Paros

1. Welcome to Paros island

Paros island travel Greece
Paros island travel

Paros is a beautiful island in the West of the Cyclades, close to Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini and Ios – in addition to being the heart of the Cyclades when arriving from Piraeus. It is 197 sq km in size and has a population of around 13.000 people. A new  international airport was completed on Paros in the summer of the year 2016, however most people still prefer to travel to Paros by ferry-boat.
This beautiful island has a lot to offer its visitors and you may rest assured that your holidays in Paros shall remain unforgettable. Along with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, the island also has a lot of archaeological sights, museums and quiet areas.
If you would like to visit the beautiful island of Paros, you may book your accommodation through our site and get a special discount. If you have fallen in love with Paros and you wish to stay, then perhaps you should look at some of the real estate on Paros. If you need any extra information, then please contact us here information@abettergreece.com or +30 69 34 620 501 / +30 22840 24879

2. Activities on Paros

donkey rides on Paros island in Greece
donkey rides on Paros island in Greece

Donkey rides to various monasteries on Paros:  In the olden days in Greece, donkeys were used to carry heavy loads of food and liquids across the mountains from village to village. We have kept this tradition, but our donkeys are well looked after, cared for and well fed.

Our donkeys will be more than happy to meet you and to carry you on their backs to various monasteries and to the butterfly valley on Paros. If you are around the area of Paroikia and you would like to experience a donkey trip, please contact Yiannis on the mobile number:

+30 697248 2766 or you can e-mail: information@abettergreece.com and we will be happy to fit you in!

HISA Art school on ParosYou can take art courses, photography courses, painting courses, and many more courses on the island of Paros at the HISA art school.

The Aegean Center for the Fine ArtsThe Aegean Center for the Fine Arts founded and established in Paros over 40 years ago continues its tradition in offering small-group intensive study in the fine arts. Study abroad programs for university students fall & spring. The center is housed in a restored Neoclassical building in the heart of the Old Town of Parikia, which also operates as an art gallery in the summer.

Tao’s CenterA Retreat and Meditation Center dedicated to the practice of awareness, self-development and well being: daily activities (yoga, meditation, tai-chi etc), massages, workshops and a long-stay program. The Center also runs an original Bar-Restaurant, with the very best of Asian Cuisine, and a lounge Café, with free internet access, live music events and an outstanding view.

Kavo Koraka, Paros light house, Greece
Kavo Koraka, Paros light house, Greece

Environmental & Cultural Park of Paros Ai Yiannis Detis: Paros Park is a 800.000 m² (200 acres) protected peninsula of natural and historical interest, offering various environmental & cultural activities such as: a long network walking trails, an open-air theater and cinema, various beaches, historical sites (a 100-year old lighthouse, a medieval monastery), a museum, a beach bar/restaurant and a water ski school. Every summer, it runs an Arts Festival with various concerts and shows. The restaurant area is also available for social events hosting.

Sea Kayak ParosSea Kayak Paros offers guided sea kayaking day & multi-day trips on the islands of Paros & Antiparos and the Cyclades islands, in Greece. Explore sea caves, secluded beaches and the impressive geology of the islands with a sea kayak, the best way to discover the natural beauty of the coastline. Tel: +30 6977 206541 Naoussa, main Road

Stretch PilatesStretch Pilates studio offers Pilates classes either on the mat or the classic Pilates apparatus. It is the only fully equipped Pilates studio on the island and it follows the classical Pilates system. Furthermore you can experience beauty therapies like aromatherapy, treat yourself to a massage such as deep tissue massage or hot stones massage and finally you can do some waxing under the hands of our professional therapists. Tel: +30 22840 55189 main road in Naoussa

Naoussa Sailing TeamRun by Naoussa Sailing Team, well-known for its award-winning athletes, the school offers private and group lessons for kids and adults in Optimists, Laser, Toper Omega and Skiff boats (29 euros & 49 euros). Custom-made courses available. Tel: +30 6974 717978 located in Kolybithres of Naoussa

Kokou Horse Riding CenterOperating since 1990, Kokou offers horse riding lessons for children & adults and organized horseback tours in the countryside for experts & beginners. Recommended by major travel guides. Transport available.
+30 22840 51818 and +30 6944 174998 located in the area of Ambelas on Paros

Thanassis FarmHorse riding activities for children and adults- lessons and trail rides. Also offers horse training, sales and trade and boarding facilities. Families are welcome to visit Thanassis’ place, get close to the animals (cows, sheep etc.) and experience farm life in a small village by the sea. +30 22840 53403+30 6998 413813 Ambelas

Cycladic DivingEnjoy the underwater world in a relaxing way! Guided dives and snorkeling in small groups with high professional standards and respect to the environment. Introductory experiences and all PADI courses in many languages. Well-trained center for the special PADI diving courses for children (8-15 years old).
+30 22840 91008+30 6975 923156 Aliki, Seafront street

One-day sailing trips:  Daily trips to southern Naxos & Koufonisia Islands on the traditional wooden boat (or Kaiki) “Ayios Georgios” for adults & kids. Spend a whole day in the sea with frequent stops for swimming & snorkeling in places only reached by boat – ouzo & meze on board. The boat is also available for private hire with custom-made routes.
+30 6972 714951 Pisso Livadi, Marina

Paros Hikes: Paros Hikes offers guided walking and hiking tours on a weekly basis, aiming to offer a genuine experience of Paros & Antiparos’ unspoiled nature. It operates in small groups, emphasizing attention to detail and safety. Tailor-made walks available too.
Tel: +30 6972 288821

Paros Tennis Association: Tennis courses for children & adults, by the enthusiastic Paros Tennis Association. Professional training for beginners & more accomplished athletes. Also organizes open tennis championships throughout the year.
+30 22840 24280 Parikia, Ayia Irini

Paros Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Paros Animal Welfare Society has been active on Paros Island since 1995 and became an official body in 1999. It remains the only organization involved with the welfare of animals under human care. PAWS aims to re home unwanted dogs and help neighborhoods manage their stray cat communities. It also monitors and reports any animal abuse and recommends good practices. Tel: +30 6975 060927

Alkyoni – Aegean Wildlife Hospital: A non-profit organization which treats and rehabilitates wild birds and mammals. Also active in protecting natural wildlife habitats and in encouraging the protection of the fauna. Member of the European Wildlife Rehabilitation Association. The center is in need of volunteers all year round and offers accommodation. Tel: +30 22840 22931 and +30 6944 741616

The Dance Group of Naoussa: The Folk Dance Group of Naoussa aims to preserve and transmit the local musical tradition. Offers year-long and short-term Greek dancing lessons for children and adults of all nationalities. Tel: +30 22840 52971

Nautical Club: Sailing courses and individual lessons for optimist, laser and omega, all year round. The sailing lessons are for kids and adults and all levels of experience. Have fun during your holidays and learn to sail. Located at the beach of Livadia in Parikia, in the premises of the Paros Nautical Club, home of many renown athletes. Tel: +30 22840 21800

Aegean Sea Quest: One-day private sea excursions to Paros, Antiparos and other nearby islands, activity trips for fishing, diving, snorkeling, kite surfing and private beach parties to secluded beaches. Based on Paros, Aegean Sea Quest also offers sea transfers, motorboat & sailing boat rentals. Excellent service with a smile. +30 6936 873625
Cycladic DivingEnjoy the underwater world in a relaxing way! Guided dives and snorkeling in small groups with high professional standards and respect to the environment. Introductory experiences and all PADI courses in many languages. Well-trained center for the special PADI diving courses for children (8-15 years old).
Tel: +30 22840 91008 +30 6975 923156

Greek language lessons on Paros
Why not try to speak Greek, while living or just visiting Greece? Lessons are given to beginners, to medium speakers and for advanced speakers. Conversation lessons, grammar lesson, reading and writing lessons are given by an experienced, professional teacher at very reasonable prices.
Contact Katerina on +30 22840 24879 and +30 6934620501 or via e-mail: bamboulis.katerina@gmail.com

3. Best beaches on Paros

Here, you will find the most perfect beaches on Paros to enjoy swimming. In almost every corner of the island, clean, sandy beaches either cosmopolitan and noisy or quiet and isolated with beautiful deep blue waters will be waiting for you.

Livadia beach on Paros island in Greece
Livadia beach on Paros island in Greece

To the North of Paroikia, towards Krios, you will find the beautiful beach of Livadia, with a complete tourism infrastructure and clean waters. Livadia beach is the most popular beach in Paroikia.
Beach in front of hotel ARGO: Price for 2 sun beds + umbrella: 7 EUR
Beach in front of sailing school: 2 sun beds + umbrella: 5 EUR
Beach in front of ONAR Cafe (orange sun beds) : free of charge !
Beach in front of Tango Mar : free of charge !

