Whitewashed houses with ultramarine shutters, narrow lanes paved in pale stone, golden-sand beaches and the endless blue of the Adriatic — a visit to Paros lets you enjoy all the same Cycladic character that you’ll find on Santorini or Mykonos, with a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Explore tiny villages, soak up the sun on the island’s excellent beaches and sample the very local terroir of the island’s wines.
The main town of Parikia is the most lively, with an exuberant nightlife and several important cultural attractions. If you prefer a more refined stay, the seaside hamlet of Naousa provides a photogenic base with chic tavernas and cafés. To enliven your time lounging by the water, we can also arrange private tours of the island, guided hikes along the rugged coastline and the chance to make traditional dishes with a chef at a local taverna.
Things to see and do in Paros
100 doors and an ancient chronicle in Parikia
The main port of Parikia offers classic Cycladic architecture, with dazzling whitewashed houses that boast cerulean-blue trim and flat roofs. Once you’re away from the waterfront, you’ll find yourself in a tangle of narrow lanes that are often shadowed by flowering vines and fragrant orange trees. It’s easy to while away an afternoon here, getting lost in the maze and happening upon unexpected views of the ocean. Once the sun sets, the town livens up with a bustling restaurant and bar scene.
It’s also home to the island’s Archaeological Museum. Four stone sarcophagi greet you as you enter the low, small building. Major exhibits include a gorgon statue dating from the 6th century BC, a Nike statue from the 5th century BC and a fragment of the Parian Chronicle, a timeline of historical and mythical events in ancient Greece.
Also in Parikia, you’ll find Panagia Ekatontapiliani, or Church of 100 Doors. First built in the 3rd century, the church is said to have been founded by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, as she pilgrimaged to the Holy Land. If you’d like to explore the church and learn more about its mysterious name, we can include a visit here on a private tour of the island.
Naousa: a postcard-perfect port
Perched on the lip of Plastira Bay, the tiny port town of Naousa was once a sleepy fishing village that’s gradually morphed into a chic base for visitors. The careful transformation has left all of the village’s photogenic charm intact, and you’ll find perfectly tended Cycladic buildings, a picturesque quay and a labyrinth of narrow lanes that bloom with bright-pink bougainvillea. There’s also an abundance of fashionable boutiques and elegant restaurants, as well as a Venetian castle overlooking the town from the water. If you’d like, we can arrange for a privately guided tour that also includes Lefkes, a hillside village in the rugged interior.
Outside the city, Paros Park is a protected nature reserve where you can spend a day hiking amid shingled rock formations or lounging on the sandy beaches.
Best time to visit Paros
Like all of the Cycladic Islands, Paros is a seasonal destination, and many businesses are only open from April to October. For the best weather, we recommend visiting in June or September, and for the fewest crowds, April or October. July and August are very hot and often busy, but can be a good time for beach-focused trips.
Suggested itinerary featuring Paros
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Paros, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Paros
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Paros
- Naxos 12 miles away
- Mykonos 29 miles away
- Santorini 48 miles away
- Milos 48 miles away
- The Greek Islands 50 miles away
- Cape Sounion 78 miles away
- Hydra 97 miles away
- Athens 103 miles away
- The Peloponnese 119 miles away
- Monemvasia 121 miles away
- Nafplio 137 miles away
- Arachova 174 miles away
- Delphi 178 miles away
- Galaxidi 179 miles away
- Costa Navarino 196 miles away
- Olympia 200 miles away
- Meteora 267 miles away
Photos of Paros
Accommodation choices for Paros
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Paros. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Paros
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Paros, and which use the best local guides.
Paros in a nutshell
Paros in a nutshell
Paros in a nutshell
Get to know the island of Paros on this privately guided tour. You’ll visit the one-time fishing village of Naousa, explore a traditional agricultural village and hike along the Byzantine Way, a medieval path that connects the two sides of the island.View details