Things to do on Paros
In the middle of the stunning Cyclades archipelago, just south of Athens, lies the beautiful island of Paros. With incredible shorelines, traditional white-washed houses, and lush inner lands, Paros makes the perfect destination for island hopping through Greece.
It’s less crowded than its popular neighbors, Santorini and Mykonos, and offers slightly better prices for incredible accommodations and restaurants. Explore the island’s diverse lands, soaking up the sun on pristine beaches and cooling off in its surrounding crystalline waters. And once you’ve seen it all, easily continue your journey to beautiful Naxos or Milos by ferry.
Start your journey in the picturesque harbor town of Naoussa, where an incredible atmosphere awaits you. Narrow alleys align with beautiful white cubed houses and a myriad of restaurants boasting their cute tables in the streets. Some are even perched on small boats! Cars are a rarity here, making it a joy to wander through the different neighborhoods of this quaint fishing village.
Traveling along the harbor, take in all the beautiful sights and watch how the boats bob on the turquoise waters. The heart of town is filled with cute restaurants and bars, boutiques, and souvenir shops, making it a great place to go shopping. You’ll find everything here, from art and clothes to fun souvenirs and jewelry.
Don’t forget to visit the Venetian castle and witness an incredible sunset from one of the bars. At night, Naoussa transforms into another magical setting, with fairy lights twinkling in the streets and the smell of fresh seafood wafting through the air. Visiting this harbor town is one of the best things to do in Paros, Greece.
Another must-see village on the island of Paros is Parikia. Perched on a small hill, this historic port and lively hub offers a colorful setting where the white houses take on a slightly different style. While it may seem a little more chaotic compared to the tranquil Naoussa, wandering through its cobbled laneways and exploring its rich history will reveal the town’s undeniable charm.
Parikia serves as the main harbor, connecting ferry rides to popular neighboring Naxos. Additionally, it makes a good base for all your Paros adventures. Consider staying here or in Naoussa to immerse yourself in the island’s vibrant energy fully. Get lost in the winding streets with beautiful buildings, passing courtyards, many churches, and the beautiful Frankish Castle Paroikia.
Byzantine Church of Ekatontapiliani
While you explore Parikia, make sure to visit the Byzantine church of Ekatontapiliani, famously known as the ‘Church of 100 Doors’. This is Parikia’s main attraction and one of the best things to do in Paros, Greece. The stunning 4th-century stone church lies in the heart of town and is known as one of the oldest and most important religious sites in Greece.
3. Paros Park
Immerse yourself in incredible nature as you venture into Paros Park, a stunning natural haven on the island’s northern peninsula. Spanning approximately 80 hectares, this beautiful area has diverse vegetation and awe-inspiring rock formations formed by the relentless winds of the Aegean. Follow the winding walking path that loops through the park, a beautiful hike that can be done in 40 – 60 minutes.
Along the way, explore small caves and unique rock formations that stand as silent sculptures along the rugged shoreline. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the charming lighthouse of Cape Korakas and the serene monastery that stand as a testament to the island’s rich history. Next to the park, there’s also a beautiful beach with a vibrant beach club, perfect for basking in the sun.
How to Get to Paros Park
Getting to Paros Park is relatively easy, both by land and by sea. Conveniently located near the island roads, there’s a designated parking area just outside (here’s the location). From there, you can continue on foot along the walking paths. During the summer, you can also reach the peninsula by hopping on a boat at the port of Naoussa, with regular daily departures between June and September.
While you make your way through the central valleys of Paros, witnessing the changing of landscape, make sure to stop at Lefkes. This quaint village with white buildings and blue roofs is nothing short of a dream.
Perched against the bright summer skies and surrounded by olive groves and pine forests in the interior hills, it’s become one of the must-sees on the island. Immerse yourself in the stunning stone-laid paths that wind through the village, guiding you to hidden corners and colorful doors.
Although the village sees its fair share of visitors, it’s kept its charm that offers a good balance between a touch of tourism and its inherent cuteness. You’ll find many little restaurants, cafes, and bakeries tucked in the cobbled streets – the perfect setting to savor some delicious Greek food or a cup of coffee and heavenly cake. Some of the restaurants/cafes that we liked are:
- Cafe Marigo
- Lefkiano Restaurant
- Stratis Bakery
As you approach the village from the road, you can already spot the white cubed homes and beautiful church sticking out between the hills. Lefkes, full of stunning traditional architecture, friendly locals, delicious food, and an incredible atmosphere, makes a great destination for a half-day trip while you explore Paros, Greece.
