Paros is a member of the Cyclades island group. It is the small pearl of the Aegean Sea which competes with the most beautiful landscapes of Greece. You can try the best wines and swim free in the azure blue water in these wonderful surroundings. Its historical monuments are unique; not to mention its fantastic gastronomy. Get indulged into these adventures, leave your weekdays behind. If you are interested what to do in Paros, read further.
The main points of this article are the following:
- What to do in Paros: Time travel to the past
- Things to do in Paros: 5 tips to your adventurous holiday
- What to do in Paros: tips for active holiday-makers
- Things to do in Paros: Summer festivals
The island’s history, similar to other members of the Cyclades, is really exciting. Firstly, Ionian tribes occupied it, then Persian, Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine. In the 13th century, crusaders set their feet on Paros. The Venetian Kingdom made a huge impact on the citizens living there. The Ottoman Empire exercised authority over the island from the 16th century to the declaration of the Greek autonomy. Later it became a member of the new Greece. Now we help you what to do in Paros if you are interested in the past.
There is a Byzantine temple in Parikia which may be the most famous in Greece. Its name means ‘temple with 100 doors’, although, only 99 exist. It was probably erected about 1700 years ago. Three chapels belong to the building. It is regarded as Maria pilgrimage site. Allegedly, Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine initiated its construction.
Monastery of Agios Antonios
This monastery was constructed on the ruins of a Venetian fortress in the 17th century which has a breath-taking panorama. The monastery standing near Marpissa has been abandoned for centuries. The local community uses the nearby chapel from time to time, though; the ruins of the monastery stay empty. Walk up to the mountain and check the amazing 360-degree view from the terrace of the monastery. You can see a wonderful view on the island of Naxos and its surrounding.
Ancient docks in Drios
Drios is a fabulous fishing village on the south-eastern part of the island. There are ancient ruins next to the port. Huge slabs of cliffs can be found all over the shore. They could have been constructed as docks of an old port.
Asklepion is one of the best ancient sights of the island. It was dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing. The walls of the ancient sanctuary stand on the Agian Anna hill beside Parikia. According to a legend, its priests cured patients through dreams and visions. There is also a temple dedicated to Apollon.
Beyond historical sights, Paros awaits its visitors with plenty of programmes. Believe me, this island is going to enchant you! Now we will show you 5 such things which guarantee an unforgettable time on the island.
Check out the marble mines of Paros!
The island was famous for its marble export for several centuries. This stone was the raw material of those monuments that we wonder in museums. Venus de Milo, Solomon’s Temple or the sarcophagus of Napoleon were all built from the marble of Paros. It is the one of the world’s best quality marble since owing to the stone structure its light ensures a special brightness. A wide stone road next to Marpissa leads you to the mine. There are abandoned buildings and monasteries by the road. You can immediately recognize quarrying. The brave ones can enter the mine. There are huge passages and rooms underneath. You can also take part in guided tours.
The climate of Paros is excellent for wine production. Winemaking has a thousand-year-long tradition on the island. The white wine is made from Malvasia, the red from Madilaria. However, the output is low, the quality is fairly high. You can find many wineries beside Naoussa with wine-tasting events.
Watch a romantic film under the starts!
Outdoor cinemas are traditional in Paros. You can find such places in Monastiri and Parikia. Sit down there on a lukewarm night and watch a film under the stars. By the way, you can drink wine or eat snacks while watching the film.
Local shopping tour
The shops in Naoussa and Parikia will definitely entice you. As a matter of fact, the shelves of these shops hide real miracles. Purchase a local handmade soap or cosmetics. Their raw material is olive oil. Get a tiny marble statuette from a mine of Paros. Choose a sewn and painted dress. And of course, after tasting some Paros wine, buy some bottles. Don’t forget the gift shops! The local handicrafts are quite nice.
Visit the windmills!
There are many snow-white windmills all over the island. They are, actually, a traditional part of the Cyclade architecture, and can be found on many islands. None of them operates now, even though, many are used as museums. Visit one, definitely, and take a great photo!
Paros offers numerous opportunities for sportsmen. It can be about water sports or sports on the land. The island awaits you with many programmes. Now we show you what to do in Paros if you are keen on an active holiday.
Due to the increasing number of tourists, life in Paros has become more vivid. Yoga has widespread all over the western countries; thus, also on the island, there are many yoga centres. Whether it is about only one occasion or you would like to participate in a longer session, the best yoga trainers are waiting for you. Relax and do yoga on one of the islands of the Aegean Sea!
As you would expect, water sports are beloved in Paros. Thanks to the pleasant wind strength there are excellent places for kite and surfing. The best ones are Golden Beach and Pounda bay, next to Parikia. Regarding diving, there are many diving centres in Paros too. You can try it on a guided tour with experienced trainers. If you wish for a special vacation rent a boat in Paros and sail in Paros.
There are a few horse stables on the island that are open for horse lovers. If you already have some experience, rent a horse! Gallop on the shore or go up to the mountain and enjoy freedom! Although, when you are not so experienced, you can join a group with which you can explore the whole island together.
Greek people always find an occasion to celebrate. Be part of the spectacular world of the Cyclades! Visit the best festivals and experience the atmosphere in the local community! What things to do in Paros during festival time? Read further and we will show it to you.
In the villages of Prodromos, Naoussa and Aliki you encounter a buzzing life period at the end of June. With its roots deep into ancient, pagan past, the festival attracts many tourists. Young couples, for example, jump over the fire. Of course, it is unimaginable without music and dance. You can also taste local wines and dishes.
Beach Party – Agia Anna
There are crazy parties on the Agia Anna Beach every summer. In the middle of July for 5 days the best bands and DJs entertain the visitors. This beach party is one of the largest in the Cyclades.
The Karavolas festival takes place every year in the middle of August in Lefkes, the former capital city of Paros. Its name means ‘snail’. Snail is a traditional food on the island with a long tradition. You can try it fried, steamed, in a soup or a stew. As you would expect, wine and music make an integral part of the celebration.
The main sight of Naoussa is the Pirate Festival. The date of the event is the last week of August year to year. According to a legend, the citizens of Paros defeated the attack of the famous pirate captain, Barbarossa, about 500 years ago. There is a huge show to revive this medieval event. Visitors can expect dancing, music, street vendors and puppet shows. The whole town stirs as if we were again in the middle of the attack.
Trata festival is held on the first weekend of September in Paros. The whole town celebrates here the boatmen and fishermen. Many tiny boats leave the shore in the early morning to bring back and prepare their fresh catch in the restaurants. Therefore, this is the best occasion for you to take a deeper insight into the island’s gastronomy.
In this article, we have shown you what to do in Paros if you want to choose the best programmes. However, it is not so crammed like Mykonos or Santorini, its beauty outweighs them. If you happen to choose this, many exciting adventures will be waiting for you. Make your holiday plan and yacht around Paros! Read more if you plan sailing in Paros or boat hire in Paros.