Paros was the first Greek island I visited in 2019. And after my tough experience in Morocco, it felt like heaven. I loved the beaches, the tavernas, and the winding streets of the traditional Cycladic villages. Plus, as a solo female traveller, I always felt safe and comfortable which is so important. My experience here was magical and fueled my ongoing love affair with Greece. I was so happy to get back and explore more in 2022 and after spending about 2 weeks total on the island over the last few years, I’ve decided it’s about time I share my favourite spots in the Paros Itinerary. So, for those planning their own visit, here’s how to spend 3-5 days in Paros, Greece.
How to Get to Paros, Greece
Paros is one of the larger islands in the Cyclades and is easily accessible by both plane and ferry. Personally, I have always used the ferry for my travels here as it’s only a few hours from most main departure points. For example:
Athens to Paros: About 3 hours
Santorini to Paros: 1.5-4 hours
Mykonos to Paros: 35 minutes- 1.5 hours
Naxos to Paros: As quickly as 30 minutes
Milos to Paros: About 3.5 hours
Keep in mind that it will depend on what ferry you book (there are fast and slow options).
When booking ferries in Greece don’t leave it until the last minute as prices will increase as you get closer to the departure date. Some routes can also book out in the high season. For booking ferries in advance I use and recommend Ferry Hopper.
Paros Accommodation: Where to Stay
There are plenty of great spots to stay around Paros depending on what you like and your plans.
This is the main port area. Some people choose to stay here because it is so close to the ferry and also has the main bus terminal for getting around the island. Personally, I don’t recommend it because there are much nicer spots to base yourself in. But if you do choose Parikia consider:
- Kokoon or Villa Katerina for more budget/midrange options
- Pyrgaki Hotel or Paros Palace for more high-end luxury stays
This is where I always stay and would recommend it. It’s a beautiful little port village an easy bus ride from Parikia and, in my opinion, is the ideal Greek island village. It’s located on the water with nearby beaches and tons of little fishing boats, some of which offer day tours. There are plenty of restaurants, a beach, it has great sunsets and the village itself is absolutely beautiful with plenty of shops and photographable spots. Consider staying at:
- Hotel Iris or Madaky Hotel for something more budget/midrange
- Lily Residence all suite sea rooms or Cove Paros for high end luxury
If you want somewhere small and very local then a of couple other options for places to look for accommodation in Paros are:
Prodromos: a tiny but beautiful inland village with just a couple of places to stay and restaurants. Check options here.
Lefkes: a picturesque town in the hills. A bigger town that gets busier in the day but quiet in the evening. Find options here.
Marpissa: still inland. Beautiful whitewashed town with plenty of flowers. You can look at options here.
Getting Around Paros, Greece
Paros has a pretty decent bus system for those who plan to use public transit. It’s called KTEL Paros. The main bus station is based in Parikia which means you may have to travel there first and then onwards depending on your route. There are some direct buses from Naousa to other spots and beaches on the island as well, the timing just isn’t as frequent.
Bus tickets can be bought in advance from the little ticket booths by the bus station. The cost of the ticket will depend on the route but it’s usually around 1.50-3 euro per ride.
Renting a car or ATV is also a popular option when in Paros that allows you more freedom to create your own schedule. You do need to have a valid driver’s licence to rent any type of vehicle and keep in mind that most cars are manual, not automatic. The roads on Paros are in pretty good shape but do drive carefully.
Paros Itinerary for 3-5 Days
Paros is one of my favourite islands and I think it’s easy to spend 5 days exploring. If you can’t do five days I recommend at least 3. I’m sharing my top picks for how to spend your days in Paros, you can customize your own Paros itinerary based on what is the most interesting to you.
Day 1: Naousa
As I said, I recommend finding accommodation in Naousa and using it as your base. This is where I always stay and I love it. However, if you choose to stay elsewhere, you do still need to come here for a day trip.
Like most Greek towns, Naousa is slow and quiet in the mornings so no need to rush. The town is full of winding alleyways that can be a bit confusing but it’s fun to get lost here. There are so many pretty corners for photos, cafes, bars, and shops so take your time, stop to look and grab a coffee or a drink and sit outside to people watch. Be sure to also walk around the waterfront. You’ll see plenty of fishing boats hanging their catch of octopus for the local restaurants and the old fort.
In the afternoon, when most shops shut down for a couple of hours break you can head to the nearby Piperi beach to enjoy the sun. I also recommend visiting Moraitis Winery, which is about a 20 minute walk from the port. It’s a great spot to do some local wine tasting.
