Villages, settlements and secluded dwellings dot the gentle hills and plains of the island and are well worth visiting. Leave your car at the entrance and walk along their narrow streets.
Aliki took its name from the salt marshes near the village and is the ideal destination for family holidays. It is a picturesque fishing village that became a tourist resort because of the natural shelter it offers from winds, and Piso Aliki, the beautiful, long beach with small white pebbles and sea pines.
The taverns lining the pier where fishing boats and recreational vessels moor, offer good food (fish plays a starring role on the menus). There are also café-bars, sports fields and a children's play ground for families. The village is ideally situated for nearby excursions to beaches, such as the four small coves of Faragas with calm waters, which are preferred by those seeking a quieter and less crowded location for a swim.
The B. Skiadas Museum of Cycladic Folklore acquaints visitors with the history and traditions of Paros and the Aegean. Visitors are also likely to enjoy one of the three festivals at Aliki: Ai Yiannis Kleidonas in June, Sotiros (6 August) and Stavros (14 September).
Drios is a small village that extends along the southeast coast of Paros, nestled among low vegetation and crops. There is a small pier on the shore and a narrow beach, with small pebbles, that widens nearer to the pier. There are a few hotels and rooms, some of which are right on the sand of the beach. Drios was the ancient port of Paros.
Drios is still one of the greenest villages on Paros, with impressive (compared to the Cycladic norm) clusters of trees and large sea pines on both beaches on either side of the port. Sites in the area include the cave of the demons with stalagmites and stalactites, the lakes of Drios and the ancient shipsheds, where ships were housed in ancient times. Aspro Chorio is a small, charming settlement above Drios.
There are several small and large sandy beaches near Drios, to suit every taste. Lolantonis, a lovely, sandy beach with turquoise water and large sea pines is to the south of the village. There are taverns on the hill above the beach with a very nice view.
Below the marble quarries, on the eastern slope of the mountain, is one of the "balconies" of Paros: the village of Kostos. It is a small, quaint village with white houses, churches and narrow streets calling out to visitors to take a short walk. Sites include the church of Agios Panteleimonas, the patron of the village, which is situated next to a little park. The churches of Agia Marina and Anastasi are also found in the village. Visitors often stop and admire the view over the bay of Molos and the neighboring island of Naxos. The home of the great teacher Athanasios the Parian, who was born in the village, has been preserved and is open to the public. The monument dedicated to him can be found in the center of the village. The old wash houses, which were recently restored, can be found on the outskirts of the Kostos. The settlement of Marathi is nearby. There is a path leading from the settlement to the ancient quarries.
Kostos hosts three festivals, on 24 June in the memory of Athanasios the Parian, on 17 July (Agia Marina) and on 27 July (Agios Panteleimonas).
The main street of the village is named Ramnos, with a few tourist shops and attractions, such as the stunning neoclassical buildings, the House of Literature and the Museum of Cycladic Folklore. Many of the traditional wash houses in the old houses are still used by the women of the village. Locals meet on the main square, near the monument dedicated to the Heroes of war, to talk and have a coffee.
The entire stroll along Ramnos Street boasts an excellent view of the east coast of the island. Agia Triada is at the end of the road, an impressive church constructed of Parian marble in 1835. It features a three-aisle basilica with a raised middle aisle and two bell towers, exquisite examples of work by experienced Parian marble sculptors. Agia Triada is a historical listed monument and one of the churches on Paros that shouldn't be missed.
Lefkes also has other religious monuments worth visiting such as the church of Panagias Ypapantis or "Virgin Mary in the Cells" as the Parians call it, the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, the country chapel of Agias Kyriakis in Pano Lefkes, and many other small country churches.
All houses in the village are clean, whitewashed and overflowing with brightly colored flowers, season permitting. The feast of Karavolas is held in late August, and is one of the biggest celebrations in the Aegean with plenty of food, karavoles (large snails), wine, music and dancing till dawn.
The Byzantine road starts in Lefkes. It is a unique marble-paved path over 1,000 years old that runs parallel to the automobile road and connects Lefkes with the village of Prodromos.
