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Paros Travel Guide- Everything You Need to Know

Paros Travel Guide

Paros is a beautiful island to visit in Greece. It’s a Mediterranean gem that is full of great beaches, water sports and Greece cuisine. Paros is not as well known as Santorini or Mykonos but provides the opportunity to vacation on a Greek island with fewer crowds, and cheaper prices. There are two main areas that tourists usually stay in: Naoussa, and Parikia. Once there, you can explore the island by ATV or buggy, wonder around the cities, relax at the beach, rent a boat, or do day trips to Antiparos or Naxos with a quick ferry ride. Below is our Paros Travel Guide, filled with everything you need to know before going to Paros for the first time.

Paros Travel Guide Quick Links

Paros Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you travel to Paros?

There are many reasons why you should travel to Paros. If you are planning a trip to the Greek islands, Paros is a great destination to add to your trip. Paros has beautiful beaches, great food and good shopping. It is also much cheaper than other islands like Mykonos and Santorini so if you want to get the great Caldera view suite in Santorini, and need to save money elsewhere in the trip to do that, adding Paros to your trip for a few days is a great way to save money. The Greek food is also incredible – you must get a Greek salad and gyro at least once.

Paros has multiple villages to explore – the two most well known being Parikia and Naoussa, which is also where most of the accommodations, shopping and restaurants are. There are also many beaches to relax at like Santa Maria and Golden Beach. You can also easily take a day trip to Antiparos or Naxos with the ferry.

Overall, Paros has a relaxed atmosphere. It is not the party scene like Mykonos.

How to Get to Paros

The easiest way to get to Paros is by ferry. While there is an airport in Paros, it’s a small island and only small planes fly in. Ferries run regularly from Athens and other islands such as Mykonos and Santorini.

What Airports fly direct to Paros?

Paros National Airport (PAS) primarily handles domestic flights within Greece, especially from Athens International Airport (ATH) and Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG). Because the island and airport are small, expect only small planes to land and takeoff from Paros National Airport.

What islands have ferries to Paros?

Paros is well connected to several islands in the Cyclades and other parts of Greece. Several islands with easy, not long ferries to Paros include Mykonos, Naxos, Ios and Milos. Do check the ferry schedule before you book as there are more ferry routes in the summer compared to other seasons.

What do I need to know before going to Paros?

  • AMEX is hardly accepted anywhere so be sure to bring other credit cards (Visa / Mastercard). Some stores also only accept cash, majority of restaurants take credit card.
  • You do not need to go through customs again once you arrive in Paros.
  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date to ensure smooth travel.
  • Europe is starting new visa requirements for US travelers, but this is now delayed until 2024 or 2025. When it starts, US travelers between 18-70 years old will need to fill out an ETIAS visa-waiver form prior to their trip, and pay a €7 entry fee, to travel to European countries within the Schengen Area. This will be valid for three years or until your passport expires. It’s expected to have a quick turnaround but it’s important to plan and submit ahead of your trip.
  • The official language is Greek, but English is spoken in many of the touristy areas. Many restaurants also have English menus.
  • Restaurants have prices printed on their menus but some of the most touristy restaurants try to upsell you and it’s not really worth it. For example, they’ll call something a special and it’s nothing like the rest of the menu but it’s really a slightly bigger version (or has more fish) than a standard menu item, yet charge way more for the special.
  • Paros has a typical Mediterranean climate and the climate feels hotter than the temperature suggests. Once the sun goes down, it does feel chilly than the temperature suggests so be sure to bring a jacket.
  • The currency is the Euro.
  • Tipping is appreciated, but not expected. Some restaurants add service charges look for “Υπηρεσία” on the bill. At restaurants, if there is no service charge it’s customary to round up, leave small change or add 5-10%.
  • Plan your transportation ahead of time. There are almost no taxis on the island. Book travel to and from the port with your hotel. To get around the island, it’s easiest to rent an ATV or buggy as some “roads” are dirt and are narrow to navigate with a car.
  • Paros offers a wide range of experiences across the island. Many, like visiting the beaches, do not require reservations; however, having a rough idea of your itinerary will help keep nearby activities planned for the same day
  • It is easy to do a few days in Paros and island hop to other islands like Mykonos and Santorini.
  • It is also very easy to do day trips to other islands such as Antiparos which has ferries almost every half hour and Naxos which has fewer ferries but is still only a 45 min ferry ride away.
  • Hotels with incredible sunset views are more often on a hill and a bit of a walk from the main town
  • The two main towns are Naoussa, and Parikia. Naoussa tends to have more of the better restaurants and shopping. Parikia has the easiest access to the port.

