Welcome to Paros, Greece!
The Best Beaches, Bars And Rooms
Paros is on of the popular Greek Islands in the Cyclades.
Sitting between Mykonos and Ios/Santorini is the island of Paros.
Large by Greek Isles standards, it is a quiet cousin to it's more raucous Cyclades cousins but can offer quite a few charms on its own.
A two-hour ferry ride from Mykonos, Paros lacks of the sophistication of Mykonos, offers only a taste of the frenzy of Ios and has none of the spectacle of Santorini. Still, it has a simplistic charm, a sort of poor-man's Mykonos. Shopping in the old town behind the harbor is among the best in the Cyclades, the harborside restaurants offer great candlelight dining at night and there's adequate nightlife to fill the evening.
As far as being a good party destination, Paros is hit-or-miss. Those fresh off Paradise Beach in Mykonos will be longing for some daytime activity. In late June and early July, Paros is popular among Scandinavians; after that, it's a mix-match of invaders from other parts of the world. The world windsurfing championships are in August and on the 15th of that month is the island's Dormition of our Lady celebration that includes a fireworks show.
The crowds are among the youngest in the Greece, primarily early college years. It's also a bit hard to predict. One moment, it can be filled with more Swedish people than Sweden and another, it can be hosting a high school field trip from Germany.
This is one of the few island where the main town isn't an intricate maze. In fact, the port town is little more than a main strip of restaurants along the bay and a series of bars down a street at the end of the bay. That makes it much easier to stagger back to your room after a night at the bars.
Rooms to Let
Most of Paros' action is wrapped around the harbor.
The ferry arrives and departs from the harbor town of Paroikia, distinguishable by a prominent windmill. Most of the rooms are located on one side of the harbor, while the bars are on the other side. The tourist office is next to the windmill.
Rooms are rented at a couple of the small towns dotting Paros, but all the nightlife is contained at the port. One convenient Captain Manolis Hotel. Located behind the National Bank, it has clean rooms with a refrigerator for as little as 10,000dr. a night. It's location is also one of the best in town, about as close a stumble to the bars as there is in Paros. For more hotels and to book on-line, click on the "hotels link" at the top of this page.
If Paros isn't to your liking, just a 10-minute boat ride across the harbor sits Antiparos. A tiny island within site of the dock, Antiparos has a nightlife scene all its own, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Unfortunately, the boats don't run at night, so it's impossible to bar-hop between islands. If you party on Antiparos, you must stay there overnight.
There's one-stop bar hopping at Paros Rock.
Paros By Day
The island has a pair of mediocre beaches, neither of which has anything approaching the frenzy of Mykonos. Christi Akti, which goes by the more popular moniker Golden Beach, is the nicest, especially for wind surfers. Windsurfing equipment can be rented and lessons are offered. There's a wimpy little beach volleyball court and a couple of quiet tavernas, but that's pretty much it for activity on this beach.
The world windsurfing championships are held on adjacent Tserdakia, or the New Golden Beach. These are outposts, though, a good hour bus ride from town.
Most people board a bus for the 45-minutes ride to Pounda Beach. It has an uninteresting snack bar (be sure and eat in town first) with a bar providing music and a bit of social activity. In short, it's a poor imitation of Paradise Beach. Closer to town, just jump on a water taxi to the beach across the harbor. It's relaxing, that's certain.
Paros By Night: Bars & Nightclubs
A good night out in Paros starts at the Slammer Bar. It's the last place on the waterway, just around the corner from the other nightspots. As its name implies, it specializes in tequiila slammers. It has a dance floor and a small outdoor patio.
When dance fever hits, Paros Rock is just a block away. Whatever is lacking in Paros' nightlife is made up for here. More than two blocks long, it contains several bars under one roof. The disco at the far end of the bar is the liveliest place on the island.
Looking for sex on Paros? It's easy to find here. The Sex Club is the island's high-rock dance club. It is locataed right across the street from Paros Rock.
POST-PARTY – SIGHTSEEING AND THE BEACHES
In addition to the mild activity at Pounda Beach and windsurfing at Golden Beach is the rocky and secluded Drios Beach. Very modest accomodations are available at Drios and its visitors are largely laid-back backpackers
Closer to town is the 6th Century Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church of Our Lady of 100 Gates), an imposing structure with churches and a courtyard. Paros also possesses one of the most bizarre "attractions" in all of Greece. The Valley of the Butterflies is a massive meadows that is home to brown-and-white-striped butterflies. Tours are offered for anyone wishing to know more about these creatures. For those who want to walk around a vast landscape on their own with no hope of ever seeing a butterfly, bus service is available.
The best sunny attraction of Paros is a boat ride away at Antiparos. Historic caves sit at the south end of the island. Boats leave from the main harbor (about every hour with a 45-minute trip) or Pounda Beach (every half-hour with a 10 minute trip.