Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (2024)


Written By Rachel Boyles

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (1)

The island of Paros crossed my mind after seeing it on the cover of an issue of Conde Nast Traveler. On the cover read "Where you’re going next in Europe.” After reading the article about how the “beaches are unspoiled, the tavernas, are rustic, and the pace of life is blissfully slow,” I knew I needed to go. I read the article in April, and by August, we were there. Paros is a gem. It’s small, remote, and picturesque. You can drive around the entire island in a day, and only see the nearby islands in the distance.

When To Visit Paros: Summertime

The high season is throughout the summer when it’s warm and sunny. We went in August, and although restaurants were full at night, we rarely felt overwhelmed by people during the day. For most of Southern Europe in the summer, I have a similar stance: It’s high season because the weather is perfect, so I’ll take that balance. If having great weather isn’t as high of a priority for you, bookend months like May, June, or September might be better for you. No matter the time of year, you won’t make a bad choice whenever you visit.

How To Get To Paros: By Air or By Sea

There are two ways to get to Paros, either by air or by sea. Paros has an airport with a few flights a day from the mainland. Those flights fill up quickly and tend to be expensive, so we opted for option two: by sea. We took the ferry from Athens to Paros, and we booked our tickets in advance. We ended up going with Seajets because they fit our itinerary better. This is one of the parts of the trip that for us required the most coordinating. We balanced when our flight arrived, the time it took to get from the airport to the port, and the departure times for the ferry.There are a handful of resources out there to plan, but I found the Direct Ferries site helpful.

Getting From Athens Airport To Piraeus Port

There are a few options for getting from the Athens Airport to the Piraeus Port: taxi, metro, or bus. We went the route of the X96 bus because it was more reliable than the metro, it runs 24/7, and it’s so cheap. It takes twice as long as a taxi coming in at roughly 100 min of travel time, but the price point of 12 euro roundtrip makes it great. I also love that it runs consistently from the airport. It runs every 25-30 min, so if you miss one, it’s not bad to wait for the next. We arrived at the port well in advance of our ferry boat, so we found some seats in the shade with other passengers and read and relaxed while we waited.For a nice summary of the different options, I think this Welcome Pickups site does a good job. It’s funny because they're a car service company, but I found their info for public transportation helpful!

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (2)

Where To Stay On Paros


The port city is Parikia which is where the ferry stops. We stayed in Parikia for two nights and moved on after that. We stopped in Parikia first because of the convenience. Our ferry didn’t arrive until late, so it worked out well we could walk to our hotel from the ferry pier. Parikia has lots of restaurants, shops, and things to do and see. We enjoyed our time there and really enjoyed our hotel. The view from the Hotel Nikolas is so dreamy. It was amazing waking up to the sounds of the waves just below. We were a short walk from the port and from the main town area. I would recommend staying near the port at least for the first night to make it easy. There are other places further out, but they require a taxi or a quad to access. It’s nice getting to where you need to go by foot in the beginning.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (3)


Naoussa is considered more of the sleepy fisherman village of the two. It sounds so quaint and the island is easy enough to get around, so I knew I wanted to stay in Naoussa for a couple of nights. In Naoussa, we opted for an Airbnb, and we found a great room in a house for under $60 a night. The room had a little balcony with a view of the bay which was perfect for watching sunsets. The hosts were so kind. They helped with making reservations at the local spa and for dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday. They were even so sweet to make him a full birthday cake as a gift. My heart fills with joy just thinking of it. This room was on the road towards the main part of the city. It was far enough out that it never felt noisy, but close enough to everything that it was easy to walk.Overall, Naoussa is great for seeing a different side of the island and experiencing an even slower pace.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (4)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (5)

Getting From Parikia To Naoussa

The main ways to get from one city to the other are via taxi, quad, or bus. Quads are rentable from different shops near the port in Parikia. An option would be to rent it for the length of time you’re on the island if that makes sense for your plans. Instead, we only rented one for two days of driving around, and then we took the bus to get us to Naoussa from Parikia. The tickets were easy to get from designated shops or minimarts. The fare is under €2 each way (tickets sold on the bus too, but slightly more expensive), so it’s affordable, and the bus route between the two runs regularly.

