Paros is one of the most popular destinations of the Greek islands. Many people come here mesmerized by the charm of the unique ambience exuded by the combination of traditional Greek architecture, the Byzantine footpaths and paved streets, the stunning beaches laid in golden sand, and of course, its gentle and friendly people. With such a majestic setting, this island, no matter the size, is the perfect set up for an unforgettable Meditterranean holiday. It has a lot to offer, if you just know where to look. To help out with your itinerary, we have compiled a list of summer holiday recommendations to enjoy your summer vacation in this stunning Greek paradise. Here’s our top 10 list of the best things to do in Paros in summer.
Paros is located at the center of the Aegean and is mostly constituted by fishing villages. Before the onset of tourism, the locals were mostly left to their own, maintaining the customs and traditions still eminent in their festivities and preserved architecture. It doesn't take long to love Paros. Its dreamy scenic whitewashed village homes in stark contrast against the azure of the Aegean is a calming sight, made even more so with the slow pace of life of the people who live here.
Still, don't let the idyllic charm fool you. Aside from its naturally beautiful beaches and calm fishing village demeanor, the nightlife here is wild. Well, not WILD as in Mykonos-WILD but great enough to have a good time.
Another thing shared by Paros in common with the rest of the Cycladic islands is its watersports activities. You have plenty to engage in so get your gears ready and seize the fun!
Image Source: parospress.blogspot.com
Parikia is the capital of Paros and is a beautiful Cycladic village dotted with the quintessential Greek whitewashed cubiform houses and its neoclassical mansions. The narrow streets and alleyways of Parikia, although may resemble that you’ve probably seen in Santorini and Crete, are less crowded. Exploring the streets is fun. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants as well as small shops located in surprising corners. There are also numerous clubs and not to mention a supermarket that sells the island’s best produce.
A well preserved 13th century Venetian castle sits atop a hill located in the center of the village and in where you will find a panoramic view of Parikia and the surrounding area. In this village, you can also visit one important heritage site, the Panayia Ekatontapyliani, also known as Katapoliani. This is the popular 'church with a hundred doors' or 'gates,' depending on the translation, one still remaining a secret.
If you decide to spend the day in Parikia, you can expect to be rewarded by a magnificent sunset at the end of the day.
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Naoussa is considered the second most important village in Paros and is a colorful, more polished version of the capital, Parikia, with a Venetian fortress stand at the entrance of the small harbor. If you’re a party person, this is definitely the place to be. There are many taverns with outdoor seating that line the harbor and bars that stay open until dawn.
Its charming atmosphere is perfect for people watching. In the port, fresh catches of the day are in full display and if you wait until sunset, you’ll witness the whole scene get bathed in lovely tones of orange and red, as the day signals for the night. Browse through the dinner menu and you’ll surely have something that will tickle your appetite.
Image Source: aboutparos.gr
Beach day is of course one of the best things to do in Paros in summer. If you’re in Naoussa, you can easily take a water taxi from the harbor and get to some of the beaches nearby such as the Kolimbithres with its impressive white rock formations, the Monastiri which is located a couple of kilometers from Kolimbithres, the Laggeri beach which is a quiet place to enjoy the sand and sun away from the usually loud crowd, and the Santa Maria beach, a long stretch of coast that has golden sands and emerald waters with a beautiful view of the island of Naxos.
Other well-recommended beaches for hardcore beach bums include the Chrissí Aktí beach, also known among locals as the Golden beach after its glittering sands that glimmer under the sun, made even more aesthetic by the crystal clear waters. Each year, this beach becomes the venue of the Windsurfing World Championship. If you’re lucky to come during the event’s schedule, the sight would sure be a spectacle.
Speaking of windsurfing, you can also find a lot of action in Poúnda beach, one that is close to Parikia and which is famous for its beach bars and beautiful, natural surroundings.
Image Source: paros.gr
For hiking enthusiasts or those who want to see Paros from a different, more adventurous perspective, hiking is a well-recommended activity. One of the most common routes explored in the island is the Byzantine Road, a thousand-year-old network of cobblestone roads that used to connect the village of Lefkes with the other villages in the island. The well-preserved route is around 3.5 km long but is only a section of the original path.
If you’re coming to Lefkes by bus, make your way to the village’s main square from the bus station. Once there, look for signs that say “Byzantine Route” which points you to the start of the stone path. Except little refuge from the heat during your trek, although you will be pleased with the view of the village.
You can also find some hiking activities at the St. Ioannis Detis peninsula where you can trek to a lighthouse or a cave.
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The bus route in Parikia is fairly efficient and you can also get to wherever you want without a problem. But if you want more autonomy in your explorations, we recommend that you rent a scooter and explore the island in your own wheels. The island is less crowded than its neighbors so it’s usually a breeze to whiz through the open road while the scenic secrets and settings of Paros unfold.
It would be easier for you if you already have an international driver’s license. Be sure to bring your provisions especially water. And don’t forget your helmet and your map.
Paros Park Ampitheater
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All your Paros holiday can be spent in the Paros Natural Park alone, what with all the fun activities it offers that will surely have you engaged. The walking paths invite you to enjoy the natural beauty of the place such as the natural rock formations that is characteristic of the Cyclades. The paths are accessible year-round. In summer, the nearby beach of Monastiri offers a cool refuge from the heat. At night, you can chill and enjoy the warm summer air, perhaps even while watching a classic film at the Open Air Cinema.
Summertime also sees the park with plenty of festivities ranging from musical acts to traditional Greek concerts and fascinating cultural events.
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One of the best things to do in Paros in summer is witnessing the customs and traditions of Paros evident in one of its many festivals, both ancient and modern. Every year, there’s a wide selection of events held in various parts of town. In 2018, be on the lookout for the following:
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Paros is big in watersports. In fact, you can find one in almost any beach in the island. Molos, Pounta, and the Golden Beach offers kitesurfing activities, windsurfing can also be done in Antiparos, New Golden Beach, and again in Molos and Pounta. SUP is offered in Antiparos and Paros Park and you can scuba dive in Pounta and Aliki.
Many may offer you to go surfing but don’t get so hyped up unless you get that from a reliable source. You may also charter a boat and head to the hippie island, Antiparos.
You can snorkel everywhere and it would be a feast.
Image Source: traveller-kites.com
Located at the highest point of Paros, the village of Lefkes enjoys a full view of the island. Quintessential whitewashed homes with hanging magenta bougainvilleas adorn the village, along with its traditional, well-preserved Neoclassical buildings. As with Parikia and Naoussa, you will have fun exploring the narrow streets and marble alleys.
Don’t miss the Museum of Aegean Folk Culture for a tour of the culture of the archipelago; gawk through its exhibits and fine displays.
Drop by one of the cafes for a Frappe and watch the people go about their daily business. It’s a charming little village that is authentic in its maintained simplicity.
Don’t feel like going into adventure mode? How about a staycation? Choose a place that’s as good as a resort. There are private homes and villas for rent that will not only make you feel at home right at the heart of the Cyclades, but on that will also put you in prime positions to the best places in the island, like this majestic 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with a pool, a veranda, and panoramic view of the sea.
Find more properties in our exclusive Paros apartments and private villas for rent here.