Picturing bright blue water and white buildings dotting the island? These are some of the sights you’ll see when visiting Paros, one of Greece’s Cyclades islands.
Located southeast of mainland Greece in the Aegean Sea, the Cyclades are best reached by a ferry or short flight from Athens. When I visited Greece in May 2006, I traveled via Blue Star Ferries from Athens to Paros and then onward to Santorini.
My friends and I enjoyed the relaxing vibe of Paros, which is best known for its natural beauty and beaches in addition to its vibrant nightlife. During my trip, I enjoyed exploring the island by four-wheeler and eating delicious Greek food at the local restaurants.
Since my own Paros trip was well before I started writing about my travels on this blog, I am happy to share this guest post from a budding travel writer. In this post, guest writer Katie Johnson shares where to stay with recommendations for booking a luxury hotel or villa, when to visit, and what to see and do on Paros.
Disclosure: This brief travel guide to Paros contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these links or book your hotel stay through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you, and I only recommend products and services I have or would use myself.
How to Visit Paros in Cyclades Islands, Greece
Why visit Paros?
Paros is a beautiful island renowned for its wildlife and natural beauty. The island is one that makes for a memorable vacation destination at any time of the year, and it has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. The villas on Paros are particularly beautiful and offer the most immersive way of experiencing the island and its unique culture.
Where is Paros?
Located in the Aegean Sea, between Greece and Turkey, Paros is a small island with a population of around 12,000. It is best reached by ferry from Athens or one of the other Cyclades islands.
When is the best time to visit Paros?
Most travelers prefer to see the island during the late spring when most of the wildlife is visible, and the landscape is green.
During this part of the year, the sea is also warmer. Visiting in late spring allows for a comfortable swimming experience, and the beaches will be less crowded than during the peak summer tourism season.
Prices at most Paros hotels and villas are also lower during the spring and autumn months, making it a more attractive time to travel for those on a tight travel budget.
Best Things to Do on Paros
There are a number of historical sites, marble quarries, and charming fishing villages to visit on Paros. In particular, the old port of Naoussa is a popular tourist attraction.
While visiting Paros, you can:
- swim, snorkel, and kayak off the coast.
- shop at chic boutiques in Parikia and Naousa.
- set sail around the Cyclades.
- taste local wines at Moraitis Winery.
- take the ferry to Antiparos, where Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are known to vacation.
- watch sunsets on the beach.
Best Hotels for Your Paros Getaway
Consequently, Naoussa is home to a number of other luxury hotels too. One of the most luxurious hotels on the island is Kanale’s Rooms & Suites. Also, the Paliomylos Spa Hotel offers rooms with balconies that overlook the coastline and the village of Naoussa.
As far as places outside of Naoussa go, there is the Akrotiri Hotel, located near Parikia. It offers stunning views of the nearby bay and is located near a number of shops, bars, and restaurants.
Alternative Lodging on Paros
Another option available to travelers is to rent a villa for the duration of their stay.
Villas offer a number of advantages over traditional hotels and resorts. For one thing, they provide much more space, and consequently they are far better suited to providing accommodation for groups of people rather than individuals. Villas also offer communal areas where friends and family can meet, as well as private bedrooms for each individual.
One of the most expensive aspects of staying in a hotel or at a resort is the cost of meals every day. When staying in a villa, you can cook your own food, which may offset your travel expenses. Having a kitchen also allows you to experience the local cuisine by cooking it yourself.
Villa prices vary over a large range, which you can see on bluevillascollection.com. For example, Paros villas listed on the site range from around €130 per day to €4800! This makes villas suitable for most visitors — no matter the budget.
Some people also prefer a villa because it offers greater privacy as you won’t have to share the space with strangers.
Paros Travel Tip: Avoid Late Autumn
As previously mentioned, spring and early autumn are the optimal times to visit Paros. However, there is also one time of year to avoid traveling to Paros.
During late autumn, many facilities on the island close down as the island prepares for the storm season. During this time, many ferry links are sporadic.
Meanwhile, there also is an increase in cruise travelers. This can lead to many of the main villages becoming much more crowded than usual.
Late spring is an optimum time for visiting the island, but beware that it coincides with the peak tourism season. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, visit during early fall.
Would I visit Paros again?
I hope this guest post has given you a bit of insight into visiting Paros.
From my own experience, I think you’ll find fewer tourists and likely lower hotel prices on Paros than on Santorini. Yet you’ll still discover little fishing villages, take in bright blue backdrops from the sea and sky, and see the traditional Cycladic architecture of stark white buildings with blue accents.
For these reasons, Paros can be a tranquil destination for a couple’s getaway or honeymoon, but I think I’d likely return to Santorini or visit another Cyclades island before visiting Paros again.
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Have you been to the Greek island Paros?
Tell me about your trip in the comments below!