The most planning we had to do was timing the bus back to Parikia for the day we took the ferry back to Athens. So we had to leave Naoussa on the earliest bus (some people were just getting home from the night before), but we made it in plenty of time to enjoy the Sunday morning market in Parikia.Also, the timetables are different on Sundays or holidays, so keep an eye out for that if you are sticking to a schedule. The island overall is very easy to get around. If you go the car or quad route, there’s one main road that goes around the entire island so it’s easy to find your way back.

What To Do In Paros: 7 Fun Activities On Paros

Paros is a great place where you can make the vacation whatever you want it to be. Relax on the beach? They have that. Go on an adventure? Have that too. Shop and eat and slowly wander? They also have that. We did a little bit of everything, and it felt like the perfect amount of activity.

  1. Rent a Quad and Drive Around Paros

This is the main form of transportation for tourists on the island. We rented ours for two days from a storefront in Parikia. There were multiple places, and we spoke with a few different ones to get an understanding of the cost. (I’d share what we paid, but I honestly can’t remember). On day one, we used it to tour the island. We took a map, saw that there was a main loop that went around about half of the island, and just started driving. I was in search of scenes like I saw on the cover of the magazine, so we would turn off wherever looked interesting. We took a break, and we found the ferry that connects Paros and Antiparos. We tried out two or three different beaches. We just drove, pulled off wherever looked interesting, and swam and relaxed. Once we had enough of one spot, we got back on and kept driving. It was such a fun way to explore and see it all on our own time.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (6)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (7)

2. Visit Antiparos

Antiparos is only a short ferry ride from Paros. We drove our quad to the ferry pick-up point. The ferry runs every couple of hours. The tickets are about €2 per person and a quad is about €6-€7. For times, check with the ticket booth at the port to get a sense of when to return to Paros. Also, this is a different port than the one where the ferry dropped us off from Athens. We instead took the ferry from Pounda Port on the southeast side of Paros.

Once on Antiparos, we were happy to have the quad, because of course, we did more exploring. On Antiparos, I was fully set on finding a secret beach. We kept driving and looking for turn-offs until we found the right one. On the way, we also stopped off at the caves (more detail below). Antiparos overall is EVEN MORE remote than Paros. It’s fun to see and explore and feel truly like you’re on a small island in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (8)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (9)

3. Spend a Day At The Beach on Paros or Antiparos

For as small as it is, Paros has a lot of beaches. There are beaches dotted all along the coast. Some are just sand next to the water while others have a taverna or two and maybe some chairs for rent. We didn’t have a particular beach in mind when we set out, but we found some nice ones along the way. Again, I had the magazine cover in mind, but most of those types of beaches or views happen more on Antiparos and even more so Koufonisia (only accessible by boat). Sharing the beaches we stopped at and liked:

Glyfa Beach: It’s a nice beach, has chairs, and the best selling point is that it has an amazing taverna. It’s the cutest. They have their garden out front, so you have to walk past the tomato plants before you enter. More not the taverna below, but the beach was good overall. We stayed for a bit and even did a little snorkeling.

Punda Beach Club: Based on the name, you can probably guess that this is the liveliest, most party-like atmosphere beach on the island. We found it by accident while we were in search of a snack and a drink. We ended up following a road to some music and coming across the most cars we had seen the whole day. We stayed for a drink and were seriously amazed by the number of people there. It was this little secret spot that everyone knew about it. If we had more days there, we might have come back and enjoyed the whole atmosphere.

Paralia Sostis (on Antiparos): This is the MOST remote out of the three beaches included in this list. It’s on Antiparos which is accessible via ferry from Paros or by boat. We were in explore mode, so we just drove wherever we could on the island. We took a main road, which eventually turned into a dirt road. We were the only ones there until a boat pulled into the cove for some of the time. It was so quiet and gave those ‘discovered a secret beach’ vibes.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (10)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (11)

4. Go Snorkeling on Paros And Antiparos

We brought our own snorkeling gear and carried it with us when we went exploring. At each of the little beaches where we stopped, it was fun to explore underwater as well. It made it easier to spend more time at these more remote beaches and gave us a reason to stay in the water for longer, beyond the need to cool off.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (12)

