Making the Most of Paros
When I imagined my time in Paros, I pictured lazy days on the beach and not much else. I was under the impression that this was a sleepy little island, and I wasn’t entirely wrong. It’s got a much more local vibe, and a whole lot less tourists than islands like Mykonos or Santorini. But – there’s still plenty to explore.
When visiting Paros, most people either stay in Parikia or Naousa. Parikia is the port town and offers the most options for budget accommodation and cheap, authentic Greek food. The old town is filled with cobble stone streets, whitewashed buildings and unique clothes and jewellery shops. Naousa is similar to Parikia but a little bit more upper class. The old town shops and streets are very alike, but you’ll find more fancy restaurants and nice hotels.
Explore by quad bike (or scooter)
The main road that goes all around the island is a 60km loop, making it pretty achievable to see it all in one day. If you take some of the smaller, more windy roads, you’ll pass through wineries, cute little villages and be treated to a mountainous backdrop.
There are heaps of little towns and nice beaches but I had two standouts:
- Kalogeros Beach is only a small beach, and thankfully not too busy. While it boasts a stunning coastline and beautifully blue water, the real highlight is the clay! You can scrape a bit of dust off the rocks and mix it with sea water to make the clay, allegedly good for exfoliating. We covered ourselves with the gooey, grey clay and then once it had dried, washed it off in the ocean. My skin has never felt so smooth!
- Lefkes is a small town toward the middle of the island, which used to be the capital but is now a very quiet spot. It’s similar to famous towns like Oia (in Santorini) but with a much more local feel. While there’s still the odd touristy shop, it’s mostly full of gorgeous houses and authentic Greek cafes and restaurants. While I was there, I saw lots of artists perched in little alleyways, drawing and painting the streets.
Explore by boat
If you hop on a boat cruise, you’ll be able to get to lots of spots that are not accessible by land. Of course, the added bonus is the continuous views of the Paros and Antiparos coastlines.
On top of the many secluded beaches and private swimming spots, I had two highlights on my boat trip:
- The Blue Lagoon is aptly named so. I’ve never seen water so light blue in my life. From the boat, you could clearly see the ocean floor, but it was deep enough that we couldn’t swim to the bottom. Such a beautiful place for a little swim.
- There was a cluster of caves that we were able to swim into and spot a few fish! Some brave souls also climbed on top of the caves for a bit of cliff jumping. Not me, though! Eek.
Did I miss any amazing spots in Paros? Let me know in the comments below.