Paros is one of my favourite islands in Greece, and probably one of my top-visited places ever as I’ve been going since I was little. It’s gotten super popular in the last few years, it is a bit of a party place but much less than Mykonos. Usually, younger crowds are the ones that party in Paros, as it’s also cheaper than Mykonos (tbh anything is cheaper than Mykonos!) but it doesn’t mean you have to party! It has a bit of everything and suitable for everyone.
Paros has great food, beautiful beaches, and you can also visit the smaller sister island Antiparos, which has become a boho/chilled and quite popular place to visit. So I wanted to share some recommendations as a travel guide and some pictures from my latest visit.
COVID-19 in Paros
Because I’ve been going for so long, I wanted to talk about the COVID-19 situation and how I experienced it when visiting Paros in August 2020. I took the ferry and would recommend the plane rather than the ferry. The ferry was incredibly crowded even though they were meant to have 60% capacity. In terms of people on the island, there was definitely less people than usual but still LOADS. A mask is mandatory in the ferry even if you are sitting outside and you have to fill out a form prior to your journey that they send you via email. I believe if you can’t print it out, you can be given it on the ferry.
If you go for dinner in Naousa, I recommend having a mask with you for when you walk around as the little streets were still quite crowded. We didn’t love that! If you want to have a drink, you have to book a table well beforehand because you can’t have a drink at the bar any more. Also from the 12th of August, the new government rules have been announced and all the bars and restaurants have to close at midnight. Restaurants were generally being careful though they didn’t all have a big distance between tables, some did, some others not so much.
Where to Eat in Paros
In Paroikia eat at Mira, a modern taverna with traditional Greek food with a twist.
The best in Naousa for food is Marios. Traditional but kinda gourmet. So many amazing dishes: tiropita (cheese pie), zucchini salad and amazing seafood pasta for main. Great for people watching too as it’s in the central hub of Naoussa.
Sigi Ixthyos is also great for food particularly seafood.
Another option is Barbarossa for Greek food. All of these are next to each other in the main food square. The food is decent but it’s also a great atmosphere as you they have a DJ and you can sing while eating, so it’s more about the atmosphere rather than the food if I’m honest.
Great service and delicious food can be found at Statheros. Book a table by the sea side, they have more table on the little street, but the sea side is much nicer! Sharing dishes but the main dishes are of a good size.
Saline, is a new restaurant in the village of Aliki became a new favourite, more of a gourmet choice but very delicious and nice environment. We had a few sharing plates and we enjoyed most of them. There is a certain Asian influence in the food, with yuzu and lemon sauces. The fresh fish was really good.
Siparos is sadly a place I haven’t visited but it’s my friend’s favourite restaurant, so I thought I’d include it (photos taken by my friend). It serves Greek food but it’s not your traditional taverna. It’s by the sea and the environment is amazing. Book early as it’s become quite popular especially for large groups.
Also for dessert go have loukoumades (doughnuts) at To Paradosiako, a must and so delicious! They fry them fresh and they always taste amazing. Have them with honey or chocolate.
Distrato is nice for breakfast or coffee in Paroikia. Service is slow though, but food was good.
For amazing baked goods you have to try O Fournos tis Agkairias (The Bakery of Agkairia). Have the sweet cheese pastries (mizithropitakia) for sure but everything else we tried was delicious.
Where to Drink in Paros
The Beaches to see in Paros
Martselo beach is organised but quiet, it’s near the town of Parikia. Sandy and blue. It’s been attracting more people this year but usually you can find a spot. There is also the smaller beach next to it that’s more quiet.
Chrissi Akti (Golden Beach) is one of the nicest beaches of the island. Quite big and sandy with blue waters. The beach bar Blue is the best one and quite good food too. Sunbeds, no music.
Faragas is a small sandy beach, it was actually impossible to get sunbeds but there is a cafe area that you can sit at. The sea is cold but very clean. Nice waters. It’s also quite close to the airport in case you need to catch a flight, it’s a good option.
Santa Maria beach is another great one. Long and sandy. There’s a beach bar and sunbeds, but if you prefer to be away from crowds, the beach is big enough.
Lageri is actually a nudist beach but there’s many many people (like us!) that were dressed. A new discovery for me, I think it’s one of the nicest beaches on the island. You need to walk a bit to reach the beach but it’s totally worth it. Bring an umbrella as finding shade is rare.