5. Tour The Caves on Antiparos

We noticed some signs for the caves while driving around Antiparos so we thought we’d give them a try. They were definitely interesting, and the entrance is towards the top of one of the highest points so there are great views. The caves go really deep, and I started thinking about it too much. If you’re claustrophobic, these definitely aren’t for you. Overall though, it’s an interesting geological stop — something different than other things we saw on the island.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (13)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (14)

6. Take a Boat Tour Around Paros, Naxos, And Koufonisia

This was probably the highlight of the trip. Okay, each day was amazing on its own, but this is where I got to finally live out my Conde Nast Traveler dreams. We sailed past the exact views that I saw in the magazine, so it was magical. It’s a full day, setting out fairly early, having lunch on the boat, and then returning before dinner. We stopped at different caves and coves along the way and had many opportunities to swim and snorkel.

There are so many options for boat tours. We walked along the port and spoke to the different operators to book ours. There are all different styles of tours from a private boat for just you and your family or a bigger boat shared with others (obviously the cheaper route). We went with the bigger boat and more people route and honestly, I didn’t feel bothered at all by the number of people onboard. It was a great experience overall, and you can’t go wrong with whichever you pick. Just make sure you have a price point in mind, know if there is anything specific you want to see (for me it was Koufonisia), and feel comfortable shopping around.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (15)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (16)

7. Treat Yourself To a Spa Day

We celebrated Alex’s birthday while we were there, and I decided to treat him to a massage. There are a handful of options around the island. In the main cities like Parikia and Naoussa, resorts are a good place to search. We went with a recommendation from our Airbnb and went to Yades. We had a lovely time and were really happy with the experience. It was really magical to go into a room built into a cave for an olive oil based massage — very relaxing overall.

What To Eat When In Paros

Paros is full of amazing Greek food, beautiful vegetables, the freshest seafood, and tasty, flaky pastries. We never had a bad meal from fancy restaurants to local gyros spots, everything was great.

Coffee: Greek coffee is traditionally very strong, served in a small glass because it’s strong, and the fine grounds sit at the bottom. So when you get to the bottom, don’t try to drink every last drop or you’ll start drinking grounds.It’s a great way to get the day started or a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

Frappe: When we got off the plane in Athens, I noticed EVERYONE drinking a caramel-colored iced coffee drink — I mean everyone. In every cafe we walked by in the airport alone, that’s all people were drinking. I investigated further and discovered they are called frappes. It’s a sweet, instant, iced coffee drink that is frothy, delicious, and refreshing and should certainly be more of a thing here. Yes, we have frappuccinos but those are more like coffee milkshakes. These frappes on the other hand feel slightly healthier :)

Tomatoes: OMG. The tomatoes in Greece are the best. We had horiatiki salads (tomato, cucumber, onion, feta in oil, and vinegar) with almost every meal, so we had our fair share of tomatoes. On our last day in Paros, we bought a tomato from the market and ate it completely by itself like an apple while we waited for the ferry. No tomato has ever compared since, so be prepared to have your tomato expectations changed.

Gyros / Souvlaki: It probably sounds stereotypical to suggest this, but they truly are delicious. On nights when we wanted to save a little, we would find a small walk-up place and eat it outside on plastic chairs with a plate of fries and a couple of beers. Those nights are some of the best. Try a normal gyro or souvlaki (chicken). Usually, those types of restaurants will have different meats roasted on sticks or spit and served on a pita. YUM. Also, get all of the tzatziki.

Seafood, catch of the day, octopus: A lot of tavernas along the coast or near fishing areas will have their fresh catches including octopus hung up out in the sun. In most cases, they’re getting seafood delivered just that morning or afternoon and they’re drying it out. Grilled octopus is worth a try at least once. I’ve noticed that it has to be cooked perfectly. In the best case, it’s super tender. In the worst case, it’s tough and chewy. We also went with the catch of the day and had a lovely full fish between the two of us for a great price. It was grilled and so tasty with a big plate of fries and a couple of co*kes.