The village of Marmara forms an isosceles triangle on the map with Marpissa and Prodromos. It is near both, but further north. The village took its name from the marble pieces found there, which were used to build the houses.
Make a quick stop on your tour of the island to see the old mansions and churches. Taxiarchis and Kimisi tis Theotokou stand out because of their three distinct bell towers. Pera Panagia, a two-aisle church with three bell towers placed on ancient columns connecting the two aisles, a is just outside Marpissa. One aisle is dedicated to the birth of Theotokos and the other to Agios Nikolaos.
Marpissa is a fairly large village with many accommodation options that allow visitors to tour the many beautiful beaches of the east coast with ease. Piso Livadi is the port of the village. It is built in amphitheater formation on a small hill, where visitors can take yet another walk along quaint streets with an Aegean atmosphere and many houses dating back to the 17th and 18th century.
Attractions in Marpissa include the Peratinos Museum of Sculpture, the large Byzantine church of Metamorphosis and the monument dedicated to Nikolas Stellas. Stellas was a 23-year-old youth who gave his life for the resistance against the German occupation on 22 May 1944. Seek out the small chapel of Evangelismos and peek in to admire the carved, gilded icon screen and bell tower.
One of the most characteristic images of Paros is that of the four windmills in the main square of Marpissa. A path leads from the square to the monastery of Agios Antonios. The monastery is situated on Kefalos Hil, where the view of the sea and the surrounding islands is among the most beautiful of Paros. Kefalos is, in reality, an old extinct volcano. This same hill was once the site of a Venetian castle built by Sommaripa, the overlord of
Paros. It was destroyed in an attack by the pirate Barbarossa after being seized in 1537.
Easter in Marpissa is a unique experience, with the representations of the Passions of Christ on Good Friday and the Easter feast.
The villages of Ambelas, Santa Maria, Ag. Anargyri, Kolybithres and Kamares are nearby, as well as beautiful beaches at Piperi, Fykia, Kolybithres, Monastiri, Ag. Anargyri, Xifara, Lageri, Santa Maria, Ampelas and Damoulis.
Naoussa was built around the port in the Byzantine era. It was fortified by a wall that led to a Venetian bastion (Kastelli), parts of which still stand and are of great historical and archaeological interest. It is worth noting that the port of Naoussa formed the headquarters of the Russian fleet during the occupation of 1770 led by the Orloffs.
Today, the lovely and sheltered port is always filled with fishing boats and fisherman returning with fresh fish and seafood. Naoussa is one of the most beautiful fishing villages in Greece, and retains both its authentic island character and cosmopolitan glamor.
Today, the old warehouses formerly belonging to the fisherman have been turned into taverns, cafés and ouzo restaurants that serve fresh seafood. The cafés and bars create an atmosphere in the evening that attracts people from all over the island, who party until dawn.
Visitors venturing into the heart of Naxos will discover a network of narrow streets, whitewashed and bright, in accordance with the traditional Cycladic style that accentuates the culture of the island and harmoniously unifies the mansions and glory of the past with the modern present.
Residents of Naoussa are lively people who revel in a good party, dance and song. The wine and fish festival is held every summer, on the first Sunday in July. The Koursariki (pirate) night on 23 August is an important celebration with a representation of pirates looting the village and features fireworks and a large feast with plenty of wine and seafood delicacies for everyone.
There are six monasteries around Naoussa, where visitors can admire the ornate icon screens, wall paintings and original architectural style. (Monastery of Loggovardas, Agios Ioannis Detis, Cathedral of the Assumption (Kimisis tis Theotokou), monastery of Agios Athanasios, Agios Georgios medieval church).
The Byzantine and post-Byzantine era is captured by the old houses and small, but historic churches in the general area.
The following sites are also found in Naossa:
Mycenaean acropolis (Koukounaries) - one of the most important archaeological sites in the region, the Mycenaean acropolis built in 1200 BC was found in Koukounaries. Archaeological findings from the excavation are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum.
Early Cycladic cemetery (Plastira) - many interesting idols and graves have been found, whose characteristics indicate that they date back to the early Cycladic period.
Venetian castle fort on the north side of the harbor.
The Folklore Museum of Naoussa exhibits the collection of Doctor Othon Kaparis and also comprises a library, rich photographic archive and some archaeological findings.
