Paros Travel Guide
Paros is the third largest Cyclades island (after Naxos and Andros) and has beautiful sandy beaches but also many cozy villages. It is also a lot less touristy than Mykonos and Santorini, for example.
The best time to go to Paros
The best travel time to visit Paros (and any other island in the Cyclades) is May-June or September-October. In terms of temperature, it is then about 20-25 degrees and it is also cheaper and less crowded than the summer months. The constant sea breeze made the end of May very pleasant.
How to go to Paros?
Paros may have an airport, but most tourists come to the island by ferry: fast, comfortable, and affordable. Paros is well connected to all the islands in the Cyclades and Athens. From Athens, it takes about 4h as it is often one of the last stops from the mainland. Therefore, it is not the best island to start island hopping. An alternative is to fly to Santorini and from there take the Ferry to Paros (sailing time is about 2-3 hours). Through Ferryhopper you can easily book a ferry.
Some tips for ferries in Greece:
- Buy your tickets online in advance to be sure of a seat
- There are ferries for passengers only or also vehicles. If you go onto the ferry by car: some ferries require you to drive onto them backwards
- Most ferries have numbered seats
- They recommend to be at the port 1h in advance
- Make sure you always know the name of the company and the boat: often several boats leave at about the same time
- You can buy food on board the ferries
- If you are very prone to motion sickness, you can buy medication, especially in bad weather this may be necessary.
Where to stay on Paros?
We stayed at the Hotel Cyclades. The hotel is within walking distance of the plaka and has nicely decorated rooms. A basic breakfast is also served every morning. You can park for free in the streets around the hotel.
How to explore Paros?
Paros is very easy to explore by scooter, quad bike or car and all the sights are close to each other.
Public transportation on Paros: there are buses connecting the sights. A ticket costs €2 per person or €10 for a day pass. You do depend on the bus times and the buses do not run very frequently. Through GetYourGuide, you can also book a tour of the island to discover the main sights.
Scooter rental on Paros: There are several providers of scooters on the island. For a scooter, you will pay about €40 per day. Keep the hills in mind when renting a scooter: take a scooter with at least 80cc.
Renting a car on Paros: a car is the most comfortable way to explore Paros: it is easy and comfortable. We easily booked a car with Auto Europe. In the low season, you can already rent a car from €30 per day, in the high season about €60 per day. Prices will of course vary depending on the type of day and vehicle.
Tips on renting a car on Paros:
- It is advisable (especially in high season) to book a car in advance, be sure to compare prices as well
- If you want to take the car on ferries to explore other islands: check with the rental company if this is allowed. Then also take into account a one-way fee
- Most cars have a manual transmission
- A 4×4 is not necessary
- You must be 21 years old to rent a car and have had your driver’s license for at least 1 year
- You must return the gas tank at the same level as before
- Provide a credit card in the driver’s name. If you want to rent a car on more than one island: take into account the blocked deposit and the limit of your credit card; you may need a second credit card or increase your limit.
And then some general tips for driving on Paros:
- Milos is very hilly: so make sure you can easily start from a slope
- Gasoline is not cheap; almost all gas stations are manned; you can ask to fill up for a specific amount
- There are almost no traffic lights
- The maximum speed is 50km/h
- Google maps are not always reliable
- Parking is free
What to do on Paros?
Stroll through Parikia
Parikia is the capital of Paros and is located in the west in a large bay. In this town you also arrive by ferry. It is really a typical Cycladic town: narrow paths, small churches and many stores, restaurants and cafes.
In Parikia, there is also the Katapoliani Church which is free to visit. It is one of the most important Greek Orthodox sanctuaries of the Cyclades and the oldest church in Greece that has remained in use nonstop since its foundation.
Go to Naoussa
Naoussa is one of the most beautiful fishing villages on Paros where cute, colorful fishing boats are docked. You can stroll around and enjoy a nice drink in one of the cafes. But you can also admire the remains of a Venetian castle.
When we were there in May, it was not very crowded. But keep in mind that in summer it can be quite crowded.
Go to the cute town of Lefkes
Another popular village is Lefkes. This village was a lot busier, probably because the instagram spot of Paros can be found here: a white corner house with a blue door and the typical pink flowers of the bougainvillea. On Google Maps it is even marked as “Lefkes instagrammable place (photo point).”
Still in the village is the Agia Triada church (a Byzantine church made of marble) and in front of it is a small restaurant surrounded by beautiful pink flowers.
The little village of Marpissa
Another small and cute village is Marpissa. Nice to stroll through and especially known for the house with the pink door.
Take te boat to Antiparos and visit the caves
You can also take the ferry from Paros to Antiparos. You leave from the small port of Pounta and a ticket costs €1.50 per person (€0.75 for children), €2 per scooter, and €7.30 per car for a single ride. You can only pay with cash on the boat itself. The sailing time is only a few minutes. Information on departure times can be found here.
Antiparos itself has a pleasant harbor and a nice beach but you can also visit the caves there.
The caves are about 8km from the port and are open every day until the end of October. At the caves, there is a large free parking lot available. If you do not have a car or scooter, you can also take the bus that leaves at the port (€1.80 for a ticket). A ticket to the caves costs €6 (€3 for children between 6 and 12). There are no guided tours so you can visit the caves freely. Keep in mind that there are 411 steps that you have to climb back up at the end.
It is not only a beautiful cave to see but it is also of great archaeological interest: there are inscriptions on display dating back to 728 BC.
Go hiking in Paros Park
In the north of the island is Paros Park with its unique rock formations, colorful flowers and plants, and beautiful views. There are several walks to do, but the most beautiful is still the one to the lighthouse. From the lighthouse, you have a fantastic view. You can park next to the monastery and then take the blue walk 1. The walk to the lighthouse takes about 1.5 hours there and back (about 4km).
Take a daytrip to Delos and Mykonos
From Paros, you can also easily book a day trip by boat to the archaeological island of Delos. There you will have a few hours to visit the excavations. There are few signs with information, so actually a guide is necessary (if you would find this interesting). Afterwards, you then sail on to Mykonos where you again have a few hours before sailing back to Paros.
Other things to do
If you like to spend time on the water, then a sailing trip or cruise on a catamaran is a must. Or you can also rent your own boat for the day. For the foodies among us, there is a cooking class. You can also explore the island with a guide.
Where to eat on Paros?
There are so many good restaurants on Paros, spread throughout the island. Here are some of our tips:
Café Symposium Paros: the ideal place for a tasty breakfast
Oasis: all day breakfast
Mana Mana: nice place for lunch in the heart of the Plaka
To souvlaki tou Pepe: super tasty souvlaki:
Hellas: restaurant with Greek specialties
Maroon: nice café to enjoy a glass of wine
All useful links at a glance for your next trip to Greece
Find plane tickets to Paros
Find ferry tickets to Paros
Find the best hotels on Paros
Find the best Airbnb on Paros
Book an all-in rental car on Paros
Book tickets for attractions on Paros
Buy the best travel guides about Paros
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