I guess our main memory of Paros, would be sitting in Pebbles bar in Parikia, on the open patio, enjoying wonderful omelets, drinking freshly brewed 'Filter' coffee, and watching the open sea.
This bar is not particularly fancy, the food is good, but not overly so, the prices are reasonable, however we found that throughout Parikia, so what was the draw to Pebbles...?
Probably the view, and the smiling face of the owner Dimitri. Sitting there, only a scant few meters from the sea, enjoying life as we never felt we could, watching the ferries and small craft arrive and depart, and playing our game of 'Whats their nationality' as tourists wandered past our vantage point.
Fondest memory: Paros in general allowed us to slow down, in fact, 'forced us' to slow down, and therefore appreciate where we were, and what we could see and feel.
Too often holidays become a whirlwind affair, sending you home more stressed and tired than when you first started. Paros, in particular Parikia, gave us the opportunity to unwind, catch our breath, and renew our energy.
We ended up in Naoussa by chance and I can't say we regret it. This town is absolutely beautiful with its white-washed houses, marble pavements and the picturesque harbour.
The small harbour with all those little boats and restaurants that line the dock is certaintly the heart of the town. This was an amazingly quiet place during the day and crowdy in the evenings.
Fondest memory: Naoussa is probably my favorite of all the towns I have stayed in in Greece. I am not quite sure why, the place just had a great feel about it.
I wasn't as impressed with Parikia as Naoussa and very glad we ended up staying in the latter. I found the beach road really unappealing but up from there the town looked better.
Having said that I can't really say I know the town, as I only spent a few hours there.
Fondest memory: The main attraction in Parikia is the church Panagia Ekatontapilliani. The complex actually consist of a few seperate churches and they played part in the developement of early christianity.
Lefkes is a beautiful, quiet town in the center of Paros. It is the former capital of the island and the second largest town. All the houses are white and the reflection from their walls makes it almost impossible to go around without sunglasses during the day.
Fondest memory: The winding narrow streets are great fun to explore and the houses are beautifully decorated with flowers. The streets are too narrow for cars to pass so there are no disturbances.
Lefkes is a must to visit when touring Paros.
On the main road between Parikia and Lefkes lie the ancient marble quarries. The site is marked with a sign from the road. Up to the quarries leads a marble road and the fences over there are made from marble. Everything is marble!
Fondest memory: The primary quarry was closed when we visited but all around the place there were remains of quarries.
The Parian Marble is famous for for it's quality and made the islanders rich in former times. Marble is still a major export from the island.
Many of the greatest statues throughout history were made from Parian marble, i.e. David from Milo.
Naousa is one of the most the beautiful picturesque fishing village of Parosand is located in a huge bay in the northern part of Paros, 10 kilometres east from the capital, Parikia.
It is built amphitheatrically around a tiny picturesque port where remains of a Venetian castle can still be seen, creating a particular and enchanting atmosphere.
Naousa is also famous for its numerous beautiful golden beaches, filling the huge bay of Naoussa, such as Kolymbithres Beach, Agios Ioannis, Agioi Anargyroi, Monastiri and much more.
It is the capital of the island, and also a commercial and trasporting port.
Narrow streets, ancient monuments, small churches and a archealogical museum and also Paroikia offers all the facilities for a traveler.
There is a windmill in the centre of the waterfront and it is the trademark of the town.
Memphis Net Internet cafe is conveniently located right by the port at Parikia, the capital of Paros.
I logged onto VT from this Internet cafe most days during my visits to Paros in September 2005 and May 2006.
To access the Internet you must first purchase a time card from the counter. These can be purchased in amounts of 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours. You don't have to use all the time in one sitting....simply keep the card (which displays a unique access code and password) and bring it with you when you next return to the cafe. The shorter time cards (less than an hour) are valid for a few days, while the 3 hour card is valid for a period of 21 days. The more time you buy, the better value it is - a 3 hour card costs 10 Euros.
