Written by pcallioni on 03 May, 2004
We were on Paros just before the season and just before the crowds and many hotels and restaurants were still closed, but it was still a very pleasant experience. In large part, this was due to where we stayed: Anezina Resort at Dryos, an RCI…Read More
We were on Paros just before the season and just before the crowds and many hotels and restaurants were still closed, but it was still a very pleasant experience. In large part, this was due to where we stayed: Anezina Resort at Dryos, an RCI resort. It was small, well located, quiet, well appointed, and so typically Greek. The buildings were two stories tall and painted blue and white, set in gardens full of flowers, olive trees, and cats.
The staff, including the owner, Maria, was always friendly and helpful. We had to stay another night because our scheduled flight out was cancelled and nothing was too much trouble for Maria. The food at the Anezina cafe-restaurant was good, typically Greek, inexpensive, and accompanied by cheap, drinkable wine and souma (the local version of raki).
Paros island itself was covered in wild flowers and their perfume was pervasive. It is easy to get around with a car and the local villages are relatively easy to navigate if you take it easy, unlike some of the locals. The beaches were great for long walks, though it was too cold to swim. The main towns have all the services one could want or need and lots of restaurants and interesting shops.
My recommendation would be to go in late September/October while it is still warm, but the crowds have thinned out.
Written by Hal1026 on 03 Sep, 2004
Paros is a main ferry hub for the Cycladic group of islands it belongs to and other Aegean islands, which makes it often just a transition point of minutes for many rushing onward for connections. Other savvy travelers, however, have discovered this island is…Read More
Paros is a main ferry hub for the Cycladic group of islands it belongs to and other Aegean islands, which makes it often just a transition point of minutes for many rushing onward for connections. Other savvy travelers, however, have discovered this island is a great stopover in itself, with much to offer from pristine beaches, historical sites and churches, and still largely unspoilt towns with a distinct character and great selection of restaurants and nightlife.
The Cyclades are steeped in human history, inhabited some 2500 years or possibly more, followed by successive communities from the Minoan, Mycenean and Dorian cultures. Then of course there was the more extended period of the Byzantine rule, followed by a spell of rule from a distant Venetian ruler, then a long dark period of Ottoman rule before integration into the modern Greek state. So if history enroute is something that fascinates you, nowadays you can see remnants and artifacts from this turbulent past. While it’s something I personally had no time to do, there are definitely points of interest I would love to return just to see like the marble quarries at the island’s center from which so much of the famous Cycladic marble was mined to create wondrous statuary.
I arrived in Paros at its the hub port and main town of Parikia on a late October morning toward the end of the tourist season, but the crowds were still sizable at this location. My trip took about two hours on a high-speed craft of Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.com) from the port of Rafina. The ride itself on this modern boat is faster than the conventional ferry, although a bit more expensive, but well worth it and a really pleasant journey with every convenience—airplane-like seating, huge windows providing views of the passing islands, bars, shopping. Very modern, and not like the old ferries of 20 years ago that I traveled on in the Aegean. The alternative is to travel from more crowded Piraeus or fly for 30 minutes into Paros from Athens, but when you have to fly with Olympic at their prices and level of service, the choice is clear.
Some things to do around Paros? Visit the fishing village turned resort of Naoussa on the northern end of the island, even if you don’t stay over (which you can also do). Although it’s popular with many visitors, Naoussa has great little restaurants, access to some excellent beaches (Santa Maria seems to be the best known and admired), plus windsurfing and water sport and sailing facilities in the area. Take time to visit the small Byzantine museum, which you’ll find in the blue domed church a short distance uphill from the town’s center. There’s an interesting mix of local quaintness and cosmopolitan chic to Naoussa: you might just prefer to sit down at an outdoor table at a café and imbibe the character of it from your seat as everyone from Orthodox priests, fishermen, Scandinavian models and California windsurfers makes their way past you.
