Imagine a Greek island with perfectly white-washed houses, a seemingly endless maze of tiny alleys, framed by Bougainvillea blossoms. Are you thinking of Santorini? Forget about it, Paros has it all. You won’t want to leave again.
Directly after arriving by ferry, we are greeted by cuddly cats and a flavor of freshly baked Loukoumades. The sun touches our skin and we instantly fall in love with Paros.
There is an endless offer of things to do in Paros to make your stay unforgettable. It has a likable blend of authentic lively villages with cute shops and remote empty beaches. And the best part of it: you can still experience local Greek culture without the crowds that you get on its touristy neighbors Mykonos or Santorini.
So let’s dig right into it and explore Paros.

Visit Paros’ towns & villages


If I were to describe Parikia in one sentence it would be about its labyrinthine white alleys full of flowers entwining around its typically cube-shaped Cycladic houses. Their doors, window shutters, and balconies shine in pastel colors.
Passing through the winding alleys which are framed by blazing Bougainvillea and Geraniums you pass by little boutiques, local restaurants, and cafés.

The small town of Parikia is likely the first you encounter, as it’s home to the island’s port. Even though it’s small, Parikia is the biggest town of Paros and also its capital.
You’ll discover its charm when you stroll through the narrow alleys and allow yourself to get lost.
You can’t miss the ruins of the Frankish castle, which showcases the common Greek habit of repurposing old marble parts of temples and other archeological sites in newer buildings. Follow the path to get to Agios Konstatinos, a beautiful church by the seaside and a great place for sunset.
On a hill, you can spot the Venetian Castle, which is also built from reused marble from a temple.

Recommended stay:

With its dreamy garden a stay at 9 Muses is a real highlight. Just a bit outside of Parikia, it’s the perfect location to explore the island and to walk into town in the evenings.
It’s often fully booked long in advance, so directly check here for availability!

Things to do in Paros, Greece | Paros Urlaub

Things to do in Paros, Greece | Paros Urlaub

Parikia | Paros


One of the most picturesque spots on the island can be found in the north of Paros. It’s only a 20-minute drive from Parikia to this gem with its cute rectangular old port. Here you can find local fishermen organizing their nets next to their colorful boats while drying their freshly caught octopus in the sun.
Overlooking the harbor guards the old Venetian fort which was built in the Ottoman Empire.
As the second biggest town of Paros, Naoussa welcomes you with a maze of even tinier alleys. Numerous flowers add splashes of color to the village’s white traditional houses. Walking through the maze of Naoussa is simply one of the most fabulous things to do in Paros.
Expectedly, the village with its small port is quite popular with tourists and can get busy during the summer months. So, in case you’re around in July or August, come to Naoussa in the early morning hours.
Then you can combine your visit with a fancy breakfast within the narrow alleys at the hip cafe Sousouro.
Afterward, you can easily reach some beautiful surrounding beaches, such as Santa Maria, Monastiri or Kolympithres by car or by bus.
Visiting Naoussa is one of the best things to do in Paros | Ein Besuch in Naoussa darf im Paros Urlaub nicht fehlen

Naoussa | Paros


Looking for the most authentic Cycladic village on the island? In this case, Lefkes heads the list of top things to do in Paros. Located in the upcountry hills, the village of Lefkes is surrounded by abandoned windmills and overlooks the island and the Aegean sea. It’s another center that can only be explored on foot due to its narrow alleys. Sprinkled with chapels and churches, the calm village spreads a genuine flair and is extremely worth seeing.
Just like everywhere else in Paros, you can find a free public parking spot just outside the center and walk in to get lost.
Visiting Lefkes is one of the best things to do in Paros | Ein Besuch inLefkes darf im Paros Urlaub nicht fehlen

Lefkes | Paros

Marpissa & Prodromos

While Paros can get bustling in the high season, in Marpissa and Prodromos you can find nothing but locals living their daily lives, lazy cats, and kids playing hide and seek in the alleys. These two peaceful, tiny settlements are located right next to each other. They also offer traditional Cycladic architecture and picturesque simplicity.
Walking in the tiny alleys in Prodromos is one of the best things to do in Paros, Paros | Die Gassen in Prodromos muss man im Paros Urlaub gesehen haben

The tiny alleys of Prodromos | Paros

An artist's house in Prodromos, Paros | Das Haus eines Künstlers in Prodromos, Paros

An artist’s house in Prodromoms |Paros

Relax by the best beaches in Paros

The beaches in Paros are marvelous. During our stay in October, we found plenty of beaches that we had almost to ourselves. I assume in the high season many of those beaches are way more crowded and laced with sunbeds and umbrellas. But the shallow bays, fine sand, and crystal clear water are worth a relaxing day by the beach just as much.
Before heading to the beach, check out the direction of the wind. Especially in autumn, it can get quite windy in Paros. So pick a beach that is on the opposite side of the wind direction.