As you continue to the north, leaving Livadia behind you, about 2 kilometers from Paroikia, you will find Krios beach, Martselo beach and Kaminia beach. These three are all parts of a single beach and are extended up to the northern part of Paroikia bay, the Aghios Fokas cape. Along these three sandy beaches, you will find deck chairs, sea chairs and umbrellas to rent as well as beach bars. Enjoy the special colors of the sandy waters and abundant play at the sea in Kaminia.
(Prices for 2 sun beds + umbrella at Paradiso Club, located at the long beach of Krios, 8,00 EUR)
NOTE: Sandy, clean beaches, crystal clear and shallow water, perfect also for kids; the beaches can also be reached by boat from the port of Paroikia (in front of the windmill). Departure times: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. – every half an hour. Prices: One way-ticket 2 Euros, return-ticket: 4 Euros, children up to 10 yrs. free of charge
Towards the south of Paroikia and in only 2,5 km distance you will find Delfini beach and Parosporos beach. The beaches are organized and are two of the young peoples favorites; the music from the beach bars stimulates people who combine swimming with entertainment.
As you continue towards the south, you will find the atmospheric Ayia Irini beach, where palm trees give an exotic sense rise along the beach.
NOTE: After your swimming you should taste the mezedes (tapas) that the local taverns have on their menus.
Leaving Ayia Irini behind you, you will reach the resort settlement of Pounda beach. There you can swim in the consecutive beautiful small beaches enjoying the view of Antiparos and you will also have the opportunity to enjoy sea sports and in particular windsurfing which is the islands favorite sport.

Once you have done and seen it all in the greater area of Paroikia, you can then explore the magnificent beaches that are stretched around the area of Naoussa. There you will discover coasts that are extremely beautiful with deep blue waters.
You must swim at Piperi and Ayioi Anargiroi beaches, before you begin your tour. Piperi is located inside Naoussa and Ayioi Anargiroi are located 200 meters to the east of the city. Both of these beaches are ideal choices for those who are not using a vehicle other than a bicycle on their vacations and that desire to be close to the beach, the minute they wake up.

In the west side of Naoussa’s bay you should visit the famous Kolybithres beach. Even though this beach is an attraction to both Greeks and foreigners, it has not lost anything from it’s natural beauty. You will be impressed by the rocks around the beach which have been carved by the waves and you will try to find out what the different shapes that the sea has given to then remind you of. At the beach there are umbrellas and sea chairs to hire as well as a water ski and wake board school. In the close distance, you will find restaurants, hotels and cafes.

Kolybithres beach on Paros island in Greece
Kolybithres beach on Paros island in Greece

As you carry on north, leaving Kolybithres behind, you will meet the famous Monastery beach. This beach will be full of people and is one of the most visited beaches on Paros.
East of Naoussa and in approx. 1,5 kilometers distance, there is the gorgeous Langeri beach. This beach is one of the secret diamonds on the island, as there is no suitable signing to drive the visitors up to there. As you go to Santa Maria, leaving Naoussa behind, you will need to turn left into a small dirty road. For your convenience the best thing to do is to ask a local for information. As soon as you arrive at the beach you will be impressed from the thin sand and the sand hills.
As you go east you will see Santa Maria beach, which has particularly developed during the last couple of years. Santa Maria is an extended golden sandy beach where you will have the opportunity to learn windsurfing, do many sea sports and diving. Relax in the music sound of the beach bars and enjoy the beautiful view of Naxos.
In the northeast part of the island, in 5 kilometers distance from Naoussa, you can swim in the picturesque Ambelas beach. The small sandy beach, well protected from the wind, will give you nice moment of relaxation and tranquility while the blue green waters will take you in to exotic places. If you are looking for more tranquility and isolation you can swim to the beautiful Damouli in very close distance from Ambelas.
On the east of the island and in close distance from Marmara, you will find Molos beach, another sandy beach that is offered for relaxation. There are taverns and lodgings around the beach. After Molos, the wild beauty and plenty of argil in Kalogeros beach are waiting for you well hidden. Before you arrive to Molos you will find the extended sandy beaches of Tsoukalia and Glyfades.
As you continue your tour to the east side of the island and in close distance from Marpissa you will see Piso Livadi beach and Logaras beach. In both beaches you can taste fish mezedes near the sea and relax in the beautiful beach. The tourism sector is particularly developed in these areas with many taverns, cafe and lodgings around the sea.
Next stop, the famous Pounda Beach. Sea sports, bungee jumping and many other happenings, loud music, plenty of drinks and people and many young people constitute the setting in the most bustling beach of Paros.
As you go south you will find Tserdakia beach or else Nea Chryssi Akti beach, one of the most ideal beaches of the Mediterranean for windsurfing! The extended beach is very well-organized and will give you the opportunity to learn the secrets of wind-surfing by taking lessons with experienced sea sports teachers.
In close distance you will find Chryssi Akti beach (GOLDEN BEACH), the biggest and one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Sea sports play a primary role there with windsurfing to be again the king of the sports while there is also a scuba diving school. The beach has a top level infrastructure as you will find restaurants, beach bars and of course modern hotels and lodgings.
Next stop of your tour is Dryos and its close beaches. The thin pebble, the dark blue waters and the carved rocks in the end of the beach are typical of Dryos beach. According to the tradition the rocks were shelter for the ships of the sea men during ancient times. Enjoy your swimming away from the crowded places and eat mezedes (tapas) in the taverns that are exactly above the beach.
Before the beach of Dryos you will find Boudari beach, a small bay with golden sand, blue green waters and green trees that grow near the sea.
NOTE: Boudari beach is only for few people , for those who look for quiet and ”virgin” beaches.
Leaving of Dryos you will find Pyrgaki, another quiet sandy beach ideal for relaxed family moments.
As you go south to Angeria, turn left once you see the sign to Lolantonis. After a few drive in dirt road, you will come across another small paradise. Relax a little under the natural shadow of the deep green trees which rise where the road ends, before you dive in the blue green waters of the small beach. This beach is not organized.
After Lolandonis beach you will find Glyfa beach, which is another clean and beautiful sandy isolated beach. Glyfa beach is a little bit difficult to find, but if you watch out for the small signs upon the main road, you should be ok!
Perhaps the most interesting part of the tour in the southern coasts of the island is Farangas beach, a well protected from the wind beach with white sand and deep blue waters. Despite the fact that it is a very well-organized beach, it keeps its company-like style away from the movement and the noise of the settlements. The only beach bar is particularly atmospheric and ideal for all those who want private comfort at the beach. On Farangas beach you can rent an umbrella and sunchairs for 3 Euros. There are also some nice restaurants and coffee shops upon the beach.
As you continue coastwise and leaving Farangas behind, you will reach the beautiful and family-like beaches of Aliki. In Piso Aliki, which is before the east entrance of the village, you will find a big sandy beach with blue waters, marram grass and a tavern. As soon as you arrive in Aliki, go to the main beach of the settlement, where you will be able to swim in clean and well protected from the winds waters. You must also taste the fresh fish in the coastal taverns of the village.
Upon the beach of Aliki there is a playground, football pitch and a basket ball court for your children.

4. Sightseeing on Paros

Panayia ekatontapiliani on Paros, Cyclades, Greece
Panayia ekatontapiliani on Paros, Cyclades, Greece

PANAYIA EKATONTAPYLIANI: The church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani is the finest and most impressive religious complex in the Aegean and the third most important early Christian monument in size, after the Saint Dimitrios and Achiropoito in Thessaloniki. It consists of a large central church of the Virgin Mary, the Baptistery, the Chapel of St. Nicholas that exists from the early Christian period, the chapel of St. Theodosia (1619), the chapel of Agios Dimitrios (1666) and the cells (17th century) that assist the above temples.

The church was known by two names, each is equally correct from a historical and linguistic perspective. Katapoliani The name first appeared in 1562 in response to the Dukes of the Archipelago. associated with the position of the church, which was built toward the ancient city (Katapola), which was certified from the discovery of the ancient gymansiou beneath the floor of the church. The other name, Ekatontapyliani, was first mentioned in 1586, in a letter from the patriarch of Constantinople Theoliptos B and epomenos not construct the scholars of the 18th century, but almost in line with another name.

sightseeing on Paros
sightseeing on Paros

THE FRANKISH CASTLE: The amazing Frankish castle is one of the most important monuments on the island of Paros. It is located upon the hill of Ayios Konstantinos in the main town of Paroikia. It was built in the 1200s by the Venetians who then had occupied Paros and had made Paros a part of the Duchy of Naxos (See history of Paros). Scholars have said that the castle must have been built from the vestiges of an assortment of ancient sanctuaries that were found scattered here and there upon Paros. The castle stands out for its amazing architecture and its intricate stonework and the hundred footer Hekatompedon that has been engraved into its walls. The elongated tower integrates all the elements of a 4th century globular edifice, built during the Frankish era. The Frankish castle is located at the highest point of Parikia and guarantees an amazing view from its surrounding areas.

