Photo Tour: Paros Island
Paros island is one of the most visited islands in Greece. Here’s a little photo tour of some interesting and beautiful corners during my visits over the last few years.
Paros Island Beaches
Paros island is ringed with so many golden sand beaches. A good amount of them are perfect for wind surfing and compete in that windy beach category with the neighboring Greek isles of Mykonos and Naxos.
Many Parian beaches hold a Blue Flag accreditation for quality and cleanliness. There are beaches to suit every beach style from party beaches, family friendly to small secluded swimming coves. Golden Beach, Santa Maria Beach, Pounta Beach, Aliki, Livadia and Krios are all quite popular. My favorite however is…
On the north coast you’ll find this really cool beach. It’s fascinating because the entire scene of strange rock formations looks like it was painted by Salvador Dali.
I shot these photos off season, so the sun wasn’t out and the beach was empty! Kolimbithres is a different kind of beach experience…
Visit Charming Paros Villages
Just down the road from Kolibithres beach is a lovely harbor town called Naoussa. It’s a fishing village that has grown to accommodate more tourists. Still, it is lovely to spend some time eating at one of its restaurants by the sea. I recommend the tavern Mediterraneo.
After your great meal get lost in Naoussa’s little lanes and poke into the cute little boutique shops there. Naoussa is much quieter than the island’s main town of Parikia, but it has its own kind of animated nightlife options too. Loved the atmosphere, history, view and cocktails at the bar Sommaripa Consolato.
Parikia is the capital of the island. It has a large harbor where the ferries dock and a historic old town.
Some sights to see in Parikia include the Byzantine landmark church called Panagia Ekatontapiliani which was built in the 4th century. The name translates to the church of 100 doors.
Parikia’s old town was once a fortified castle during Venetian rule. Today it is called kastro and it is really fun to explore. It has those whitewashed lanes the Cyclades are famous for. There are some great restaurants and nightlife options there too. Entropy is fun for creative shots and a laid back fun environment. Pebbles is great for cocktails and jazz. I love Levantis restaurant, a beautiful location and beautiful Mediterranean dishes to match.
Besides visiting Parikia and Naoussa, you will want to head to some smaller villages that are absolutely charming.
Lefkes is set on a hillside and is considered by locals as the most picturesque. I agree. There are beautiful little homes, little cafes and lovely taverns. Some old churches date back to the 15th century. There are a few traditional pigeon houses. I wrote about the traditional Cycladic island pigeon houses in an earlier post about neighboring Tinos.
In Greece, Paros is famous for inspiring great art and has its own community of artists. If you want to meet a wonderful local artist in her Lefkes studio visit my friend Angelika Vaxevanidou. Her commissioned portraiture is emotional and impressive.
A nice little seaside village I like is Aliki. There’s a large stretch of sandy beach. It’s a great place to eat by the sea.
Valley of the Butterflies
Look closely do you see them? The Valley of the Butterflies is also known as Petaloudes Park. In Greek, butterfly is petalouda which translates to flying flower. (How cute is that!) Every summer these red and brown colored Jersey Tiger Moths take over the valley. There’s an organized park to see the butterflies that is quite popular for families. The website is www.parosbutterflies.gr.
The only other place in Greece that has this kind of natural phenomenon is Rhodes. Across the world, you can also find butterfly valleys in Turkey and Britain.
More favorite scenes from Paros island
For more a listing of where to stay and what to do on Paros, check out my mini travel guide right here on this blog.
There is much more to do on Paros island. These are just a few snapshots from my visits over the past years. What would you add to this list?