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Even if you’re only on the island for a short while it’s worth taking a bit of time to see some of Paros’ villages. Most people visiting the island will see Paroikia (where the ferries come in) and Naoussa.
But plan some time to go to at least one of the smaller traditional villages. You’ll see a more authentic Greek experience and discover some gems that other tourists miss.
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Paroikia is the capital and as I mentioned it’s the village you arrive in if you come to Paros by boat. Whitewashed narrow streets showcase typical Cycladic architecture.
Colourful bougainvillaea – and orange trees in winter – create photogenic corners in this Paros village. Sandy beaches are a few steps away, as are ancient sites and churches old and new.
Head behind the port and get lost in the labyrinthine streets. Follow your nose and explore boutiques, art galleries, tavernas and more, as you come across them.
If you want to spend some time here then get some ideas of what to do from this post about the capital.
Some people say that Lefkes is the prettiest of the Paros villages. It’s nestled into a hill in the heart of the island. You’ll find a mix of traditional cube buildings along with others that have a distinct neoclassical influence.
Take the bus or drive and park in one of the car parks above the village. Stroll down through the narrow streets and visit Agia Triada, a beautiful church that watches over the town.
Take a quiet moment to walk through the garden and cemetery at the back. The views as you go up the slope are of the surrounding lush countryside.
Wind your way back and have a drink at the taverna or cafe in the main square. From here you can walk 45 minutes to pretty Prodromos along the Byzantine Road. It’s a pleasant route along a marble road. You’ll pass olive groves and rocky slopes where goats frolic and feed.
Along the Byzantine Road, you’ll find Prodromos. Another traditional Cycladic village that offers hidden secrets along its maze-like streets.
Find the churches and tavernas and spot one of the Black (blue) Cats of Paros.
Marpissa lies near the popular “resort” of Piso Livadi. The modern buildings along the main road include a large supermarket and a chemist/pharmacy.
But Marpissa’s jewels are hidden from those just passing through. Park in one of the car parks on the other side of the road to the windmill. (One is almost opposite. A bigger one is further along near AB Shop and Go.)
Walk up through the streets and wander without a plan. Agios Antonios church at the top of the hill can be seen from the main road. But there are others tucked away for you to find.
N.B the lady with the highly-Instagrammed pink door above has a collection box outside in the summer for Paroscat. So if you take photos there please make a donation to help look after the island’s cats.
Street art, museums, tavernas and crumbling wild corners are waiting for you to discover.
If you’re feeling energetic then have a climb up to St Antonios Monastery (not to be confused with the church in the village). You can see the monastery buildings perched on the hill opposite the Marpissa village. The first part is a bit steep but then it becomes a lovely shady (uphill) walk with magnificent views.
This fishing village in the north of Paros offers an upmarket experience. Designer boutiques and Prosecco bars line the narrow streets which have a hint of Mykonos about them.
Stay close to the water to discover the highly photographed Venetian castle remains at the port. Take a picture from within the walls and then stroll back along the sea wall to the alfresco cafes.
In the evening walk along the port as the lights begin to twinkle. Head for a prosecco bar then one to one of the many great restaurants before partying the night away at a club.
In contrast to the clubbing nightlife, there is also a number of churches around the village. Faneromeni Church is a beautiful one that’s lovely to go up and see.
How to Get to Paros Villages
If you’re not visiting in the summer season (mid-May until September) you’ll probably need a car (or taxi) to get around the villages. But check the bus timetables for the period you’re visiting.
Alternatively, pick up one of the hiking trails that connects the villages and see them that way. You could walk via the villages back to where you’re staying or arrange for a lift back at the end of your route.