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Paros belongs to the archipelago of the Cyclades islands and is one of the four major islands. The proximity to the great Naxos has contributed to its growth. If you go on vacation to Paros it means you can also enjoy a visit to the island next door and vice versa. And speaking of Paros we cannot forget Antiparos, separated by an earthquake but still united thanks to the tourist routes.
To reach Paros you can opt for a direct flight to Mykonos where then, in an hour and a half crossing by ferry (one leaves a day), you arrive at the port of the island, Parikia. Or always from Mykonos with the fast ferry you arrive in just 40 minutes in Paros (3 routes per day). Then there is always the departure from Piraeus, Athens, or from Santorini, where the navigation hours become 2 (fast) or 2 hours and 20 (normal)
Why choose Paros
So is it better to choose Paros or Naxos? The dilemma if Naxos or Paros is better you can solve it like this. Plan a vacation that includes a few days on both islands. You will thus be able to appreciate two real jewels. Moreover, even a single week in Greece can include the tour of several islands.
And this is a piece of advice we like to give you to plan your holidays on the Greek islands. The island of Paros has a mainly mountainous territory. Marble and granite are the masters, leaving little room for vegetation except in the central area of the island. An island of almost 200 km² which has two large mountains, the Profitis Ilias, 771 and 300 meters high. The marble quarries have in the past given much wealth to the populations, who now live on agriculture and obviously on tourism.
As often happens, you should start the tour of the island and the best places to see starting from the capital, Parikia, the port of Paros where you can dock with the ferry. Half of the island's tourist life develops here, the rest of the nightlife belongs to Naoussa. In Parikia you will find hotels, apartments, dream taverns and shops, but also a beautiful promenade on which you can walk and admire the sunset as this city overlooks the west side.
From the coasts of Alyki and Pounda you can clearly see the profile of Antiparos in front, not far away, and from here you can also book ferries for day trips on the island: a trip to Paros cannot fail to include the visit of the sister minor Antiparos.
The beaches of Paros are among the most admired in the Cyclades. For lovers of sandy coasts this is an island in Greece where you can find some very beautiful ones. Of course they are perhaps not as famous as those of Naxos or Mykonos if not actually Chalcidice, but in addition to wonderful landscapes with white houses with blue domes that capture for beauty, the beaches of Paros are an excellent reason for visit this island. Let's see what are the main beaches of Paros.
Chrissi Akti beach
A bit like Mykonos, here too we have two beaches in rapid succession that vie for the role of most famous and most party beaches on the island. In English they are called Golden beach (this) and New Golden Beach (the next), for the golden color of its sand. A lot of windsurfing is also practiced here due to the favorable wind position.
The beach is located near the small village of Alyki, south of the island. Despite the accommodation facilities and the services on the beach there are still some corners which have remained intact and which offer more tranquility for those looking for it
Here the small beaches are separated by rock formations and the shallow waters make it suitable for family tourism . Bars, kiosks and also the possibility to rent canoes and rafts for sea excursions complete the offer. In addition, boats depart daily from Naoussa which arrive here in 10 minutes.
Not far from the port of Parikia, this small beach offers more tranquility than its neighbors, despite being well equipped with bars and taverns. You can get there from the road or even with the gulet that leaves every half hour from Livadia beach, and also reaches Marcello beach immediately after.
This sandy beach is difficult to reach if you don't have a map. Here the shrubs and tamarisks will offer you the shadow that the lack of bars and kiosks will not be able to give you. Being a small hidden corner , it is ideal for those who want to practice nudism. It is not equipped.
This is the beach of the city of Parikia, ideal for enjoying the sea on the days of arrival and departure from the port of Parikia or when you don't feel like visiting the surroundings. In fact, it is one of the most crowded on the island , due to its location. A well-equipped sandy beach.
This long sandy beach offers a good number of services to tourists who choose it, but it is never too crowded . In addition, behind it wonderful pine trees shade the final part of the beach.
Marcello beach (Martselo beach)
Marcello is the third beach of the Gulf of Parikia, which on the one hand is sandy and suitable for families with children thanks to the shallow seabed, while in some places more pebbly and also sheltered from the rocks it offers shelter in an area reserved for nudism. The gulet leaving from Livadi also arrives on Marcello.
A beach away from the paved road, so quiet and almost always deserted, even in the hot summer months. Despite this, it is one of the most famous beaches thanks to the color of its sand and its waters.
A small beach enclosed in a bay which overlooks the monastery which gives its name to the place. Here there is a tavern and a bar, and you can get there with the same gulet that departs from Naoussa and reaches Kolimbythres first. Sandy bottoms, shallows and rocks that enclose this last beach in the far north.
