Our Greek Isle by Michael Shepherd
As one reads the guide books or browses the travel sites it is easy to become confused about the character of the Cycladic island of Paros, Greece. Because it has more ferry traffic than any other island --due to being between Athens and the well known islands of Mykonos and Santorini - everyone who visits the area has been to Paros.
Yet each beholder sees a different aspect. The superficial donít get past the rock & rolling beach clubs or the harbour drive full of restaurants and bars. Some, especially those with young families, pass through to the adjacent isle of Antiparos which is well known for its quiet, laid back, small scale village lifestyle. It is also a favourite spot for Scandinavians who like the nude beaches found there.
For the adventure seekers who wish to stay on Paros we recommend taking the first day to circle the island - non-stop it can be done in less than hour, but that is not the way to sample its joys. There are far too many sandy beaches to enumerate so the visitor has too look a few over and decide if he wants a small cove all to himself , a wider stretch with a small taverna and a few other people or the big Golden Beach with hotels, cafes, windsurfers, waterskiing, etc. Except that is not a necessary decision because a little further around the island at Santa Maria you can find all three types in close proximity.
Paros has two towns and numerous villages. Parikia is the port city and commercial hub; Naoussa the up-scale tourist haven around a picturesque fishing harbour. Piso Livadi is the archetypical Mediterranean village while it is said about Aliki at the undeveloped south end of the island, "Not many people find their way here, but those who do, donít want to leave."
Perhaps we should also visit some antiquities as well. That is easy as you canít go anywhere without stumbling over or running into ruins from either ancient Greece or the Venetian period about 1,500 AD. One of the best views is from a partially rebuilt Mycenaean site from about 1,500 BC. Behind the main supermarket in Parikia is an excavated ancient pottery factory. Our major Orthodox church, Ekatontapyliani, has plexiglas floor inserts so you can see the ancient temple over which it is built.
For the activity holiday we have horse-riding, yoga clinics, painting and cooking courses, bicycling, hill walking, etc. Of course there is every water sport that you can imagine. Ever heard of kite boarding? Paros is the Greece capital for that sport. Scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing opportunities abound.
This short description of Paros has not included the vast array of art galleries, wineries and the like. We have also selfishly not mentioned our favourite spots, but if you come visit us, we will share our pieces of paradise with you.
About the Author
An American-Irish expatriate couple share their Greek island experience by offering lodging and information including maps and photos. They provide content and links for Paros, the Cyclades, Greece and the world of living abroad.