Wherever you choose to go on Paros, you are sure to discover interesting... themes! An island with natural beauty and remarkable human creations! Beaches, villages, museums, churches, environmental activities and cultural pursuits. The island continues to reveal the pleasantest of surprises.
A first visit is just the beginning!
Folklore Collection of Naoussa, Paros
(of the Music and Dance Troupe of Naoussa, Paros)
Naoussa is, in and of itself, an incredible attraction. The picturesque village, with whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets, the quaint little port and churches is a destination that can't be missed. When you arrive in Naoussa, take some time to tour the museum created by an initiative of the Music and Dance Troupe of Naoussa, Paros, which is situated in a traditional house donated by Konstantinos and Marouso Roussos.
Collections include male and female costumes from various regions of Greece (Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly) and, naturally, Paros. There is also a small collection of underclothes from Paros and everyday utensils and furniture. In addition, the museum exhibits linen and fine, hand-crafted embroidered pieces. One of the rooms is a fully equipped typical Parian kitchen, filled with authentic objects over 100 years old.
Incredible, genuine pieces from a bygone era beg to be inspected!
Journey through Time
Keen observers can identify the rocks used thousands of years ago in the Paleolithic era by the first inhabitants of the island among the stone walls and fields. They lived in small groups, in the Cave of Demons on the Ai Yiorgi hill in Lagada and in other natural shelters. The remains of a Neolithic settlement was discovered on the islet of Saliagos (in the strait between Paros and Antiparos), which dates back to 4300-3900 BC. Its people were fishermen, hunters and farmers, who had a sense of adventure.
Small villages were built at the Kastro of Parikia, in Drios, Pyrgaki, Glyfa, Aliki (Avyssos) and near Kolybithres of Naoussa in the Cycladic era between 3200 BC and 2000 BC.
Minoan traders came to the island, which formed close ties with Crete between 2000 BC and 1500 BC, but did not leave their mark, despite the fact that Paros was called Minois or Minoa at the time. The island has also been called several other names in its long history, such as: Paktia, Dimitrias, Yria, Yliessa, Plateia and Kavarnis.
Ruins of a Myceneaean acropolis were discovered on Koukouaries hill, near Naoussa and at the castle of Parikia. The movement of tribes unsettled the Aegean region, and Paros was occupied by the Arcadians, led by Paros son of Parrasios, from whom the island took its name. The Arcadians and the newcomers from the Ionian, who arrived on the island in the world of Homer, inter-married.
The poet Archilochus the Parian was born in the 7th century BC, when Paros developed into a considerable naval force, which established colonies in Thassos, Propontida, Parion and Faron in the Adriatic Sea.
In 600 BC, Paros minted its own currency. The Hellenic religion of the Dodecatheon was practiced on the island, proof of which was found in the ruins of the temples of Eileithyia, Ypatos Dios, Aphrodite, Delion, Asclepion and Pythion Apollo on the hills surrounding Parikia. The Archaeological Museum of Paros houses exhibits from all historical eras.
The quarry in Marathi continues to extract marble. Paros is experiencing an economic and artistic boom. The Parian marble Lychnitis is in high demand and important works are produced by Parian sculptors such as Skopas and Agorakritos The main town of Paros has 50,000 residents and beautiful marble buildings including a school, theater and stadium.
In the 3rd century BC, Parian craftsmen built Delos with Parian marble, while Milos purchased marble from Paros in order to sculpt the Venus de Milo (Louvre Museum). The Parian Chronicle (Oxford, England) was drafted. And then the decline began. The Cyclades became an exile for enemies of Rome.
The Byzantine era succeeded the Roman era, and the Temple of Panagia of Ekatontapiliani, a monument of Orthodoxy, was built in Parikia, as were the Three Churches, at a distance of 1 km. from Parikia on the road to Naoussa. Christianity dominated Paros from the 3rd century AD.