The Folklore Collection of Naoussa proudly exhibits male and female dress from various regions of Hellenism and, of course, Paros. There are also everyday objects and old photographs that will introduce visitors to a Paros from another era.
Parikia is the capital of the island, and the center for every activity. It is the commercial and passenger port of the island, the administrative and economic center - a modern town with a powerful past and a promising future.
Parikia was constructed on the site of the ancient city, at the foot of the mountain where the Monastery of Agion Anargyron was built, near the neighboring regions of Krios, Kalami, Papasporos, Kakapetra, Agia Irini, Sotires, Glysidia, Pounta and Kampos. It is assumed that its name dates back to the Byzantine era, from the crofters (called parikous) of the Temple of Ekatontapiliani, many of whom were residents of the island. However, findings from various excavations have proven that Parikia was inhabited in ancient times and its history likely begins much earlier.
Parikia ensures all its guests are comfortably accommodated and offers all the services of a modern city to visitors. Most banks operate branches in Parikia, which also has a post office, health center, travel agencies, automobile and motorcycle rental agencies, and much more. Parikia offers a wide range of accommodation options (from hotels and rented rooms to camping sites in Livadia, Krios and Parasporos), and visitors will find it easy to find the one best suited to their needs.
Walking along the traditional cobblestone streets, reveling in the Cycladic beauty and meeting the hospitable residents is a wonderful experience. There are cafés, bars, crêperies, traditional taverns and restaurants guaranteed to satisfy every taste.
The walk through the old settlement reveals many small surprises. Explore the streets of the old town around the Kastro (castle) and off the coastal road, visit the multitude of small shops, and travel back through the centuries and history of the island through the traditional Cycladic houses, neoclassical mansions, ancient monuments, bridges, fountains and small churches.
When it comes to entertainment, Parikia is second to none. The nightlife of the town comes to life after sunset, at cafés, live music venues and clubs open until dawn. The main event hosted by the town is on 15 August, the feast day of the Temple of Ekatontapiliani, when the entire island descends on Parikia to celebrate.
Guests will definitely find activities to interest them in Parikia, including beautiful beaches and many places to visit.
Places to visit:
The Temple of Ekatontapiliani, one of the most important and well preserved early Christian monuments in Greece, and the largest of its kind.
The Archaeological Museum, which houses collections of Ancient and Classical sculpture, Neolithic, Early Cycladic, Mycenaean and Roman finds, sculptures, architectural elements, urns and Roman mosaic floors.
The Ancient Cemetery was the official cemetery of the ancient town. It covers a very large area and was in use between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD.
The Kastro of Parikia (Castle) The imposing Kastro Hill looms over the port of Parikia, with the ruins of the Venetian castle that was built with the columns from ancient temples and other architectural elements, which are clearly distinguishable.
The ruins of the temple dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Medicine, is delightfully situated in one of the most beautiful locations on Paros, with spectacular views of the Aegean. The Asclepion is perched on the hill of Agia Anna, very near Parikia. The ruins of the temple of Pythion Apollo are in the same area.
Delion, north of the bay of Parikia on a high hill facing Delos, is the temple dedicated to the worship of Delion Apollo. It comprises an enclosure with an altar, the temple of Artemis, sister of Apollo, and a small space for banquets. The Cycladic cemetery was found near Delion (3rd millennium BC).
The Early Christian Basilica
The early Christian three-aisle Basilica is located one kilometer northeast of Parikia, just off the Parikia-Naoussa road.
The Folklore Museum and the Medical Museum
The Dimitrakopoulos Building in the Old settlement exhibits items that take visitors back in time.
There are approximately 40 churches worth visiting in the wider area around the castle.
Parikia, or Parkia, with its old town, beautiful houses that tell centuries old tales, hidden inner garden courtyards, narrow, winding streets and bold architectural statements in every corner, is sure to enchant visitors.
The town, bustling marketplace and unique Byzantine temple of Panagia of Ekatontapiliani are well worth the walk, which is surprisingly charming.
Logaras beach, with golden sand and natural shade under the sea pines across the top for early visitors, is next to the port with taverns and bars.