In the evening, grab a cocktail at a waterfront restaurant to watch the sunset. You can also head over to the rocky area between the port and Piperi Beach to watch the sun sink over the hill from there. Afterwards, head to one of the many restaurants for dinner. A few of my favourites to recommend are:
- Notas: I especially love the salmon with mango rice.
- Mediterraneo: great seafood (try the shrimp saganaki!) and cocktails.
- Daverona: The risotto here is to die for.
- Pita Frank: If you want some quick and easy gyros or souvlaki.
Day 2: Boat Trip
I love a good boat trip in Greece and Pantasoulas Cruises offers the perfect day on the water. They have two different itineraries depending on the weather and currents to take you to 4 swim stops around the area. The tour also includes an incredible spread of food cooked on board featuring local dishes and fresh seafood. I was seriously impressed. I also love that it’s a family business run by a brother and sister team from the island. You can book your spot on board here. The boat is based out of Naousa and usually leaves around 10am but you will want to book in advance to ensure you can fit this into your Paros itinerary.
Day 3: Island Exploring
Naousa is my favourite town but you should still get out and explore some of the others. Three I recommend visiting that you can easily fit into a day trip by car or bus are Lefkes, Prodromos, and Marpissa.
All of these towns are more inland and offer a different experience than seaside villages. Lefkes and Marpissa are much larger than Prodromos but all of them are incredibly beautiful so bring your camera!
In Lefkes, be sure to stop by Agiazi Café and try their orange cake. A friend who used to live on the island told me about it and wow, it really is incredible and probably the best orange cake I’ve had in Greece!
For hiking enthusiasts, you can also walk along the historic Byzantine Road. The trail connects Lefkes to Prodromos and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. However, there is no shelter from the sun so make sure to wear good shoes and bring plenty of drinking water!
Day 4: Anti-Paros Day Trip
Anti-Paros is a tiny island off the coast of Paros. It’s smaller, quieter but equally beautiful. If you have the time, you can spend a couple of days here. However, it’s also great for a day trip from Paros Island which is why I’ve included it in my Paros itinerary.
To get here you will need to drive or take the bus to the port of Pounda. From here you take a quick ferry ride (under 10 minutes) across to Antiparos. You can take your car with you if you want to drive around, but for just a day trip it’s easy to hang around the main town and explore by foot. If you are a scuba diver or a free diver it’s also a location where you can do both of these activities.
Keep in mind that Antiparos is very seasonal, more so than even Paros, so note that if you go early in the season some things might not have opened up yet.
Day 5: Beach Day
Beaches are a huge part of the draw of the Greek Islands and while Paros might not have the impressive beaches that you can find in Milos or Zakynthos or crazy beach bars like Mykonos, there are still some great spots to spend the day at the beach.
If you are based in Naousa, Piperi Beach is small but just a couple of minutes’ walk from town. You can also hop on one of the commuter boats at the little port which will take you across the bay to the beaches there. Return tickets for 2023 were 10 euro per person. I love going to Kolimbithres Beach which is a unique rocky spot with clear water. You can choose to just lay on the sand/rocks or get a beach chair for a fee.
You can also hop in your car (or on a bus) to Golden Beach which is perhaps the best-known beach in Paros. It’s good for swimming and water sports activities. If you have a car, another great beach to check out that isn’t quite as busy is Kalogeros Beach. There are no facilities here but it’s gorgeous.
Final Tips for Your Paros Itinerary
Paros is a great place to visit but like so many of the other islands in Greece, it can get very busy. As usual, I suggest travelling during the shoulder season if you can (May/June/September) and book all accommodation and any tours well in advance before it fills up.
At the time of writing this Paros itinerary, I have spent about 4 months total travelling through Greece and Paros remains one of my favourite islands. It has gotten more popular than my first visit in 2019 which means costs have gone up. But compared to Santorini and Mykonos, it’s still more budget-friendly and less crowded. I absolutely recommend adding Paros to your Greek itinerary.
A Note on Travel Insurance in Greece
Please, do NOT travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to rely on mine multiple times. While the cost may seem annoying and better spent elsewhere, trust me when I say you’ll be sorry if you don’t have it. For just a couple bucks a day, you can save yourself a whole lot of stress and money. I like to recommend SafetyWing for travel medical insurance as they are one of the most affordable options I’ve found, plus, they are who I use and I have had great experiences with them. Learn more about the importance of travel insurance here.