This year I’ve been to Paros for my summer holidays. I went with my Spanish friend Cirma and a Spanish friend of hers, whom I met for the first time there. The girls have never been in Greece before so I thought of going to Paros, as I consider it a typical Cycladic island, which combines really nice beaches and picturesque villages. It is also close to Athens (four hours with the boat) and not very big, you can see the whole island in 5-6 days. We arrived on a Saturday morning and we left on Thursday evening, which means that we had almost 6 full days to make the most out of it!
The Cycladic villages are characterised by their narrow cobbled paths, the old churches, the small shops and the whitewashed houses with the blue doors and windows. And in Paros one can see this traditional setting. The capital of the island is Parikia and along with Naousa they are the most famous and also touristic villages of the island. But apart from these two, there are other equally beautiful villages in the inland of Paros, like Lefkes and Prodromos, which are connected with a path called ‘The Byzantine Road‘. My friends did the walk, while I was waiting for them in a coffee shop in Lefkes (see below in the food section). It’s not that I didn’t want to go with them, but someone had to take the car. So next time I’m in Paros, I have to do this hiking! Out of all the villages, my favorite one was Lefkes, ’cause it brought back childhood memories, when my family and I used to go to my village for the summer holidays and I haven’t been there in four years, so I really miss it!
Generally, I think that the majority of Greek islands have amazing beaches! And Paros is definitely one of these islands! The most popular ones are Pounda beach, Chrissi Akti (Golden beach) and Kolymbithres beach, but the ones that stood out to me where:
- Kalogeros beach, where you can find free natural clay therapy
- Farangas beach with its crystal waters it feels like swimming in a pool (there is also a hidden beach behind the rocks)
- Kolymbithres beach, where the rocky formations create a spectacular setting
- Piso Aliki beach, if you want a combination of tranquility and turquoise waters
When you visit a Greek island, you should definitely eat seafood! I am a pescaterian, so for me this was paradise! One evening I tried the seafood pasta (with prawns, mussels and calamari) and some octopus in a restaurant in Naousa called ‘Ouzeri Ton Naftikon’. Located in an excellent spot with a great view, this place offers fresh and tasty dishes with reasonably good prices! And of course accompanied my food with ouzo! We’ve also tried traditional loukoumades with chocolate on top (the Greek doughnuts let’s say) in a pastry shop in Naousa called ‘Tripolitsiotis’, and also hand-made cheese pie with fyllo pastry, which was so yummy, in a coffee shop in Lefkes called ‘Kafenio ta Magalakia’. If you visit Lefkes, you should definitely make a stop here! But the best restaurant we visited was ‘H Pezoula Ths Lichoudias’ in the village Lefkes, whose recipes are secret but their taste is famous! It feels like you are eating in a home terrace and the few but delicious dishes are prepared by a mother and her daughter.
One evening we went to an event with traditional Greek dances, where boys and girls dressed in traditional costumes were dancing typical dances from the Cycladic islands. Being part of a dancing group myself, I felt really happy and at the same time lucky that we came across this event! They were performing dances that I haven’t seen before, and that’s why I took many videos to show to our teacher so that she can teach us! The most stunning performance though was the one of the dance ‘Balos’, where in this case it is a representation of a wedding, the bride and the groom along with the best man and the maid of honor dance together in the formation of a meander.
Day trip to Antiparos
When we were planning on how to spend our days in Paros, we thought of visiting the nearby island of Antiparos. It is only five minutes away with the ferry (plus half an hour from our village to the village from where the ferry was leaving). The reason why we wanted to go to Antiparos was not only because we could visit one more island, but also because we wanted to see the cave of Antiparos. It is a huge and atmospheric cave full of stalactites and stalagmites which form different shapes. However, it was sad to see that a lot were looted! The sight was impressive and one could notice the signatures from past visitors (some dated back to 1776). It was a really enthralling experience, but beware, in order to visit it you need to descend the 400-plus steps! When we finally reached the surface again, we were all out of breath and sweaty!
All in all, it was a really nice break which I fully enjoyed and I would totally recommend Paros for your next holidays, so much that I even consider going again soon!
By the way, did you know that păros in Romanian means ‘hairy’? My Romanian friend Radu mentioned this to me when I told him where I went for holidays!