Paros is a peculiar island in Greece because as well as having some really beautiful parts, it has also been heavily affected by the growth of tourism. The port itself is quite pretty and it stretches along the whole length of the seafront with a range of shops, cafes and restaurants. However it’s very modern and it’s restaurants are mostly tourist traps. The real surprise is tucked away behind the main port.
Appropriately named the “old port”, it is simply stunning and took my breath away. It’s so authentic and traditional, it’s simply beautiful. The cobbled streets, white facades and stylish but unique shops, bars, cafes and restaurants are the REAL Paros. It’s the perfect place to buy small gifts or trinkets and the clothes shops are fantastic. If you walk all the way through the old part of town you’ll come to the end of the port and just like we did, stumble across one of the oldest churches in existence. The church’s Greek name translates as The Church of 100 Doors and it dates back to the year 326!
I would recommend walking through the winding streets of the old town, getting an ice cream from Vanilla Gelatria and having a drink in one of the many gorgeous bars like the one below! I would also recommend eating at a Taverna MIRA which, even though it’s located on the seafront (the modern part of the port), serves very good food. However, don’t eat at To Spitiko, it’s run by a French woman but the food and service is terrible!
Paros has a number of beaches that you can visit but the best one we found was actually in Antiparos, a small island nearby that you can get to by boat. For cars it’s €8 each way and for foot passengers it’s around four. The boats run very frequently so you don’t even need to plan ahead.
Fanari beach was less than a 5 minute drive from where the boat docked and was absolutely magnificent. There are sun loungers to rent for €4 each and a restaurant nearby that you can eat in. The water is crystal blue and there are plenty of fish in the water to spy on! There’s also an outdoor swimming pool next to the beach which is only €4 to stay at all day, so if the beach isn’t your thing, you have other options. Other beaches you can visit include Playa Golden Beach and Playa Kolimbithres which are also lovely!
Lastly if you’re looking for somewhere to stay I recommend Nostos studios. We had great service, a comfortable room and a beautiful view. It’s also within walking distance of the port and the local town and shops. Just remember to rent a car while you’re there; on most Greek islands you need one to get around and to make the most of your trip!
Paros is a beautiful island that’s worth spending one or two days in if you have the chance! Next up on my three part travel series – the amazing island of Milos!