THE ANCIENT POTTERY WORKSHOP IN PAROIKIA: Extensive establishment of a pottery workshop, dated to the 3rd century B.C.
It has two cisterns, auxiliary rooms, two spacious kilns (diameter 2m.) and four smaller ones, in the construction of which Archaic pithoi with impressed decoration were used:
a) a Geometric grave
b) and a wall of a large Archaic building were uncovered in the deeper strata.
The excavation started in 1986 in private land and was extended in the area of the street in 1990. The monument is now preserved in the basement of the modern building.

THE ANCIENT CEMETERY: The Ancient Cemetery is located about 300 meters to the left of the main port of Parikia and is spread out over a large area. According to archaeologists and scholars, the ancient cemetery was functional from the 8th BC to the 2nd century AD. The cemetery includes a variety of graves of many different in types and from different archaic eras. The main attraction of the cemetery is a mass grave that dates back to the Geometric Period and is the only one of its kind in the Aegean Sea region.

THE ANCIENT WALL IN PAROIKIA: Just next to the Frankish Castle, in Paroikia, you should stop to see the ancient wall and admire the architecture. It is fascinating.

THE SANCTUARY OF ASKLIPIOS: The German archaeologist, Rubensohn found two sanctuaries in the south of Paroikia, positioned in Ayia Anna. The one was The sanctuary of Asklipios, the ancient Greek God of medicine and the second one is the remains of the temple of Pythios Apollo ( See Greek mythology ). From the temple of Pythios Apollon, unfortunately very little remains, the rest of the temple was probably destroyed in 202/201 B.C.

From the temple of Asklipios, only the columns remain. It was built in the 4th century B.C. close to a spring as water was necessary for the God’s ceremonies.

THE DELION SANCTUARY: Above the main town of Paroikia, upon a hill (towards Parosporos), is the Delion Sanctuary. The temple was the place of worship of the god Apollo of Delios. The original structure was built in the 9th – 8th century BC. Later on, in the 5th century BC, a new temple dedicated to Artemis was also built close to the original structure. ( See Greek mythology )

THE CHURCH OF AYIOS CONSTANTINOS: The Church of Ayios Constantinos is located 200 meters away from the main port of Parikia and is famous for its splendid architecture, its gilded, wood carved screen and unique Post-Byzantine icons. When the Samina express ship sank on September 26th 2000 at 10:00 leaving 79 dead people behind, the bodies were placed outside the church of Agios Constantinos before their burial.

THE MONASTERY OF LOGGOVARDAS: The Monastery of Loggovardas was established in 1638 by the monk Paleologos. It is an impressive monastery, with splendid hagiographies and icons and it includes an excellent library. It is located upon the hills above the road that leads to Aliki. Monks still live in this monastery.

THE THREE POST-BYZANTINE CHURCHES: At close proximity to Parikia, on the road towards Naoussa, are the Three Churches (Tris Ekklisies). It is a complex of Post-Byzantine churches, built in the 17th century, with marbles from ancient temples. The three churches were built on top of a Paleo-Christian Basilica that dated back to the 6th century.

Museums on Paros
Museums on Paros

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM ON PAROS: The museum was founded in 1960, when a large room was built next to the main High School in Paroikia, to house the antiquities which were until then kept in the cells of the Katapoliani monastery. A second room was built at the end of the 1960’s and further extension work of the museum began only recently, in 1995.

The museum contains the following collections:

– Room A: Archaic and Classical sculpture.
– Room B: Pottery, sculpture and small finds dating from the Neolithic to the Roman period.
– Atrium: Sculptures, architectural parts, urns, and a mosaic floor dating from the Roman period.

THE BUTTERFLY VALLEY (PETALOUDES): A short distance (about 8 km), towards the south of Parikia (Aliki), is the Butterfly Valley, or as the Greeks say The Petaloudes.
In the summer months, from May to August, the trees in the lush green valley are covered by clouds of Jersey Tiger moths.
The trees look like they are dancing and the fragrance, which attracts the butterflies (well, moths really), is lovely. It is a relaxing and a peaceful nature park.
Organized tours can be arranged from Naoussa or Paroikia, or you can take the bus or get there on your own. The entrance fee is 3 Euros and you will be asked to keep your children quiet as to not scare the butterflies away. There is a quaint little coffee shop inside the valley, where you can have a refreshment or coffee.

THE VENETIAN CASTLE IN NAOUSSA: The Venetian Castle can be found at the northern edge of the small picturesque fishing port of Naoussa. It was built in the 15th century by the Venetian Dynasty Sommaripa.  Today, it is half-sunken beneath the surface of the sea. The port of Naoussa was once a safe haven for the pirates that pillaged the island.

Marathi, Paros, Cyclades Greece
Marathi, Paros, Cyclades Greece

THE ANCIENT MARBLE QUARRY IN MARATHI: Marathi, is a small village located in the center of Paros Island, 5 km’s from the main town of Paroikia, on the road towards Lefkes. the small village has a very special legacy; its ancient marble quarry dating back to the 3rd millennia BC.
From this marble quarry, ancient sculpted masterpieces were created, such as the statues of the Aphrodite of Milo, the Maidens of the Acropolis, the Niki of Delos and the Hermes of Praxiteles, as well as the Sifnian Treasure and the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia and Temple of Apollo in Delos. In the quarry, visitors can see the corridors, the stoas and various inscriptions.
Just outside the marble quarries, you will find the remains of buildings from the year 1881. In the marble quarries you will see different words scratched upon the walls, they count back to the year 1790 when visitors scratched their name and the date there.
You can get the bus up to Marathi from Paroikia, just tell the bus driver that you wish to see the ancient marble quarries and he will take you up to the entrance. You will need to walk a good ten minutes upon a country side road until you come to the quarries but it will be worth while!

KEFALOS HILL IN MARPISSA: Kefalos Hill is located in the traditional small village of Marpissa. Upon the hill are the remains of a 15th century castle, which was built during Venetian Rule and was destroyed by the pirate Barbarosas. On the top of the hill is the Monastery of Ayios Antonios. Built in the 17th century, it contains a gilded, wood carved screen and many valuable icons. If you journey up the hill, you will also be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view that will not be easy to forget..

THE ANCIENT SHIPYARD IN DRIOS: Drios is a village that lies next to Golden beach on Paros. It is a nice quiet village with its unique history and tradition. It has a nice beach (a bit rocky) beyond the road that is full of restaurants and coffee bars. You must walk down a few steps to approach the beach. At the end of the beach you can easily see the wide and big stones with large lines in between which are the ruins of an ancient shipyard. Drios is definitely worth a visit. Just walk around the beach and see the abandoned Drionisi. Most of the many beautiful beaches after Drios village, are not easily accessible as the roads are not good but if you enjoy walking on unsteady grounds then these beaches are quiet and peaceful.

MYCENEAN ACROPOLIS ON PAROS ISLAND IN GREECE
MYCENEAN ACROPOLIS ON PAROS ISLAND IN GREECE

THE MYCENAEAN ACROPOLIS IN KOLYMBITHRES: 

The Mycenaean Acropolis, located in Koukounaries, above Kolybithres Beach, was constructed in the 13th century BC.

After the Acropolis was destroyed by an earthquake, the remains were identified when the remains of a palace were unearthed in 1975 by archaeologist Dimitris Skilardis.

A Geometric settlement was built on the same spot in the 10th century BC and became a significant city till the Archaic Period.
Visitors who make the effort to reach the site are awarded with a superb view.

Ayia Triada Lefkes, Paros, Greece
Ayia Triada Lefkes, Paros, Greece

THE CHURCH OF AGIA TRIADA IN LEFKES: Lefkes is a village in the middle of the island of Paros of excellent beauty.
Many years ago, Lefkes was the capital of Paros. The village is built between the lower parts of the highest hill on the island, with a wonderful view to the sea and the country side.
It’s an absolutely traditional Cycladic village, all the houses are white-washed houses, narrow, paved streets and traditional Cycladic vaults which intensely show the authentic Cycladic architecture.
In Lefkes there are many numerous small churches and country – churches of the 15th and 16th century and monasteries of historical interest.
Of great importance in Lefkes is the cathedral of the village, Ayia Triada, which was constructed in 1830 after the liberation of the island from the Ottomans. It has a monumental entrance gate and the bell towers, which were constructed in 1895 are quite original and of a particular architectural style. This church has been made of ‘Iychnitis’ the famous Parian marble that the ancient sculpture were also made from. The cathedral contains a number of valuable icons, splendid hagiographies and a icon screen, a pulpit and a bishop’s throne, all of which are made of the same Parian marble. The bell towers are the masterpieces of ecclesiastical architecture.

It is definite site worth visiting when on Paros. You make take the bus from Paroikia to Lefkes.