With a big glass of wine, look out over the stone alleys and white surrounding houses while a fresh sea breeze blows through your hair. The beautiful Moraitis Winery, on the borders of the bustling Naoussa, is one of the best things to do in Paros, Greece. This family business allows you to fully soak up the island’s charm – from all kinds of tastings to tours or just a nice sample of wine with a delicious meal on the stone terrace.
The winery’s story dates back to the origin of Aegean winemaking (2000 BC), a period in history when Paros was at the epicenter of wine production. Since 1910, Moraitis has traveled back in time and perfected those early Cycladic wines with their unique flavor. The winery’s been passed from generation to generation and has become one of the biggest on the island.
Spend an afternoon trying the different wines, each with slightly different notes, as you soak up the sun and salty air of Paros. Explore their wine cellar on tour, and join in on a tasting out on the shaded terrace, surrounded by grapevines and stunning bougainvillea flowers.
Nestled on the eastern side of Paros, Greece, amidst the sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters lies the charming village of Marpissa. This somewhat hidden gem feels as if you’ve just stepped into a live postcard, with white-washed streets adorned with vibrant, colorful doors leading to locals’ homes.
Especially the beautiful terrace of Charoula’s Tavern makes a must-visit, with wooden chairs and artwork covered by stunning trees.
7. Beaches of Paros
Paros is lined with sun-drenched shores and pristine beaches, making it a perfect summer destination. With a unique charm and allure, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to beach time. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun near tranquil coves or listen to the music at vibrant beach bars, there’s something for everyone. All along the stunning shoreline of the island, you’ll find many incredible beaches.
Some of our favorites are:
- Kolymbithres Beach: This rocky beach is one of the most stunning locations in Paros. With many sunbeds set against a moon-like landscape, it makes the perfect beach to bask in the sun. Explore the multiple coves here, occasionally dipping into the waters to cool off. There are some tavernas nearby and a few beach clubs. Visit early for a good spot on the beach.
- Kalogeros Beach: By far one of the most unique beaches on Paros Island. The beautiful rugged ochre-colored cliffs surrounding the beach are the reason for its popularity, as they provide rich clay mud perfect for your skin. Please note that this beach sees large waves when ferries pass by!
- Molos Beach: Located in a large bay on the west coast of Paros, this beautiful pebbled beach is known for its quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Because of its size, it’ll never feel too crowded, making it a great location to unwind for an afternoon. Because of its wind squalls, it’s also a good spot to learn how to windsurf.
- Lageri Beach: crystalline waters, soft sand, and lush surroundings perfectly sum up what you can expect from this tranquil beach. Spend a little while cooling off in the stunning waters, looking out onto the shimmering Aegean Sea. It’s a bit of a walk to get to the beach from the parking lot, but worth the trip!
- Monastiri Beach: This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Paros, Greece. Located close to the bustling town of Naoussa and just outside Paros Park, this rocky bay is a great place to swim and sunbathe. Watch as visitors dip in the calm waters in front of the imposing rocks while you bask in the warm Mediterranean sun from one of the beach clubs.
Only a short boat ride away from its larger sibling lies the hidden Aegean gem of Antiparos. With pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, this smaller island makes a fun trip from Paros, Greece. Spend a day or two strolling along picturesque cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses. Swim in sea caves and indulge in the delicious Cycladian delicacies at lively tavernas in small towns. In the evening, as the sun dips below the horizon, watch how the island beams with its nightlife.
How to Get to Antiparos from Paros
You can catch a quick ferry from Paros to Antiparos throughout the year. There are frequent crossings daily from Pounta (Paros) and ferries from Parikia during peak season. The boat journey takes about 10 – 30 minutes, depending on what port you leave from, and costs around 2 – 5 EUR (2.17 – 5.55 USD) per ride.
9. Boat Trip Around the Island(s)
Just off of Paros and the other Cyclades, sailing is at its very best! Raise the sails and navigate along the beautiful coastline, where hidden coves and secluded beaches urge you to drop anchor and immerse in peacefulness. Spending a day out on the water, gently bobbing around the stunning turquoise colors, is one of the best things to do in Paros, Greece.
