Our first trip to Paros was a surprise trip to Paros for my 30th birthday. The Greek Island of Paros had been on our list of places to visit in Greece for years. So it was a wonderful experience to check out all the best things to do on Paros Island, Greece. Who knew that years later, we would get married on the island?
Paros is the posh little sister to its more famous Cycladic neighbors, Santorini and Mykonos. It’s an enticing mixture of charming towns, inviting locals, water sports, boutique shops, and sandy beaches. The two hubs of Parikia and Naoussa are a heady maze of white-washed streets.
We love the island for its ability to feel removed from the masses yet offer classic tourist trappings such as fine restaurants and buzzing cocktail bars. It will always be our choice over the more famous Santorini, Rhodes, and Mykonos.
Paros has everything you could want from a trip to the Greek islands. We’re here to help with what to do on Paros.
Where is Paros?
Paros is an island part of the Cyclades group of Greek islands. It’s quieter than nearby Mykonos and Santorini, although it still has those idyllic stone streets and white-washed buildings. The island neighbors Naxos and Antiparos, while Mykonos is a short ferry ride away to the North.
It’s best known for its stunning beaches and traditional villages and is one of Greece’s best places to visit. Paros can easily be reached by ferry from Mykonos, Naxos, Ios, Sifnos, Amorgos, and many more Greek destinations making it the perfect place to head on your Greek islands travel itinerary.
Best Things to do In Paros, Greece
Dive Into Parikia
Most visitors to Paros will travel through Parikia, the island’s capital and port. Parikia is home to the island’s ferry terminal and many restaurants and cafes. It’s easy to skip over the port town as it does not look like much from the ferry port. However, that would be a mistake as the interior town streets are full of boutique shops, restaurants, and bars.
There are several excellent bars for drinks at sunset, but Bebop offers the best views with an inventive cocktail menu. Afterward, head to Mira Restaurant for a classic Greek taverna, which draws a crowd on busy nights. You can also opt for a charcuterie board at the wine bar, Ela Paros, French/Greek dining at Stou Fred, or Pizza at Cuore Rosso.
If you want to visit a bank or a supermarket, Parikia is where you will do that. It’s also where you’ll find car rental agencies, which are a great way to get around Paros, but I’ll touch more on that later!
Learn to Wind Surf on Golden Beach
Greece is notorious for its winds; when the Meltemi winds blow in from the north, it howls across the island. The wind may not be ideal for beachgoers, but it attracts wind and kite surfers from around the globe.
While we don’t recommend taking lessons in high wind, on calmer days, Golden Sand beach has several windsurfing operators who offer lessons. Paros Windsurf Center has an excellent reputation with great equipment and helpful instructors. Windsurfing is easy to learn in a couple of hours and is a blast. Easy to understand why it’s one of the best things to do on Paros.
Naxos is renowned for its wind and kite surfing scene if you get hooked on the neighboring islands. If you’re a mixed group, don’t worry; Golden Beach is one of the beaches on Paros. It’s a blue flag beach well known for its fine golden sand stretching 700 meters. The perfect spot to catch some rays and get a tan or go for a swim, as the beach itself is protected from the wind.
Stroll Around Lefkes
The small mountain village of Lefkes is a highlight for many visitors to the island. It may have only 500 inhabitants, but it features some lovely boutique shops, tavernas, and coffee shops. Its beauty makes it well worth exploring for an afternoon or a couple of hours.
Lefkes is charming, as cobblestone alleys wind up and down hills to form a maze only accessible by foot. The village has fine examples of classic Cycladic architecture, white stone homes with blue accents, and bougainvillea flowers.
History is everywhere in the little village. Much of the stone walls and home date back to the middle ages when Lefkes was the island’s capital. Visitors will also see Venetian homes that date back to their rule in between those traditional homes.
