The day we left Mykonos the sky was grey. During the 40 minute ferry trip to Paros, the weather got even worse and by the time we approched the port of Parikia, the ship was moving so violently with the wind and rain that it couldn’t be moored.
As soon as we were safely on land we took a taxi (which we shared with a lovely British couple, ha!) to the second biggest town in the island, Naoussa, where our hotel was. We were told that the island was an almost unknown destination, home of fishermen and shepherds, until groups of young French hippies started coming on vacation in the 1970’s. Many of them never left, many more came after, and Paros started gaining recognition as a touristic destination among the Cyclades islands.
During our taxi ride, and despite the dreadful weather, we got the first impression of what the island was like: a tranquil place of rolling hills sprinkled with greenery and little white houses that seemed to be sprouting from the ground. As the days passed we confirmed it, it’s a place to rest and fall in love.
The first night the storm was still going on, so we just stayed at the hotel and went to bed praying to see a little sunshine in the morning. Our prayers were answered and the next day was spent in the little beach in front of the hotel.
When the sun went down we headed downtown to the port area, where getting lost amongst the charming narrow streets is the best way to find the perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails.
There are also a ton of options for dinner. We went to Barbarossa on our last night and absolutely loved it. The food was delicious, the waiting staff was great, and the whole experience of dinning under the stars in such a beautiful place is something you should do, whether you’re on your honeymoon or not.
Take a boat trip (and eat some more).
I don’t want you to think that all we did in Paros was eating and drinking! On our second day, we booked a boat trip to visit the most amazing places between Paros and Antiparos (the neighbor island).
We swam in the clear turquoise waters, sunbathed in a little island with just a tiny church in it, met some nice people, and yes, we had one of the best meals of our trip! See? The greek are imposible, their food is just too good!
Don’t miss a beach.
Finally, on our third and last day, we rented a car because there were many places we hadn’t seen, specially the eastern and southern beaches. Paros is bigger than Mykonos and Santorini, but you can actually drive all around it in a day. We made our first stop in Piso Livadi and stayed there for about an hour. Then we found, by chance, the Paros Surf Club, a great place even if you don’t windsurf. After about an hour and a half we moved south to Aliki, a nice little beach where we were the only tourists among a few local mothers and their children.
Our last stop was Kolymbithres, a surreal beach where the rocks look like sculptures, and the actual beach is nestled among them. It’s really close to Naoussa, so you don’t need to go all around the island to get there. We didn’t stay much because the sun was starting to set, and we had just had a little fender bender (with the rented car, go figure) so we were not in the mood for sightseeing anymore, to be honest. But as you can see, the place is gorgeous and is worth a visit. Actually, Paros as a whole is worth the visit.
I had never heard of the island until our travel agent mentioned it while we were planning the honeymoon. And her recommendation was spot on, let me tell you. It’s certainly not a cosmopolitan jet-set destination like Mykonos and the landscape is completely different than Santorini (I’ll tell you all about the volcanic island soon), but it has its own charm. If you’re planning a trip to Greece, let yourself fall in love with this beautiful island in the center of the Egean.