From picturesque fishing villages with colorful boats bobbing in the water to rugged cliffsides adorned with whitewashed houses, there’s so much beauty to discover from the sea. You can rent a small motorboat in one of the island’s harbors or join a private cruise where everything is handled for you. Go where the current takes you and peacefully witness the captivating landscape of Paros unfold before your eyes.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Paros
From delicious sea bass to fresh salads and pan-fried cheese topped with lemon juice, the rich Greek cuisine alone makes Paros a worthy destination to visit. Some of our favorite cafes and restaurants in Paros are:
- Charoula’s Taverna (Marpissa)
- Cafe Marigo (Lefkes)
- Lefkiano restaurant (Lefkes)
- Cafe Symposium (Parikia)
- Stratis Bakery (Lefkes)
The fresh food gives the island a strong food culture with wonderful local produce and dishes. Dive into the different fish soups, fried zucchini, tomato balls, and a variety of cheeses as you travel around. Note that when you eat outside of Naoussa, you’ll find lower food prices.
How to Visit Paros, Greece
The island of Paros is very well connected to other destinations in Greece. From Athens, you can easily get to the island via a direct flight during the peak months. Additionally, if you’re island hopping in Greece, you can also visit Paros by ferry from the capital or neighboring islands Naxos, Ios, and Santorini.
There are multiple flights a day during the summer months that head to the tiny airport of Paros. From Athens, the journey takes about 30 minutes. As of now, there are no direct flights to the island from other European destinations. Though you could fly into Mykonos or Santorini and take the ferry to Paros from there.
Island hopping in Greece is one of the best experiences in the country, with many beautiful and unique islands waiting to be discovered. From the Athens port (Piraeus), multiple ferries a day head out to the island of Paros. The same goes for other nearby Cycladic islands.
Blue Star Ferries, Seajets, Fast Ferries, and Minoan Lines all travel to Paros. If you’re traveling during the summer months, we recommend booking your ferry tickets in advance so you’re guaranteed a spot.
Depending on your itinerary and preferences, there are a few ways of getting around the island of Paros. Paros is a relatively small island with good roads (it takes about 40 minutes to get from one end to the other without traffic). There are public buses that go to almost every corner of the island, but you can also rent a vehicle and make your own way there.
By Car, Motorbike, or ATV
Renting your own set of wheels gives you the freedom to explore beautiful Paros, zig-zagging your way across the island. For shorter journeys, a motorbike or ATV are good options to get there on your own schedule. Though, if you’re planning on seeing more of the island further away, renting a car is much more comfortable. Car rental in Greece is relatively affordable, especially on Paros. Expect to pay around 25 – 50 EUR (27 – 55 USD) per day for a car rental on Paros.
The cheapest way of getting around the island is by bus. The transportation network is pretty good, especially between Parikia and Naoussa. Most tickets cost about 1.80 – 2.50 EUR per ticket and can be bought at tourist stations across the island. Journeys are frequent (about every hour) and stop along the main beaches and towns.
Where to Stay
There are many incredible areas to stay in Paros, Greece. If you’re looking for a bit more of a lively atmosphere, the northern part of the island is the place to be. Naoussa and Parikia are the two vibrant villages where you’ll find most of the restaurants, bars, and people. We stayed at Peven Suites in Naoussa.
If you’re looking to spend most of your time on the stunning beaches or would like to stay at a resort, head south. Paros has some of the most beautiful hotels and villas on the Greek islands, always immersed in the island’s beauty.
How Many Days on Paros, Greece?
Though you could easily spend the whole summer in Paros, five days is the perfect amount of time. There are many things to do across the island, making it worth it to explore for more than just a few days. Start in Parikia, visit Naoussa, and then head east, following the road past some of the most incredible sights in Paros, Greece.
Best Time to Visit Paros
Though alongside some of Greece’s top holiday destinations, Paros remains a calmer island to visit throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of late April – early June or September – October. During this time, the crowds are smaller, but you’ve still got that delicious sunny weather and warm sea to enjoy.
Next to a more quiet island, if you visit in off-peak times, lots of the accommodations, activities, and food is also significantly cheaper.