30+ Things to Do in Paros in 2024 For All Interests

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If you’re considering adding Paros to your list of Greek islands to visit then rest assured there’s plenty to do. The best time to go is during the summer months when you can enjoy beautiful beaches and good food and take advantage of the wind and waves with some water sports.

In the winter, Paros is much quieter and a number of activities don’t run. However, you can still hike ancient paths, visit traditional villages and make a trip to the museums.

Below I’ve listed the best things to do, the best places to go and the best beaches to enjoy during your trip to Paros island.

Visit Bustling Paroikia

Paroiki (sometimes spelt Parikia) is the main town / main village on the island and will be your first stop if you arrive on the ferry. Because it’s the main port, the town can get busy, particularly in the high season since it’s becoming quite a popular destination.

1. Get Lost In The Whitewashed Alleyways

But it’s a lovely place to stroll through with whitewashed alleyways, bright bougainvillaea trees and cafes set out on the street.

Live your Greek island bucket list life and wander down the pretty, narrow, bougainvillaea-arched streets. There are picture-perfect spots at every turn and lots of little shops, art galleries, cafes and tavernas to discover.

2. Stop At The Frankish Castle And Temple Of Athena

Amongst the boutique purchases and Greek coffees, navigate your way to the traditional centre of Paroikia. You’ll find the – limited – remains of the Frankish Castle and the Temple of Athena (where the Church of Agios Konstantinos now stands).

There’s literally only a wall left of the castle but it’s quite appealing to look at. The castle was built from upcycled materials from the ancient temples so it looks a bit unusual.

Round the corner, the Church of Agios Konstantinos (actually two inter-connected churches. The one at the front with the bell tower and the one with the blue dome behind) is built on the site Archaic Temple Of Athena. There’s not much left of the temple. But you can see some of the original stones still there.

It’s a pretty spot with a nice sea and sunset view so worth passing when you’re nearby.

3. Find Calm In The Church Of The Virgin Mary Ekatontapyliani

Right in Paroikia port, this beautiful church – the church of one hundred doors – is a special place and a quality venue to visit. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved Christian temples in Greece.

The tradition around its name is that there are 99 open doors within the church and one more that is secret and closed. The hundredth door will open when Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (that Greeks still refer to as Constantinople) reverts back to being a Greek Orthodox Church.

The external Byzantine masonry is stunning. But inside is where things get most impressive (although you won’t find 99 doors…).

The modern church has been added over time to the original section which was built in the 4th Century. This part is very ornate and really quite huge. It’s interesting to walk on the plush carpet and look at the icons, decorative detail and different areas of the church.

The stones that make up the earlier part of the church are fascinating to look at. When Christians built their churches it was common for them to take stone from the ancient temples. That happened here and you can see the repurposed stone and the Greek temple aspects.

This church is open from 7am – 8pm in the winter and a little longer in summer. Dress appropriately (skirts for women and covered shoulders, trousers that cover the knee for men).

4. Visit Paros Archaeological Museum

Just a few minutes’ walk from Ekatontapyliani is the Archaeological Museum. I’m not big on museums but I enjoyed this one. Again, it transports you to another era, and the marble statues and other pieces are fascinating.

There’s also the Byzantine Museum connected to the church if it’s open in the season that you visit.

5. Flop On A Beach By The Port

There are a few different beaches in, and easily accessible from Paroikia. Paroikia Beach is a long stretch of sand within easy walking distance. Obviously, with its proximity, it can get busy.

A bit further round the bay, Krios and Marcello Beaches run into each other. Again, they can get busy in the high season, but they’re lovely spots to enjoy shallow waters and a view of the port. You can either drive round the road or take the boat taxi from Paroikia.

6. Walk To Agios Fokas

Another option if it’s not too hot is to take a stroll from Livadia Beach in Paroikia to Agios Fokas. It’s the church you can see across the bay from Paroikia Port and has a great view of Paroikia.