Somewhat more isolated but also becoming rapidly developed are the southern beach destinations of Golden Beach and New Golden Beach. Again, nowadays the original hardcore traveling segment of windsurfers has expanded to include visitors with chic villas and apartments, along with those who like the still prevalent peacefulness of the region. For entertainment or other needs, there are shops, restaurants and a little local nightlife in neighboring towns nearby like Piso Livadi and Marpissa to the north of these beaches or Dryos just to the south. On arrival in Paros, check with the small tourist office that’s located right on arrival jetties and find out about the buses that run around the island: it’s a great way to meet local islanders and take the pleasures of Paros at their own leisurely pace.
Written by emilyw on 27 May, 2005
We arrived in Paros around 11pm after a ferry mix-up at the port in Athens. After a cab ride to the other side of the island, all we wanted to do was sleep. We drove up to our hotel in pitch-black darkness (street lights were…Read More
We arrived in Paros around 11pm after a ferry mix-up at the port in Athens. After a cab ride to the other side of the island, all we wanted to do was sleep. We drove up to our hotel in pitch-black darkness (street lights were nonexistent thanks to the moon!!). We walked up to what appeared to be the deserted front desk, which turned out to be actually deserted.
After a few minutes of brainstorming, we walked over to the neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. He was very friendly, especially considering the hour, and called the owner of our hotel at home. We sat and drank lemonade on the porch while we waited to be let into the hotel. It was a very positive experience that could easily have been disastrous!!
After a misunderstanding with the ferry agent and a midnight check-in, we were very much in need of some beach relaxation. We wandered around the edge of the island looking for the perfect beach spot. We found it just past a goat field, where about…Read More
After a misunderstanding with the ferry agent and a midnight check-in, we were very much in need of some beach relaxation. We wandered around the edge of the island looking for the perfect beach spot. We found it just past a goat field, where about 15 goats were frolicking in their pen. Two hours later, I was on the verge of a nap when something blocked the sun. I opened my eyes and found myself face to face with a large goat who bleated louder than I screamed!! I sat up to find the small herd of goats prancing along the rock wall and over the sand. That was the closest they came to us, and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sunning ourselves amid the friendly hoofers. Close
Written by Big Ted from NJ on 15 Aug, 2003
We made arrangements with RCI Travel for a weekend in Paros. The taxi driver met us off the ferry boat and wisked us away. We arrived 20 minutes later on the other end of the island in the tiny village of Drios. We stayed the…Read More
We made arrangements with RCI Travel for a weekend in Paros. The taxi driver met us off the ferry boat and wisked us away. We arrived 20 minutes later on the other end of the island in the tiny village of Drios. We stayed the weekend at the Sea View Hotel and Bungalows. See my review in Beaching on the Cyclades for more about our hotel experience.
For a taste of rural Greece in an out of the way place you must stay for a day or two. The town has many small hotels to choose from. We relied on RCI and was not disappointed. The hotels are a very short walk to the center of town. There is a supermarket and souvenir shop. There are a couple of paths that take you to the beach at Drios. When you reach the water you must descend down a set of stairs to reach the beach. The beach is not too large. It is rocky, so bring your beach shoes. The water is cool and clear. Little if any waves. There is a sharp drop off in the depth after a few feet. Little kids should wear inflatable arm cushions.
The town is easily accessible by bus. It is the last stop on the number 5 bus route to Noussa. The bus also stops at Gold Beach. We did not stop there but with the number of people that got on the bus, that was the most popular beach in Greece. You do need a car to reach Gold Beach from Drios, however.
When we were there in July, we were treated to a taste of Cycladic culture. There was an evening performance by the local school children of their native dances. They performance was at the local school. The children were dressed in the native Parikian costumes. There was a trio of musicians playing a guitar, bouzouki and louto. A crowd of about two hundred gatered to see the performance. This was another example how the people of the town made this an enjoyable stay.