THE MONASTERY OF AYIOS IOANNIS KAPAROS LEFKES: The Monastery of Ayios Ioannis Karparos, most well-known for its dream-like setting, is situated among vineyards and a variety of fruit trees (orange, cherry, lemon, peach, pear, apple and walnut trees). It is located approximately 2,5 kilometers from Lefkes village
The locals celebrate the religious feast of Ayios Ioannis Kaparos on the 23rd of June, in a really traditional way. A local religious feast also takes place on the 29th of August in honor of Aghios Ioannis (St. John’ name day) Several high level interesting cultural events are organized by the local Cultural Association “Yria”, the peak of them being the Music, Theater and Dance Festival. It should be mentioned here that the Cultural Association bears the name the village had in the 15th century when it was constructed.

THE CHAPEL OF AYIOS GEORGIOS THALASSITIS IN LOGARAS: The Chapel of Ayios Georgios Thalassitits was built in the 13th century AD. Several lovely hagiographies can still been seen here. According to lore, pirates used to store their treasures in the church, in an underground vault. This chapel is the oldest chapel on the island of Paros. The chapel was renovated in

Logaras is located upon a hill close to Piso Livadi. There are regular buses during the summer season that will take you from the main town of Paroikia to Piso Livadi.

The Folklore Museum of Cycladic art (Scorpios): Cyclades Folklorist, Benetos Skiadas, was born in 1943 in Aliki, Paros. He was raised with a privation in a large family. This fact forced him to work for a living from an early age. At the age of eleven, he was already working with his uncle that owned a fishing boat. The need of surviving did not give him a chance to further his education but he was born a man with gifts of observation, conception and creative power and has created many miniatures of ships and important buildings that stand out in the Cyclades islands.
Archaeological museum on Paros
The great Archaeological museum of Paros is located next to the main high school, at the rear side of the Church of a Hundred Doors (Panayia Ekatontapyliani). The museum presents exhibitions from the pre historical and Roman periods that have been kept in this museum since 1960 and are significant samples of the civilization that then flourished in the Cycladic islands. Entering the yard of the museum you will see architectural parts from various buildings of the ancient town, tombs, desiccation statues and a mosaic floor with the labors of Hercules of the ancient Greek Gymnasium. In the room on your right, you will find sculptures of the Archaic and Classical periods, such as the wonderful statute of the mythical monster Gorgon and the unique statue of Nike that is considered to be one of the most significant works of the ancient Greek sculpture and especially of Paros. In the small room nearby, you will see the finds from the recent excavations in the small island of Despotiko, located on the south-west tip of Antiparos, where the sanctuary of Apollo came to light. At the end of the archway you will see the huge statue of Artemis from the Delium sanctuary. To your right you will find the room with the significant pottery finds from Prehistoric times (4th millennium B.C.), as well as glass, copper etc. finds from the Roman times (3rd-4th centuries B.C.). You can also have a look at some sculptures from the Archaic (6th century B.C.), the classical (6th century B.C.) and the Roman Ages (2nd-3rd centuries B.C.).

The Archeological museum of Paros is open every morning from 8.30 – 15.00. The entrance fee is 2 Euros and the telephone number for the museum is +22840 21231

Ekatontopyliani Byzantine Museum: The Byzantine museum is housed in the ground floor cells of the southern wing of the Church Of a Hundred Door’s (Panayia Ekatontapyliani) complex. The collection of the museum, which includes ecclesiastical relics that existed for centuries in the Ekatontapyliani but also in other churches on the island of Paros, was concentrated in the late of the 20th century A.D. In the Byzantine Museum, you will see posts of Byzantine icons (mainly works of the Cretan school), ecclesiastical wooden sculptures (such as the wooden epitaph of the church, 17th century A.D.), canonicals, as well as silver works.
The entrance to most parts of the museum is free. Telephone number: +30 22840 21243

Historical Folklore Museum – Othon Kaparis collection: The Historical Folklore Museum – Othon Kaparis collection is located in the central square of Naousa and houses the personal collection of Othon Kaparis, a wealthy doctor from Paros who managed to concentrate whatever he thought important for the history and culture of this place with the purpose to establish this museum. In the museum you will see objects from the agricultural and nautical life of the island, findings from the Mycenaean Acropolis in Koukounaries, ancient coins, maps, books, parchments and a photographic archive that shows to younger people how Naousa used to be in 1950. The museum is located next to the children’s playground in Naousa, right next door to the doctor’s office. Telephone number +30 2284 0 52284

Ecclesiastical School of Naoussa: Here you will find a collection of post-Byzantine art works that is contributed by icons, crosses, wooden domes, copper engraving, ecclesiastical brass ware as well as part of a hagiography of great historical importance from a Byzantine church near to Naousa, in the united cells of the old monastery of Ayios Athanassios in the entrance of Naousa. The works of the collection are exhibited in the Ecclesiastical school since 1997.

The Byzantine museum of Naoussa: This museum is located at the large church of Ayios Nikolaos in Naoussa and displays Byzantine and post-Byzantine art such as Byzantine icons, vessels and engravings but also some Roman and Frankish sculptures. Telephone number: +30 22840 52040

The Folkloric Art museum and the museum of the Aegean Folk culture of Lefkes: The Folk Museum of the village was created thanks to the efforts of the ”Yria cultural center that is based in picturesque Lefkes. There you will see objects of everyday and professional use that mainly reflect the agricultural occupation of the people of the island of Paros.

The Marpissa Folk museum: In the center of the small mountainous village called Marpissa on Paros, you can find a very small, interesting museum. The museum is called The Byzantine Art Gallery of Marpissa. It is located just behind the main church of the village, (the church of the Transfiguration of the Christ) Metamorphosis in the Greek language, this is the main church of the village, and the museum is a walking distance away from to the central square of Marpissa. It is built similar to the architecture of a traditional Cycladic church, (walls painted in white, a large wooden door, narrow windows) there is a large marble statue of an ancient archbishop just next to the main entrance.
The Byzantine Art Gallery of Marpissa shows mostly religious exhibits from the Byzantine and the Post-Byzantine times in Greece. You will see holy icons from the 15th and 16th century which most have been previously exposed in several churches in the village, and an old epitaph from the Monastery of Ayios Antonios in the Kastro. The museum is usually open in the mornings from Monday to Friday.
The Naoussa Folk collection: Here you will find traditional Cycladic costumes, objects of every day use, traditional furniture and old photos of the island that will take you back in time in the house of the Roussos family in Naoussa, which is maintained as a museum.

The sculpture museum in Marpissa: The sculpture museum on Paros is located in the small village of Marpissa and is dedicated to the local artist, Nikos Perantinos. This museum also organizes sculpture courses in summer.
Nikos Perantinos was the son of Leonardos Perandinos, he was born in Athens in the year 1910. In 1928 he studied at the National Academy of Arts, in the sculpture studio of Thomas Thomopoulos. He graduated with a degree in sculpture and a golden award. He then continued his studies in scholarship in Paris. In 1941 he got appointed as a permanent sculptor for the Archaeological museum, where he fur filled important work in restoring ancient sculptures. His work is outstanding. He is the teacher of simplicity and classical form and he got plenty of awards. Finally the Athens academy, on the 23rd of March 1991 bestowed him with the ” Aristio” of Arts in the sculpture sector. After his death (20th July 1991) the foundation of the Sculpture museum ” Nikolaos Perandinos” in Marpissa Paros was published in the governmental newspaper. The museum has 192 sculptures, metals and signs.

THE CAVE IN ANTIPAROS: The famous cave of Antiparos is situated on the south – eastern side of the island on the hill Ayios Ioannis, at the height of 177 meters above sea level.
The inhabitants of Antiparos have known about the cave for many centuries, but the inside of the cave remained undiscovered until 1973, when the French ambassador to Constantinople, Marquis de Nouadel who was a lover of antiquity, visited the island. He entered the cave by climbing down ropes and was amazed to find nature’s wonderful creation. Marquis de Nouadel and his escorts lit up the inside of the cave with large candles, oil lamps and dry firewood. As it was the day before Christmas, he decided immediately to perform a mass on the top of a stalagmite, which looked like an altar. When the ceremony was over, they carved a Latin inscription on the stalagmite. This inscription can still be seen today. If we translate it into English, it means «Here Christ himself celebrated the day of his birth in the middle of the night in the year 1973». The cave was visited by the first king and queen of Greece, Othonas and Amalia on the 27th September 1840. However the earliest visitor to the cave is believed to have been Archilochos, a lyrical poet from Paros, who lived from 728 – 650 B.C.
The arched entrance to the cave is 20 meters wide and about 8 meters high. The enormous stalagmite which is in the entrance to the cave is the oldest in the whole of Europe and is estimated to be 45 million years old. On descending the 411 steps towards the heart of the cave, which is more than a hundred meters deep, visitors experience a mixture of feelings, such as awe, wonder and emotions which they have not felt before. The area of the cave is about 5600 square meters and the temperature in the winter is about 15 degrees centigrade and the humidity about 65%. The cave was formed of corrosion of the limestone. In the beginning the entrance was formed and then the antechamber and later, with the accumulation and pressure of large amounts of water, the lower part of the cave was opened up. The water which remained inside the caves formed channels and fissures in the earth’s surface. After the water drained out of the cave, the decoration of the cave began in the shape of stalagmites which were formed by a slow dripping from the roof of the cave. It has been estimated that to create one centimeter of a stalagmite, it takes 80 to 120 years.

