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A Complete Travel Guide To Paros Island in 2023

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Paros is one of the gems in the Cycladic islands that flies just below the radar. Its neighboring sister islands of Mykonos and Santorini are the stars of the Greek islands, and quite often Paros is bypassed in favor of somewhere else. But Paros island offers visitors traditional Cycladic charm, superb food and extraordinary scenery. 

Explore incredible Paros island in 2023 and fall in love with one of the Cyclades up & coming rising stars. Over the course of this travel guide, you’ll discover which town to stay in, which beaches are worth visiting and why Paros needs to be added to your Greek bucket list in 2023.

Paros Tips

The island of Paros Greece has exploded in popularity thanks to the rise of social media and mass tourism in nearby Mykonos and Santorini. 

Paros is an idyllic island with sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and beautiful villages, and is extremely well-connected.

Language: Greek! However, you will find that the Greeks have excellent English. The country is hugely dependent on tourism, and you’ll rarely struggle with communication barriers even on the smallest of the Greek islands. 

Currency: The Euro!

Credit & Debit Card Payments: Greece has hugely embraced credit and debit card transactions. Even on several of the beaches, you’ll find you can pay without cash. Always check before ordering, and as always, it’s good to have a bit of cash on you.

Tipping: Tipping is discretionary, but always welcome. It is not mandatory to tip in Greece, and in most European countries, however, if you feel you have enjoyed your experience or want to show gratitude a 10% – 15% tip is welcomed. 

Weather: The weather in Paros is mild, and during the summer months of July & August can get quite hot. The Meltemi wind tends to pick up strength in August but does not seem to suffer as much as Mykonos.

The Towns of Paros Island

The vast majority of people who visit Paros stay in either Parikia or Naoussa. There are several other villages such as Aliki, and Lefkes that are popular with Greek holidaymakers and repeat visitors who return to the island year after year. 

Parikia is the main town on Paros and is popular with tourists who want to be in the hub of everything. With a wide range of accommodations, great restaurants, and superb shopping, there is a lot to like about Parikia. 

Naoussa on the other hand is picturesque and almost too perfect. It’s one of the prettiest towns in all of the Cyclades with a romantic harbor where you can dine under a canopy of twinkling lights. 

Naoussa also has some of the best selections of hotels on the island, as well as excellent restaurants and superb beaches. 

Repeater visitors to the island head south and stay in the quieter villages of Aliki, Drios, or Piso Livadi. 

How To Get To Paros

Paros Airport

The island of Paros has an airport that connects with several daily flights to Athens. The flight time between Paros and Athens is less than 1 hour, which makes the island perfect for those short on time or who just want to get their holidays started asap. 

Paros airport is small and there are talks about lengthening the runway to accommodate international flights in years to come. Paros airport is essentially two-three rooms with rental car agencies available upon landing. 

There are a limited number of taxis on the island, so arranging a transfer with your accommodation is highly recommended. 

The local Paros bus connects the airport to Parikia, check the bus timetable here. 

Ferry to Paros

Like most Greek islands, Paros is incredibly well served by the excellent ferry system that navigates the Cyclade islands. With a range of fast hydrofoil ferries and slower ferries, you can be on the island in 2 hours from Athens. 

Traveling by ferry in Greece is one of the best ways of exploring the many Greek islands. It’s also one of the most economical ways to get from island to island. FerryHopper is the best place to book Paros ferry tickets – or you can head to one of the many travel operators on Paros and book your tickets through travel agencies. 

How long is the ferry from Athens to Paros?

There are daily ferries to Paros throughout the year. The frequency of ferries does increase during the high season. Typically there are three ferry operators that sail to Paros on any given day. The average ferry journey from Athens Pireaus to Paros takes 4 hours. 

