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Paros in 3 days | Explore this beautiful Cycladic island
Why visit Paros
Best known for it’s typically Greek island villages and glorious beaches. Sitting within the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. Paros Greece is the perfect place to spend three days exploring or longer if you have the time. Problem is, theres always that next island you want to get to so we’ll try and keep it to three days if we can.
When to visit Paros
As with the other islands in the Cyclades group the main season on Paros runs from the months of June until mid September when you’ll find the island in full swing, the temperature in the thirties and all the facilities open for business. It will also be very busy so if your looking for a more relaxed visit perhaps try and time your break for the fringes of the main season. The end of September or late May would be perfect compromise. Cooler and less hectic.
How to get to Paros
Paros is connected by ferry to the other islands in the group and to the mainland via the ferry ports of Athens. We arrived from the island of Milos by ferry. We used Ferryhopper to book our boats and to check the schedules between the islands. We found this a much better option then waiting in line at the port booking office. The ferry docks in the town of Parikia, the hora or capital of the island. Paros also has a national airport with daily connections to Athens. The airport has been granted money to be upgraded to international in the near future. Check for flights Here.
Best Places to stay
We stopped in Parikia the main transport hub of the island. It’s a pretty little town with plenty of restaurants and facilities. Strangely we found it had a very Italian feel to it with a lot of Italian restaurants and many Italian speaking people out and about. We stayed at Villa Katerina as it got good reviews and also had a pool which was a bonus.
Another great place to stay is Naoussa sometimes spelt Naousa. Naoussa is a beautiful white washed village that has given over to boutique Hotels and shops. You will find a lot of upmarket options here as well as beaches close by and harbour front restaurants.
There are of course many other options away from the two main hubs. We feel if we are limiting our time on the island to three days then the two options above will be the best places to base yourself. If you want to check out accommodation options across the whole island click Here or use the search tool below.
Getting around Paros
You can get to all the main places we are going to mention on this post by public transport. The main bus station for the island is next to the port in Parikia. You buy your ticket from the small office on the station before you get on the bus. The buses are air-conditioned and quite comfortable. Getting to Antiparos; you can reach Antiparos by a small ferry boat from the port in Parikia. Alternatively there’s a small car ferry that takes foot passengers that departs from Pounta which can be reached by bus. We found it more convenient to use the one from Parikia as that was where we were based.
Things to see & do
To be quite honest looking back on our time in Paros three days was not enough you could spend a full week here and still not see everything. But as with most people that are island hopping we had a limited time so tried to make the most of it. If you are wanting to spend time on some of Paros’s wonderful beaches you are going to need longer.
A great thing to do on Paros is to hike one of it’s many marked trails. Paros has a small network of trails the most well know and most popular being the Byzantine road which connects the hill town of Lefkes to Prodromos a walk of about seven kilometres there and back. Although if you have a wander round both towns and lunch it will feel a lot longer. Take plenty of water it will be hot even in September when we did it.
Be warned about half of the trail has been devastated by a big fire in June 2021 and has not yet really had chance to recover. It’s still worth doing we enjoyed the walk dispite the damage. You can reach Lefkes by bus from Parikia. Lafkes was the islands capital long ago and as you would expect has some lovely narrow white washed streets well worth a visit.
Another thing you really can’t miss doing if you are visiting Paros is to take a trip to its smaller sister island Antiparos. As mentioned above you can get there by small ferry boat from the port in Parikia. It takes about forty minutes, or on the car ferry from Pounta the ferries run back and forth at regular intervals. The last boat back to Parikia was about six when we where there so be sure not to miss it.
Antiparos is mainly famous for it’s beaches most of which are within walking distance of the small port town. There is also a quite spectacular cave to visit on the south side of the island. Although if you’re like us once you get to the beach you won’t be moving much apart from running into the beautiful blue waters to cool off. We walked to two of the beaches one each side of the port.