You’ll pass Krio and Marcello and some other little beaches. Choose one to stop at after your walk. Then have lunch and get the boat taxi back. Or go in the evening to watch the sunset.

7. See The View From Delion Apollo Sanctuary

If you’ve been out to Marcello Beach by road, then you might have noticed a sign for Delion Apollo Sanctuary. Unless you’re a real history buff then you might not be over-excited about the site.

The sanctuary isn’t like ancient sanctuaries in Naxos that still have some columns and structures. Unless you know what you’re looking at, then Delion Apollo is just some stones on the ground. You can see some foundations but that’s it.

However, the view is worth the 45-minute hike up from Paroikia. (You can also drive up and then walk the last few minutes up to the top.) I went in the winter and it was rather overcast so in summer it’ll be even more stunning. You get a great 360 of the island.

Experience Chic Naoussa

Another popular spot is Naoussa village in the north of the island.

8. Explore the Maze-Like Streets

Naoussa has a touch of Mykonos about it with its boutiques and prosecco bars, but compared with Paroikia, it’s still a sleepy fishing village.

There are some lovely little boutiques, bars and street art to discover. It’s a good place to find some unique souvenirs and gifts to take back.

9. Visit the Venetian Castle Photo Spot

Go to see the remains of the Naoussa Venetian castle (a great spot for photos) and the small boats tied up in the harbour. Stay long enough to sample some of the best restaurants on the island.

10. Have Dinner at a Waterfront Restaurant

There are several great restaurants in Paros and a favourite location is by the harbour in Naoussa. It’s lovely at sunset but make a reservation in the peak months.

11. Enjoy the Nightlife

Some see Paros Island as an alternative to Mykonos. Somewhere to party with smaller crowds. If that’s your plan, stick around Naoussa. You’ll find bars and clubs where you can crink champagne and cocktails and party until dawn.

In Paroikia, the nightlife is less intense, but there are plenty of places to enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets. And do enjoy the sunsets, Paros has lovely ones.

Explore the Smaller Traditional Villages

Although Paroikia and Naoussa are the two main villages that people visit on a trip to Paros, there are lots of other beautiful villages which are a joy to discover. Visiting can be a great idea to retreat from the peak season crowds.

12. Enjoy a Coffee on the Square in Lefkes

13. Visit Pretty Marpissa

A Winter Sunset in Paros

Other Fun and Cultural Things to Do in Paros

14. Go to An Open-Air Cinema

If you fancy a night at the cinema you can watch a film under the stars at the open-air cinema. Paros actually has two outdoor cinemas, Cine Rex Plus in Paroikia and the Cine Enastron at Paros Environmental Park above Naoussa.

The one at the park shows more classic films (showings at 9pm and entry is free) while Cine Rex has more up-to-date releases (screenings are usually around 9pm and 11pm with 7.50 entry although double check when you go as it can change with long films).

The Byzantine Route Paros

15. Visit Agios Anotinios Monastery

This might sound like an odd thing to do on holiday but Greece is an Orthodox country and full of churches and monasteries. This one on a hill at Marpissa village is worth visiting for the view alone. I thought it was a beautiful place and enjoyed the serenity of the leafy trees.

I’ve got more details in this post about short walks on Paros. It’s a bit of a sweat to get up the hill (unless you drive the first part), but you’re rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of Paros, the Aegean Sea and nearby islands.

As well as the beautiful views there’s a Byzantine church to see and then the monastery itself.

Agios Anotinios Monastery

16. Chill on the Beach

Paros beaches are the perfect place to flop if all you want to do is relax. Beaches in the north tend to be quieter than ones elsewhere and the best way to get to them is by car.

But there are lots of sandy beaches to discover on Paros. Some natural and some organised with beach bars, beds and umbrellas for an extra cost. Prices in 2022 were noticeably more expensive than in other years (another little sign of Mykonosification!)

17. Visit Butterfly Valley

If you’re visiting Paros between June and September then you can visit the Valley of the Butterflies. For over 100 years these Jersey Tiger Moths have made their way to this spot in the Cyclades Islands for the last phase of their life.