The Venetian era followed, and the Sanoudos family ruled Paros for 200 years. The family was based in Parikia and built the Kastro (castle). The Kastro of Naoussa (or Kastelli, at the port of the village) was constructed in the same period, as was the castle of Kefalos (on Agios Antonios hill in Marpissa). Parian marble began traveling again, this time to Venice, and Paros flourished again.
In 1537, the island was decimated by pirate raids led by Barbarossa. The Parians continued to live in fear of the pirates. A short time later, the island was conquered by the Turks. New villages were built (Lefkes, Kostos, Marmara).
In 1774, the Russians arrived on Paros, harbored their fleet in Naoussa, on the Agia Kalis islet, and established camps, warehouses, hospitals and shipyards on the island. Paros became the center for the Russian Domination under the Orloffs. Paros played an active role in the Revolution of 1821, and the war heroine Manto Mavrogenous lived on the island. The island became part of the free Greek state. An important island culture developed.
After the end of World War II, the Parians were forced to migrate, first to Piraeus and then abroad. A new period of development began on Paros in 1970, which focused primarily on tourism.
While walking along the narrow streets of Parikia, be sure to stop in the Y. Gikas Public Library, and dive into 8,000 years of history.
The Mycenaean Acropolis at Koukounaries
The Mycenaean Acropolis is located on the rocky Koukounaries Hill. The important settlement was built in 1200 BC, with a palace and fortified with "cyclopean" walls. The settlement was destroyed by fire after an attack and siege and was abandoned. A portion of the settlement was inhabited again for a brief period in 1100 BC. A new town flourished in the Geometric period (10th-8th centuries BC) and the Temple of the Goddess Athena was constructed.
Regardless the season, Kolybithres and the Myceneaen acropolis at Koukounaries are worth visiting for the pure splendor of nature. It is easy to comprehend why our ancestors chose to build in the most beautiful locations!
Kolybithres - Koukounaries
Kolybithres is, deservedly, one of the best known beaches of Greece. It is located on the northwest coast of Paros, on the west side of the bay of Naoussa. The landscape is impressively wild, lunar and rocky.
Strangely shaped granite rocks "descend" from the hills to the sea, rocks on the barren mountain, with stones and stone walls. Smooth, almost spherical rocks form a peculiar site that stretches down to the sea. Sculpted by the wind and sea, with holes, the rocks embody a unique sculptural aesthetic. Between the rocks, the sand forms small beaches and sea as smooth as glass. Crystal clear waters glimmer in all shades of blue, to the delight of visitors.
The nearby island of Antiparos (Ancient Greek: Oliaros) should not be missed. Next to Paros, with frequent ferry services, Antiparos has attracted foreign and Greek visitors for many years. Small boats depart regularly from Parikia (journey time approx. 1/2 hour) and ferries every 15 minutes from the port of Pounta (journey time approx. 10 minutes), ensuring the island is easy to access.
There is a reliable bus service on the island for visitors arriving on foot. The walk through the main settlement is an unforgettable experience.
The small picturesque village has lovely Cycladic houses. There is a Venetian castle in the historic center of the settlement, constructed in 1140 to protect the inhabitants from pirates. The entrance to the castle is next to the church of Agios Nikolaos. Wander along the main shopping street that starts at the port, whose elegant shops will tempt you to enter. Enjoy the hospitality of residents and quality accommodation, restaurants and cafés. In the evening, Antiparos is a worthy adversary for Paros in terms of nightlife. Beaches on Antiparos include: the three Psariliki beaches, the Sifneiko coast and the beach at the Camping site.
Inland, seek out the unparalleled cave of Antiparos, with magnificent stalagmites and history oozing from every pore. Agios Georgios is the second largest village on the island and is located in the west. Visitors should consider visiting the three small uninhabited islands west of Antiparos, which are of significant archaeological interest: Despotiko, Tsimintiri and Stroggylo. Arrangements can be made with the fishing boats in the area to access the islands.