"Paros, Greece" Top 5 Page for this destination Paros by SWFC_Fan
Paros Travel Guide: 165 reviews and 363 photos
The Greek island of Paros is located close to the centre of the Cyclades group of islands and is one of the key transport hubs in the region.
Paros lies to the north of Sikinos and Ios, to the west of Naxos and to the south of Mykonos and Tinos. Its sister island, Antiparos, lies just a few miles off Paros' west coast.
How to get there?
Paros has a small airport which I would imagine is capable of handling internal flights only. I don't know much about the availability of flights to the island but it would seem that there are regular (possibly daily) connections with Athens. If you are intending to fly to the island, then I would suggest checking Olympic Airways or Aegean Airways for flights from Athens and maybe from other Greek islands.
There are many ferries connecting Paros with Piraeus, with Paros being one of the stops on the Piraeus to Santorini route.
Paros is connected to the other Cyclades islands by frequent ferries and hydrofoils. I arrived in Paros by ferry from Naxos (a 1 hour journey, although I could have taken a hydrofoil and halved this time, but at roughly twice the price) and left Paros to go to Tinos (1 hour by hydrofoil via Mykonos). I also used Paros as a base to undertake a daytrip to Delos and Mykonos, with both islands being within an hour's journey of Paros. There are frequent boats to Antiparos. The journey from Parikia (the capital of Paros) takes 20 minutes or alternatively you can make the 5 minute crossing from Pounta on Paros' west coast.
I arrived in Paros following 4 days in Naxos and, to be honest, wasn't too impressed upon first sight. Maybe this was because I'd enjoyed my time in Naxos so much and anywhere else was destined to be a disappointment. Maybe it was because Parikia isn't as immediately picturesque as Naxos Town, and especially when arriving at a busy port with hundreds of travellers and accommodation touts and heavy traffic. Maybe it was because the sun wasn't shining and there was no beach in sight. I'm not sure what the reason was but that's irrelevant now because, over the course of 6 days on the island, Paros grew on me and I ended up having a great time there.
The island's capital, Parikia, exhibits the same traditional low-rise white-washed architecture that is common throughout the Cyclades islands. From the port, the town spreads out in both directions along the seafront. The road along the seafront contains a number of travel agencies, tourist information bureaus, banks and souvenir shops and, further away from the port, a number of tavernas and bars. However, to find the true heart of Parikia, you need to move inland and explore the maze of narrow cobbled streets that lie behind the seafront. This is the Old Town area of Parikia, with Market Street running through the heart of it, with many small shops, tavernas and bars as well as picturesque houses and quiet side streets – this is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the town's port!
My impression of Parikia also improved when I discovered where the beach was! Facing inland from the port, there is a fantastic walk to be made to the left. Upon leaving the port area you pass souvenir shops and tavernas for about 5 minutes before reaching the small beach close to the town. This beach isn't overly impressive but did attract a number of sun-worshippers thanks to its convenient location and did have a few beachside bars and other facilities (sunbeds for hire etc). However, better beaches are to be found further on. The town beach appears to come to a dead end, but there is in fact a small path that leads uphill and continues over the rocks and around the headland. After a further 10 or 15 minutes walk there are signs indicating the way to the beach and then a long crescent of sand comes into view below. This is Krios beach and, despite its obvious superiority over the town beach, it was much less busy thanks to its relative remoteness. Beyond Krios beach, the walk continues over more rocks and you pass a number of small bays before reaching the headland (Cape Agios Foka), from which there are spectacular views across the bay back to Parikia. The walk to Krios beach takes maybe 30 minutes from Parikia port and the headland is perhaps a further 20 minutes on.
After Parikia, the second most noteworthy settlement on the island is the northern port town of Naoussa. Naoussa has a very colourful and picturesque harbour, complete with small fishing boats and fishermen displaying the day's catch. There are also a number of bars and tavernas around the harbour which, thanks to the views and atmosphere they provide, are over-priced but also popular with travellers. Some of the boats to Mykonos leave from Naoussa rather than Parikia as this reduces the journey time.
A few observations from my 6 days on Paros:
Regional transport hub
Thanks to its central location within the Cyclades group of islands, Paros serves as something of a regional transport hub. At all times of day and night, the port at Parikia bustles with activity with hundreds of travellers either arriving or moving on. This also means that there are many opportunities to undertake daytrips to neighbouring islands. Dozens of travel agencies display ferry timetables on boards outside their shops and provide notices of available daytrips on specially chartered catamarans and speedboats.
Arriving without accommodation
I visited Paros as the third port of call on a month long island hopping trip. As this was the first time I had undertaken such a trip, I decided to structure the month so as to have a mixture of pre-planned itineraries (and pre-booked accommodation) and scope for flexibility (“winging it”). In the event, Paros was one of the islands where I had already booked a room online prior to arrival and was therefore able to wave aside the gathered hordes of accommodation touts. However, in hindsight I would say that of all the islands I visited during the month, Paros would probably have been the easiest to find cheap accommodation upon arrival. As well as the many touts, there are also numerous booking agencies in the nearby streets and competition for business appeared strong. I arrived in Paros in late September and anyone travelling there outside of the busy summer months should have no fears at all of arriving without a room already booked. This may not be the case in July and August, but I suspect that even then the island has ample accommodation.
Late season sales
I arrived in Paros late in September at a time when many shops were desperately attempting to offload their remaining stocks of souvenirs and beachwear. As such, many shops were offering 50% off marked prices for many of their goods. Other shops didn’t appear to be having sales, but upon purchasing an item marked at say 8 Euros, the shopkeeper would say “just give me 5”. Also, with trade not as brisk as in the summer months, tavernas were commonly offering free desserts or free drinks as an enticement to attract custom. Again, sometimes these were advertised and sometimes they were just knocked off the bill at the end.
- Pros:Good base for island-hopping, nice old town in Parikia
- Cons:Hustle and bustle of Parikia's port
- In a nutshell:Given time, Paros grows on you!
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