Visiting Anti Paros is one of the best things to do on Paros.

15 Fun Things To Do On Enchanting Paros

Paros is an enchanting Greek island, located a 3-4 hour ferry ride south of Athens and less than an hour from Naxos. It has many lovely beaches, beautiful whitewashed villages, a must-see, quaint old fishing harbor, Naoussa Harbor, on the northeastern side of the island, a vibrant nightlife, traditional Greek tavernas and fine dining options, as well as ancient castles, sanctuaries, and churches dotting the island. It also has its own island, Anti-Paros, another must-see, off its northwest coast. This post covers the top things to see and do on both Paros and its island Anti Paros.

15 Fun Things To Do On Paros

Explore Parikia Old Town

The capital and main town of Paros is Parikia, also called Paroikia. If you arrive via ferry (which you probably will), Parikia harbor is where you’ll land. Parikia may not seem like the most picturesque town when you first arrive, but a walk though the winding, cobblestone streets tucked in its old town quickly uncovers its charms.

Visiting Old Town Parikia is one of the top things to do on Paros
Parikia Old Town

Located just southeast of the windmill by the harbor, Parikia old town is a maze of cobblestone alleyways with lovely whitewashed buildings punctuated with colorful doors and brilliant bougainvillea and greenery. It’s fun to take some time to discover the tavernas, cafes, and shops here. Or maybe just stop for a gelato.

Parikia Old Town

Stop By The Holy Monastery Panagia Ekatontapiliani

While you’re in Parikia old town, stop to see the interesting Byzantine church, Panagia Ekatontapiliani. Legend is this church was built upon a promise made by St. Helen (mother of Constantine the Great) to the Virgin Mary. St. Helen stopped here during a storm on a journey to the Holy Land while searching for the Holy Cross.

There was a small chapel here at the time and she promised to build a large church if her journey was successful. After her success, her son fulfilled this promise by having Ekatontapiliani built. The original church was built in the 4th century. It was remodeled in the 6th century by Emporer Justinian, and added to over the centuries.

Panagia Ekatontapiliani Is one of  the top things to see on Paros
Panagia Ekatontapiliani

There’s another interesting story about this pretty church. Its name, Ekatontapiliani, means 100. The legend is that this church has 99 doors with 1, secret door, totalling 100. This 100th, secret door will supposedly be revealed when the Hagia Sofia in Constantinople (Turkey) becomes Orthodox again.

In reality, however, there are nowhere near that many doors…

Visit Paros’ Archeological Museum

The Archeological Museum of Paros is close to Panagia Ekatontapiliani in the old town. It’s a small museum, but worth the stop if you’re curious about the history of this island. It showcases artifacts found on both Paros and Anti Paros from the Neolithic age to early Christianity.

Some of its highlights include the statue of the Nike of Paros and a marble statue of Mermaid Gorgo, who supposedly petrified anyone who looked into her eyes. There are also several other sculptures, as well as mosaics, pottery and figurines.

The Ruins Of The Temple Of Athena

The Temple of Athena was built in the 6th century BC to honor Athena, patroness of Paros, on a spectacular spot on the seaside edge of Parikia. Although all that remains is the rubble if its foundation, it once had 6 columns on both its east and west sides and spanned over 100’ long (30 m). It must have been an amazing sight overlooking the sea here.

Visiting the Temple of Apollo is one of the top things I do on Paros
Temple Of Athena and Konstantinos Church

The ruins of this temple sit before Agios Konstantinos Church (below). Some of the temple toppled into the sea, while the rest was used in construction of the Frankish Castle nearby (also below).

View From Temple of Apollo

Wander Around Agios Konstantinos Church

This beautiful little church (above) sits right above the ruins of the Temple of Athena with a majestic view of the sea. You can enter the church, but it’s really best to wander outside to see the ruins and stunning view.

Find Frankish Castle Archeological Site

Built in the 13th century by the Venetian Duke of Naxos, this castle is unique as it’s a collage of ancient building components. Most importantly the Temple of Athena, but others as well. If you look below, you can see what look like slices of the columns of the temple in the walls.

Frankish Castle is one of the top things to do On Paros
Frankish Castle

It’s a bit hard to see much of it, with other buildings surrounding it, but if you’re in the area to see the Temple of Athena, it’s worth finding it and wandering around it.