Blue Star Delos 

Athens Piraeus to Paros 07.25 – 11.35

Blue Star Naxos

Athens Piraeus to Paros 17.30 – 21.45

Ticket prices start from €30 per passenger. Seajets and Golden Star Ferries also travel to the island during the busier summer months. Blue Star Ferries are large vessels that make the crossing very smooth, with plenty of indoor and outdoor places to sit. There are shops and restaurants onboard to purchase food and snacks. 

Make sure to book your ferries through the fantastic app and website – Ferryhoppers. Ferryhoppers allows you to book ferries directly through the website and even organise multi-ferry trips.

Arriving into Parikia Port – Paros

Arriving by ferry into Paros gives visitors their first impressions of the stunning island. There is a certain amount of awe that needs to be given to the ferry operators and the efficiency of the entire operation of getting people off the ferry and loading it all up again.

It also happens so quickly that by the time you have grabbed your belongings and hustled off the ferry and reached dry land they’ve started loading the ferry again and departs moments later. 

The ferry docks in the town of Parikia and upon disembarkation there is a number of rental agencies operators where you can rent a car, scooter or quad bike for a small daily fee. You can also book through companies such as Rentalcar.

Renting a vehicle makes exploring the island of Paros so much easier. There are plenty of beaches and villages that are difficult to access without your own set of wheels. You can easily drive around the entire island of Paros in just under an hour. It’s pretty small. It’s also possible to use the local bus system and navigate around the island that way. You can find the Paros bus timetable here

Getting Around Paros

It’s 100% worth renting a vehicle to get around the incredibly amazing island of Paros. There are so many places and beaches to explore on Paros that it would be a shame to miss out on it. 

The roads on Paros are small country roads, with lots of bends as they circumnavigate the island. Overtaking can be particularly challenging, but there’s no need to rush on Paros. Greek drivers are prone to driving in the center of the two lines which can be alarming. 

Car rental on Paros is affordable and a good option if you are uncomfortable with renting a scooter or ATV. It’s a great way of getting around the island if you are traveling with family, or want to avoid the heat of the sun during the summer months. 

ATVs and Scooters are hugely popular, and unlike cars, you’ll rarely struggle to get a parking space. Especially in the summer months when the car parks for beaches can get full from early on in the morning. 

ATVs make exploring off-road easier than a traditional car, and whilst there may not be as many off-roading experiences like the neighboring island of Milos, there are still a lot of unpaved roads to navigate.

As you navigate around the island, you will encounter stunning beaches, small white churches with the trademark Cycladic blue-domed roof’s, and exceptional scenery. The small island of Antiparos lies just off the island’s capital Parikia and is a wonderful way to spend an entire day-tripping by crossing the small body of water on the fantastic ferry. 

The quaint mountain village of Lefkes invites visitors to explore the wandering backstreets and immerse them in stunning nature and vistas. Smaller towns of Piso Livadi are lined with fishing boats and sandy beaches, fringed with bars and restaurants. You can easily explore Paros island in under an hour in a rental car, hopping from town to the next.

Parikia Paros

The capital of Paros is Parikia and it is a really vibrant town. Ferries depart from Parikia to the neighbouring Cycladic islands and this makes it a great place to be based on the island. Parikia’s alleyways are a warren of mazes and stunning shops. Prepare to spend a small fortune on either jewellery or handcrafted goods. Not only does it have amazing shopping, but the restaurants and bars buzz in the evenings and are really ambient. 

With lots of taverna’s based on the water’s edge, it can be hard to make a decision where to dine. The superb Taverna Alexandros is a wonderful spot to watch the ferries come and go, and their mousaka is one of the best on the island. Also available are incredibly freshly caught fish and typical Greek dishes. 

Parikia offers visitors the opportunity to visit the Frankish Castle, a ruin leftover from the days when the Venetians had control over Paros. Located within the winding alleyways of Parikia, you will eventually stumble upon it you keep walking in circles long enough.

Parikia Hotels

Deciding where to stay on Paros Island will be one of the trickier decisions you have to do when preparing for your holiday. There are plenty of options spread across the island and thanks to the island’s small size, nothing is really too far away. 