Which is quite secluded and frequented by both clothed and unclothed sun worshipers so stay away if it’s not for you. A bit about the name; Antiparos was a famous spot for remnants of the hippy movement in the late seventies. The campsite and the adjoining beach was a haven for free thinking people and thus became the first official nudest beach in the greek islands. You can keep your clothes on we did. The campsite is a bit of an eyesore now and looks abandoned but the beach and the clear shallow waters still attract a crowd.
This beach is just the other side of the port and is a sandy beach backed by trees. We found this to be a nicer beach than camping beach. It had lovely shallow clear waters trees for shade and would be ideal for a family to spend a day. There are no facilities here so you will either have to walk back into town which takes about fifteen minutes for lunch or bring your own picnic. When we were there, there were families Barbecuing on the beach which seemed a great idea.
Other beaches of which there are many include Psaralyki beach about a kilometre out of town and Panagia beach a little further out of town.
Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani
The church in Parikia close to the harbour was built in the forth century AD and is said to have been built by Saint Constantine, first Emperor of Constantinople in honour of his mother Saint Helene. This cannot be proved and is a legend. It has had numerous additions and alterations over the years. It may also contain parts of early ancient temples from around Paros as the early christians used to use these as construction materials. Entry is free but you must be respectful as it is a working church, a funeral had just finished when we arrived. There is a museum attached with a small fee to enter which also gives you access to the balcony on the upper level of the church.
Venetian Fortress of Naoussa
Situated on the harbour wall this is the most recognisable feature in the town. Constructed in the fifteenth century it was used as a watch tower to protect against raids by pirates. Only one partially submerged tower remains. It’s free to wander round although it’s best viewed from a distance as theres not much to see inside.
Situated in the narrow winding streets of Parikia is the unusually constructed Frankish Castle made up of columns and marble blocks from the ancient buildings around Paros. It was built in the twelve hundreds by Sanoudos.
There are a lot of great beaches around the coast of Paros and I won’t list them all here. If your only here for three days as we were you are not going to have much time to sun yourself. We combined our time on the beach with our trip to Antiparos so didn’t visit any of the beaches ourselves, next time perhaps. Here are a few of the more well know ones to visit if you have the time. Kolimbithres Beach close to the town of Naoussa is famous for its rock formations. Golden Sands Beach is a very popular beach on the south side of the island with conditions that make it great for wind surfing. Parasporos Beach about two kilometres from Parikia is also very popular and can get crowded in the high season.
Food and drink
Entertaining yourself in the evenings is not going to be difficult on Paros. The only difficulty you will have is choosing which wine bar, cocktail bar or restaurant to use as there are plenty in the two main towns. Parikia has resturants and bars all around the seafront and also in the narrow winding streets behind there are choices for all budgets. We ate italian for two of the nights we were there which was a nice change from the classic Greek food we had been eating up until that point.
Naoussa has a more up market feel to it with trendy wine bars overlooking the see and restaurants huddled around the small square and harbour front. Choices for breakfast and lunch are abundant with a vast amount of choice from bakeries to Gyros. As is usual, with us, we liked to start the evening with a couple of cocktails then move on for our evening meal. They tend to eat quite late in Greece so you can relax for a while before dinner which makes the experience even more pleasing.
The first thing to say is to repeat what I said earlier, three days is not going to be enough. If you want to spend time on the beaches, hiking the trails, Antiparos and fitting in all the sight seeing your going to need at least five days. In hindsight it would also be very useful to hire a car if your staying longer. This will give you access to the beaches and sights in your own time. Perhaps twin centre between the two main towns would be a good choice if we get back.
Booking resources for your trip
Tours & Tickets
You can book your visits as you go at the entrance to your chosen attraction or site. Or you could use the following links to book in advance or just to find out what your choices are in the area. GetYourGuide and Tiqets are our go to choices you could try Viator to see how they compare.
For a full list check out our resources page. Don’t forget always shop around to find the best deal for you. What works for us should be good for you but it’s always reassuring to check.
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We had thought that a five day visit may be to long but it turned out to be a good decision as this is such a beautiful almost unspoilt island.
Beautiful beaches a spectacular rugged coast line and quaint white washed villages. Basically everything you look for on a Greek island.