Several beaches in Paros are awarded the Blue Flag, one of the world’s most trusted sustainability labels for beaches, marinas, and boat tour operators. For beaches, this means that environmental education activities have to be carried out at the site. Check out the website of the Blue Flag Foundation to get more information about the best beaches in Paros, their facilities, and their characteristics.

Soros beach in Antiparos

Santa Maria beach

This is a beach I had mixed feelings about when we headed there. We had seen pictures of a beach crowded with sunbeds packed like sardines in a can. So we weren’t sure if driving to Santa Maria beach is really among the nicest things to do in Paros. But man, this beach was a positive surprise. Since we went after high season, there were no more sunbeds and only a few people spread across a huge bay. The finest sand I’ve seen in Greece and the most shallow, calm water glittering in different shades of blue. I guess on windier days it may look quite different, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Santa Maria beach is one of the best beaches in Paros | Santa Maria gehört zu den besten Stränden auf Paros

Santa Maria beach | Paros

Lageri beach

If you walk across the small land tongue, right opposite of Santa Maria beach you get to Lageri Beach – another shallow, calm bay. They’re so close to each other that you can easily combine them for a day of beach-hopping. It’s a natural beach with calm water and is supposed to be quite popular with naturists.

Kalogeros beach

Fancy an unusual beach experience? Then you should head to Kalogeros beach where you can see people covered in black mud. The mud from the wet rocks at the beach is supposed to be healing mud that cleanses and rejuvenates the skin. Besides, it’s also a beautiful beach on the east coast of Paros to simply lay back and take in the sound of the foamy waves surrounding you.

Kolympethres beach

Located in a bay close to Naoussa, Kolympethres beach offers unique rock formations and shallow water. It can be quite windy in the north of Paros, depending on the direction of the wind. There are also some tavernas around to grab lunch or a snack. This beach was among my favorite things to do in Paros. Also, you can park close to the beach, so it’s easily accessible for everyone.
Kolympethres beach is one of the best beaches in Paros | Kolympethres gehört zu den besten Stränden auf Paros

Kolympethres Beach | Paros

Monastiri beach

A little further north of Kolmpethres, you reach Monastiri beach. Even though it’s close to the northern tip of Paros, the shallow bay is sheltered by the northern winds. It’s located within the coastal reserve of Paros Park. While Monastiti beach is supposed to be one of the best beaches in Paros due to its clear, pastel-blue water, the small bay can get crowded in the high season.

Faragas beach

Sheltered in a bay, there’s a good chance you can escape the wind over here. There are some tiny coves at the ends of the main beach where it’s possible to catch a more secluded spot. During high season apparently, there are some sunbeds and a beach bar, but we found it all closed and the beach wonderfully empty in October.

Golden Beach (Paralia Chrisi Akti)

Another long stretch of fine sand, perfect for sun lovers who love nothing more than spending a whole day by the beach. It’s quite popular with kite-surfers and windsurfers, so – depending on the day – it can be quite windy. Have you ever wanted to try kite-surfing? Why not give it a try over here? There are several kite centers over here.
Yet, on days with less wind, it’s also an excellent spot to dig your feet into the golden sand, soak in the sun and simply relax. Many agree that Golden Beach is one of the best beaches in Paros, and it has regularly been awarded the Blue Flag.
Golden beach is one of the best beaches in Paros | Golden Beach gehört zu den besten Stränden auf Paros

Golden Beach | Paros

Marcello beach

This large bay is just a few minutes drive from Parikia and also locals count it amongst the best beaches in Paros. The bay is super wide, so you can always find a spot with some privacy. And usually, the sea is quite calm over here (don’t forget to check the direction of the wind though). Like many beaches in Paros, its shallow waters are perfect for families and another plus is that you can park directly next to the beach.

