allowed in the town, I recommend booking a hotel near the center. In the center of Naoussa, you can find countless boutiques, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs – you name it. The labyrinth of little narrow white alleys call for wandering and exploring. During the night hours the town is packed with tourists shopping or looking for a place to eat or drink. In my opinion it is worth exploring the town also in the early morning when the streets are empty. This is especially essential for all those photographers out there who want to shoot without tourists getting in their way.
Hotels in Paros
Potami Home by Rocks Estates: Ideal for families or large groups, this two bedroom villa is just walking distance to the center of Naoussa. Its spacious and minimal design add an extra layer of serenity to a newly built estate.
Adonis Hotel Studios & Apartments: Centrally located with many options to choose from depending on the amount of people planning to stay there. Very friendly staff and even better views of Naoussa and the Aegean Sea.
Hotel Papadakis: Tastefully designed with the Cycladic aesthetic in mind, Hotel Papadakis is a 13-room boutique hotel located in Naoussa. Guests have the choice of choosing between traditional-style rooms or minimal and modern designed rooms.
Lilly Residence-Sea View Suites: An adults-only boutique hotel found in Naoussa featuring exceptional views of the Aegean, high-end amenities such as private pools and the iconic white-washed Cycladic flair.
Sandaya Luxury Suites: Built with uncompromised attention to detail, Sandaya Luxury Suites effortlessly marries wooden and bohemian elements with minimal and thought-out design.
Yades Suites – Apartments & Spa: Just a couple minutes away from the harbor of Naoussa, Yade Suites consists of 12 cozy suites all with sea views from their private balconies.
Cove Paros: New boutique hotel found right off the coast of Agioi Anargyroi Beach, Cove Paros offers the utmost attention to privacy, style and luxury.
Parilio, a Member of Design Hotels: A haven for tranquility and recharging, Parilio offers the selective traveler a one-of-a-kind Cycladic experience.
White Blossom: Simple, elegant and Cycladic architecture embody White Blossom, a boutique hotel found in Parikia. Their suburb service and hospitality sets them apart from nearby accommodations.
Mythic Exclusive Retreat: An unpretentious luxury accommodation in Agia Irini. Traditional stone elements harmonically blend with the upscale and high-quality furniture and design.
Blue Waves Suites & Apartments – To Kyma: Situated on the southeast coast of Paros, Blue Waves Suites & Apartments offers an unparalleled seafront vista and welcoming Greek hospitality.
Acron Villas: Two to five bedroom high-end villas ideal for large families or group of friends. Situated on a hill overlooking Naoussa, Acron Villas combine privacy with convenience.
Explore more hotels in Paros
Things to do in Paros, Greece
If time permits, I highly recommend trying out horseback riding. I chose to partake in the sunrise beach route at Kokou Riding Center and it did not disappoint! Although waking up super early to catch the sunrise was not fun, once we started riding the horses and approaching the sea side, it made it so worth it. The guides, who speak both French and English, are very informative and helpful. For a first timer, I felt very comfortable and at ease. All the horses were very well trained and could adjust to any rider. This is also the only tour where you get to swim with the horses. Kokou Horse Riding Center also offers sunset tours, but the sunrise tour is definitely a unique experience.
Visit Lefkes Village
Lefkes is a small little village hidden between the mountains, perfect for escaping the loud tourist areas by the sea. This beautiful village, also the former capital of Paros, is full of white houses, narrow stone streets, and Venetian architecture. You can find traditional restaurants, shops, cafes and a classical Byzantine church dating back to the 15th century in this town. Lefkes is perfect for visiting after a long day at the beach to watch the sun set behind the mountains.
Water Sports & Boat Tours
For all my athletic, thrill seeking readers out there, you will be pleased to know that Paros is a great destination for wind surfing and other water sports. Indeed, the Windsurfing World Championships were actually held for many years at the Golden Beach found in Paros. You can find sports like surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, scuba diving and more at beaches like Golden Beach, New Golden Beach and Santa Maria. Otherwise, a boat trip to nearby islands such as Antiparos, Schinoussa and other nearby small islands is a refreshing change of pace and great way to tick off some other Greek islands off your bucket list. Below are a few all day sailing and boat trips that you can choose from.
Yoga & Meditation
Although Paros has a lively nightlife, sometimes it is nice to wind back and relax during your vacation. In that case, there are several yoga and meditation centers on the island for that job. Specifically, the Tao’s Center offers free meditation classes ever morning as well as Buddhism, yoga and pilates classes. Okreblue Yoga Center and Yoga Shala Paros also offer yoga classes throughout the day.
Antiparos, the sister island to Paros is just a 10 minute ferry ride from Pounda (7km from Parikia, the capital). Ferries run every half hour until late in the evening. Antiparos is a quiet and calm island ideal for anyone seeking a relaxing escape. Filled with little traditional taverns and secluded beaches, this island offers a serene atmosphere. Just a short walk from the port you can find several beaches including the famous camping site beach. Here, you can find people playing volleyball on the beach, others playing music with newly found friends, while others chose to sunbath in the nude. This laidback beach is a famous destination for young people looking for an alternative to touristic beaches. On the southern side of the island you can find an impressive cave with stalagmites known as the Cave of Antiparos. Daily boat excursions around the island can also be found at the local tourist office.
The Best Beaches in Paros, Greece
- Kolymbithres: Just a short boat or car ride from Naoussa with crystal clear waters. You do not want to miss this one!
- Golden Beach: Blue flag beach ideal for water sports due the strong winds on that side of the island.
- Punda Beach: Daily beach parties can be found here; ideal for young adults looking to have fun.
- Monastiraki Beach: A small secluded beach that can be reached by boat or car from Naoussa. I recommend climbing over the hill to reach the beach behind the old church. The waters are cleaner than the crowded beach in front of the restaurant.
- Santa Maria: An organized sandy beach close to Naoussa. Ideal for families or watersports.
- Other nice beaches include: Logaras, New Golden Beach, Farangas and Ambelas.
Other Useful Information about Paros, Greece
- For dessert: Try homemade ice cream at Nonna Crema or Μπατίστας Bakery for freshly made island treats covered with chocolate.
- For gyros: Βy far the best gyro I’ve had in my life: “O Κάργας” (O Kargas).
- For cocktails: Agosta, Barbarossa, Linardo, Vavagias’s, or Big Blue: all can be found in the same picturesque square near the old port. This is the place to be once nighttime arrives.
- For seafood: Ouzeri Ton Naftikon, Siparos and Taverna Glafkos.
- For shopping: La vie en rose, Planet Mushroom and Blue Dot Concept Store.
And there you have it! A complete travel guide to Paros, Greece with the best beaches to visit, tips on where to stay, things to do and more! If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to check out the travel guide on Naxos here and other travel guides to Greek islands here.