The old way to visit the cave was by boat from the harbor of Antiparos to the beach below the cave and then by foot or on a donkey 200m elevation to the cave. The boat ride is really pleasant, but the ascend to the cave in the hot summer sun was pretty tiring, especially on a donkey. So in 1996 a new road to the cave was opened and it is now possible to reach the cave by car or coach.
The cave was renovated in 1995, the steps that used to be quite dangerous are now steady and safe, there are now iron poles that you can hold on to when climbing down the stairs, and the cave is lit up with electricity. There is a shady place to sit and take a break when you enter or exit the cave and the entrance fee is 3 Euros.
There is a public bus which will regularly stop at the cave. Also there are buses by tour operators from Antiparos to the cave.

5. Villages and settlements on Paros

The bay of Paroikia on Paros island in Greece
The bay of Paroikia on Paros island in Greece

PAROIKIA: Paroikia is the capital city of Paros and the main passenger and cargo port of the island. Its name derives from the first Byzantine years when today’s jewel of the island the church called the Panayia Ekatontapyliani was a shelter for the residents who gradually settled down in the old city.
You will sense an initial of the blue-white of Paroikia and you will be eager to explore it from the very first moment that you see Paros, before the ship manages to dock at the port. Whitewashed houses with blue windows are stretched from the edge of the hill to the sea. Paved cobbled streets snake through one another and lead either to the sea, or to Panayia Ekatontapyliani, or the 13th century A.D. Venetian castle, in the region of Castro in the southwest of the city and maintains its strictly traditional and picturesque atmosphere in the face of modernization.
The road that connects the traditional settlement with the modern noisy area is called Lochagou Fokianou Street which starts from the Castro and will lead you to the heart of the city’s market. Walk, go shopping and enjoy traditional tastes in the cafes of the hospitable people of Paros.
You should visit Panayia Ekatontapyliani that rises in the center of the city and is one of the most significant monuments of Greece. The stroll around the Panayia Ekatontapyliani harbors many surprises such as the Archaeological Museum, the Monastery of the Franks, Manto Mavrogenous house and the imposing neoclassical mansions.
You should also visit the Monastery of Ayioi Anargiroi that almost hangs from the top of the hill where the city of Paroikia is stretched and enjoy from up there the magnificent view of Paroikia.
In Paroikia you will find many banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, a health center and pharmacies. As far as the accommodation and your entertainment are concerned, there are lodgings and restaurants for every taste and available budget and fulfill all visitors’ requirements.

Naoussa village on Paros island in Greece
Naoussa village on Paros island in Greece

NAOUSSA: For many, Naoussa has the most beautiful and picturesque small port of the Aegean Sea. For others its the heart of the islands nightlife. Some others though are satisfied with the simple charm of a walk through its narrow paved streets. The only thing for certain is that all kinds of people have a reason to visit Naoussa again and again. You will probably feel the same as, no matter how many days you will stay on the island, they will not be enough to enjoy the picture of the windless small port that is full of colors from the dozens of fishing boats and the hundreds of tourists who stroll it daily until they end up into one of the old fishermen;s storehouses that today are bars and ouzo taverns.
A peculiar characteristic of Naoussa is that, besides the fact that it is a busy tourist resort, it has not lost its traditional character. The modern and boisterous present of the settlement doesn’t alter its past at all. The Venetian Castle that rises in the port’s entrance will travel you to a past time while, at the same time, some people on the opposite side will be having fun in the wild rhythms of today. A walk through the inner part of Naoussa into the narrow whitewashed streets will unveil its authentic Cycladic identity and will give you the chance for shopping as its shops are characterized for their good taste.
It is also worth visiting Ayios Athanasios in the west entrance of the village where the Relics Collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Art of Naoussa is housed and also where the two Folk Museums and the Monastery of Loggovarda, just outside of Naoussa to the road to Paroikia are.
In Naoussa, which is located ten kilometers away from Paroikia, and in the north part of the island of Paros, you will find many banks, pharmacies, travel agencies and car rental offices and of course plenty of lodgings which will make your stay in the region unforgettable.
AMBELAS: Ambelas is a small fishing village with a small harbor located 3 kilometers away from Naoussa. There are many beautiful hotels and deluxe villas in this region.

Marathi on Paros island
Marathi on Paros island

MARATHI: Marathi is only 7km from the capital and 4 kilometers away from Kostos. It has around 250 residents and is located in the center of Paros and 7 kilometers away from the main town of Paroikia. Discover ancient marble quarries, mines and the statue of the Nymph at the entrance of one of the many caves. They have been saved for 3000 years, 5 kilometers out from Paroikia on the road to Lefkes. Parian marbles are still a point of research and international wonder. You should also see the monastery of Ayios Mina and the convent of the Panayia Theofanou.
KOSTOS: Kostos is located in the center of the island approximately 8 kilometers southeast of Paroikia. It is the smallest village of Paros and is located at the road that connects Paroikia with Lefkes. the settlement is built at 180 meters altitude and the region has not been alternated by tourism. In the entrance of the village you will enjoy the comforting shade of the high pines of the square and you will drink your coffee or refreshment in one of the traditional cafes that are around the square, along with the simple and hospitable people of the village. You should visit the church of Ayios Panteleimonas with its magnificent wooden dome and walk in the white picturesque streets which will lead you to the house (southeast of Ayios Panteleimonas) where Athanassios Parios, the great pre-Greek Revolution teacher was born.

walking around Lefkes on Paros island in Greece
walking around Lefkes on Paros island in Greece

LEFKES: As you go southeast leaving Kostos behind you will find the beautiful Lefkes at 250 meters altitude. Lefkes was founded in the 16th century A.D. probably from refugees who abandoned Crete and the Peloponnese. The untouchable natural beauty of the village in combination with the Cycladic architecture which will definitely steal your heart, especially if you are looking for the good holiday’s triptych: quality-relaxation-tranquility. Your magical wandering in Lefkes is, in one way coercive, as the moment you arrive in the village you have no other choice but to leave your car in the parking area. As you walk in the narrow streets, you will admire the tiny houses with the whitewashed yards and the colorful flowers, you will walk through the picturesque Cycladic arches and stop to rest in the famous traditional cafe in the village’s square. you should also taste the delicious traditional dishes in the picturesque taverns and browse the ceramic art in the local workshops that operate there.
In Lefkes you will find numerous churches of the 15th and 16th centuries A.D. with the church of Ayia Triada of the marble temple and the valuable Byzantine icons being the most important of all. The cultural activities are plenty in the village during the summer and especially in August due to the efforts of the ”Yria” cultural center which organizes music festivals and theatrical plays every year.
For those who love trekking you should not miss the Byzantine path that connects Lefkes with Prodromos. The Byzantine path was built approximately 1.000 years ago with marble stones and will guide you to a magnificent natural landscape with olive groves and myrtles.

Prodromos on Paros island in Greece
Prodromos on Paros island in Greece

PRODROMOS: At a distance of 5 kilometers from Lefkes you will find the picturesque Prodromos with the white houses and the beautiful churches. It owes its name to the parish church of Ayios Ioannis Prodromos (17th century A.D.), while during the Medieval Times it was known as Dragoulas or Tragoulas. A walk through the whitewashed streets is enough for you to enjoy the hospitality of Paros in the traditional cafes and the taverns of the village.
MARMARA: Close to Prodromos, you will find the small village Marmara which owes its name to the marbles (marmara) that were used for the decoration of mansions and churches of the village. Admire the architecture of the Aegean as you walk through the narrow whitewashed streets. it is worth making a stop at the significant churches of the village (Koimisi of Theotokos with the wooden dome and the tomb of the 17th century A.D., Aghios Savvas with its astonishing campanile of 1606 etc.). In Marmara you will find a regional infirmary, a dental clinic, traditional cafes, taverns and a few lodgings. The plain of Marmara, a rural region full of gardens which are fenced by reeds, stretches to the sea and down to the beach of Molos.
MARPISSA: As you go southeast leaving Marmara behind you will find Marpissa, 17 kilometres away from Paroikia. Marpissa is amphitheatric ally built over a hill at 40 meters altitude and was founded during the 15th century A.D. Marpissa still preserves something of its Medieval character today. At the same time it totally complies with the Cycladic laws that all settlements on the island have: white houses, white washed yards with flowers, picturesque windmills, churches all placed in such a way that will definitely charm you. You should visit the churches of the 16th century A.D. (Ayios Dimitrios, Mesoporitissa, Evangelistria) and the Folk Museum. You should not miss to ascend to the top of Kefalos hill east of Marpissa. There you will enjoy the magnificent view of eastern Paros and the narrow Paros-Naxos sea channel and you should visit the monastery of Aghios Antonios of the 16th century A.D. In the settlement you will find taverns and cafes, lodgings, a regional infirmary, supermarket and pharmacy.
PISO LIVADI: Piso Livadi is a beautiful coastal settlement 4 kilometers away from Marpissa and is recommended for family excursions as it has a very good tourism infrastructure (hotels, lodgings, fish taverns, cafes, bars). Walk along the picturesque port where many fish boats are moored, swim into the clean, sandy sea and enjoy m Greek mezedes with ouzo while sitting on the beach. It also serves as the port to the lesser Cycladic islands south of Naxos.

