Located just a few meters from the port of Parikia is the Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani. One of the well-preserved Paleo-Christian Greek monuments, the monastery, according to legend, was built by the first Emperor of Constantinople, Saint Constantine. It was first constructed in the 1300s--then a three-aisled basilica--then the dome was added later when Emperor Justinian made reformations. Currently, the monastery has a main church of the Virgin Mary--which consists of three more chapels: Agios Anargiros, Agios Philippos, and Osia Theoktisti--a baptistery, and cells of the monk in its yard. On the 15th of August, a large religious festival is celebrated by the monastery, which is considered as the protector of Paros.
Another attraction in Paros is the Frankish Castle which serves as a testimony to the rich past of Paros. Built in the 13th-century by the Venetians, the Frankish Castle is one of the island’s architectural stunners. With its intricate stonework and hundred-footer Hekatompedon, the castle’s architecture alone makes your trip to Parikia worth it. Parts of ancient temples and ancient residences were used to build the Frankish castle. Make sure that you include this in your itinerary for your trip to Paros would be incomplete without this visiting this attraction.
The Archaeological Museum of Paros, which is also located in Parikia, exhibits the excavation findings in Paros and Antiparos. Originally just a one-room museum, the museum now hosts an impressive collection of excavation findings dating back from the Neolithic to the early Christian times. Notable findings in the museum include the Nike of Paros, Cycladic figurines, a marble statue of Mermaid Gorgo, the bust of poet Archilochus, and mosaics. At the museum’s yard are statues and sarcophagi from the Classical and Roman times.
5 kilometers south of Parikia is the Valley of the Butterflies. Often referred to as Petaloudes, the valley, which is located on the foot of a hill beneath a natural well, is just a donkey ride away. Although there are excursions available, a donkey ride to the valley is the most adventurous transportation option that would make your trip to the valley unforgettable. The Valley of the Butterflies is similar to a park wherein defined pathways are placed. Butterflies can be spotted in shaded areas close to the stone fences and in the bushes. The butterflies are, however, difficult to spot, so in case you weren’t able to take a photo of them, a small gift shop can be found in the entrance of the valley wherein postcards of the butterflies from the valley are sold.
Apart from the cultural attractions that the island offers, is an ideal vacation spot for is also popular for beach lovers. Just 4 kilometers away from Parikia is the Parasporos beach wherein the emerald water and its golden sand entice a large crowd of aquaphiles. Although it may get a bit crowded, Parasporos beach’s has a large area in which a few beach bars are located. Another tourist favorite is the Golden Beach--or Chrissi Akti--which is located south of Parikia. Considered as one of the best beaches of Paros, Chrissi Akti is a 700-meter golden sandy beach which is famous among windsurfers. There is, in fact, a world cup, known as the Professional Windsurfing World Cup, is organized here every August that gathers many windsurfing celebrities. 10 kilometers east of Parikia is the Kolimbithres beach in which small sandy coves constitute its beach. Huge blocks of granite line the beach of Kolimbithres and sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented for the day to aid you in your sun lounging. Along the road that leads to the beach are bars and taverns, so you don’t have to worry about your food and drinks for the day.
For an authentic Paros experience, try our vacation rentals at All Luxury Apartments for a hassle-free vacation in this picturesque island. We offer holiday rentals that would fit a range of location, budget, and duration of stay. With a number of luxury villa choices, All Luxury Apartments can provide house rentals—be it short term or long term—that would suit your needs.