How many days should I spend in Paros?

How many days you should spend in Paros ultimately depends on your interests, the activities you want to do and how busy you want your vacation to be. Because it is so easy to travel to other islands in Greece, and each of those islands offer something unique if it’s your first time to Greece, it’s best to spend only a few days in Paros and visit additional islands. If you’ve been to Greece before, it’s easy to spend an entire week in Paros!

One to Two Nights in Paros

If you have limited time, 2-3 days can allow you enough time to see most of the island, both of the main cities Naoussa, and Parikia, a day trip to Antiparos or Naxos and some time at the beach.

Long Weekend in Paros

A long weekend with 3-4 days in Paros enables you to see most of the most dos in Paros, although your trip will be pretty packed. You’ll have time to explore both Naoussa, and Parikia, visit one of the beaches and potentially do a day or half day trip to Antiparos.

Weeklong Trip in Paros

With a week on the Island, you can actually split your time in between two hotels, and spend a decent amount of time exploring each of the areas. For example, you could spend a few nights in Parikia and use that as a base for day trips to Antiparos and Naxos. Then, you could spend a few nights in Nauossa, and use that as a base for a day on a boat, beach day, and exploring the town.

Best Time of Year to Visit Paros

In my opinion, the best time to visit Paros is in June. While Paros is stunning in July and August, it is very crowded (and, more expensive). In June, the weather is still great and all of the restaurants and activities are available, but the crowds haven’t quite arrived yet. The crowds are thinner earlier in June, and start growing as June progresses.

June, July and August is primetime, and, for a reason. Paros usually has warm, sunny weather during this time. However, this is also the time that it’s packed with tourists, which make walking around Parikia and Nauossa more difficult and you need to secure dinner reservations in advance.

If you prefer a quieter time without crowds an ddon’t care as much about visiting the beaches then the Spring or later Autumn may be the best time for you. See what Paros is like every month of the year.

What is Paros famous for?

Paros is famous for being a beautiful, yet lower cost, island in Greece. Some call it a quieter and cheaper Mykonos as there aren’t as many crowds, the prices for food, accommodations and activities are cheaper. For example, a beach club may cost $200 minimum for 2 chairs in Mykonos but in Paros it’s $10 per chair. However, the service at the beach clubs is much higher in Mykonos whereas in Paros you even have to bring your own towels so it’s not a true comparison.

The two areas Paros is most famous for is Parikia – which is the town near the port – and Naoussa – which is the fishing village. The more famous restaurants and Instagram picture worthy spots are in Naoussa, as well as the only 5 star hotel on the island. Paros is also known as an island where it is easy to take day trips. Antiparos is a quick 15 minute ferry that comes every half hour or so. Naxos can also be done as a day trip from Paros.

What are the best things to do in Paros?

Paros is full of things to do, even as a small island. In Paros, the two main towns to visit are Parikia and Naoussa. There are plenty of local shops in each of these towns, as well as great restaurants. There are also other traditional villiages like Lefkes, Marpissa and Prodromos. Antiparos has a really cute village as well, and is only a 15 minute ferry ride away, very easy to do a day or half day trip.

If you want to relax on the beach, there are a lot of great beaches including Santa Maria where you can rent beach chairs (though bring your own towels and sunscreen!). Santa Maria also has some hiking paths right next to it, so bring sneakers with you if you want to enjoy a hike before or after the beach. Paros also offers plenty of water sports, like a half day or day boat rental, jet skis and more.

Paros also has wine tasting. You can take a wine tour and sample local varieties like Mandilaria and Monemvasia. In this Paros Travel Guide, you can find more details in our detailed post on best things to do in Paros.

What is the weather like in Paros?

Paros, like most of the Greek islands, has a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. In the summer, if it says it’s in the 70s, it feels much hotter. The sun is strong in the summer. The weather is also quite pleasant in the Fall and Spring, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, occasionally reaching the 80s. In the winter time, it can get into the 50s. Here is what the weather is like in Paros every month.

Is Paros Safe?