Nea Chrissi Akt beach
As with Chrissi Akt, tourists from all over the island also come here. Since 1990 the Professional Windsurf World Cup has been held, where the best surfers from all over the world come to challenge the waves on a beach that offers many services to tourists.
A beach south of the capital where fun is not lacking in summer. Very large and next to a campsite, a lot of beach parties take place here in the evening.
Piso Livadi beach
This long golden sandy beach has developed around the fishing port of the same name, from which some ferries to Naxos, Mykonos and other important destinations depart today. Suitable for family tourism , behind of the tamarisk beach and a playground separate it from the hotels and studios that overlook this splendid sea.
More than a beach, these are many small sandy points almost joined together, suitable more for young surfers or for those who want to leave to visit the opposite Antiparos.
This beach is very well served, with several bars and music, sports to be practiced on the beach, and a tourist complex that overlooks this coast with its soft beach and crystal clear blue waters.
Santa Maria beach
This point of the island is located on a promontory, and from these two small beaches you can admire a wonderful panorama of the rest of Naxos. They are two small well-equipped and very crowded beaches in summer. Bars, restaurants, diving center and other water sports complete the picture.
What to do in Paros? First of all, to experience the sea, in Paros the beaches are wonderful . Then definitely a day trip to Antiparos. Starting from the port of Pounda, in 10 minutes you are on the younger sister of Paros, where you can experience glamorous and relaxed atmospheres
A ride to Lefkes
Among the things to do in Paros, a visit to the village of Lefkes is at the top of the list. In a natural amphitheater lies the village, the ancient "capital" of the island, where you can breathe the air of the past. Dive into its white and blue alleys, pampered with the colors of the facades of its buildings.
Marble Quarries in Marathi
About 5 km from Parikia, the main city with the port of Paros, along the road that leads inland, you will meet the village of Marathi. Not easy to find, as the signs are not very visible. Then sharpen the view and keep Taverna Marathi as your reference. When you find the sign for the Marathi tavern, you turn on the opposite side. After about 500 meters you will have arrived. Here you will find the deep tunnels used for the extraction of marble, which go up to 100 meters inland in the heart of the hill. There are no safety rules so it is forbidden to enter.
The Venetian Fortress of Paros
A trace of the passage of the Venetians cannot be missing. Unfortunately, very little remains of this fortress. What is still standing is extraordinary. Offshore Noussa, as if floating on the sea, the Venetian fortress of Paros can be visited and especially at sunset, it offers unique landscapes and sceneries.
Discover the coasts of Paros, the hardly accessible points of Antiparos, or visit the solitary beaches of the islets of Despotiko and Strongyli. This is possible thanks to a boat trip off Paros. But not only. Also visit the Small Cyclades or the island of Naxos itself. Departures take place daily mainly from Parikia and Noussa.
Horseback riding tour on the island of Paros
For lovers of nature and contact with fauna and flora, there is nothing better than a trip on horseback through the nature of Paros. Departures from Noussa or within the town of Paros. It is also possible to ride in the waves of the sea .
How to get around Paros while on vacation? Rent a car or better a scooter? And being able to travel by bus? Choosing how to move during a holiday in Paros will give a different flavor to your stay in this corner of Greece. We will list some advice according to the type of holiday you are looking for.
Rent cars and scooters in Paros
The most comfortable solution? Renting a car. In Paros there is this possibility directly upon arrival at the port. But also in front of the airport entrance there is an agency for car rental, so convenient as soon as you land. In addition, buggy cars are available to enjoy your holiday on board a convertible. In addition, the 4-seater buggy in Paros does not have much higher prices than renting a car. There are also available for hire in the rental agency near the airport in Paros. quads are also very popular in Paros, almost always available in Paros rent a car (so where you can rent cars). When renting a quad bike, a minimum driving experience is required. It is a somewhat dangerous vehicle, the overturning is around the corner.
Another option, the scooter rental in Paros . Scooters are another choice to move independently in Paros. Rent scooters in Paros are available in all the main centers of the island, although we have been able to ascertain that the prices of the rented mopeds, and therefore the scooters, in Parikia they are cheaper than the rest of the island.
Getting around by bus in Paros
The bus line on the island of Paros extensively covers the main points of the island, at different times ( here you can find Paros bus timetables ). By bus you can also reach the main beaches of Paros, even if you have to consider that it is necessary to evaluate the timetables as the last bus passes do not take place at the same time for each beach. For small journeys, the choice of taxi can be a good solution, especially combining it with bus travel.