The ancient shipyard in Drios village on Paros island in Greece
The ancient shipyard in Drios village on Paros island in Greece

DRYOS: As you leave Piso Livadi behind and after you pass through the beaches of Logaras, Pounda beach, Tserdakia (Nea Chrissi Akti) and Chrisi akti, you will reach Dryos, a green coastal village with running waters that is 25 kilometers away from Paroikia. Despite the fact that the village has tourism infrastructure, it has kept its traditional Cycladic color and it is a wise choice for those who wish to avoid cosmopolitan holidays. The beach of Dryos with its thin pebbles is ideal for you to enjoy swimming and avoid big crowds. The carved rocks at the end of the beach, where the people used to protect their boats from the sea’s tempests during ancient times according to tradition, are typical of the place. In Dryos you will find hotels and lodgings, taverns, a supermarket, travel agencies and car rental services.
ALIKI: Further south to the south-westerly tip of the island , you’ll find Aliki, another coastal settlement which is ideal for relaxed family vacations. Aliki is built very close to the magnificent sandy beach where you may eat delicious food in one of its traditional taverns. There you will also find a few bars to enjoy your drink once the sun begins to set. Apart from lodging in the village you will also find a pharmacy store and a supermarket while the kindergarten, football fields, basket ball and volley courts will definitely be key spots for your children in order for them to have a pleasant time. Don’t miss out on visiting the ”Scorpios” Cycladic Folk Museum of the self-taught artist Benetos Skiadas.
ANGERIA: As you continue the road from Aliki you will find Angeria on your left. Angeria is 12 kilometers away from Paroikia and keeps its traditional character to the up most. If you love trekking follow the two trekking routes, the first one leads to the monastery of Ayioi Theodoroi, which is located in an ideal spot with a view to the endless blue of the Aegean and the second route leads to the monastery of Ayios Yiannis Spiliotis.
POUNDA: Pounda is located 8 kilometers south of Paroikia and is a coastal resort settlement. Ferry boats depart regularly to Antiparos from the picturesque small port of Pounda. Pounda is only one nautical mile away from Antiparos so you can enjoy the view of the whole of the North-eastern coast of Antiparos from the beautiful beach located in Pounda or from one of the traditional restaurants or taverns. In Pounda you will find all the modern tourist comforts (taverns, hotels, cafe, mini markets) while modern scuba diving schools and surf clubs operate at its beaches.

6. The history and mythology of Paros

Asleipios Pyhtios Apollon Paros, Cyclades, Greece
Asleipios Pyhtios Apollon Paros, Cyclades, Greece

The island of Paros became a inhabited island since the Early Cycladic period (3200-2700 B.C).
This has been proved by the ancient settlement that was found on the small islet of Saliangos, (a small rock about 100 meters long and 50 meters wide), located about 500 meters away from the port of Antiparos. The level of the sea during the Neolithic Age has been estimated to have been around 6 meters lower than its level today; this means that Saliangos was then just a low peninsula of the isthmus that used to join Paros to Antiparos.
The first traces of the settlement of Saliagos were discovered by curator Nicolaos Zafiropoulos in the year 1961 and were first brought to light in 1964 during excavations directed by British archaeologists John Evans and Colin Renfrew covers all the area of the island. The settlement consisted of stone, square and rectangular houses that were surrounded by a wall. The inhabitants of the settlement made arrow points and various other obsidian (volcanic glass) implements. From the amount of obsidian implements found, the conclusion was made that Saliangos used to trade its obsidian implements with other islands.
It has also been proved that Saliangos’ inhabitants used to also be engaged with fishing, farming, and growing crops, in pottery making and in basket weaving. Other impressive handiwork that were found in Saliangos, such as spoons made out of shells, pots, statuettes and bones are now exhibited in the Museum of Paros.
The first settlers are said to have come to Paros from Minoan Crete and according to Mythology the first king of Paros, king Alkaios built a city where the capital city of Paros Parikia is today located and named his city Minoa. Minoa was ideal for it had a strategic position in the middle of the Cyclades islands and also had fertile plains.
At the turn of the millennium, the Arcadians led by Parios occupied the island and gave it the name of their leader. The Arcadians were followed by Ionians and during their time Paros flourished as it became a maritime power and created a colony on the island of Thasos, which was rich in metal deposits. Paros was famous during these times for its high quality marble found at the Marble Quarries, located in Marathi. This fine marble was used to create masterpieces existing until our days such as the Venus of Milos in Louvre, the statue of Hermes Praxiteles at Olympia, the Temple of Apollo on Delos and many more. The marble business helped to make the island of Paros rich and crops and animal farming thrived.
In the year 1100 B.C, the Ionians arrived to take over the island of Paros, after a first defeat, they managed to win the Minoans, destroyed their civilization and become rulers of the island. Traces of the former civilization can be found in the Mycenaean Acropolis that is located near Kolybithres beach in Naoussa.
During the Persian war, Paros took the Persians side and was defeated by the Athenians. In 338 B.C Paros became a part of the Macedonian Empire and then it was occupied by Mithridates and the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. During this period Christianity came to the island and many churches and monasteries were built with the most famous the church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani. In 1207 Paros was occupied by the Venetians and was part of the Duchy of Naxos. In 1537 Paros was conquered by the Ottoman Empire which remained until the Greek War of Independence in 1821. For the first time in 1839 Paros became part with the rest of Cyclades islands of the New Greek state.
Apart from the economy, culture also flourished the island and many temples were built, including a temple to the goddess of Greek mythology Athena and an Askelepieion. Many notable people were born in Paros like the lyric poet Archilochus (680-645BC) who was the first to use in his poem personal elements rather than heroic elements and who is considered on an equal footing with Homer. The sculptor and the architect Scopas (395-350BC), Scopas worked with Praxiteles, he sculpted parts of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. the sculptor Thrasymedes (4th century BC) who set up in the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus a seated statue of that deity made of ivory and gold, which was evidently a copy of the Zeus of Pheidias and the heroin of Greek War of Independence Manto Mavrogenous who had financed and fought in the war came to Paros and stayed until her death. Her house is a historical monument today.
In 338 B.C, the island became under the rule of Philip of Makedonia and became part of the Macedonian empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, Paros came under the control of the Ptolemies, Alexander’s successors.

The ancient cemetery on Paros
The ancient cemetery on Paros

Some of the great discoveries from this era was the ancient pottery workshop in Tholos, with its fascinating works of arts and the ancient cemetery of Parikia.
Then the island passes under the rule of Mithridates and of the Romans
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Paros became part of the Byzantine Empire and its inhabitants converted to Christianity, explaining why numerous churches, chapels and monasteries were built during those times. Among those, the most famous is the church of Ekatontapyliani, located in Parikia.
Considered as the most important Byzantine monument of Greece, this church is believed to have been built according to the orders of Saint Helena, Constantine the Greats mother.
Between 1207 and 1389, Paros became part of the duchy of the Aegean, ruled by the Venetian Marco Sanudo.
The Turkish rule succeeded the Venetians and stayed for many years, until the Greek revolution of 1821. After the independence, the island of Paros, like all the other Cyclades, became part of the new Greek state.
Paros participated in the Greek Revolution and was a safe haven for many refugees. It gained its independence in 1821 and was incorporated into the New Greek State. German Occupation took its toll on the island, forcing many inhabitants to seek their fortunes elsewhere. From the middle of the 20th century, Paros has greatly developed its tourism activities and infrastructure. Today, it is one of the most frequented holiday destinations in Greece, welcoming thousands of visitors from across the globe every year.

Paros history, Cyclades Greece
Paros history, Cyclades Greece

The History of Paros is discovered by looking around the island of Paros.
By searching the stone walls and the fields, it is possible to distinguish stones that the first residents of the island used thousands of years ago, during the Paleolithic Age. They were probably living in caves in small groups. They certainly used the cave of Demonon in Ayios Georgios hill in Lagada of Aspro chorio, the cave of Antiparos but also many natural shelters.
Archeologists discovered the ruins of a village of Neolithic Age in Saliagos. This is the time between 4.300-3.900 B.C. There were probably other villages in other spots many hundreds of years ago. Ruins of Neolithic Age villages are constantly being discovered in the Cyclades, especially in Mykonos, Ios and Kythnos. These residents of the old times were probably making their living mainly by fishing, hunting and farming which has already started its great adventure. Saliagos, is a small uninhabited island opposite Antiparos, is the spot with the oldest history of Paros. you can find some artifacts of that time in the museum.