Paros Agnati Hotel

With stunning sea views and that of Parikia, Paros Agnati Hotel is located 100 meters from a beach. With a stunning pool and adorable rooms, this hotel makes a great place to base yourself when staying on the island. Room prices start from €148 per night.

Sunset View Hotel Paros

A 10-minute walk from the town of Parikia, Sunset View Hotel Paros has some of the most incredible sunset views on the island. Not only is the pool absolutely fabulous, but the bar area is hard to pull yourself away from. Each room has an air-conditioning unit {a must in the summer heat} and breakfast is served in the fabulous pool area. Room prices start from €144 per night.

Argonauta Hotel

Set right in the centre of the town of Parikia, Argonauta Hotel would make a great base for people who want to explore the town and not have their hotel too far away. The room decor is absolutely gorgeous and has a shaded lounge area.

Within steps of the hotel, you are right into the mix of the hustle and bustle of Parikia. Argonauta Hotel is perfect for visitors who want a centrally located hotel close to the port. Room prices start from €95 per night.

Lefkes Paros

Lefkes Paros is a sweet traditional village set high into the mountains of Paros. You can get here by rental car or bus. You can easily spend an enjoyable morning walking around the town, visiting the Church of Agia Triada or sitting in a lovely cafe in the town square and watching the locals life of Lefkes.

The sounds of cicadas chirp repeatedly in the trees as you make your way around the town and explore the hilly backstreets. There are a number of hiking trails that are in the area, that range in levels of difficulty.

Naoussa Paros

Naoussa is a fishing village that has some of the liveliest restaurants and also has a superb selection of accommodations. Walking around Naoussa is like stepping into a postcard. Every street is blooming with bougainvillaea, small cocktail bars beckon around each corner and the sea is never far away.

The shopping is also incredible, designer stores with jewels, pottery and expensive clothing are dotted around the alleyways. This is the place to come to if you want to experience the sheer beauty that Greece has to offer, Naoussa has it in buckets.

Naoussa Hotels

Bohemian Luxury Boutique Hotel

With a super central location and outstanding views, the Bohemian Luxury Boutique Hotel is steps away from the Venetian Castle and harbour in Naoussa, Paros. Its pool is on the small side, but it does have a cute bar with seriously great views.

This is an adult-only hotel with absolutely outstanding decor. If you are looking for a great hotel with fantastic vibes in the centre of Naoussa, this is the hotel for you. Room prices start from €150 per night.

Hotel Senia

Less than a 5-minute walk from the centre of town, Hotel Senia offers visitors not only an all-season heated pool but also a hydromassage tub and pool bar. With views over the bay and of Naoussa town, visitors can enjoy Cycladic style with spectacular views.

Piperi Beach is a short quick walk down a hill to and visitors will be able to hear the sounds of waves lapping on the shore from their rooms. Room prices start from €120 per night.

Paros to Antiparos

Getting from Paros to Antiparos is relatively easy. Once you arrive at the ferry crossing at Pounta, you line up your car and wait for the ferry to arrive. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes and takes 7 minutes to cross the small strait. You are never waiting too long to get from Paros to Antiparos. 

The cost of the ferry is €1.20 for foot passengers and €6.30 per car. You can also take the bus from Parikia to Pounta, but check the bus timetable first. The summer ferry timetable from Paros to Antiparos has late-night ferries until 2 am, so you can go to beach clubs and restaurants on Antiparos and not worry about missing your ferry. You may even see Tom Hanks in Antiparos {he has a vacation home on the island}.

Antiparos is perfect for those looking to get lost in nature or have a beach entirely to themselves. During the height of the summer months, the island is transformed with restaurants and bars buzzing with visitors. There are a small number of hotels and rentals available on the island, so make sure to book in advance during the high season. Surprisingly for such a small island, there are several fantastic and stylish boutiques. 

