Is Paros worth visiting? It most certainly is! At least we think so, along with the thousands of island hoppers and beach lovers that swing their way each year. You’ll be in good company if you decide to add it to your own Greek odyssey, that’s for sure.
Paros sits in the Cyclades isles – the same chain as Santorini and Milos. It packs in plenty of adventure for the budding explorer, along with the romance of colorful villages, the serenity of local fishing harbors, and a whole load of charming Greek tavernas and bars. It’s established as a water sports hub of the Aegean but also boasts peaceful coves and sand stretches where you can simply soak up the rays from morning until night. Oh, and you can discover thousands of years of history, from Byzantine churches to ancient quarries.
This guide will take you through the twisted streets of Paros’s towns and out to the wave-lapped shores, all to reveal seven reasons why Paros is definitely bucket list contender…
Greece might have its fair share of creepy crawlies, but the butterflies of the Valley of Butterflies in Paros are the sort you’ll actively want to encounter! Situated in Sotires village, just 6km south of Paros’s capital, Parikia, The Valley of Butterflies, also known in Greek as ‘Petaloudes’, is one of the most-visited locations for newcomers to the island.
From mid-May to September, the lush area, full of verdant cypress trees, is home to thousands of beautiful tiger moths. They’re recognizable by their black- and white-striped wings. Exploring, you will meander through the serene valley and gaze at the stunning fliers wrapping around every inch of tree trunk and branch.
To get there, you can travel by bus or car. There are also dedicated excursions from Parikia or the village of Naoussa, which is a little further away on the north coast. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water for the day’s outing.
Here we hop from serene valleys and butterfly walks to unforgettable nights on the town. The truth is that Paros is well known for its lively nightlife. Similar to the islands of Mykonos and Ios, Paros is one of the top destinations in Greece for music, drinks, and parties!
Now, what are you looking for from your night out? If you’re planning for a romantic, upscale date then head to Parikia for sultry jazz and cultured cuisine in the harborside tavernas. For a boisterous evening with friends, Naoussa is the place to be. The clubs and pubs there are rammed into the narrow cobblestone backstreets and will often keep going until the very early hours of the morning.
So, is Paros worth visiting if you’re after dancing sessions set against the beautiful backdrop of the Greek Cyclades? It’s a yes from us!
Paros is perfectly located for launching trips to other Greek islands. There are many organized excursions that will whiz you over to the likes of Mykonos, Delos, Santorini – the list goes on. You can also visit the so-called Small Cyclades, which are the more off-the-beaten-track members of the chain.
There are four main Small Cyclades: Donoússa, Páno Koufoníssi, Skhinoússa, and Irakliá, with four very difficult pronunciations! Each one is completely different but similar in beauty and magnificence. If you are looking for the best beaches, be sure to visit Páno Koufoníssi or Donoússa. For hiking and a breath of fresh air, we would recommend Irakliá. However, if you are planning for a long visit to one of the Cyclades, be sure to book accommodation in advance. Things get busy on all of the above come the summer months especially.
Take a look at some of our favourite excursions from Paros:
- Full-Day Cyclades Sailing Cruise from Paros
- Boat Trip to Mykonos and Delos from Paros
- Full-Day Cruise from Paros to Santorini
Greek wine might not have the same fame as French wine. However, viticulture has always been important to the Greeks, with Paros specializing in red wines made from its famous native Mandelaria grape.
The vineyards of Paros are predominantly situated in the center of the island, around the slopes of the Mount of Profitis Elias. Many vineyards are open for tours, but we’d say the best of them is the Moraitis Winery. Highly recommended by locals in Paros, it was founded in 1910 and offers a museum, wine tastings, and guided tours with delicious Greek snacks to balance out the booze!
Is Paros worth visiting just for the wine? Probably not on its own, but it’s a pretty sweet bonus, eh?
Scuba and snorkeling
It is no secret: Greece is well known for its snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. Young or old, there are centers across Paros that offer courses to everyone interested into the deep blue below.
A diving site in Paros that comes highly recommended is the Bubble Reef, which is suitable for all experience levels, with a depth of 12-18 meters. Here you can witness underwater caves, colorful reefs, and schools of multicolored fish. If you want a side of history with your diving, then there are lots of shipwrecks around the island to explore, including the sunken MS Samina. Dives there will go to 35 meters under, so are only for more qualified scuba practitioners.
Is Paros worth visiting for unspoiled, sandy beaches and crystal-clear shore waters? We’ll leave you be the judge. But in a region that’s famous for its idyllic beaches, Paros certainly has a rep for some of the finest.
The main reason is variety. If you are a fan of geology, rock formations, and Star-Wars-style surroundings, then we recommend a visit to fascinating Kolymbithres. For lots of diving spots, seas perfect for windsurfing, as well as bustling beach bars, go over to Santa Maria. Finally, if all you’re after is a peaceful spot that boasts stunning views of nearby islands, Molos is the place for you!
Paros is steeped in history and culture. Human habitation on the island is thought to date back to 3200BC, and there are countless spots where that’s revealed and preserved between the dusty mountains and the pretty coves.
The Archaeological Museum of Paros is a great place to get to know the rich history of the island and the stories it holds. It’s especially famous for busts and statues made from the local Parian marble – the same stone that was used to craft the gorgeous Venus de Milo (arguably Greece’s most iconic piece of ancient art). We’d also recommend a stop at the Paros Agios Ioannis Detis church, which soars dramatically above the bay in Naoussa.
In addition to visiting historic sites, there are other cultural experiences you can immerse yourself in on the island of Paros. Throughout the year, the island holds a variety of festivals and cultural events that pull you into the local community, from exciting music to historic processions.
So, is Paros worth visiting?
Is Paros worth visiting? Only if you desire delicious wines, diving in crystal seas to explore shipwrecks, and to step back in time to encounter Byzantine relics and ancient statues! So, yep – it’s a pretty awesome place. We’ve only touched on seven points, but there are many more to discover during a visit to the beautiful island of Paros.