However, the Byzantine Church of Agia Triada is the most imposing and difficult to miss. It makes for a great photo stop and is worth taking a closer look to observe some of the fine marble work from Tinian sculptors. Cafe Marigo, which sits opposite the church, makes for a nice stop for homemade lemonade, be sure to pop inside to see historic photos from Lefkes.
Enjoy the small town of Aliki
The southern village of Aliki is a charming little village with a beautiful little port and charming traditional tavernas. Aliki makes for a popular base with recent visitors to the island as it’s quieter, has easy access to several beaches, and has a wide selection of accommodation options.
Catch A Cruise From Aliki
You can also catch several boat tour options out of Aliki. Boat operators range from private charters on modern rib boats to day cruises and small rental boats. We’ve taken every option around Paros and can say there isn’t a bad option. However, we highly recommend getting out on the water with one of the boat companies. You can easily walk into an office and book a boat excursion.
Relax on Faragas Beach
Faragas Beach is one of the most popular on the Southern coast for a good reason. It’s a gorgeous little beach with blue waters and golden sand. The beach is perfect for swimming and offers calm waters even on windy days. It also features a decent beach bar that serves up cocktails and pizzas.
It’s a trendy little beach bar with modern facilities and beach chairs. The only downside is the relatively high prices for chairs and food, especially for Greece. If you prefer the free option, there is plenty of free sand to bring your umbrella and relax.
Hit Up More Southern Beaches
The South of the island holds some of Paros’ best beaches. If you find Faragas too crowded, it’s easy to head to another one of the island’s sandy beaches to relax and go for a swim.
Paralia Lolantonis is one of our favorites on the island. Other beaches worth exploring are Piso Aliki, Tripiti, Paralia Glifa, and Voutakos. They’re all a short drive from one another, so you can spend the day beach hopping around or pick your favorite.
BEST Beaches In Paros
soak up the vibe in Naousa
Almost every visitor will visit Naousa as it’s one of the best things to do in Paros. We’ve spent a lot of time in the town, and it’s a great experience no matter the time. Shop during the day, grab breakfast, enjoy sunset drinks, enjoy a seafood dinner, or after-dinner drinks.
Naousa is a posh little fishing village that now caters to seasonal tourists. It features a small harbor with classic white Cycladic buildings and stone streets. It’s a lovely village that is a maze of beautiful alleys flanked by bougainvillea. The village has everything a tourist could desire, with excellent restaurants, hotels, cocktail bars, boutique shops, rental agencies, ice cream shops, and tour operators.
You can grab a great brunch or enjoy the breezy Almond in Paros cafe with a cup of coffee. If you want something quick, grab a tasty gyro or souvlaki from Souvlakia Kargas or Allas Souvlaki & More.
The Yemeni Wine Restaurant is a fantastic traditional taverna that serves beautiful rustic dishes in a pleasant atmosphere. Sigi Ikthios and Mario serve fresh seafood alongside fishing boats for an idealistic setting.
Eat At Siparos
After all those restaurant recommendations, the best restaurant on the island is arguably Siparos. It’s been loved by locals for years now, since 2009 when siblings opened up the restaurant. Classic greek dishes are given modern renditions with excellent ingredients and in-house products.
Due to its popularity, it’s best to make reservations in advance. It’s a beautiful spot to celebrate a special event. We even had our wedding reception at the restaurant and couldn’t have asked for better food!
Enjoy the Nightlife in Naousa
If you are looking to enjoy the nightlife scene on Paros the best area for that is Naousa. Head here on any given summer night for bars and clubs.
Catch the ferry to Antiparos
Antiparos is the small neighboring island next to Paros. It’s a small island well known for its exclusivity, with luxury villas dotting the coastline. Only a five-minute ferry ride will bring you to the small island. Once there, you can explore the cute town of Chora, venture to the many beaches, or check out the Antiparos cave.
Outside of private villas the most of the accommodation on the island is located in the main town of Chora. The island is known for its famous residents, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who have a holiday home. The pair are well-loved and protected by locals so don’t think you’ll find out where he lives easily.
