Paros is the second largest island of the Cyclades island complex and it is situated in the heart of the island cluster in the center of the Aegean Sea, west of Naxos and east of Antiparos. The picturesque island of Paros is considered to be one of the most charming islands of Greece as well as the cultural hub of the Cyclades. Its name derives from Paros, the first settler of the island and leader of the Arcadians.
The island of Paros is much more fertile than the rest of the Cyclades, hence viticulture, as well as the production of fine Parian wine has been flourishing since ancient times. Paros is also known for its semi-transparent pure-white and entirely flawless marble quarried since the classical era. Venus de Milo, one of the most famous Greek sculptures has been carved from Parian marble.
Paros is a popular holiday destination for its stunning beaches, the striking white-washed villages, the narrow pebbled paths as well as for it vibrant nightlife and the excellent weather conditions for windsurfing. Visitors can also enjoy the hilly country side, the many traditional churches and monasteries, the amazing sites and historical interests. The island has a very well developed tourist infrastructure offering a wide variety of accommodation, luxury hotels, resorts, apartments and rooms to let, as well as a frequent bus service connecting all parts of the island.
The most treasured monument of the Byzantine era, as well in all of Greece is the church of Ekatondapiliani (the church of 100 gates) that visitors will encounter as soon as they reach the island of Paros. The church is dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary and her assumption to heaven is solemnly celebrated on August 15th. The archeological museum, the Byzantine museum and the ancient cemetery of the city dating back to the 3rd century BC can also be found in Parikia.
The ancient quarries of Parian marble are situated in Marathi, a small village located in the center of the island. Northwest of Parikia, travelers will encounter the Delion sanctuary, a place of worship of the God Apollo. The sanctuary of Asklipios, the God of Medicine, as well as the church of Agios Konstantinos with the post-Byzantine icons are also worth visiting.
Naoussa is situated in the Northern part of Paros and it is considered one of the most picturesque and beautiful fishing villages of the entire insular complex of the Cyclades. The village is build amphitheatrically around the port in a tangle of narrow cobbled streets, lined by whitewashed houses, arches and churches. Visitors can enjoy some Parian delicacies with ouzo by the sea at some of the picturesque little taverns or take a stroll to the Venetian Castle or the beautiful church of Agios Nikolaos. Kolimbithres, one of the most popular beaches of the island, is situated in the large bay of Naoussa and it is well known for its turquoise waters and its unique rock formations.
The island of Paros is filled with picturesque churches and monasteries such as the Monastery of Loggovardas strictly forbidden to women and known for its splendid hagiographies and icons and the Monastery of the Christ of the forest strictly forbidden to men which is located about 7 km South of Parikia.
Marpissa and Lefkes are considered two of the most traditional and scenic villages in Paros. There, travelers can enjoy the peacefulness, as well as many attractions and visit one of the numerous beaches close by.
Petaloudes (the valley of butterflies) is a beautifully colored landscape with running waters and colorful flowers were visitors can observe hundreds of unusual butterflies during the summer months.
In Paros you may find some of the most beautiful beaches of the Cyclades with stretches of soft sand and crystal clear sapphire waters ideal for windsurfing and other sports activities.
The most popular beaches of Paros are the Golden Beach (Chrissi Akti) and Kolymbithres. Other beaches worth visiting are the beaches of Langeri, Santa Maria, Livadia, Molos, Loloantonis and Faranga.
Overall Paros Island combines the cosmopolitan island lifestyle with a wonderful sense of peacefulness.