Wicker bags with leather straps piled upon one another outside a bag shop.
Antiparos Main Street

Paros beaches

Most people are pleasantly surprised by how fantastic the beaches are in Paros. Neighbouring Naxos is heavily favoured for its pristine beaches and golden sands, but Paros has some lovely beaches of its own too. There are plenty of choices as you explore the island, and you can easily spend the day hopping from one beach to the next. Check out this guide on some of the best beaches in Paros

Yacht at dusk
Photo Credit: Missy Cahill

Kolymbithres Beach is a stunning beach located not too far from the fishing village of Naoussa. There are several sun loungers and umbrellas available to rent for a small fee. The water is shallow and crystal clear. It is a fantastic place for small children to swim safely in the water as there are no currents. There are several water taxis from Naoussa to Kolymbithres beach.

Is Paros Island expensive?

Compared to the neighbouring islands of Santorini and Mykonos, Paros is much more affordable. That’s not to say it doesn’t have ultra-expensive boutique stores, hotels and restaurants. In Naoussa, you will find high-end brands in the boutique stores and a lot of locally produced ceramics and jewellery can be on the pricer end of the spectrum. 

Dining in restaurants and drinking in cocktail bars won’t require you to take out a small loan either. In fact, compared to Mykonos and Santorini, Paros is great value for eating and drinking. And the sunset views are always free. 

Hotels vary in price, but you won’t find a fraction as many 5 star hotels like in Santorini and Mykonos. There are a small number of luxury accommodation scattered around the island, most being based near Naoussa and Parikia.

Paros can be as expensive as you want it to be. Or as cheap. That all boils down to your budget and needs. Your Euro will go much further in Paros than on other Cycladic islands.

A view of the square with rows of empty tables and chairs
Supper time

Is Paros a Party Island?

Paros has a vibrant nightlife in the larger towns of Naoussa and Parikia. There are also a number of beach clubs on Paros and Antiparos. Paros is not considered to be a party island like Mykonos or Ios.

In the old town of Naoussa, you will find ample amounts of excellent nightlife, with cocktail bars busy from sunset on. Santa Maria Beach has a fantastic beach club that rents sun loungers, umbrellas and has a super beach bar. During the high season, you can find a DJ most days playing music till well after the sun has set. 

Missy Cahill

Travels with Missy will guide you on trips around the world with a book in each hand. With a focus on Mid-Range travel and budgets, discover suggestions for countries all around the world and excellent book recommendations.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Hannah

    Paroas looks like such a beautiful place! I’d love to do some Greek Island hopping, it looks like such a beautiful part of the world! Parikia looks stunning, I’d love to stroll the pretty streets! Thanks for the great guide!

  2. Krista

    There are so many Greek islands to choose from it’s crazy! I hadn’t come across Pasos during my research for our trip to Greece though, but it’s now firmly going on my list!

  3. kmf

    I’ve been to Greece but didn’t make it to any of the islands. Love this review of Paros Island…it’s gorgeous and would be perfect.

  4. jetlaggedroamer

    You’re making me miss Greece bad. I go often since my husband is from there. We have visited many Greek Islands, but Paros isn’t one. It’s added to my list. Great post.

  5. Sophia

    We had a couple in our family visit Greece this summer for their honeymoon. We were jealous of their island relaxtion then and after reading your post we are CRAVING and getaway to Greece and the Paros islands! Thank you for including different hotel options that is super helpful when we are planning our trips 🙂

  6. simplyjolayne

    Greece is one of the top destinations on my bucket list. Just so homesick for travel and your pictures make me want to visit even more.

  7. Rezmin

    It’s amazing to know that Paris offers so many adventurous activities. I would prefer to rent a quad bike to explore this beautiful island. I also want to get lost in the quaint alleyways and buy some handcrafted goods.

    1. Missy Cahill

      I hope you get to go Rezmin and enjoy everything Paros has to offer!

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