Go Shopping Boutique Shopping
Paros is blessed with a number of boutique and souvenir shops. You can find everything here from your typical tourist fare to some beautiful boutiques with unique clothing, jewelry, woodwork, and stonework. Parikia and Naousa both have wonderful shopping opportunities. Parikia has a greater variety of shops as it’s also where locals shop.
Rent a Boat and Shore Hop!
Our absolute best day on Paros was when we rented a small boat for our group and set out on the water. You can rent a 50 horsepower motored boat (no more without a boat license recognized by the EU) in Paros yourself as long as you have a license, you’re a competent boat driver, and are confident on the water.
We rented a small boat for €150, plus €40 for gas. At €50 per person, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day. Having our own means of transport on the water meant we could get to some amazing places only accessible by water. Bring snacks and drinks (most boat rentals will come with a cooler).
If you don’t want to captain your own boat, it’s possible to join a tour or hire out a skipper for your group for a little bit more money.
Join a Catamaran Tour!
Snorkel off the shore
Swimming in the gorgeous Mediterranean is a must for every visitor to Paros. The clear waters around the Cycladic Islands makes for a wonderful spot to grab a mask and snorkel.
The rocky coves provide excellent shelter for snorkeling with plenty of areas to explore. Don’t expect to find a plethora of fish as it’s not a reef, but still a pleasant experience. Snorkelers can pack fins and a mask, rent, or purchase from one of the local shops.
Enjoy the Blue Lagoon
Having the boat rental meant we could get to some extraordinary places. This included the “Blue Lagoon,” which is exactly what it sounds like – deep turquoise clear water (see above photo).
It’s a great place to relax and take a swim or go for a snorkel! Ask your boat rental company to give you directions to this spot, and they can show you where exactly to anchor.
Hike The Byzantine Road
The Byzantine Road is the oldest trail on Paros and connects the villages of Lefkes and Prodromos. It dates back to 1000 AD during the Byzantine era and is built entirely from Parian marble.
It’s an easy 3.5km hike that descends a couple of hundred meters from Lefkes down to the coast. It’s best to be mindful of your step as the marble is slick after a millennia.
Try Out A Scuba Dive
It’s possible to go scuba diving in Paros! Diving in Paros may not be that exciting if you’ve dived in places like the Maldives or Indonesia. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole plethora of marine life in this part of the world.
Nevertheless, if you are a new diver or want to try out the sport Paros is a good place to start. It doesn’t get much better than warm, clear, and calm water on your first dive. Check out Eurodivers for dive trips around the island.
Visit a Greek Winery
Greece is well known for its delicious wine. So what better way to spend your time in Paros than at a winery. Moraitis Winery is the most famous winery on the islands, and they do tastings all day long. Started in 1910, this private 10-hectare vineyard is run by 4th generation family members of Manolis Moraitis.
You can book reservations here for a nice meal or just show up for a wine tasting with friends. Visiting this winery is one of the best things to do in Paros!
Sit back and enjoy a Frappe or Fredo Cappuccino
My favorite thing to do in Greece, in general, is to sit back, relax, order a Frappe (blended Greek coffee), and watch life go by. You can do this in any of the towns, and I highly recommend the experience at least once.
Cliff Jump at Ambelas Beach
Ambelas is another great Greek beach to visit while on Paros. It’s small and secluded but go earlier in day to avoid the shade. There’s also a fabulous cliff jumping spot if you’re into that. You can see Cameron jumping in the photo above.
check out the rock formations at Kolympethres Beach
Kolympethres Beach is a beach near the town of Naousa that is entirely unlike any other on Paros. That’s because they have stunning crystal waters and cool rock formations. The unique rocks create small swimming pools to swim in and great places to lounge.
Stroll around Piso Livadi
Piso Livadi is another picturesque fishing port with a cute and quiet beach. This area also has numerous greek tavernas (try Kima!) famous for their seafood pulled straight from nearby. There is also a great live music bar called Remezzo, that comes alive at night here.