It’s a bit sad but beautiful too. Don’t go expecting some big butterfly farm but enjoy a cool, peaceful oasis in the midst of all the busyness.

18. Visit a Folklore Museum

Aliki in the south and Marpissa in the middle of the island both have Folklore Museums if you’re interested in those.

Foodie Things to Do in Paros

Paros has some wonderful restaurants but this beautiful island offers more ways for you to sample local produce.

19. Take an Organic Farm Tour

An organic farm tour is a great thing to experience in Paros. You’ll see how Kamarantho and Petra Farms take advantage of the island’s microclimate and pair it with sustainable and organic farming methods to produce wonderful Mediterranean crops.

Take one of their tours and then get to sample produce like olives, capers, oregano, lavender, figs, grapes and organic wine.

Petra Farm above Kolymbithres runs a 30-minute farm tour that can be customised for more interaction if you want it (eg feed the chickens or pick some of the produce).

Kamarantho Farm near Aliki also has a 30-minute tour that showcases its wonderful array of fruit trees and medicinal herbs amongst other crops.

20. Enjoy a Winery Tour

Ktima Roussos at Asteras is a new and growing winery near Naoussa that’s open for visits all year round.

For a truly local experience, completely different to formal wine tasting tours that you find throughout the Cyclades, seek out Katikia near Maratha. You’ll be immersed in tradition and local culture with music, homemade wine and homegrown products.

21. Do a Micro Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting

If you’re into craft beers you need to visit 56 Isles for a tasting. The award-winning beer is made from Parian wheat and you might come across it in some of the island’s restaurants.

Active Things to Do in Paros

22. Walk the Byzantine Road

The Byzantine Road is an ancient marble road through the olive trees. It’s connected villages since ancient times when islanders travelled only by foot or by donkey.

The route is a really pleasant walk from Holy Trinity Church in the picturesque village of Lefkes to the lovely Prodromos. And it’s one of the top things I’d recommend doing. It’s a great way to see some history and a couple of traditional villages in one go.

23. Hike Across the Island

Sticking with the walking theme, there are opportunities for hiking on Paros. If you’re not a serious hiker then check out these 5 Short & Enjoyable Walks with Great Views.

If you’re after something longer then the signature walking route is the 20km trek from Paroikia to Piso Livadi could be for you. There are some other shorter routes but my main complaint is there aren’t many circular routes.

In the summer, that’s not such an issue, but in the winter, it makes transport logistics a bit trickier. You can pick up a hiking map at the International Press Shop at Paroikia Port.

24. Cycle in Paros

With Paros Cycling at Aliki Beach in the south of the island, you can rent a bike for a trip or your whole holiday and join a cycling tour paced from leisurely to advanced.

25. Try The Watersports

Thanks to the strong winds that Paros experiences, it’s a great place for watersports.

Paros Cycling in Aliki also offers lessons in Stand Up Paddle Boarding and kayaking. If you already know what you’re doing then you can join a SUP or kayak tour with them.

At Golden Beach and Punda Beach, you can do waterskiing, various boarding sports, SUP and fun tubing activities with Awake Paros.

26. Rent a Boat

If you’re feeling brave you can hire a boat and take yourself on your own voyage of discovery around Paros island. Rent from The Sailor’s Ride, no license required.

27. Explore Environment Park

Paros Park is in the peninsula above Naoussa. It’s a recreation park with trails, a beach with a cafe, outdoor cinema and a lighthouse to explore. There’s also a monastery just near the entrance and the park hosts cultural events throughout the summer.

Wellness Travel in Paros

The island of Paros presents a great opportunity for treatments and activities to add relaxation and rejuvenation.

28. Have a Traditional Greek Massage

Have a traditional Greek massage at Exymno Anatripsis in Naoussa. Alternatively choose from a wide variety of options at Tao’s centre (I can recommend the Thai Yoga Massage).