Asleipios, Pythios, Apollon site on Paros island in Greece
Asleipios, Pythios, Apollon site on Paros island in Greece

The island is full of tombs of the Cycladic times, approximately from 3.200 B.C. to 2.000 B.C. The Cycladic figurines that were left on the tombs decorate many museums of the Cyclades. Ruins of villages (settlements) of that time were found on other islands. In Paros were small villages in Kastro of Parikia, in Dryos (Pyrgaki), in Glyfa, in Aliki (Avyssos) and near Kolibythres of Naoussa where tombs of that time were discovered. Perhaps something impressive will be discovered in the future.
The Minoan times (2.000-1.500 B.C.) haven’t left their mark in Paros as they have in Santorini. The settlement in the Kastro of Parikia is from 2.400-2.100 B.C. and was habituate during the peak of the Minoan Civilization. The Minoan people didn’t settle down on the island but were passing merchant. We can witness a combination of Minoan and Cycladic civilization in Milos, Kea and Santorini.
A Mycenaean palace was found in Koukounaries of Naoussa. It was a fortress and was habituated during that time in the late of the 13th century B.C.
We don’t know many things about the following years. The iron and writing discovery became a revolution that created new conditions everywhere. Dorieis move to Peloponnese while Phoenicians dominate in the Mediterranean and in the Aegean.
Many tribes’ movements are witnessed in the Aegean. Paros is habituated by Arcadians who are intermixed with Ionians, who came later on the island. We are now in Homer times. Paros is developing into a nautical center and Archilochos is born (8th century B.C.). Ruins of that time can be found in the archaic cemetery where probably Archilochos’ father was buried but also in Despotiko.

The history of Paros island
The history of Paros island

Many of the monuments that are found mainly in the place of Parikia are of those times. The place where the temple of Dimitra was built, a famous center in the Cyclades and in all the Aegean, is still unknown. The temple of Ypatos Dias, the temple of Aphrodite, Delion, the temple of Asklipeio and Pythios Apollo are on the hills, but the place of the ancient city’s theater has not yet been found.
Later on (146 B.C.), Paros is under the Roman occupation and constitutes a Roman province along with other islands, in the Central and in the South of Greece. There are many Roman findings on the island of Paros and in all the Cyclades. The city-states stop to exist as the great imperial power which is based in Rome makes its appearance. Of course, the Macedonian times also contributed to this. Even if we don’t have significant proof, Milos, Paros, Sifnos and Thera are at their peak. Delos continues to be the religious center and is transformed into a commercial harbor of the entire Aegean.
The Byzantine times (4th-13th A.D. centuries) is represented by the Ekatontapyliani but also from Treis Ekklisies. Even during this period there is no city-state but a central power in Constantinople. The islands continue their lives but at the same time they become nautical bases along with other activities.
Next are Venetian times (Franks dominance 13th-16th centuries A.D.) which are represented by the Kastro of Parikia, of Naoussa, of Kefalos in Marpissa and the one of Antiparos. It is worth noting down that the conquerors bring with them people that speak other languages. It is the time when the old monuments became important and are collected by the rulers who send many of them to the European markets.
The Turkish period has not left many monuments as we didn’t have Turks on the island but only military people and public servants who collected taxes occasionally. It is the time when new villages are created. (Lefkes, Kostos, Marmara). After the formation of the New Greek state, Paros follows the same course as the other islands. Liberation motivates the psychism of the people in the islands who are occupied with agriculture and sea activities.
A great insular civilization is developed that reached at its end with the immigration of 1950 and beyond. After 1970 we witness a fall of the old insular civilization, the coming of new commercialization principles and huge destruction on the island’s environment with the tourism development. The island today faces the danger to lose its identity, to become a place of entertainment for the Athenians who visit the island for three days and to lose all its natural beauties. What is important today is a careful development that will show respect to a civilization of centuries and to the character of the island.

GREEK MYTHOLOGY AND PAROS

Paros portes Cyclades Greece
Paros portes Cyclades Greece

Parrhasius was a son of Lycaon ( See Greek mythology ) after whom Parrhasia (an area in Arcadia) was believed to have been named after. Many say that he was a son of Zeus, and had two children Arcas and Parus; the island of Paros was named after Parrhasius’ son Parus.
It is stated in Greek mythology that Neptune wanted to punish the Cyclades nymphs for making her angry, she transformed the nymphs into islands and these islands kept their names of the Cyclades.
Different myths say that the name of the group of islands rooted from the Greek word kiklos (which means circle), as the islands are scattered around the sacred island of Delos or because the winds that blow strongly in this region forced the boats to spin out of control.
Mythical fables are attributed to the formation of each island, while legends reflect their turbulent history. Due to the location of the Cyclades between the continents of Greece, Asia and Africa, they were a trading link throughout their history and spread the development of culture to the surrounding regions.
PAREIA was the Naiad Nymph of the springs, wells or fountains in the main town of the island of Paros in the Greek Aegean Sea.
She was loved by King Minos of Crete and bore him four sons.
PARENTS: Perhaps the daughter of a mainland RIVER-GOD
OFFSPRING
EURYMEDON, NEPHALION, KHRYSES, PHILOLAUS (by Minos) (Apollodorus 3.7)
ENCYCLOPEDIA TITLES
PAREIA (Pareia). Pareia is the name of a nymph by whom Minos became the father of Eurymedon, Nephalion, Chryses and Philolaus. (Apollod. iii. 1. § 2.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
“With a Nymphe named Pareia he [Minos] had Eurymedon, Nephalion, Khryses, and Philolaus.” – Apollodorus, the Library 3.7
“[Herakles] touching on the island of Paros, where lived the sons of Minos, by name Eurymedon, Khryses, Nephalion, and Philolaus. Now it happened that two men from the ship went ashore, where they were murdered by the sons of Minos. In outrage Herakles promptly slew the sons [of Minos].” – Apollodorus, the Library 2.99

Paros sightseeing, Cyclades Greece
Paros sightseeing, Cyclades Greece

THE SANCTUARY OF ASKLIPIOS
Towards the second windmill in Paroikia upon a hill known as Aghia Anna hill, is the Sanctuary of the ancient God of medicine, Asklipios. The sanctuary was built in the 4th century BC, around a spring. Remains of the Temple of Pythios Apollo also exist in the area.

THE DELION SANCTUARY
Above the main town of Paroikia, upon a hill (towards Parosporos), is the Delion Sanctuary. The temple was the place of worship of the god Apollo of Delios. The original structure was built in the 9th – 8th century BC. Later on, in the 5th century BC, a new temple dedicated to Artemis was also built close to the original structure.

7. Rent a car on Paros

There are regular bus services on Paros that can take you to every village, beach and settlement, but the timetables do not suit everybody’s needs. If you would like to rent a car, a scooter, an ATV or a buggy, we are here to help you!
Here are some useful agencies for renting vehicles on Paros

