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PAROS

Unrivalled natural beauty, beaches of crystal clear waters, unique Byzantine footpaths connecting traditional villages and breathtaking landscapes make Paros, located at the heart of Cyclades, among the favorite holiday destinations in Greece.

PAROS

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In beautiful Parikia, the capital of the island, with its picturesque Cycladic cottages and imposing neoclassical mansions, the centre of the community is crowned by a 13th-century Venetian castle with a fantastic view. It contains one of the most important religious monuments in the country, the church of the Panagia of the Hundred Gates or Katapoliani (built in the 6th cent. AD), with 99 visible doors and one secret one, according to tradition. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Baptismal Font (4th cent.) the best preserved in the Orthodox East, and the Byzantine Museum, with exceptional exhibits. On the ground floor of the Katapoliani is the Byzantine Museum of Parikias. In its halls you will find icons, carved wood icon screens and other objects from various monasteries and churches on the island.
In the Archaeological Museum, many objects from the island’s archaeological sites are ideally exhibited. Near Parikia (5.5 km E) look for the ancient quarries and explore the galleries in which Parian marble, , also known as lychnite, was extracted for its whiteness and clarity in antiquity.
Lovely villages in idyllic settings welcome visitors on their tour of the island:
• Naousa, a picturesque fishing village with a half-immersed Venetia castle in its port.
• Lefkes, on the highest point of Paros, surrounded by dense vegetation, with intact Cycladic and Neoclassical architecture, lovely squares and narrow lanes paved with marble. The Aegean Folk Culture Museum in Leukes offers a voyage through the culture of the archipelago. Exhibits regarding architecture, traditional professions and the islands’ rock formations reveal the Aegean world to visitors.
• Marpissa, a traditional village with a medieval structure, a few kilometers from the popular beaches of Logaras and Piso Livadi.
The island’s splendid beaches (Chrysi Akti, Santa Maria, Pounta) are suitable for maritime activities, especially windsurfing. Don’t forget to swim at Kolymbithres, a beach of rare beauty that resulted from the action of sea and wind on the granite rocks. On the Kalogeros beach, before diving into the sea, you might want to enjoy a session of clay therapy.
Discover the island by walking on streets once used by the villagers for walking and for transporting their goods.
The major religious feasts provide an occasion for traditional festivals, where the famous Parian wine flows freely (Monemvasia and Mantilaria). The main such feast is, of course, the feast of the Panagia on Aug. 15 (Dormitian of the Virgin) centered on the church of the Ekatontapyliani (one hundred gates). Another unique experience is Easter on the island with a devout atmosphere and re-enactment of the Passion (in the villages of Marpissa, Marmara and Prodromos). In the autumn, chicory becomes very popular on Paros, culminating in the festival of St George the Methystis or Sporiaris when the new wine is opened, an event celebrated appropriately.

There are several car ferries daily to Piraeus, Naxos, Ios and Santorini. There is daily service to Mykonos, Syros, Tinos and Amorgos. Regular itineraries run to Koufonissia, Sikinos, Anafi, Astypalea, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Schinousa, Donousa, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Crete and Thessaloniki.


Source: Visit Greece - The Official website of the Greek Tourism Organisation