Frankish Castle

While here, it’s also worthwhile to walk around to see the lovely traditional Greek homes around this area. This is really a charming little area and there are no shops, so it doesn’t feel touristy.

Experience The Nightlife Of Parikia

Parikia is lined with a wide variety of restaurants along the coast, stretching between the harbor and Livadia Beach to the north. Most offer traditional Greek food, but there are also a few other options, like the Asian restaurant, Little Green Rocket.

After a dinner overlooking the sea, try enjoying the nightlife in Paros at some of its bars, like Pirate Bar, a local favorite for almost 40 years. Evinos, which offers a beautiful place to watch the sunset, True 22, and more. Many have great ambiance, live music, and stay open until early morning.

Enjoy The Sun On Livadia Beach In Parikia

Livadia Beach is the closest authentic beach to Parikia, about a 5-minute walk northeast of the harbor. There are some sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, as well as water sport rentals.

Explore The Old Town Of Naoussa

Naoussa is a must-visit, picture-perfect, quaint old fishing village on the northern coast of Paros. I definitely recommend staying here for your trip, or at least a few days of it.

Visiting Naoussa is one of the best things to do On Paros
Naoussa From The Harbor

It’s very photogenic with whitewashed houses overlooking the sea. You can explore its harbor and narrow winding alleyways, full of inviting cafes, bars, and boutique shops, as well as explore some its sites (below).

Naoussa

Naoussa is also still an active fishing harbor, so you’ll see the fishermen coming and going, as well as seeing octopus drying in the sun. All adding authenticity to the town, which is rare to find these days.

Naoussa

How To Get To Naoussa: It’s about a 15-minute drive from Parikia to Naoussa. There is also a frequent bus from Parikia (by the harbor) to the Naoussa bus stop, which is a short walk to the city center. The bus can get busy in peak season, so make sure to arrive early. Tickets can only be purchased with cash at the bus station, before boarding.

Visit The Old Harbor Of Naoussa

Located in front of the Venetian Castle is the quaint old harbor of Naoussa. This picturesque harbor is one of the highlights of Naoussa, so make sure to find it.

It’s charming by day, and beautiful by night as the sun sets, the lights strung in the square of the harbor come on, and the bars and restaurants fill with chatter of happy people. It’s quite romantic. You’ll find traditional Greek tavernas, along with fine Aegean dining, and a variety of bars.

Visiting Naoussa Harbor is one of the best things to do On Paros
Naoussa Harbor

Some beautiful places include Barbarossa, Taverna Glafkos, and Taverna Mistis, but there are many to choose from, most with tables outside overlooking the sea. I ate at Glafkos, which was delicious, while the sea lapped the sand a few feet from my table. Just wow!

There’s also a very lively nightlife in Naoussa, at places like iconic Linardo (below), at the edge of the harbor, Agosta, and many more..

The nightlife of Naoussa is one of the best things to do on Paros
Linardo in Naoussa Harbor

Walk To The Venetian Castle Of Naoussa

This unique castle, located at the edge of the harbor, was built in the 15th century, during Venetian rule, to protect the town and harbor.

All that remains today are the ruins of one of the watchtowers, partly submerged by water, as the second was destroyed. Historically a chain was strung between the two towers to prevent enemy boats from entering the harbor.

Watchtower Walkway

The surviving watchtower is connected to the land by a walkway built of stone. On windy days, the waves wash over the path, soaking it, and anyone on it (including me).

It’s impossible to time the waves, so best to walk fast to stay dry. Just don’t walk too fast, as it’s slippery. Yes, I think it’s still worth the walk, but you need to have good mobility for this. And good shoes.

Naoussa Venetian Castle

Visit The Beaches Near Naoussa

There are several beaches in the Naoussa area to explore.

Piperi Beach is the most convenient beach in Naoussa, less than a 3-minute walk west of the harbor. There are also no sun beds, but you may be able to find some shade under a tree. It you just want something quick and easy, this is a good choice.

Piperi Beach

Kolymbithres Beach, located about 3 miles (5 km) west of Naoussa, is one of the most well-known beaches of Paros. This picturesque beach is made up of several sandy beach areas, separated by mounds of interesting rock formations. See an arial view of Kolymbithres. It’s quite stunning.