29. Take a Pilates Class

Several Pilates studios operate on the island during summer.

30. Join a Yoga Class or Retreat

You’ll find yoga classes and retreats on the island, too.

Day Trips from Paros

31. Spend The Day Exploring

Hop to Antiparos and See Antiparos Cave

Antiparos is a small island next to Paros. Unless you’re arriving by helicopter the only way to access it is via Paros. There are boats daily from Paroikia port and Punta (near to Paroikia, not to be confused with Punda Bay further up the island).

It only takes about 7 minutes to get to Antiparos from Punta so it’s an easy day trip with multiple ferries running daily. The cave is a popular attraction as are the hiking routes and beautiful beaches.

Antiparos is easy to get to in winter with very regular daily ferries. The cave is open until the end of October.

Beach Tour Boat Trip

There are lots of boat trips to choose from. You can stay close by and just be transported around three of the top beaches with drinks and local delicacies for you to relax with on the boat. Rofos Paros runs trips from Aliki.

Or you can head over to the various swim spots between Paros, Antiparos and uninhabited Despotikó. And get to explore various sea caves along the way. Boats leave daily from Naoussa and Paroikia.

Boat Trip to the Smaller Cyclades

During the summer, you have the opportunity to take a boat trip beyond Antiparos and Naxos. The Smaller Cyclades are quiet islands with beautiful beaches. Captain Yannis does an excellent trip to Koufonisia from Piso Livadi.

Visit Decadent Mykonos and Sacred Delos

A trip to Mykonos and Delos makes for a long day. But if you’re not stopping at Mykonos on your trip I think it’s a good one to do if you have the time.

Get just a taste of Mykonos without being swept up the hedonism and get to see one of the most important archaeological sites at the heart of the Cyclades. Delos is quite an amazing place and worth making a trip to.

Captain Yannis (below) also does trips just to Delos if you want to skip Mykonos altogether.

Naxos Day Trip from Paros

Next door to Paros is Naxos, the biggest island in the Cyclades. There’s a lot to see and do on Naxos and it’s worth a good few days on its own. Definitely stay overnight if you can but if not, then you can hop over in the morning and then return to Paros in the evening.

You could explore some of the lovely villages or climb Mount Zas if you’re a hiker. The museums stay open through the winter and it’s nice to see the Temple of Apollo and the Sanctuaries of Demeter and Dionysis.

Santorini Day Trip from Paros

This is ferry-schedule dependent, and I think it’s best in the winter, but I got it to work in February 2022. I got an early Saturday morning ferry to Santorini that arrived about 11am and then took the 7pm ferry back to Paros.

Use Ferryhopper.com to find the schedules running for the dates you visit. (Note that in the winter, the schedules are only put out about a month in advance, sometimes even week to week, and are weather-dependent.)

Although most things are closed in winter, the views are not. I went on a beautiful day for hiking (15C and not a cloud in the sky) and walked the caldera. It worked perfectly with the timing but you could equally spend time wandering the streets of the various pretty villages. Plus, the museums are open throughout the year.

What Not to Do In Paros

Ancient Sites

Around Paros, you’ll see some brown heritage signs directing you to various ancient sites. On the whole, I’d say don’t bother with them unless you’re really into history.

There’s generally no information telling you what you’re looking at and the temple you were expecting to see is just a few bricks in the ground.

In the hiking section above I’ve included a short walk to the Sanctuary of Apollo. However, I’d say just go for the view, you won’t see much of the temple remains, although perhaps you’ll pick up on the energy of the area.

Marble Quarries

Marble Quarries

I was disappointed to find that the well-signed ancient marble quarries at Marathi were completely fenced off. There’s a nice path to the caves but you can’t get anywhere near the quarries. The rock is pretty to look at, but don’t expect any type of adventure.

If you’re passing, you could visit the workshop down the footpath where items are made out of the Parian marble.

30+ Things to Do in Paros in 2024 For All Interests

Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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