Day Trip to Naxos
Naxos island is a nearby Greek island that only takes one hour to get to via ferry. It’s one of the more popular islands in the Cyclades and is wonderful to visit.
Naxos has everything you could want from a trip to the Greek islands. Cycladic white and blue houses, amazing history, ancient Greek architecture, great food, beautiful European beaches, amazing sunsets, friendly Greek people? Check, Check, Check! We had a full five amazing days on Naxos after Paros. You can see all the best things to do in Naxos here.
Eat all the Greek Food
One of my favorite things to do in Paros and all of Greece is go to the local supermarket, pick up some wine, feta, tzatziki, and olives and enjoy.
Who says you have to go out to a restaurant every night? Some of the most memorable nights for me were when we got our food and enjoyed a night in. It’s cheaper and a good way to eat like the Greeks!
Kitesurfing In Pounda Bay
Many islands in Greece are a kite surfers heaven, including the island of Paros. Pounda Bay generally has perfect wind conditions that make it the best windsurfing and kitesurfing hotspot on the islands. Whether or not you are a beginner or skilled you can easily rent equipment at the Paros Kite Center for the day
Many people agree that Marcello Beach is the best beach on all of Paros. Here you’ll find beautiful white sand, and warm waters, complete with beach chairs and even waiters to bring you a frappe. Though it’s in the Bay of Parikia, meaning it’s typically crowded in thes summer months.
It’s far from the most secluded beach on the island, but there is free entertainment provided as you get to watch the ferries come in!
Near the Monastery of Jesus of Woods, 7km to the southwest of Parikia, is a beautiful valley filled with Jersey Tiger Moths in the summer. The Tiger Moth is brown and yellow with black and white spots and two orange/red dots on the winds.
From June to September, the butterflies flock to this area as the females search for forested and busy areas to lay their eggs. Visitors can visit and see the spectacle but take special care of this amazing area, watch your step, and be careful not to make any loud noises that will panic the butterflies.
The visitors can enjoy their beauty, however, they must be careful not to make any noise because the population panics and consumes the energy that must be saved for its journey in autumn and for its reproduction.
Book a Sunset Cruise Around Naousa
One of the best things to do in Paros is enjoy a sunset sail around Naousa Harbor. Pantasoulas offers sunset cruises complete with wine, and snacks for your entire party. This is a family business that operates quite a large boat (50 person), so it’s best done if you have a larger group!
Where to Stay on Paros, Greece
Things to do in Paros Island Map
How to Get to Paros, Greece?
You can arrive on Paros via ferry or plane.
The Paros Airport is well connected to Athens and Thessaloniki. It’s close to Aliki and Parikia and is very small, but still get here at least one hour prior to travel time to be safe.
Ferries and highspeed catamarans run daily into Parikia. They run from Mykonos, Crete, Athens, Naxos, and a few other Greek islands. I like to check schedules ad prices on Ferry Hopper – we find it’s best to book online as ticket prices are higher at the actual port, and you stand a chance of them becoming sold out.
Due to its position and importance, Paros is connected not just to Piraeus (the port of Athens – the second busiest passenger port in the world!) but also to Rafina which is closer to the Athens airport.
How to Get Around Paros?
There are a few main options for getting around Paros. Rental Car, moped, public bus, or 4×4.
A moped is the cheapest option, but in Greece, you need a motorcycle license in order to rent one. Many rental agencies in Greece will let you slide and rent a moped without this, but we couldn’t find anyone in Paros to rent us a moped on just a standard license.
A 4×4 is the most fun option to get around Paros in. However at around €40-€50 a day, it’s an expensive one. Also during the high season, you’ll need an advanced reservation to rent one of these bad boys. I prefer not to rent mopeds or 4x4s as I appreciate my shade and AC while getting around Paros. They get dusty and move much slower than a car, so it’s not great for driving long distances.
