Welcome to the windsurfer’s paradise, of the valley of the Jersey Tiger moths; of golden sandy secluded beaches with crystal clear blue water; of tiny fishing harbors; of the legendary Ekatontapyliani Church (Our Lady of the One Hundred Gates), of vibrant nightlife, of the cosmopolitan atmosphere, of the translucent Parian marble, the raw material for masterpieces like The Venus de Milo and Praxiteles’ Hermes; of the Myths and of the Legends.
Tourism has been very kind to Paros, and the island has changed quite a bit within the last 20 years. It now offers a high level of tourist infrastructure, yet still has lovely unspoiled areas and plenty of marvelous sights and attractions. It has managed to achieve an excellent balance between the two!
Parikia is the lively, picturesque capital of the island and its main commercial port. In fact, its port is a connecting hub between the western, eastern, and lesser Cycladic Islands. The capital has some excellent restaurants and tavernas, and a nightlife nearly rivaling that of nearby Mykonos. Parikia offers fairly decent bus connections to some of the outlying beaches south and southeast, as well as to Naoussa, the picturesque fishing village on the north coast. As with all of the larger islands, however, renting a car or bike always seems to be the best option. Paros lies just west of Naxos, the nearest island after Antiparos, and with excellent ferry connections to it. It is similar in size and topography to Tinos Island and, like Tinos, also has an important church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Panagia Ekatontapyliani (Our Lady of 100 Doors or Gates-Photo). Thousands of pilgrims arrive on the island on the 15th of August to pay homage and celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The impressive church is situated in Parikia, and is surrounded by high, thick walls enclosing the grounds, which include a lovely garden at its entrance and an excellent museum (entrance fee required).