An Insider Travel Guide to Paros, Greece

An under-the-radar Greek island that offers a worthy alternative to the tourist mayhem of Mykonos, Paros is one of the most enchanting archipelagoes in the Cyclades. Nestled next to Naxos in the heart of the Aegean Sea, Paros boasts remote beaches, authentic villages, buzzy nightlife, and ancient Byzantine relics that will captivate history enthusiasts. Read on for our definitive guide to this up-and-coming destination.

Where to Stay:

Andronis Minois

The island’s newest hotel, Andronis Minois, is nestled on the east coast of Paros in the tranquil area of Parasporos, promising laid-back luxury. As a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels, this 44-suite property excels on all hospitality fronts with its guest suite’s minimalist chic design to its open-air restaurant, Olvo, helmed by Head Chef Anastasios Tsantilas, and its captivating oceanfront location along the Mediterranean Sea with a lounge-worthy centerpiece lido.

Cosme, a Luxury Collection Resort, Paros

Located on a quiet bay along the pear-shaped island’s buzzy port town of Naousa, Cosme, a Luxury Collection Resort, stands out as one of the most fashionable stays in all of Paros. Its carefully curated suites, enveloped in bold Cycladic architecture elegantly exude a posh, neutral flair. Plus, an uber-cool half-moon-shaped swimming pool overlooks the resort’s private beach. 

Where to Eat & Drink:

Sigi Ikthios

With a prime location at the heart of Naousa’s fishing port, Sigi Ikthios serves guests a delightful array of light yet flavorful dishes, including perfectly grilled octopus, farm-fresh Greek salads, fried filo-wrapped feta cheese cubes, and piping hot orzo pasta garnished with shrimp fresh off the boat. Its location also provides the perfect vantage point for a night out in Naousa, sipping seaside cocktails under the moonlight.

Taverna Mouragio

Perched along the cerulean blue waters of Paroikia Bay, Taverna Mouragio is another of Paros’ enchanting eateries that immerse you in the essence of Greece. Traditional comfort food meets light and airy dishes: think spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), portokalopita (orange cake), fried calamari, and charred sea bass. Plus, the restaurant is set up to give you a front-row seat to a classic Paros sunset.

Mr E Restaurant

The esteemed Michelin-awarded chef Thanos Feskos oversees the indoor-outdoor restaurant at the luxury hotel Parilio, where you want to start your day. From hearty comfort food to vegan and super-healthy options, locally inspired Mediterranean fare complements this minimalist environment.

Where to Visit:

Stroll around the Old Port of Naousa

Naousa, an old fishing harbor on the northern coast of Paros, is undoubtedly the island’s most charming village, brimming with shops, restaurants, and nightlife spots. For those who love shopping, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge at Angel’s Paros, Birdies, and Salt Water, perfect for curating your European summer capsule wardrobe. For souvenirs, pop into TANTANHC, where you’ll find beautifully crafted ceramics, paintings, and more.

Explore the Medley of Beaches in Paros

Paros boasts an abundance of breathtaking beaches, and the ideal way to bask in the Mediterranean sun and sand is by reserving lounge chairs at one of the numerous beach clubs. Among them, Zazala Beach Bar & Restaurant is nestled on a serene cove in Parasporos, while Monastiri Paros Beach Club supplies sunbeds along Monastiri Beach, once the island’s most renowned shore on the north end.

Visit Lefkes and Hike the Ancient Byzantine Road

Lefkes, the historic agricultural village that served as Paros’ capital during the Middle Ages, is an authentic town nestled in the mountains and well worth a visit. Embark on the 1,000-year-old Byzantine Road, a 3.7-mile path that starts in Lefkes and leads you eastward to the village of Prodromos, offering panoramic views of Paros and the Aegean Sea along the way. 

Credit: Britney Eschelman

Paros’ Main Port and Current Captial, Parikia

Parikia, the main town and ferry arrival point from Athens and nearby Cycladic islands, is a classic Greek village with narrow pedestrian streets lined with quintessential white-washed houses. It’s home to Panagia Ekatontapiliani, also known as the Church of 100 Gates or Panagia Katapoliani. According to legend, the hundredth gate will open when Istanbul becomes Greek again, a status it last held in 1453.

Take a Ferry to Antiparos

The 10-minute ferry ride from Paros to Antiparos is worth the trip. Paros’ rugged sister island is a gem with secret beaches—including Soros Beach, Fanari Beach, and Faneromeni Beach—and ancient stalagmite formations. It hosts one of the oldest caves, the Antiparos Cave, dating back 45 million years, where an ancient inscription reveals that Archilochos the Parian, a great lyric poet of antiquity, visited the site.

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