Where to eat in Paros?

All the restaurants are super picturesque – either in a cobblestoned square among Cycladic houses, shaded by a Bougainvillea tree, or in an exotic garden or courtyard. Honestly, we didn’t go to a single restaurant in Paros which wasn’t exceptionally pretty.
Most of the restaurants are located in the towns of Parikia and Naoussa, but you can find some amazing taverns scattered in the countryside or in Paros’ small villages as well.
Here are some of my recommendations:

For breakfast

  • Distrato Cafe (Parikia) – for healthy options and large portions
  • Cafe Symposium (Parikia) – for awesome waffles on a small, pretty bridge
  • Sousouro (Naoussa) – for bowls and fancy options
  • Some Greek yogurt with honey is always an option and you can get it almost everywhere

Greek yogurt with honey in Paros, Greece

Greek yogurt with fruits for breakfast

Saganaki (fried Feta cheese) with honey

Saganaki (fried Feta cheese) with honey

For dinner

As the food scene in Paros is varied, there is something for anyone. From authentic down-to-earth taverns to high-class dining. From sea-side restaurants serving fresh, local dishes to places with modern, international influences. Here you can find an awesome guide to the gastronomic scene of Paros. I honestly couldn’t gather better recommendations.
Restaurants in Paros

Restaurants | Paros

Explore some culture and history

After having soaked up the sun by Paros’ best beaches and indulged yourself with treats at some of the best restaurants in Paros, why not add some culture and Ancient Greek history to your Paros itinerary?

Visit Paros’ historical sites

Here are a few options for historical things to do in Paros where you can experience the island more in-depth:
  • The Archaeological Museum of Paros: As in any of the Greece islands, Ancient Greek history can also be explored in Paros. While the Archaeological Museum of Paros is very small, you can find interesting architectural pieces, sculptures, and pieces of mosaic that have been found in Paros. They trace back to Ancient Greek and Roman times.
  • Ancient Marble Quarries: Located in the heartland of Paros waits an archeological site where significant traces of  Paros’ ancient past have been found. This is the place where the precious Parian marble originate, from which some important sculptures of Greek antiquity were crafted of.
  • The Frankish castle in Parikia: This old castle perfectly showcases the way many buildings in Greece were constructed: from pilfered pieces of marble and other kinds of stones from ancient monuments. In its walls, you can see pieces of pillars from temples, ceilings, and other parts of monuments.
  • Some other places worth seeing for history fans:
    • The ancient cemetery in Parikia (one of the most important ancient cemeteries of the Cyclades)
    • Sanctuary of Asklipeio close to Parikia (the ruins of a temple dedicated to the god Asclepiu)
    • Mycenaean Acropolis in Kolymbithres (remains of the Mycenaean Acropolis dating back to 1300 BC)
    • The Byzantine museum in Naoussa (showing a collection of items from the Byzantine area)
    • The small Folklore Art Museum in Lefkes (where you can dive into the local life of Paros’ past)
Visit the Frankish castle in Parikia is an interesting thing to do in Paros to learn about Greek history | Paros Urlaub

Frankish Castle, Parikia | Paros

Learn about the culture of wine

The production of wine has been important to many areas in Greece for thousands of years. The dry and mild climate in the Aegean sea generates great conditions to cultivate various types of wine.
A visit to Moraitis Winery is a fabulous way to learn about the culture and history of wine production in Paros. With its 10 ha vineyard, the family-run winery is now led by the 4th generation. Here you can visit the wine cellars and of course opt for a tasting of their range of wines accompanies by some snacks.

Activities & more things to do in Paros

In case you’re fed up with putting your feet up and relaxing on beaches, among the best things to do in Paros are also plenty of activities. Obviously, the island offers great water activities such as windsurfing, kite-surfing, snorkeling, and sailing. Besides, there are also some beautiful routes for hiking.

Windsurfing & Kitesurfing

For the windsurfing and kitesurfing pros and those who want to become one, Paros is a little paradise. Some say, combining your holiday with kite lessons is one of the most exciting things to do in Paros for adventure travelers.
Popular spots for kitesurfing and windsurfing are Golden Beach and Pounda Bay, as the wind conditions are perfect over here. You can join private or group sessions, choose between classes for beginners or advanced, or you can simply rent equipment and jump into the waves.