If you don’t want to drive yourself around the island, the public bus will get you to the main sites around Paros. However, you will be limited to their schedule, which you can check here.
The last option is a rental car. To rent a car in Greece you need a standard International drivers license (A valid US license works). If your license is not in English or Greek, have a translation just in case. You also should be prepared to hand over your passport. Also depending on where you trying to rent an International Drivers Permit may be mandatory for if you get pulled over. It may be tough to find a rental agency to rent to you without an IDP on Paros, we rented with Avis and they were great and didn’t need any additional paperwork.
We’ve rented a car in Greece without an IDP and had places in Greece ask that we have an IDP. If you are from North America, Australia, or outside the EU it’s best that you arrive to Greece with an IDP just to be safe. You can get one at AAA in the United States before you leave for your trip. If you get in an accident or are pulled over without an IDP you may be subject to a steep fine in the EU.
Search and Compare Prices for Rental Cars
- DiscoverCars.com – We personally use them to search and compare rental car prices around the globe.
- Auto Europe – Compares the best rates!
When is the Best Time to Visit Paros?
High season (June-September)
Like most places in Europe, Greece’s high season runs from June to mid-September. This is when you will find the best sunny weather and larger crowds. Days are longer, the weather is HOT, so you’ll want to be close to a pool or ocean. Hotel and car rental prices are at their highest. We traveled to Paros in early September and found the weather and crowds to be totally ideal for a great Greek vacation.
Shoulder Season (April – May or October -November)
The weather in Paros is cooler during these months, some would consider it much more comfortable than prime summertime weather. It’s not as busy as the summertime, but you’ll still see lots of travelers lingering about. Prices on accommodation and car rentals will drop during this time. The shoulder season is typically a fantastic time to visit Paros, though in April and November many tourist oriented businesses will be closed for the season.
Low Season (Late November – April)
The temperatures are cooler during the low season in Greece. You’ll still see plenty of sunny days but also overcast days and little to no sunbathing on the Paros beaches. It’s too cold to take a dip in the water, but you can still enjoy the beaches with some clothes on to keep warm in the breeze. The upside is you’ll find low prices and low numbers of tourists. Though keep in mind it’s locals only during this time and you’ll find most tourist oriented businesses closed for the season.
Now you know what to do in Paros, and all the best places to eat, stay and important travel info for visiting!
There’s so much to do in Paros that you might feel overwhelmed with all these attractions, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. The truth is you can get quite a bit done with your time on the island! We spent a week on Paros and were able to do all these things plus more!
What to Pack for Paros, Island
Spending a summer on one of the many Greek islands? Lucky you. You may be wondering just what to pack for Greece. The islands are beautiful, swarming with history, and are populated with some of the friendliest people in the world. See our complete Greek island packing list.
READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on what to do on Paros! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Greece!
- How Much Does a Trip to Greece Cost?
- The Best Things to do in Corfu
- The Best Things to do in Crete
- The Best Things to do in Santorini
- The Best Things to do in Rhodes
- The Best Things to do in Milos
- The Best Things to do in Tinos
Greek Travel Planning Resources
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Yasou” and “Efharisto”
- Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
- Visa: Schengen visa. Which is 90 days in the European Union out of 180. Many nationalities are granted this on arrival for free. Check with your embassy to see if that is you.
- Weather: The weather in Greece is a Mediterranean climate. This means winters are mild and rainy, while summers are warm and dry with plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
- What to Pack: Warm weather clothes and a swimsuit, don’t forget a good pair of clothes to go and a jacket for cool nights. Read about what to wear in Greece.
- Budget: If you’re in the initial stages of planning, check out our awesome post that breaks down how much a trip to Greece costs.
- Rent a Car: We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Cars to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check Price Here!
- Protect Your Trip: Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect us from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. We use HeyMondo for our insurance needs.
- Tours in Greece: Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Greece!
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.