A 40-minute flight away from Athens Airport or a 40min to 1h 15min ferry ride from Mykonos will get you to the island of Paros, well-known to windsurfers finding adequate wind in the narrow straight with another Cycladic island called Naxos and the islet of Antiparos where Tom Hanks owns and visits a summer villa. As the main producer of the finest quality all-white Parian marble in antiquity, it has a long history seen through ancient Greek masterpieces and the quarries at Marathi producing tiny amounts used only by the state for conservation purposes.
Accommodation in Paros
Paros is a very touristy island with varied profiles of visitors so you really need to plan ahead and go through the best options. Fortunately, you will be able to find some luxury resorts with a great sea view there including:
Parīlio. Designed by the Athens-based Interior Design Laboratorium and led by Kalia & Antonis Eliopoulos, behind the acclaimed hotels Vedema, Mystique, and Istoria in Santorini, this luxury accommodation hotspot is informed in its entirety by this north-western corner of the island, its landscape, history, and mythology. It is by far the newest, most opulent, and elegant hotel on the island. This minimalist all-suite property presents an authentic and organic Greek experience curated to fit modern needs. Zen and design-savvy, authentic and contemporary, it appeals to an aesthetically discerning clientele. Its most eye-catching outdoor design element is the imposing cross-shaped pool highlighted by two impressive rocks, loungers, and the utterly relaxing natural surroundings. For those looking to fully embrace the slow-paced Cycladic way of living, the on-site Elios Spa is highly recommended. Plus, its Mr. E restaurant welcomes you to try the island’s famed gastronomic heritage through seasonal Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
Summer Senses. Two free-form swimming pools, 100 rooms & suites (some with private pools), a spa, a gym, a pool bar, a lounge bar, the main restaurant, and the gourmet restaurant Galazia Hytra in collaboration with the Michelin-star Hytra restaurant in Athens are all offered by this sizeable resort in the island’s most visited beach, Punda.
White Dunes. Minimalists will enjoy their stay in this all-white hotel with a swimming pool, bar, restaurant, and other services by the beautiful beach of Santa Maria.
Yria Hotel. Probably the most stylish and luxurious of all, this eco-friendly boutique hotel by the picturesque bay of Parasporos on the west coast of the island, extends into 5.4 acres /22,000 sq. m of vineyards and gardens as all-white architectural entities inspired by the traditional Cycladic villages. Yria (after Paros’ ancient name) includes roomy suites (option for private pool or residence), a pool bar, a gym, an open-air spa with Jacuzzi, a Greek-designer boutique, and an alfresco Mediterranean cuisine gourmet restaurant — in summer 2020 the team worked with multi-awarded seafood chef Lefteris Lazarou and obviously such collaborations raise the bar even more.
Things to Do in Paros
The most beautiful fishermen’s port on the island is Naoussa with cute coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and a Venetian castle. It is ideal for brunch, lunch, dinner, and drinks. Most of the places are very carefully curated and you are highly encouraged to opt for the freshest seafood. In the island’s capital Parikia, make sure to check the byzantine church Panagia Ekatontapiliani (translates as a church with 100 doors dedicated to Virgin Mary). Swimmers and fans of water sports will enjoy the organized Golden Beach, Santa Maria (main and small) beach with a bar, Parasporos, Monastiri, and Punda for kite surfers & party animals. Beach-wise, Paros’ services are not at all at the Mykonos level of luxury and this is why you are recommended to also visit natural sandy beaches without any serious infrastructure such as Logaras, Lageri, and Piperi. Kolymbithres is a geologically interesting beach to check. Don’t skip a day trip (or longer) to Antiparos island to swim on the beaches of Psaraliki (organized), Soros (organized), Glifa, Livadia, and Agios Georgios. The regular ferries take you there in 7 minutes and there is even an extra option for a boat ride to the nearby islet of Despotiko. Make sure you have one of your meals at the Anargyros restaurant which is Greek culinary magic and at Pizza Lollo’s, which serves Roman pinsa (flat-bread pita-style slim pizza) and the yummiest fresh pasta. If you stay the night at The Rooster (in itself a reason to visit Antiparos) or Kouros Village you will be able to stroll around this cute town with pedestrian cobblestone paths, little shops, and bars that stay open until late. In the daytime, feel free to experience the concept of Beach House Antiparos in the island’s most sheltered from the northern winds beach called Apantima, featuring a restaurant bar, 9 sea-view suites, wellness, and concierge services. Also, visit the Antiparos Cave with stalactites and stalagmites; one of the most important and beautiful in Europe.
Restaurants & Bars in Paros
Barbarossa. Since 1987 this seafood restaurant which gradually adopts a gourmet approach to the Greek kitchen dominates the Venetian port of Naoussa. The latest addition to this culinary spot is their sushi bar.
Sigi Ikthios. In around the same location (Naoussa port) you will also find this nice Mediterranean restaurant with the adjacent Salty Bar for post-dinner cocktails.
Statheros. A family-run restaurant in Naoussa you are also recommended to try if you want to indulge in a delightful version of traditional local recipes.
Ohja! Oyster & Cocktail Bar. This new entry for 2021 offers an incredible fine-dining experience in an eclectic waterfront space inside a renovated old stone building in Naoussa. Chef Nikolaos Pylarinos, inspired by Greek and French cuisine, has created an exciting seafood menu based on the finest ingredients. Mixologist Jason Manolis Papadakis pairs these culinary marine treasures with mesmerizing cocktails.
Les Amis. For a gourmet twist on classic Mediterranean recipes and a focus on great wine pairings in a refined Cycladic culinary spot in the Naoussa area, try this hidden gem.
To Balcony tou Aki. Simple ultra-fresh seafood is served in a dreamy seaside location at a restaurant that has been operating since 1964 and has been awarded by local culinary media over the last two years.
Sommaripa Consolato. This is a cute all-day café that turns into a recommended aperitivo-cocktail bar for drinks after dinner in picturesque Naoussa.
Agosta. The night is long in Naoussa and this waterfront bar is another special option for either sunset drinks or cocktails and dance music till the late hours.
Santé. For special cocktails, often mixed with fresh exotic fruits and accompanied by summertime music, try this little bar on a cobblestone path in Naoussa, founded in the 90s.