eclared by the poet George Seferis as the loveliest of all the Cyclades, Paros is a combination of gilded beaches and shadowy valleys, hills deep with ancient treasures and terraces of luscious fruits, towns of minimalist masterpieces and grandiose neoclassical edifices, all wrapped into a neat heart-shaped parcel in the very centre of the Aegean. A paradise for surfers, an inspiration for artists, a place of religious pilgrimage, a hiker’s treat, a favourite with families yet also a hotspot for bar-hoppers, there’s something for everyone here, and all within easy reach.
Whitewashed Naoussa, clustered around its tranquil little harbour, is probably the most picturesque (and stylish) former fishing village of the Cyclades. Lefkes, Paros’ Medieval capital, looms high in the hills, luring visitors for its peaceful old-world atmosphere.
And the beaches of Kolymbithres, its warm shallows surrounded by smooth sea-sculpted rocks, and the wide sandy sweep of Chryssi Akti (Golden Beach) are counted among the region’s most famous beaches. Plus, if wanderlust sets in, it has Antiparos just a breath away, and is perfectly positioned as a lift-off point to explore other surrounding isles.
A gem right in the center of the Cycladic region