Greek Islands Guide

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Paros is the third largest island in the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros. The islands capital, Parikia, is a major hub for the inter-island ferries for this area.

Behind the busy waterfront and contained within an expanding new town, can be found a typical Cycladic old town with narrow streets containing many shops, bars, tourist shops and of course a number of tavernas.

Located on the harbour side, next to where the inter-island ferries dock, stands a windmill that has become the symbol of the island. The windmill is a handy place to arrange to meet up with other members of your group, or to just sit on the wall, and watch the world go by while you wait for your ferry.

Paros is easy to explore with small boats offering excursions to a number of remote beaches, plus there is a good bus service that links the three main towns of Parikia, Naousa, and Lefkes in centre of the island. Although these towns are pleasant, they are also quite touristy, but if you venture further you will come across vineyards, olive groves, and some charming traditional villages. On your travels make sure you try the local wines of the island as they have built themselves a good reputation. Also try the locally produced lemon liqueur called kitron.

Paros 4The Byzantine cathedral of Panagia Ekatondapiliani, also known as Our Lady of a Hundred Doors, is said to have been was founded by Saint Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, The building underwent extensive restoration in the 1960’s, and in 1996 the square at the front was extended. Within the thick walls can be found rows of what were originally monks' cells, which now house a shop, and a museum which contains a small collection of icons, some dating back to the 15th century, plus a number of other items, all of which are labelled in both Greek and English. The inside the church, with its impressive dome, can be found many other important icons and a 4th century baptistery, with a font in the shape of a cross.

The second port on Paros is Naoussa. Originally a small fishing village, it has grown into a popular, slightly upmarket holiday resort. The main street that runs down to the picturesque harbour is lined both sides with a good selection of bars and tavernas. Another much more pleasant way down to the harbour area is to walk through the original old village with its narrow streets and a few, more interesting, tourist shops. The harbour area itself is home for a number of tavernas that specialise in serving fresh, locally caught fish. During the day, it is possible to catch small ferry boats From the harbour that will take you to a number of good nearby beaches, such as Langeri, or if water sports are your thing, they will take you around to the large beach of Santa Maria.

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