Majesty of the past meets the Cycladic lifestyle of the present thus spinning the Parian web where are tangled those who seek for real vacations in an island full of history, traditions, vibrations and fun!
The first settlement – and main harbor of the island – that your eyes are cast on once the ship approaches Paros. Parikia is the Chora of Paros, built on the location of the ancient town, while its altitude is just 10m high. It gracefully combines the strong ancient history with the modern lifestyle and traditional Cycladic architecture. Parikia, where excavations have shown that it has not stopped been inhabited since the prehistoric era, distinguishes for the outdoor archeological sites as well as the prevailing church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, whose celebration in August forms the most significant event of the summer. In Parikia, you will also visit the Archeological Museum, the Castle from the Frankokratia times along with the sanctuaries of Asclepius and Pythios Apollo and the ancient cemetery (in Vinchi location).
According to tradition, the greatest in size early Christian monument was constructed by Aghios Constantinos, upon his mother’s, Aghia Eleni, wish. Later researches by the archeologist, Anastasios Orlandos (in the 60’s) proved that there was a temple dated before the 6th century, fact that confirms that the church was built by the equal-to-apostles. The name of “Katapoliani” or “Ekatontapiliani” derives from the term “katapola” (=towards the town), that is to say towards the ancient town. Still, tradition claims the following: “Katapoliani has 99 visible doors. The 100th is closed and cannot be seen. The door will open and become visible as soon as the Greeks will take over Constantinople…”.
One of the most picturesque fish-villages in the Cyclades. Naoussa is the second biggest settlement of the island and stands out thanks to its magnificent beauty and great tradition in fishing. Today, it constitutes a popular touristic destination with terrific nightlife as all paved alleys are full of people even in the early morning hours. It’s worth visiting the ancient wall and the Venetian castle while the cells of the historic monastery of Aghios Athanasios house the Byzantine and Folklore Museums. The archeological findings – a Mycenaean settlement and findings of the Early Cycladic period – prove the significance of the specific region since the ancient times.
Amphitheatrically built on hills, Lefkes is the jewel of Paros inland. Here, there are no vehicles passing by while the semi-mountainous and greenish setting helps you get away from the intense pace of Naoussa and Parikia. Stroll around the alleys with the white houses and the arches, visit the church of Aghia Triada and try authentic dishes of the local cuisine in one of the taverns. Lefkes are found in the center of the island, turning the village into the ideal springboard for excursions and explorations throughout the island.
Valley with the Butterflies
A must-do sight in Paros. Even though Cycladic islands are not known for their vegetation, the Valley with the Butterflies forms a wonderful exception as it consists of all sorts of trees and plants whose trunks are “embraced” by thousands of butterflies. This totally green oasis is set in Psychopiana location, SW of Parikia. Leave your vehicle in the parking area, pass through the gate and follow the paths, just like the arrows indicate. The sight will take your breath away as dozens of tree species – wild olive trees, fig trees, pear trees etc. – form the shelter for the beautiful butterflies. Bear in mind the instructions so as not to scare them and when the time comes for them to dance, let them give you a hug!
It is included among the most significant museums in Greece. It consists of exhibits discovered after excavations in Paros and Antiparos, which date back to the Neolithic era and the early Christian years. Some of them are Nike of Paros, Cycladic idols, the archaic marble Gorgo, the poet Archilochus, amphorae, male statues etc. Moreover, in the displays you can have a look at exhibits from the ceramics and marble sculpture workshops while in the outdoor space you will see statues and sarcophagus from the classical and roman periods as well as mosaics found in the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani. The Archeological Museum is set next to the High School in Parikia.
The House of Literature
In the center of Ramnos, the main street in Lefkes, the House of Literature prevails, an initiative by Paros Municipality and the Greek Center of Literary Translation (EKEMEL). Integrated in a European network of houses, the house of Literature hosts men of letters –writers, translators, intellectuals – who have the opportunity to evolve their works in peace and quiet thanks to the serenity of the space and the overall area. The building includes 14 rooms, a library, a study area and PC. Open all year long.
Paros’ little brother. Just a breath away, only 1kt from the small Pounta ferry, Antiparos waits for you to initiate you to the alternative side of Greek summer. Golden beaches, bars which will keep you awake till the dawn, fine cuisine and unique natural beauties (see the Cave of Antiparos) are just some of its hidden aces.