Looking for things to do in Paros? When Cameron surprised me with a trip to Paros for my birthday I was over the moon. The Greek island of Paros had been on our list of places to visit in Greece for years.
I knew it was one of the quieter Cycladic islands, which is always my choice over popular islands like Santorini, Rhodes, and Mykonos. Now I can without a doubt say that Paros ranks up there as one of our favorite Greek islands!
Paros has everything you could want out of a trip to the Greek islands. Friendly Greek locals, delicious seaside food, unique beaches, fun towns, stunning sunsets and so much more. Wondering what to do in Paros? We have you covered.
The Best Things to do in Paros, Greece
1. Have a Coffee in Parikia
Most visitors to Paros will travel through Parikia, the capital of the island. Parikia is home to the island’s ferry terminal and many restaurants and cafes. It’s not my favorite town on Paros, but is well worth a walk around and to enjoy a delicious Greek coffee at.
If you want to visit a bank or a large 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!
Visiting the small town of Lefkes was one of my favorite things to do in Paros. Lefkes is a mountainous town that couldn’t get any more Greek if it tried.
This town is 11 km from Parikia and used to be the capital of Paros during the Middle Ages. It only has 500 inhabitants, but some nice boutique shops, Greek tavernas, and coffee shops. It’s an easy place to spend an afternoon exploring!
The Church of Agia Triada is the village’s main church and point of attractions, but you’ll have to pass through a maze of traditional Greek streets to get there. Enjoy!
3. Golden Beach
Golden Beach is a popular beach in Paros that takes its name from the fine Golden sand that can be found across a stretch of 700 meters. It has pretty windy conditions which means it’s great for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Like many other Greek beaches, this one is a blue flag beach and is well known for its beauty.
When we were in Paros for the week we stayed in the very small town of Aliki. It was the perfect base as it was quiet, beautiful, and provided enough that we needed for a comfortable stay.
The town of Aliki, which means “salt-marsh” in Greek has a number of delicious Greek tavernas, a few shops, and a small beach to lounge at. It’s also where you can find the Cycladic Folklore Museum.
Just past Aliki is the small beach of Faragas. Faragas is a secluded and quiet beach that provides visitors with a great place to relax and enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean. There are beach chairs managed by Faragas Beach Bar or you can opt to bring a towel and relax in the sand. The beach bar also dishes up cocktails and pizzas for lunch!
Naousa is easily the poshest town on Paros. We visited Naousa three separate times on our trip to Paros. Once during the day, once for sunset, and once for dinner and each experience was exceptional and different.
Located on the northeast side of the island Naousa is a unique fishing village that’s colorful and fun to visit at all times. There are tons of seaside restaurants, bars to have a sundowner at, boutique shops, and pretty much everything you could want.
It’s exciting to walk around during the day, and at night the area easily transforms into the high-end village on the island. It’s the most desirable place to stay in Paros, but also the most expensive. That being said we had still had an amazing time not staying in Naousa and traveling in for a few special meals.
Antiparos is the small neighboring island next to Paros. It’s not well known on the Greek island radar, but is well worth a day trip from Paros! Only a five minute ferry ride will bring you to the small island. Once here you can explore the cute town of Chora, venture to the many beaches, or check out the Antiparos cave.
If you want to stay on Antiparos the only town to do that at is Chora. The other option is to rent a car and venture to some of the small villas and guesthouses around the island.
Also, this island is where Tom Hanks has a holiday home. Maybe you’ll spot him and his wife, Rita Wilson, if you’re there at the right time. Although he is well loved and protected by locals so don’t think you’ll find out where he lives.
8. Go Shopping
If you’re looking to do a little shopping while visiting Paros this is best done in Naousa or on Antiparos. These two areas have many boutique shops where you can find Greek manufactured clothing items and souvenirs.
9. Rent a Boat
Our absolute best day on Paros was the day we rented a small boat for our group and set out on the water. You can rent a 50 horse power 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 competitive boat driver, and 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.
10. Blue Lagoon
Having the boat rental meant we could get to some seriously special places. This included the “Blue Lagoon.” the Blue Lagoon 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!
There are plenty of chances to snorkel around Paros. Either bring some fins and a mask with you to Greece or rent some for about €10 a day. It’s easy to stay in these waters as the Mediterranean stays fairly warm all year round.
12. Scuba Dive
It’s possible to scuba diving in Paros! If you’ve dived in places like the Maldives or Indonesia, diving in Paros may not be that exciting. There’s not a whole plethora of marine life in this part of the world, unfortunately. Nevertheless, if you are a new diver or wanting 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!
13. Visit a 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!
14. Sit back and enjoy a Frappe
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.
15. 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!
Kolimbithres is a beach nearby to the town of Naousa is a beautiful beach that is completely 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.
17. Piso Livadi
Piso Livadi is another picturesque fishing port with a cute and quiet beach. This area also has numerous greek tavernas famous for their seafood pulled straight from nearby.
There is also a great live music bar that comes alive at night here!
18. 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 out of 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 things there are to do here.
19. Eat all the Greek Food
One of my favorite things to do in Paros and all of Greece for that matter 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 was when we got out own food and enjoyed a night in. It’s cheaper and a good way to eat like the Greeks!
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 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.
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 require 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 here if you’re in a hurry. If you get in an accident or our fulled over without an IDP you may be subject to a steep fine in the EU.
Most car rental companies in Greece will require you to be 21 and to have held a license in your home country for a year. If you are under 25 you may face additional charges. Here are some sites to compare prices on:
- RentalCars.com: Provides comparisons for car rentals in Greece.
- AutoEurope: I can often find deals here for car rentals in Europe.
- Discover Car Hire: Searches rental car prices around the globe.
How to Get to Paros?
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 just to be safe.
You can get to Paros by either boat or plane. 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 airport.
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, but also 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.
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.
Where to Stay in Paros?
Plan and Pack for Greece
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem in Greece so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps here is perfectly safe to drink. We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well.
However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
A cover-up is one of those beach vacation clothes you should always travel within your luggage. When packing for a day at the beach, make sure you don’t forget one. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays.
Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit, so this is where the cover-up is essential. Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa.
This all depends on where you’re heading to the beach, but a portable Bluetooth speaker is great to have when you’re in a group. We travel with a small BOOM speaker and take it with us when it feels appropriate. We say this because it’s often best to leave it at home on small secluded beaches so not to annoy anyone else with your music — no one’s that good of a DJ.
Of course, what you wear all depends on where you live! For those heading to Greece in the Spring or Fall, you may want something a little warmer. For those days we always reach for a warm fleece jacket.
Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut that has a timeless look for a walk on the beach or evening bonfire. It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable.
If you’re wondering what travel necessities to bring to Greece then good walking shoes should be your top concern.
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or live close to the beach. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage. For family beach goers I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Greece. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
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