The Cyclades are a dream destination for many. While Mykonos and Santorini are on many peoples hit list, the more quiet Greek islands slip under the radar. Paros is often referred to as the relaxed version of Mykonos. It has the same vibrant energy but the small quaint fishing villages act as havens for the crowd weary. If you find yourself on this island in the Aegean, know that these are the best things to do in Paros.
Located on the north-west side of the island lies the capital of Paros, Parikia. Here you can find cosy seaside tavernas, boutiques, beautiful accommodation as well as ancient ruins, museums and historic churches. This ancient town knows no bounds when it comes to impressing its enthusiastic visitors. Stay a night or two or simply pass through, Parikia has something for everyone.
Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church
Just a short walk from the port of Parikia lies a historic Byzantine church. Panagia Ekatontapiliani church is also known as the ‘Church with 100 Doors’. As you enter the church you will see why this is one of the most well preserved in Greece. Despite being built in the 4th century AD, it’s still as much of a marvel as you can imagine it was hundreds of years ago.
With towering stone columns and high ceilings, this church is said to have been founded by St. Helen the mother of Constantine. According to legend the church has” ninety nine visible doors. The 100th door is closed and can not be seen. It will appear and it will open when Constantinople becomes Greek again”.
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Wander Around Naoussa Port
Located on the northern side of the island is the beautiful fishing village of Naoussa. The little port is a photographers dream and the brightly painted Cycladic architecture and colourful boats in the port are a drawcard for many. Exploring Naoussa is one of the best things to do in Paros as this town has so much to offer. Venetian ruins, sprawling alleys and waterside tavernas. The problem is choosing where to start!
Take A Boat Tour
One of the best things to do in Paros is to enjoy a boat tour. Due to the size of the island, there are a great number of hidden coves and beaches to explore, including some only accessible by boat. By taking a boat tour you can explore at leisure and it will allow you to find some of the quietest and secluded spots on the island. Having these azure waters all to yourself will truly take your breath away.
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Venture To Lageri Beach
One of the best things to do in Paros is explore its gorgeous beaches and some of the best beaches are the ones that aren’t on anyone’s radar. The ones recommended by a sunkissed seasoned traveller or a friendly local. Lageri Beach has no facilities, and its secluded position makes it difficult to get to. But what this beach does offer is a private paradise! All you need to do is pack a lunch and plenty of water and enjoy a quiet escape away from the crowds.
Getting here will require a car or ATV. The best way to get Lageri (don’t follow the Google maps suggestion) is to drive as far as Ιερό Παρεκκλήσιο Ζωοδόχου Πηγής, a quaint little church on the waterfront. After parking, follow the path to the right for about 5 minutes until you reach the beach. Due to its privacy, this beach is a favourite for nudists.
Enjoy Kolymbithres Beach
A more well-known beach in Paros is Kolymbithres, but you’ll be pleased to know its popularity in no way dulls its charm. Only 5 km away from Naoussa, Kolymbithres beach offers something a little different to the usual long stretches of golden sand you’ll find in Greece.
It’s unique in that it is separated into sections by giant slabs of grey granite rocks. This beautiful geographical feature creates a multitude of private bays and rocky pools to snorkel. Its crystal clear waters are inviting after you’ve warmed up on one of the many sunbeds for hire. Spending a few hours, or day, on this spectacular beach enjoying the relaxed atmosphere is one of the best things to do in Paros.
Visit Petra Farm
For a quiet escape in Paros, you need only head up the hill from Naoussa. Perched up here, overlooking the exquisite bay lies Petra Farm. This experience is for those that seek a truly Greek holiday that immerses them with both the locals and the culture.
Petra Farm radiates authenticity and dedication to sustainability is admirable. The deep connection they have with the land is shown as you are taken on a tour through their family farm. Delve into a tasting experience, feed the chickens and tune into nature!
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Have A Wine At Moraitis
If you are keen to excite your tastebuds and try some of the most unique wines of Greece then this is the place to do it. Moraitis Winery in Naoussa is a family run business that was established in 1910 and today, the beautiful brick establishment has become one of the best things to do in Paros. The history of winemaking on Paros dates back to the Cycladic era and the island is home to some rare indigenous varieties of grape.
The Museum Of Cycladic Folklore
This museum in Greece is unlike any you have been to before. The Museum of Cycladic Folklore in Paros is the passion project of the creative and talented Benetos Skiadas. Privately owned this museum offers you the chance to view Cycladic history in miniature! From fishing boats, wartime vessels, to miniaturised buildings. Here you can admire the artist’s models first-hand. The exquisite details portray the amazing craftmanship of Skiadas and offer an insight into the islands rich past.
Visit The Ancient Marble Quarries
You may know that Greece is known for its marble. Many of Greece’s most important landmarks are made of marble as well as its most famous works of ancient art. What you might not know is that Paros was once a crucial source of marble. Parian marbled was sought after by some of the most esteemed sculptors in Greece. The famous Venus de Milo found on the island of Milos is made of Parian marble. Next to Marathi in Paros is the ancient marbles quarries where this rock was mined can be seen. Revisiting this piece of history is a must-do on the island.
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