Paros Tourism And Travel Guide
10.5° C / 50.8° F
April to October
3 to 5 Days
Paros Airport (10 kms)
Paros is an island located towards the south of Greece's mainland and is part of the Cyclades islands along with Mykonos, Santorini and others. Tourism in Paros jumps during the summers as there are many cruise ships that go island hopping among the Cyclades and Paros does make for the perfect beach holiday. It is especially popular for its sandy beaches that are ideal for swimming and watersports. In this travel guide to Paros, you will learn more about the best beaches and places to visit, what to eat, where to shop and the top things to do in Paros.
How To Reach
There are domestic flights from Athens & Thessaloniki that fly to Paros frequently with additional charter flights during the summers. From India, the best route would be to fly to Athens and then take the local flight up to Paros. Paros Airport is located 10 km outside the city centre of Paros, but you will find plenty of public transport or you can hire a private vehicle to get to anywhere on the island.
Travelling by sea to an island has its own charm. There are daily ferries from Athens (Piraeus Port) that travel to Paros that take 4 hours at its slowest. The ferry also stops at other Cyclades Islands, so you can travel to Paros from any of those islands as well - Mykonos to Paros takes less than 1 hour. The port at Paros is located in Parikia which is the capital town.
Public transport is the best way to get around the island. You will get buses from Parikia to other villages, beaches and sightseeing places. There are also water taxis which are convenient to travel especially while going to the port or other beaches. Renting quad bikes, cars or bicycles are also another way you can explore the island.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
Spring (March to May):
Spring brings with it a freshness that no other season offers. The average temperature starts off at 15°C in March and goes to 22°C by May. April and May are pleasant enough to swim or enjoy other beach activities. Some religious festivals like the festival of Agios Ioannis Theologos in Drios, Festival of Agios Georgios in Agairia, Good Friday and Easter are celebrated during this season.
Summer (June to August):
Summer months are packed with tourists but also makes for a fantastic beach holiday. The temperature averages a warm 28°C. Since this is a high tourist season, you will also find activities like beach parties and more options for hotel accommodations. Bright sunny days can be expected throughout. In this season, the festival of Pirates and many religious festivals are celebrated. There are also a lot of live outdoor performances, food & dance festivals etc that take place locally during the summer.
Autumn (September to November):
September is one of the best months to visit Paros, as the weather is still warm (average temperature 26°C) but with lesser crowds. A lot of the beach resorts start closing from October. By November the temperature goes to 18°C, still pleasant to enjoy a lot of activities. Some of the festivals celebrated in this season are the festival of Trata, Ochi Day and other historical remembrances.
Winter (December to February):
While the island makes for a great holiday all year round, winter can be a fairly slow tourist season as compared with other months. The water can be too cold to get into and the average temperature is around 15°C with 10 days of rain per month. A carnival feast is celebrated early in the year (Jan-Feb) and also the Epiphany sporting event.
Things To Do
The beaches in Paros are to die for! You can't visit just one and stop. Some of the beaches have unique rock formations, while others offer a stunning nature scape. Some are crowded with tourists, while others are hidden gems perfect if you want some quiet time. But absolutely all of them have water that is crystal clear, sparkling clean and shaded in majestic blue. Some popular beaches are Kolymbithres, Santa Maria, Livadia, Golden Beach, Parasporos, Pounta etc.
Take the road less travelled and explore the island on foot. There are many walking trails from village to village that start from Lefkes, Abelas, Livadia, Parikia etc. Some of the trails can be more than 10 km while the shortest and easiest one is the Byzantine Road which is 3.5 km and is a good place to start this activity. The Byzantine Road starts from Lefkes and takes you to Prodromos and is a 45 to 60-minute walk.
Most of the beaches offer plenty of watersports activities. Golden Beach is especially famous for sports like surfing, wakeboarding, Kayaking etc. You can rent all the gear on the beach itself. Watch out for high winds between July and September.
You can explore the nearby islands of Antiparos and Despotiko via a traditional boat trip. Many full-day tours generally include a lagoon visit, the water cave at Antiparos, lip-smacking seafood and ending with beautiful sunset scenes.
Mouth-watering food awaits at Paros - as long as you are willing to get a little adventurous. When in Greece, you must eat like the Greeks, right? Seafood lovers can rejoice as Paros has a lot of amazing local dishes to offer like Gouna (Mackerel), Kakavia (soup made of fish and veggies) and you can try other items made of squid, octopus, snails etc.
Locally famous vegetarian dishes include Petimezinia (pumpkin pie) and Mizithra (cheese-based). Traditional Greek dishes like Moussaka, Souvlaki, Kolokithokeftedes, Dolmadakia, Greek Salad etc are also available at all taverns and are delicacies. Some of them can be customised into a vegetarian dish. Don't forget to ask the restaurants for its chef-special dishes of the day
Some of the best shopping in Paros can be done at Parikia, the capital town. There are many shops that sell jewellery, clothing, souvenirs, paintings etc. The shops during the summer are open till midnight, which makes the experience of shopping all the more fun. Naoussa is another village where you will find a lot of shops. Olive Oil products are always a good buy anywhere in Greece. You should also pick up the local wines and alcohol like Ouzo or Raki (Buy small souvenirs bottles if you want to carry back to India without problems).
Other items that are popular to buy are curios for gifting, cotton clothing, swim/beachwear, jewellery etc.