|The third largest of the Cyclades group of islands, Paros has been a popular destination since antiquity, a meeting point of cultures and peoples that left their mark in their passage. Combining an age-long history, quaint Cycladic settlements, modern tourist infrastructure and an unparallel natural wealth, today the island is one of the most visited places in the Aegean.
Gently rolling hills surround the middle part and southeast of the island, which is predominately agricultural covered by endless vineyards growing in the land that produces the famous Parian marble. The indented coastline encloses numerous small islets and two large bays, Naoussa in the north and Parikia in the west.
In the southwest, the small island of Antiparos is a small holiday paradise with calm Cycladic landscape, scattered chapels, a famous cave and a Venetian castle.
Standing on the site of an early Cycladic village, capital port-town Parikia (or Chora) spreads along a sheltered bay on the west coast of the island, laying at the feet of a Venetian castle. Numbering 3,000 residents, Parikia beams with life during the summer when its population doubles with the addition of colorful, multi-lingual crowds of tourists.
In spite of its rapid development, the town has managed to retain its Aegean-island charm, still being steeped in history. Among the sites to see are the Ekantotapiliani Church, the Archaeological museum and the Frankish monastery built by the Capuchin monks around 1700. The coastal road leads to the hill of St. Anne offering a unique view over the Aegea Sea between the ruins of Delion, a temple dedicated to goddess Artemis and the nearby ruins of the Askleppion and the temple of Pythian Apollo. Lining the sea front, the commercial centre has many shops, traditional taverns, restaurants, bars and art galleries housed in private and public buildings.
If sandy beaches are what visitors are looking for, then Paros is the right place. A paradise for windsurfers, it has the best beaches in the Mediterranean, many of whom have become quite popular. In addition to getting a glorious tan and partying at the many nightspots, visitors can also enjoy a wide range of other activities available on the island, such as diving, sailing, fishing, horseback riding, mountain bike and trekking.