You can rent sun beds (although they’re reportedly very pricey) and water sport equipment. There are also cafes and beach bars nearby for refreshment.

You can get to Kolymbithres by car, or water taxi from Naoussa harbor.

Located above Kolymbithres, about 4.3 miles (7 km) from Naoussa, is Monastiri Beach, another beautiful spot. It also has lovely views. The water is shallow and the waves are gentle, making it perfect for all ages. You can rent sun beds (also reportedly pricey), and there is a restaurant and bar here.

You can get to Monastiri by car, or water taxi from Naoussa harbor. If you want, and it’s not too hot, you can also walk between Kolymbithres and Monastiri. There’s a road between the two that you can walk on. It’s a little over a mile (almost 2 km).

Take A Day Trip To Anti Paros

Last, but not least, one of the best things to do on Paros is to take a day trip to the little island of Anti Paros. Once a quiet getaway from Paros, it’s now full of quaint tavernas, bars, cafes, and shops, with bougainvillea everywhere, making it a destination.

Visiting Anti Paros is one of the best things to do on Paros.
Anti Paros

The harbor area of Anti Paros welcomes you with a lot of cafes, shops, and hotels, but it’s best to walk a little farther into the heart of Anti Paros. There you’ll find some beautiful places to have a meal or a drink, as well as some cool boutique shopping.

Anti Paros

How To Get To Anti Paros: Local ferries leave regularly from both the Parikia and Pounta Harbor. The ride varies from 10-minutes to 30, depending on location (Pounta is closer) and weather conditions. The Pounta harbor ferries can take cars, while Parikia is pedestrian only.

Visit The Castle, or Kastro, Of Anti Paros

Located about a 5-10 minute walk west of the harbor of Anti Paros is the castle of Anti Paros, or the Kastro. This is a fortified settlement dating back to Venetian rule. Built in the 15th century, the buildings form a square (defensive exterior) with the doors and windows of the homes all facing inwards to a central courtyard.

The castle of Anti Paros
Castle of Anti Paros

Some are still inhabited today, including tourist rentals (it looks much less rustic on its entrance side). It honestly doesn’t seem like the best place to stay in my humble opinion though. It’s a bit far from the heart of town and a bit run down.

To get to the castle, just head west of the harbor, walking through the city. You’ll see the signs as you get close.

Visit The Beaches Of Anti Paros

While the beaches of Paros offer sun beds, umbrellas, and other amenities, most of the beaches on Anti Paros are more natural and more relaxing, with no sun beds or amenities.

There are several beach options. If you’re doing a day trip and visiting by foot, the easiest beach to reach is Agios Spyridonas, to the north of the harbor. This one, honestly, did not look very appealing to me with a shallow strip of sand and the harbor nearby, so I decided to skip it.

Psaralyki, which I did not visit, is the next closest, about a 5-10 minute walk south of the harbor. There are actually two beaches here, Psaralyki 1 and Psaralyki 2. The beach is family friendly with gentle waves, sun beds for rent, a restaurant and some bars. The southernmost one is supposedly open to nudism (which seems to conflict with its family friendly nature, but, hey, this is Greece).

Another beach within walking distance is Sifneikos, which is about a 5-minute walk farther west past the Kastro. I chose to walk to this beach, which has golden sand (and a few rocks). There are no amenities other than shade from a few trees. It was OK. Definitely peaceful. It’s on the opposite side of Anti Paros, on the west coast, so one of its pluses is that it gets a sunset.

There are several other natural beaches in Anti Paros, located all around the island, but they require a car (cars can be rented near the harbor or brought over on the ferry from Pounta). Some of the more remote beaches look beautiful though, so check them out. Note that if you want to rent a car here, do so well in advance.

If you like my post on the best things to do in Paros, or have a question about it, drop a comment below.

Want To Read More About Greece?

Greece is such an amazing country with so much to see, I’ve listed the other locations I visited below. My favorite? All of them of course!

Mainland Greece

Corfu Island

Crete Island

Ios Island

Kefalonia

Milos Island

Naxos Island

Paros Island

Santorini Island

Zakynthos Island

Other

For an overview of all the best places in Greece, as well as how to get around, safety, tips, and more, see my Greece Travel Guide.

Safe Travels!

Julie

Want to learn more about me? See my About Me page to understand why I love traveling so much and my philosophies on travel.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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