Paros is generally considered a safe place to visit. It has a low crime rate and violent crime is rare. However, like with all travel, it’s good to exercise common-sense precautions to ensure your safety and security. This includes locking your valuables in the safe, and keeping an eye on your bags. At the beach, some umbrellas have a little lockbox where you can put your phone and wallet in while you swim.

If you rent an ATV, make sure you pay attention to the roads as you will share the roads with cars. The emergency contact numbers are 112 for general emergency and 171 for tourist police.

What is the best area to stay in Paros?

There are several great areas to stay in Paros. The top two areas to stay in Paros are Naoussa, and Parikia.

Naoussa is a charming fishing village with lots of shops, restaurants and accommodations. This tends to be the more luxurious area of Paros, including where the first 5 star hotel opened (Cosme, owned by Marriott). Naoussa is also where you can find the islands most famous restaurants like Sigi Ikthios and Barbarossa. You’ll find many of the pictures you see of Paros on Instagram were taken in Naoussa. It is easy to stay right in the town, or out the outskirts of town and walk into town.

Parikia is the capital and the main port of Paros. This is where the ferry will drop you off / pick you up. Parikia has a range of accommodations and accommodations tend to be a bit cheaper than Naoussa. Staying in Parikia makes it easy to take the ferry to Antiparos for a day trip and is about 25 minutes from the Santa Maria beach club. Parikia has decent shopping and decent restaurants. You can stay right in the town, or up on the hill which has gorgeous sunset views. If you stay on the hill, you can walk down to the village but it’s a bit easier to drive down with an ATV.

Should I stay in Parikia or Naoussa?

Deciding whether to stay in Naoussa or Parikia in Paros ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the type of vacation you’re seeking. Naoussa is more romantic and luxurious, is a bigger town and has more of the top restaurants. Parikia has the easiest access to the port and has more affordable accommodations.

What are the best beaches in Paros?

There are many beautiful beaches in Paros, and the best beach will depend on what you’re looking for. We found Monastiri to have the best beach club and great swimming. You could rent lounge chairs for a reasonable price (much cheaper than Mykonos!) though you do have to bring your own towel. The water is shallow and clear. It is around 25 minutes from both Parikia and Naoussa and is most easily reached by ATV as some roads are narrow, and it is hard to get a taxi back from there.

Piperi Beach is another well known beach in Paros. It is located near Naoussa and is the most accessible beach to get to if you’re staying in Naoussa. It offers beautiful views and has clear water great for swimming. Santa Maria Beach is also near Naoussa and well known.

There are additional beaches like Golden Beach, known for strong summer winds and windsurfers, Kolymbithres Beach known for it’s intriguing rock formations, Pounda Beach, known for it’s beach bars and Faragas.

Ultimately, the beaches in Paros are a different scene than Mykonos and the best beach for you in Paros is likely the one that is most convenient to get to. They are all a much more relaxed atmosphere, and you should assume you need to bring your own towels and sunscreen.

Driving in Paros

There are very few taxis in Paros, so your options are to stay in an area you can walk to the majority of things you want to do (Nauossa is best for this), or rent a ATV / car. The roads are easy to drive, and ATVs share the road with cars. Most are 1 lane and aren’t high speed, so it feels relatively safe if you’re in an ATV. Some roads turn into narrow, dirt roads and these are easier to navigate in an ATV. Driving is on the right side of the road in Paros, and in all of Greece. Most of the intersections in Paros are roundabouts, they don’t have many – if any – traffic lights.

To rent a car / ATV you need to show your drivers license. We showed our US license and that was sufficient.

Parking is also easy in Paros, with it being especially easy to park an ATV on the side of the road. During peak season, it may be a little tougher in the crowded tourist spots. Our hotel didn’t charge us to park the ATV at night.

How to Save Money Traveling in Paros

There are many ways to enjoy a great trip to the Greek islands while still saving money. Adding Paros to your Greek island itinerary is one of the easiest ways to save money traveling to Greece. Hotels, activities and food are cheaper in Paros than Mykonos and Santorini. In this Paros Travel Guide, our best recommendations to save money raveling to Paros are to book your hotel ahead of time to get the best deal. Traveling in the shoulder season will also save you money on accommodations and flights.

Greek food is incredible, and grabbing a gyro instead of having a sit down dinner or lunch is delicious and will also save you money. When you are sitting down for dinner or lunch, don’t be swayed by the upsells from your wait staff.

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