The island of Paros
Already in ancient history Paros was famous for its semi-transparent marble, which is still quarried today. Parikia, the capital, is one of the main harbours of the Cyclades with frequent connections to almost all other islands. The island lies within approx. 2,5 hours (with a high-speed boat) or 4 hours (normal ferry) distance from Piraeus.
Paros Island has a lot to offer its visitors! Whether you prefer a quiet, peaceful holiday enjoying the beautiful nature and traditional Greek atmosphere, an active or educational one, or you would just like to party, you'll definitely find what you are looking for! The infrastructure is very good, the main road around the island being about 72 km long and well sign-posted, which makes it ideal to go discovering the island by yourselves!
Paros has many beautiful sandy beaches for all tastes. Some are hidden, tiny little bays, enclosed by extraordinarily "sculptured" rocks ("Kolimbithres"), others are long and wide. The typical countryside with its gentle, terraced hills and magnificent rock formations, endless vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees is overwhelming. In the spring, the island is completely green, with flowers growing everywhere!
There is a large number of attractive villages in the traditional Cycladic style. Their glowing white houses along labyrinth like streets, decorated with arches, pretty balconies, Greek pottery, bright flowers and fragrant herbs will make you wander around and get lost, discovering one postcard theme after the other. Paros also has an incredible amount of picturesque churches, chapels and monasteries, likewise windmills, and you stumble across historical remains wherever you go, some of them of great significance in Greek History.
There are plenty of tasteful little shops offering Greek souvenirs, jewellery and other beautiful things, but not too many of them. As they are evenly spread out between grocery stores, little super markets, bakeries etc., you can experience every day Greek life and atmosphere at the same time. There are no "ghettos" or multi-story hotels destroying the its beauty and original character. Nor have the hospitality and friendliness of the local people diminished through rapid growth of tourism during the past years. You will still have those remarkable little experiences like Greeks inviting you into their homes for a coffee and telling you the most interesting stories...!
Parikia, also called Paros-Town, is the capital of the island and its main port. The town lies spread out in a bay on the West Coast. When you arrive with the ferry you are welcomed by a beautiful view - Parikia settled directly on the waterfront around the harbour (and its main centre and meeting point, the windmill), framed by high hills in the background.
Parikia's heart, the old quarter with its famous "Market Street", lies within an only one-minute walk from the port, behind the main square. You will find many interesting sites to visit in Parikia, for example the 13-th-Century Venetian Castle or the Ancient Cemetery. Roughly, you'll find most of the restaurants and bars down right along the seafront and beaches down left from the centre (talking as if you are facing the town).
Close to the harbour is the main bus station offering connections around the whole island. Nearby you will also find boat taxis to take you to the beaches opposite the harbour.