Paros: White & Flawless
Set in the center of the Cyclades, Paros is the third largest island of the archipelago. Like a piece of Parian marble, dazzling white and flawless, it shines among the islands of the Cyclades. And just like a piece of marble, waiting patiently for the inspired hands of a talented sculptor, Paros is waiting for enthusiastic visitors willing to reveal its extraordinary beauty. The island charms with its simplicity: narrow streets, traditional Cycladic houses with large windows and churches with cute bell towers.
The island is located to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a narrow 6 km long and 3 m wide strait. Paros lies 90 km from Piraeus. Its coast stretches for more than 120 km. The island's population is about 14 000 people. The dominant geographical location of the island in the central part of the Aegean Sea, the crossroads of maritime routes connecting mainland Greece with the islands of the archipelago, the coast of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region, in ancient times was the basis for the development of the island.
The residents of Paros are engaged mainly in fishing, agriculture, animal breeding and tourism. Excellent quality olive oil, Parian graviera cheese, honey, wine, pottery and souvenirs belong to famous local products. The main street of Parikia – the capital of Paros is a top spot for picking up local gifts. For fine pottery go to Lefkes Village.
In the last decade, Paros , the island with a four thousand year history, has become a large tourist center. Today it is a picturesque, cosmopolitan and at the same time romantic island with the beautiful sandy coastline, olive and palm trees, and the scent of cumin in the air. You will definitely find a beach to your liking: there’re secluded and organized, pebbly and sandy, family or romantic shores. Comfortable hotels, fine restaurants offering fine local, European and Oriental fare, sports facilities, a swim school, diving and sailing centers, a tennis academy and a large water park with 13 water slides are at your disposal. International windsurfing and kitesurfing competitions are held in Paros. You can enjoy a portfolio of sports like horseback riding, climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
For vibrant nightlife go to Parikia and Naoussa.
Intricate Blend of Old and New
Parikia is the capital of the island, built on the west coast, around a large and safe harbor. The name comes from the word "pariki", which means "to cultivate the land." At every step you will find restaurants, taverns and eateries that will satisfy the most discerning palate. Cafes and bars are conveniently located on the promenade. In the old town, around Castro (Palea Agora) and on the coastal streets scatter numerous shops. The island is connected with many of the islands of the Cyclades. From Piraeus you can reach it by high-speed vessels in 2, 5 hours. By plane from Athens you will get there in 30 minutes. The urban infrastructure meets all the needs of a modern traveler. Dozens of hotels and campgrounds (Livadia, Krios, Parasporos) offer accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.
Dazzling white with a slight pink tinge, the Parian marble lets sun rays go to a depth of 4 cm, which results in the unique translucent effect. Perfectly polished, it becomes an ideal material for the creation of magnificent temples and sculptures. The marble has been a source of income and wealth to Paros for many centuries and brought him great wealth and fame.