Escape the lazy beachgoers and head to the sea for a snorkeling trip around the island. With its turquoise waters and colorful sea life, snorkeling is much fun in Paros. You can rent snorkeling gear and jump into the waters to swim by yourself and watch underwater life around the shimmering shores along the beaches. Also, you can join a snorkeling boat that takes you to popular snorkeling spots around the island.


When thinking about Greek islands, what comes to your mind? Usually, it’s white villages and sailing boats floating on pastel blue water. Indeed, a day of sailing is one of the most popular upmarket things to do in Paros. You can enhance your Greek summertime by sailing around Paros and the paradisical small islands surrounding it. A sailing cruise is certainly an exclusive holiday activity not everyone can afford. But those who can go into rhapsodies about the uniqueness of this experience. You can reach untouched bays and serene islands, sunbathe on deck or even go diving from the sailing boat.
Joining a sailing trip is an exclusive thing to do in Paros | Segeln im Paros Urlaub

Sailing around Paros


A hike in Paros Park

The northern tip of Paros has been turned into a coastal reserve that serves as a perfect area for nature lovers. You can hike among the trails on the rocky hills sprinkled with flowers and herbs. Through these trails, you can reach several beaches and an old amphitheater. Besides Monastiri beach, there are two other beaches in the reserve. For stunning views on the bay of Naoussa, you shouldn’t miss trekking up until the lighthouse.

Hiking up Kefalos Hill

Another beautiful spot for a small hike is Kefalos Hill. Actually an inactive volcano, the hill holds fantastic views across the bays and the sea. From here you can reach the stunningly beautiful Molos beach – a treasure of nature. Over here you can find no trace of tourism. No sunbeds, no umbrellas, just the foamy waves rushing the shore, reaching toward you.

A daytrip to Antiparos

While you’re in Paros, you can easily reach other islands. The easiest is definitely a day trip to Antiparos. Ferries to Antiparos leave from the port of Pounta every 30 minutes. As the ferry is really cheap (1,20 Euros per passenger and 6,30 Euros for a small car), some visitors head to Antiparos just for breakfast and a short walk around town.
However, if you have a rental car, I’d suggest taking the car with you to Antiparos. Even though it’s rather calm over there, the island is really worth exploring. Start with a stroll through the tiny Antiparos town which is full of nice little cafes, restaurants, and some shops as well. But after that, hop into your car, let the wind blow through your hair and drive around the island. With the afternoon heat, the Cave of Antiparos is a nice stop in order to cool down. It’s way bigger than you’d expect.
Besides, there are numerous remarkable beaches that you should visit. Many of them are all-natural – without any sunbeds or umbrellas. That’s the kind of beach I love the most!
  • Soros beach was our favorite – A pristine golden beach with only olive trees providing natural shade.
  • In the north, close to town there’s a naturist beach with water so shallow that you can walk to another island (Fira) across. But not all beachgoers are naturists over here.
  • Other beaches worth checking out are Sostis beach and Faneromeni beach all the way south, Vatis Volos beach in the southwest, and Fanari beach and Panagia beach close to town.
Naturist beach in Antiparos

Naturist beach | Antiparos

Good to know before you go to Paros

Where is the best place to stay in Paros?

Because the island is not that big, you can stay pretty much everywhere in Paros. The towns Parikia and Naoussa are the most popular. Here you can find many small local hotels. However, if you rent a car or an ATV you’re super flexible and can use any location as a great base to explore the island. Nothing is ever more than half an hour drive away.
I’d recommend staying in an accommodation run by locals instead of a large hotel. It’s the most authentic experience and you can support the local economy. There are many pretty traditional Cycladic houses that have been transformed into small hotels or Airbnbs. You should check it out! Staying in a Cycladic house is one of the most authentic things to do in Paros and the ultimate Cycladic experience.

Recommended stay:

With its dreamy garden a stay at 9 Muses is a real highlight. Just a bit outside of Parikia, it’s the perfect location to explore the island and to walk into town in the evenings.
It’s often fully booked long in advance, so directly check here for availability!

What’s the best time to visit Paros?

