Paros has it all; unrivalled natural beauty, amazing sandy beaches with crystal clear water, picturesque villages dotting the breath-taking landscape, a plethora of cosy cafes and restaurants, and an exciting nightlife suiting all tastes. No wonder why it is one of the most loved destinations in the Cyclades welcoming about 500,000 visitors a year. All that while maintaining its local feel and offering generously its charms to Greeks and foreigners alike.
Paroikia – a majestic capital
The town with the white cubic houses, 13th century Venetian castle, impressive neoclassical mansions and the 6th century church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani (meaning 100 gates), is Paros’ capital.
Naousa – incredibly picturesque
In the busy summer months, the small and popular fishing harbour of Naousa fills up with yachts relatively early. Hence if you arrive after 6pm, you may have to anchor at the nearby bay right outside the harbour entrance and use your dinghy to reach the pier. Make sure to have your cameras in hand, as Naousa is incredibly picturesque. Strolling around town after sunset is the perfect way to discover the beauty of this place. There are many designer tavernas offering locally caught fresh fish and we have excellent choices to recommend; some will need to be booked in advance. There are also plenty of options for an after-dinner drink at the nearby bars. Nightlife in Naousa doesn’t end early and you can easily get carried away until the early morning hours.
Paros itself can be a week-long holiday destination and you may be tempted to stay for longer. To make the most out of an extra day here, you will need a car. Most car rental are located Paroikia, the main port, a quick 20’ drive by taxi. Paroikia with its white cubic houses, 13th century Venetian castle, impressive neoclassical mansions and home to the 6th century church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani (meaning 100 gates), is the capital of Paros.
Following Paroikia, the beautiful village of Lefkes awaits you. Lefkes is located at the highest point of the island offering stunning views of Paros and the neighbouring islands. The village is surrounded by a rich green landscape and it is home to the Museum of Aegean Folk Culture, displaying the culture of the archipelago. Head there for dinner if you feel like meat; there are several tavernas offering dishes such as charcoaled lambchops (paidakia) and other meat delicacies. You may then continue your exploration by heading south towards the beaches of Farragas and Golden Coast, with plenty of options for wind and kite surfing enthusiasts. In the nearby village of Alyki you will also find some excellent dinner options by the seaside.
Despotiko is a small, uninhabited island, located just 700m away from the southwest shores of Antiparos. The island’s remoteness makes it a peaceful place, ideal for relaxation. Its coastline is full of beautiful small coves and sandy beaches that can only be accessed by boat. The beach of Livadi with its gorgeous silver sand and the bay between Antiparos and Despotiko are both excellent locations to swim and spend the night. Our preference is the former, but it takes no more than 2.5 hours to reach either from Sifnos.
Here, you can enjoy what might have already become your favourite activities: spend the night on board, cook dinner, try a night swim, gaze at the stars, enjoy the sounds of nature and wake up with a refreshing morning dive right before breakfast.
The island is like an open museum and excavations are constantly ongoing. There are several ancient sites that blend seamlessly in its moon-like landscape; most notably, ancient sanctuary from 700 BC that was most likely dedicated to God Apollo.
A Stop at Tiganakia islets
The tiny islets of Tiganakia (or Pateronisia) are located just south of the Paros-Antiparos straight, a short 5nm from Despotiko. The three islands form a beautiful bay with sparkling turquoise waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the place and use the dinghy to explore the area.