Pastries: Greece has some of the best pastries in the world. Baklava is probably the most well-known, and it’s a great choice, but I’d also encourage you to explore and try some others. My personal favorite isGalaktoboureko for the name alone. But it’s a mixture of baklava with the flaky phyllo dough and covered in syrup but instead stuffed with custard.Loukoumades are also a safe bet as they’re very similar to doughnut bites. We saw the most choice atRagoussis Bakery near the seafront and came back with more pastries than two people should buy.

Where To Eat When On Paros

Like I said in the what to eat section, every meal we had was great. There are plenty of food options in both main cities and all around the island so you will never go hungry. I’ve noted a couple of my favorites below.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (21)

Henri G Paros - Parikia

This was one of our two fancy meals. We picked it while we were wandering the streets of Parikia on our second night in search of dinner. It has a magical upstairs rooftop setup, open air, and lovely. It’s one where you may want to make reservations the day or night before if it’s during the busy season. The cuisine is French / Mediterranean, and the food was great. I loved sitting there, watching the people pass below, and enjoying a meal.

Matzourana - Naoussa

This was the second fancy meal we had, and it was to celebrate Alex’s birthday. I asked the Airbnb host for a recommendation, and they suggested Matzourana based on the views of the sea and the city. It’s a little out of town, so we took an affordable taxi there and back, but it’s definitely worth it for the view over the bay. We made a reservation for sunset, and it was magical to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea and then the city lights turn on and twinkle as we finished our meal. It was the most creative and interesting meal we had on Paros.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (22)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (23)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (24)

Sommaripa Consolato - Naoussa

A cute cafe in Naoussa that overlooks one of the port areas with colorful ships tied up. We stopped here on our lazy day for a coffee and cake. The townis pretty quiet during the day so we basically had the upstairs cafe to ourselves and sat in the window overlooking below. I believe it’s open in the evenings and serves a broader menu so it’s a good place to stop in any time of day. I loved the decor inside and the vibe of it overall.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (25)

Comeback Paros - Naoussa

East of the main square there is a little inlet where the water comes up almost to the tables and chairs where you sit. There are 10-15 little places that are difficult to tell one from another because they’re so close to each other. We picked Comeback Paros to sit and enjoy a drink while we relaxed for the evening. It was so dreamy to sit there as the sun set, and we could hear the waves crashing almost at our feet. All of these little places have nice atmospheres, so we picked the one with the comfiest seats. Most of these places also turn into reserved tables type of vibes later in the night.

Restaurant Glyfa

This is one of the two places on this list that aren’t in Parikia or Naoussa. We found this one as we were driving around in search of little beaches, so this was an added plus to finding this magical place. It’s so quaint with their gardens out front meaning you walk past the vegetable plants as you enter the restaurant. The food is organic, the view is great, and they have outdoor tables to just relax in between lounging on the beach. It might be out of the way, but it was one of my top meals, so it’s worth the stop.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (26)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (27)

Captain Pipinos - Antiparos

Even further out than Glyfa, this one is on Antiparos. We found it on the day we drove around and explored the island of Antiparos. It was exactly what we were in search of on that type of day. We had already spent time at a remote beach, so something rustic was a great fit. We eventually found ourselves driving down random roads and ended up here. It again had outdoor seating with tables right up to the water (see a theme here?) and their fresh catch of the day drying in the sun. It was the perfect meal and the perfect vibe for that day. Take me back please.

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (28)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (29)

Explore Greece


Greek Island Travel Guide: Paros

What’s better than Mykonos or Santorini? Paros! What to do, where to stay, what to eat in Paros and Antiparos. Transportation, hotel, restaurant, and activity recommendations for a culture-focused experience including Naoussa and Parikia

Read More →

10 Dreamy Things to Do on Paros

What to do on Paros -- a top Greek island destination. Recommendations for boat tours, renting quads, beaches to visit, and more Paros and Antiparos. Activity ideas for a culture focused experience including Naoussa and Parikia

Read More →

Greece Pins for Later

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (32)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (33)

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM WHERE (34)


Rachel Boyles

Paros, Greece - Greek Island Travel Guide — ROAM   WHERE (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated:

Views: 6194

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.