The summer can get boiling hot and during winters it’s too cool and windy to enjoy the beautiful beaches in Paros. Therefore, my suggestion for the best time to visit Paros is during autumn or spring.
We spent beautiful days in Paros in mid-October. It was still warm enough to spend a day by the beach and go swimming, restaurants were still open (they close for the winter from the end of October) and there were only a few other tourists. For us, this was the perfect timing!
As in other Cycladic islands, it can get quite windy, but the trick is to head to the other side of the island to be more protected from the winds.

How many days do you need to see Paros?

Paros is not a super big island. You can circle the island in a bit more than one hour by car. Yet, there are plenty of things to see in Paros. In order to spend some days by the beach but also see the cute villages of Parikia, Naoussa and Lefkes and even head on a day trip to Antiparos, I’d suggest staying a minimum of 5 days in Paros.
But bear in mind that there are so many stunningly beautiful Cycladic islands around Paros. That’s why I highly recommend combining your stay with other islands, such as Milos or a roundtrip through the Cyclades and Athens.
Avoid flying to just one Greek island for a few days.  There’s so much to see out there and you can experience the culture more in-depth the longer you stay in a country.

How to get to Paros?

The ferry connection with Athens as well as among the islands is awesome! Several ferry companies head to Paros from many other islands. You can choose between speedboats and large, slow ferries. I recommend taking a slower but larger ferry, as it can get really wavy on a speedboat.
The ferry from Athens takes around 4 hours and to some of its neighbor islands such as Milos it’s only 2 hours. We used to book our tickets. With their app, you have all your ferry tickets in one place. That’s handy and saves unnecessary paper.

Taking the ferry to Paros, Greece

The ferry to Paros

How to get around Paros?

Renting a car or an ATV is the most convenient way to move around Paros. With a vehicle, you’re flexible and can stop anywhere, even if it’s just for some Lukumades (the Greek version of donuts) at a bakery.
Also, parking is free everywhere in Paros except in the main square in Parikia right next to the port. Locals are rather unconcerned about parking. Just try not to block the road and you’re fine.
However, even without renting a car, you can still explore Paros. The island has a very good public transport network. So you can reach many towns, beaches and the most enjoyable things to do in Paros by bus as well.

Can you drink the tap water in Paros?

Here’s another great benefit of Paros: According to the Common Seas organization, tap water is safe to drink in Paros. There are regular tests proving that the water quality in Paros is actually better than the EU requires for drinking water. Isn’t this awesome? You can save plenty of plastic bottles on your holiday.
In case you have to get used to the slightly different taste (well, tap water tastes different everywhere), there are even water refill stations all over the island. It’s just 5 cents per liter, so much less expensive than bottled water.
If you have a water bottle with a filter, you’re already well prepared! I never travel anywhere without my own filter bottle, as it has been a lifesaver so many times already!
Paros is in fact striving to be the first plastic waste-free island in the world. To learn more about Paros’ environmental efforts, check out the Clean Blue Paros campaign. It gives a great overview of how important it is to protect the destinations we visit. Reducing waste is a significant part of it. So inform yourself, get involved, and become a more sustainable traveler!
Paros is striving to be the first single-use plastics free island in the world

Plastic bottle collection | Paros

How can I do some more good during my holiday in Paros?

Besides avoiding waste, you can make some of Paros’ inhabitants happy by spending time with them. I’m talking about the furry inhabitants. In the villages, you encounter numerous cats who live on the streets. Many locals look after them by scattering cat food and providing fresh water for them. However, if a stray gets injured or sick, living on the streets quickly can become really dangerous and painful.
Luckily, there are some people with a heart of gold: The amazing people working at PAWS (Paros Animal Welfare Society) rescue abandoned cats and dogs, provide medical treatment, care for and find new homes for them. Also, they educate Parian people on how to treat animals well.
Support the amazing work of PAWS by donating food or money, volunteering, or visiting them.

Things to do in Paros, Greece – a wrap-up

Paros in three words: Bougainvilla | white houses | labyrinthine alleys
Did you know? In Paros, you can become a “Beach Godparent” for your favorite beach. This way, you help keep the beach clean.
Favorite photo spot: The flowery alleys of Parikia
Favorite food: Saganaki (fried feta cheese) in a Meze restaurant
Can’t miss: Taking the ferry to explore Antiparos

More on the Cycladic Islands

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