ATHINA rent a car: website or contact numbers: +30 22840 23738 and +69 73770574

8. Useful information about Paros island

map of Paros, Cyclades, Greece
map of Paros, Cyclades, Greece

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ON PAROS ISLAND
Citizen service center in Paroikia (KEP): +30 22 84 0 24912
Citizen service center in Naoussa (KEP): +30 22 84 0 51691
Police station in Paroikia: +30 22840 23333 / +30 2284 100
Police station in Naoussa: +30 22840 51202
Ambulance service on Paros: +30 22840 22500
Fire Brigade on Paros: +30 22840 51999 / +30 22840 52199
Port police – Coast guard: +30 22840 21240
Port authorities – Piraeus: +30 210 417 2657
Tourist Police on Paros: +30 22840 21673
Health center Paroikia: +30 22843 60000
Medical Center (private) Paroikia: +30 22840 24410
Medical Center (private) Naoussa: +30 22840 52304
Health center volunteer team: +30 693796 43 83
Lifeguards, Sea rescue team: +30 6944 38 53 07
Drug prevention center Theseus: +30 22840 24745
Psychologists and psychiatrists on Paros (EPAPSI): +30 22840 22011
Post-office Paroikia, Paros: +30 22840 21236
Post-office Naoussa, Paros: +30 22840 51495
Post-office Marpissa, Paros: +30 22840 41951
Post-office Antiparos: +30 22840 61223
Doctor’s office Marpissa: +30 22840 43065
Doctor’s office Aliki: +30 22840 91277
Doctor’s office Lefkes: +30 22840 23730
Olympic Air: +30 22840 91257
Baby sitters collective: +30 22840 24879
Telephone company (faults): +30 121 / +30 22840 28106
Electricity Company (faults): +30 22840 21241
Water Company (faults): +30 22840 25300 / +30 22840 21222
Taxi station on Paros: +30 22840 21500
Flight information: +30 22840 91256
Bus stations on Paros
Bus station in Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 21395
Bus station in Naoussa: +30 22 84 0 52865
Municipality of Paros
Municipality of Paros main telephone center: +30 22 84 3 60100 – 5
Protocol office on Paros: +30 22 84 3 60106
Protocol office: 1452
Protocol: +30 22 84 3 60107
Registral general office: +30 22 84 3 60108 – 9 / +30 22 84 3 60113
Secretary municpal council: +30 22 84 3 60110
Registry office: +30 22 84 3 60111
Head of financial services: +30 22 84 3 60112
Staff office: +30 22 84 3 60114 – 5
Mayor’s office: +30 22 84 3 60129
Mayor of Paros: +30 22 84 3 60130
Deputy mayor: +30 22 84 3 60131 – 3
Chairman: +30 22 84 3 60134
Law advisor: +30 2284360136
Economical services: +30 22 84 3 60116 – 125
Technical services: +30 22 84 3 60140 – 150 / +30 22 84 3 60178
Tourism committee: +30 22 84 3 60170
Hall council: +30 22 84 3 60171
District police: +30 22 84 3 60155 / +30 22 84 3 60157
Union of Agricultural Cooperatives presence of Paros
Secretary: +30 22 84 0 22179
Manager: +30 22 84 0 22212
Olive oil press: +30 22 84 0 22183
Winery: +30 22 84 0 22235
Pharamcies on Paros
Antigoni Vigla – Gravari (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 21282 / +30 22 84 0 91447
Irini Kontou (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 22223
Aggelos Patelis (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 23992
Panagiotis Satlanis (Marpissa): +30 22 84 0 41810
Georgia Sifnaiou (Aliki): +30 22 84 0 91560
Cristallia Spanou (Naoussa): +30 22 84 0 51023
Thanasis Sipsas (Naoussa): +30 22 84 0 51550
Spiros Tsibidas (Antiparos): +30 22 84 0 61111
Fragkouli – Skiada (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 21388
Nikos Frangkoulis (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 21449 / fax +30 22 84 0 21294
Private doctors on Paros
Maria Alaxandrou (Psychotherapist): +30 69 36 76 50 88
Giannis Alsamail (oculist): +30 22 84 0 28450 / +30 69 46 49 04 33
Nikos Apostolopoulos (Pathologist): +30 22 84 0 21075 / +30 69 77 00 45 05
Mihalis Gialozoglou (oculist): +30 22 84 0 24690
Manolis Gratzias (microbiologist): +30 22 84 0 24700 / +30 69 36 51 56 52
Christina Daferera (General doctor): +30 22 84 0 21672
Manolis Dafereras (General doctor): +30 22 84 0 21450
Roge Heaumon (Pathologist): +30 22 84 0 22000 / +30 22 84 0 21000
Panagiotis Kebabis (orthopedic): +30 22 84 3 00393 / +30 69 42 99 51 21
Kostas Livanidis (kardiologist): +30 22 84 0 24410 / +30 69 72 57 79 41
Olga Moulaki (psychologist): +30 22 84 0 24704
Georgia Plessia (dermatologist): +30 22840 21114 / +30 69 73 66 22 29
Giannis Ragousis (Kardiologist): +30 22 84 0 24702 / +30 69 77 64 42 22
Stella Rousou (children’s doctor, Pediatrician): +30 22 84 0 28419 / +30 69 77 32 15 07
Anna Tsatsopoulou (radiologist): +30 22 84 0 24410
Giannis Tsigonias (surgeon): +30 22 84 0 24410
Evdokia Triantafillou (general doctor Antiparos): +30 22 84 0 61728
Private Dentists on Paros
Maria Daferera (Paroikia): +30 22840 21672
Dimitra Drakou (Naoussa): +30 22840 53002 / +30 69 44 60 16 81
Maria Zimpirakaki (Naoussa): +30 22840 52800
Nikolaos Kritikos (Naoussa): +30 22840 51022
Nikos Lianopoulos (Naoussa): +30 22840 21900 / +30 69 74 78 79 98
Theodoros Malatestas (Paroikia): +30 22840 21604
Eleni Moraitaki (Paroikia): +30 22840 22030 / +30 69 32 42 21 60
Baser Dadaki (Paroikia): +30 22840 25242 / +30 69 77 42 06 23
Startis Pavlakis (Paroikia): +30 22840 22430
Betty Somboni (Marmara): +30 22840 41047
Evdokimia Triantafillou (Antiparos): +30 22840 61728
Giannis Leventakis (Antiparos): +30 22840 61176 / +30 69 48 06 09 11
Kimon Euaggelou: +30 6947150166
Banks on Paros
Agricultural bank in Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 22400 / +30 22 843 21225
National bank in Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 21663
National bank in Naoussa: +30 22 84 0 51438
Commercial bank in Antiparos: +30 22 84 0 61691
Peiraios bank in Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 21059
Alpha bank Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 24810
Alpha bank in Naoussa: +30 22 84 0 53242
Eurobank in Paroikia: +30 22 84 0 23523 fax +30 22 843 24668
Lawyers on Paros
Konstantina Karachaliou: +30 22840 23321 / mobile: +30 6982290651
Giannis Andreopoulos (Paroikia, English / Greek / German language): +30 22840 24765
Theodora Dimitriou (Paroikia): land line: +30 22840 25097 / mobile: +30 69 82 99 96 46
Tasos Theoharidis (Paroikia): +30 22840 21393 / +30 6945234070
Katerina Theoharidou (Paroikia): +30 22840 22371
Eleni Karadima (Naoussa): +30 22840 53090
Aspasia Kebabi (Paroikia): +30 22840 21001
Athanasia Keskinidi (Paroikia): +30 22840 25070
Georgia Melaniti (Paroikia): +30 22840 24987
Costas Balikos (Paroikia): +30 22840 23850 / mobile phone: +30 6948115811
Despoina Peridou (Naoussa): +30 22840 53090 / mobile phone: +30 6972848619
Fotis Toumasis (Paroikia): +30 22840 21970 / fax +30 22840 22316
Costas Fiflis (Paroikia): +30 22840 23804 / +30 22840 51028 / +30 22840 52560
Dimitra Koutourousiou (Neos Dromos, Paroikia Paros): mobile: +30 6970339787 / fax: +30 22840 22575
Notary offices on Paros
Dialekti Argouzi (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 21255
Amalia Kalakona (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 22792 / fax +30 22 84 0 28232
Eleftheria Iordani (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 25050/ fax +30 22 84 0 25250
Angeliki Prifti (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 23127
Evridiki Tsasi (Paroikia): +30 22 84 0 23585
Vets on Paros
Giorgos Kagkanis (Naoussa): +30 22840 51398
Antonis Lamprou (Paroikia): +30 22840 23301 / +30 6946362188
Nikos Tsigonias (Marpissa): +30 22840 41497
Alkyon wild bird hospital: +30 22840 22931
Agricultural Vets: +30 22 84 0 21228 / +30 22 84 0 41497 / 51398
Vets surgery: +30 6946362188
Paros animal welfare society (PAWS): +30 22840 28291 / fax: +30 22 84 0 28119
Museums on Paros
Archeological museum of Paros: +30 2284 0 21231
Archeological area Despotiko Antiparos: +30 2284 0 61570
Byzantine museum of Paros: +30 2284 0 21243
Byzantine – religious museum Marpissa: +30 22840 41831
Historical – Logographical museum of Naoussa: +30 2284 0 91010
Laographic museum Naoussa: +30 22840 53453
Laographic museum Scorpios (Aliki): +30 22840 91129
Museum of fine sculptors: +30 22840 41217 / +30 22840 23851
Culture and political museum Aegean: +30 22840 41605
Byzantine collection Naoussa: +30 22840 52040
Holy temples and monasteries on Paros
Main church Paroikia Paros: +30 22840 24401
Saint George Angkeria: +30 22 84 0 91027
Zodohou Pigi Aspro Chorio: +30 22 84 0 43000
Aghioi Apostoloi Kamares: +30 22 84 0 21202
Aghios Pantelimon Kostos: +30 22 84 0 29019 / +30 22 84 0 52934
Aghia Triada Lefkes: +30 22 84 0 41045
Koimisi Theotokou Naoussa: +30 22840 43413 / +30 22 84 0 41831
Pantanassa Naoussa: +30 22 84 0 53148
Taxiarhis Paroikia: +30 2131 0 24282
Zodohou Pigi Paroikia: +30 2284 0 21203
Zodohou Pigi office Paroikia: +30 2284 0 21243 / +30 2284 0 24807
Timios Prodromos: +30 2284 0 42463
Aghios Ioannis Theologos Dryos: +30 2284 0 41248
Loggovardas Monastery: +30 2284 0 22476