The island of Paros is one of those to be included in the list of Greek islands with airports. But only for internal flights , therefore flights from Athens. But given the small number of flights and the costs, the best solution remains flight + ferry . We then evaluate the various solutions on how to get to Paros.
Getting to Paros from Mykonos
Direct flight to Mykonos (international airport) and then direct to the port from where to take the ferry. It is the best solution, also because Mykonos-Paros ferries there are many during the day (spread from morning to late afternoon 4-5 days). Consult the timetables of the internal ferries with precision. This is to avoid landing on the island and not finding the ferry connection. Same thing for the return. The ferries are 2-3 and do not go beyond 14:00. So double check the ferry schedules before taking the flight. If you want to anticipate the purchase of the flight to save money, look for solutions in the morning on the outward journey and late afternoon on the return journey.
Also inquire about the connection from the airport to the port of Mykonos and vice versa. The connection is in the hands of taxi drivers and rental companies with driver. Given the proximity it may also interest you how to get to Naxos. Also to be able to plan a possible holiday that includes the two islands. Duration crossed 1h 30 minutes, cost € 36.00.
Getting to Paros from Athens by ferry
If instead you don't have the flight from Athens and the flights to Paros are sold out or too expensive, how to reach Paros? No problem because every day from 5 to 7 ferries leave from the port of Piraeus for the island of Paros (consult the ferry timetables). Then land safely in Athens and from Athens airport reach the port of Piraeus where the Piraeus-Paros ferries will await you. Or the port of Rafina, just outside Athens and from here embark. Duration 2h 30 minutes, cost € 60.00 - or 5h € 30.00. From Rafina same prices with travel time 3-4 hours.
Getting to Paros from Santorini
Another gateway to the island of Paros is the island of Santorini. As at Santorini airport you land with direct flights from all over Europe. Once landed you reach the port of Santorini and from here you embark for the island of Paros. Unlike the Mykonos-Paros ferries, there are ample possibilities throughout the day here. Also you can save money by taking the slow ferry. Ferries Santorini-Paros , 1h 30 minutes cost € 45.00 - 3h cost € 22.00.
Getting to Paros from Athens by plane
Paros is one of the Greek islands with an airport. And one of the quickest solutions is to take the internal flight. So after landing in Athens, flight to Paros and in 30 minutes you land on the island. Certainly by plane is not like getting to Paros by ferry. A few minutes, time for a coffee and you will be ready, immediately ready to dive into the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful Cyclades islands . Arrange for the move once you arrive at the airport. Usually the owners of Paros accommodation are always available for the Paros airport-accommodation transfer. Alternatively, chauffeur-driven drivers are available, ready to make the transfer.
Most of the accommodation and hotels in Paros are located in Parikia , both in the central district and in the suburbs. The capital, Parikia, is one of the best places to stay in Paros for its color and energy. Other very important centers where to find accommodation are: Noussa, Aliki, Drios and Pounda. In addition, there are different structures distributed throughout the island, including inland, away from the chaos and noise of vacationers who invade the island of Paros in the summer months. On the beach of Livadia there is also a campsite very simple but suitable for those who love sleeping in tents.
Where to sleep in Paros
If you arrive on one of the few flights to Paros, organize yourself with the owners of the accommodation you choose. They are always very willing to wait for you on arrival (as indicated in the how to get to Paros , we underline the difficulty in booking the Athens-Paros flight due to the low frequency). You will find that the holiday in Paros will have a unique flavor thanks to the hospitality of the islanders.
Apartments in Paros
Definitely suitable for families and large groups of people, they are less popular than studios but still present above all in the main points of the island of Paros. The prices are the average of the costs of the island, we can say that in the summer an affordable apartment in Mykonos corresponds to the average price of Paros.
Studios in Paros
The island is not very large, but not so small either. So it also makes sense to choose accommodation based on the beaches of Paros, or choose the studios near one of the most beautiful spots. The studios , the studio apartments widespread in Greece, are practically in all areas of the island, so just choose your preferred location.
Hotels in Paros
It is not the most common formula, but there are several, especially in Parikia and Noussa. Overlooking the bay of Noussa there is one of the most beautiful resorts in Paros which offers refined accommodation and a large outdoor swimming pool with excellent value for money.
Campsites in Paros
For those looking for the cheapest accommodation solution, several campsites are available on the island of Paros: Krios Beach, in the bay of Krotiri, Koula camping near Livadia beach, Camping Capitain Kafkis in Piso Livadi, all well equipped.