What to see in Paros
With these two villages you should also go to Prodromos is a tiny village – very cute and super picturesque. Worth a walk around to see the traditional “kafenion” (cafe that only men go and play cards, backgammon and meet their friends, women go to different places. This is very traditional and patriarchal but they still do it in this village). There is one place to eat, they have some specials every day so typically whatever Maria the owner has decided to cook. It’s called Kallitexniko Kafenio (meaning Artistic Cafe). Go before the sun sets to enjoy the walk around the village.
Parikia is the capital and also the port. It’s much quieter than its sister town of Naoussa, but still many places to sit at and enjoy a drink at night. Also explore the little streets with shops, the best boutiques for me are Yria a shop with various ceramics made on the island, Melissa has various clothing and accessories and White has so many jewellery and clothing options. For boho jewellery and clothings also check out Bizarre.
A must-see in Parikia is the famous Byzantine church, Panagia Ekantontapilliani (The Church of 100 doors), a huge and magnificent church.
Naoussa is the “party” town and the more lively space in Paros. Many bars that are open till 8am usually (not right now obviously), loads of people and some of the best places for food. It’s also the place with loads of boutiques and stores to explore.
Drios has a very small and pretty seaside location for food/drinks. Quite green and very well looked after.
Do some horseback riding at Thanasis’ Farm. We’ve been here with my friends in the past and it’s always an amazing experience. You connect with nature, you see the beautiful horses and you enjoy the nature. There are two different times you can go, either super early in the morning, 8:00 for about 2h30 or 18:30 for 1h30. The morning slot is more special as you run at the beach with the horses and they actually go in the sea which is such an experience! We did the afternoon slot this time around and it was still amazing as you go through the mountains and get a glimpse of sunset as well.
It’s €40 for the evening slot, I think the morning one is a bit more expensive. If you go you need closed shoes (not necessarily trainers) and long trousers (even jeans work). It’s a group ride so it’s suitable for beginners, if you are more experienced you might find it a bit slow but depends on the day and group. The group is headed by Thanasis and his daughter Michaelia who is super helpful and will make you feel comfortable on the horse!
If you have an extra day
Take the ferry from Pounta to go to Antiparos, here’s the timetable.
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Finally went to Antiparos, Paros’ younger sibling. And of course I had to climb on some rocks 😂 🌊 if you go you have to visit the beach of Panagia Faneromeni, a small slice of paradise. No sun beds, usually not many people, just the blue sea. 📷 @veralouk #BreakevenTravels
You need a car to go to the beaches as they are quite remote. Go to Soros if you want sun beds and bar, it’s a small sandy beach. If you want something more authentic (which I definitely liked a lot more) go to the Panagia Faneromeni beach, the road is pretty bad but it’s gonna be worth it! Take water/snacks with you as there’s nothing on the beach.
In Antiparos have food at Captain Pipinos which is the most famous on the island. Stay until the evening as the nightlife is quite good and actually quite busy on the high season months. Explore the little shops and boutiques. The boutiques are so so nice, many clothing and accessories – mostly beach-focused of course.
If you have another extra day
Take a boat called Alexander (€45 for the trip) that takes you from Paros (Kalo Livadi) To Irakleia and then Koufonisia. I highly recommend this if you’ve got the time as Koufonisia is quite far from Athens (a 7-hour ferry I believe) otherwise. As soon as you arrive you take one of the two fishing boats that are essentially sea taxis to take you to the various beaches. None of them are accessible by car/foot otherwise. It costs €5 return and you can get on and off anytime, and see all of the beaches.
These are: Xarokopos, Italida & Fanos, Pori. From Pori Bay you walk down the right to see Gala beach with its magnificent rock formations against the deep turquoise sea. It’s a bit difficult to descent but the view is worth it!
If you want to eat, Kalofego on Pori beach is decent. We then descended at Italida which might be slightly nicer than Pori but much smaller so tends to be more crowded. The sand is nicer there too! In town we didn’t have time to explore much, only went to the other end where Sorokos is, perfect spot especially for a drink but they also serve food. If you prefer something quicker there’s a nice bakery Georgoula up one of the streets a couple of minutes away. I’ve been on a longer trip to Koufounisia and it’s amazing, but even as a day trip, it’s worth it!