The connection speed is fast and the cafe offers a variety of other facilities such as printing, burning to CDs and the use of webcams. It is also a WIFI hotspot.
You can purchase hot and cold beverages.
Open daily from 8am - 10pm (closed for a few hours on Sunday afternoons).
You can find more details about this Internet cafe at http://www.memphisnet.gr/
The most famous and oldest church of Paros is the Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Our Lady of the Hundreds Gates) or Katapoliani, which is also considered as one of the most important Byzantine Monuments of Greece.
Located in the capital of Paros, Parikia, the church is believed to be miraculous and every year, thousands of Pilgrims visit it for its celebration, on the 15th of August.
Panagia Ekantontapiliani was built on the site of an older cross shaped wooden basilica which was destroyed, nobody knows exactly why. The new church built there had beautiful vaults and domes but was hit by many catastrophes all over the centuries, creating great damages.
In its interior, the church has a beautiful cross-shaped baptistery, wonderful sculptural decorations, fine post-Byzantine icons, astonishing marble-carved iconostasis and more.
Favorite thing: In Paros there are so many places to stay. Sometimes house or appartment owners stop you on the street to show you pictures of the place they rent and try to persuade you to go and stay there. You can find luxurious hotel rooms and shacks as well, small rooms and houses for more than 6 people. Anything you want all around the island.
If someone had one day to spend in Paros, I would tell them to spend it in Naoussa.
The beaches, the shopping, the fishing boats all around are parts of what made it my favorite island in the Cyclades
Fondest memory: Paros was gorgeous... Not as touristy as Santorini, but the Naoussa area was beautiful and full of things too do!
Great seafood, and lots of restaurants off the water... Beautiful beaches (rent a scooter and head up to Monestierri Beach, and then one day over to Santa Maria - they are both fantastic
No need to stay in a hotel with a pool, riding the scooter around to the different beaches provided the best site seeing of all. (We stayed at Kanales, with a gorgeous pool, that we did not go in once! Next time we are staying at Leonardo Apartments)
As you enter the main tourist area in Naoussa, there is a shop called Tantanhc - owned by a Paros native who prides himself on carrying home decor and (tasteful) souveniers from all over Greece - hand-blown glass, religious items, I picked up 6 handpainted jewelry boxes as well as a lantern! Plus, the owner will ship anywhere so you do not have to worry about dragging your breakables around with you!
Also, in the main area we went to a restaurant called Romantica, where we ordered a platter of the most incredible lamb chops (pidakia) that I have ever had
We went to a seafood place one night, about 15 minutes from the main area, call Christiana's (not sure of exact spelling!) where the father fishes and the son runs the restaurant where they serve up barbouni, scorpina, lobster, and a host of traditional Greek dishes!
Favorite thing: I have been to Paros, Naxos, Mikinos and Santorini (Fira) and find Paros and Naxos to be the most friendly, wonderful, trustful place I have been in the world. It is relatively inexpensive (rooms for $15 and meals for under $10 including wine) Be sure to rent a motorbike for a day at least but it is handy for a few days to go to the beach, etc. (and of course very affordable rates and you can squeeze two on the bike) Mikinos and Santorini are nice for a day to see the sites, but for a longer stay you will find Paros (or Naxos) better.
The "Our Lady of the Hundred Gates" monastery has 3 different churches and is said to have 99 gates.
The legend says that whenever they find the number 100, Istanbul will be "returned" to Greece!
Prombona Street, close to the bus station.
This little town 12 kms away from Parikia was the capital of the island in the middle ages.
Don't miss the Agias Trias Cathedral or the Museum of Popular Aegean Civilisation.
To get there, take a bus from Parikia.
See my travelogues about my trip to the islands in 1972 and compare it to today.
As a matter of interest, we tended to eat breakfast and lunch on the beach using fruit, bread, cheese etc that we bought in the local stores. In the evening we would go into town and eat a pretty good meal and then drink local wines and spirits well into the night. All this used to cost us about £0.50p per day.