Our review on beautiful Greece and its wonderful islands continues. Fantastic places to see at least once in life. Each with its original features. After the general guide of the Cyclades and that of the less touristic islands, we want to bring you to the discovery of Paros, or Paro in Italian.
The island of Paros is located in the central-southern Aegean Sea, next to the island of Naxos, to which it was formerly united. Off the southwest coast is the smallest island of Antiparos and the uninhabited islands of Despotiko, Strongyli, Fira and Diplo, plus a number of rocks and islets that form the Paros archipelago. Revmatonissi is a small private island between Paros and Antiparos. Other rocks and islets are off the coast of the south and north-east coast of the island. In the north of Paros there are the islands of Syros and Mykonos, South Sikinos and Ios, while the west is Sifnos Island. So Paros is at the center of the Cyclades archipelago, easily reachable from the other main islands. From the port of Piraeus is 90 nautical miles.
Paros is the third island of the Cyclades in size, with about 196 km² of surface after Naxos and Andros. Its coast stretches for 120 kilometers. It has a predominantly mountainous area, like all the Cyclades, although less harsh than nearby Naxos. The highest summit of the island, on the Profitis Ilias mountains reaches 771 meters above sea level. Like the rest of the Cyclades, it has a barren territory, with little vegetation, mainly concentrated in the central part. The rocks of Paros are mainly of granite and marble, a feature that has made the island important for its white marble quarries, still present, still a part of its economy. Although the main activity today is tourism.
The island of Paros was inhabited since prehistoric times. At the center of Mycenaean civilization, like the other Cyclades, he was later involved in the wars between Athenians and Persians, allied with the latter. It was conquered by the Romans and by Byzantines. At the beginning of the 13th century it was conquered by the Venetians and included in the Duchy of Naxos. In his story he was subjected to numerous raids and devastations by pirates. Paros is the home of the poet Archiloco.
The capital of Paros Island is the town of Paroikia or Parikia, on the northwest coast, the second most important city being Naoussa, on the north coast. Highly populated areas are Marpissa, near the eastern coast and its port of Piso Livadi, Lefkes inland, Aliki, on the southern coast.
Islands of Greece: what to see in Paros
The island of Paros offers enchanting views of natural beauty, white villages typical of Cyclades and marinas with fishermen’s boats, today mainly used for tourist activities.
Arriving on the island, the first visit is to the town of Paroikia, a pretty residential town that develops between alleyways and alleys between the traditional white houses with blue doors and windows. The highest part, the one that offers a stunning view of the harbor is Kastro, the castle where the remains of a Franchi fortress, a Venetian tower and some characteristic houses around the ruins are located. Near the castle stands the church of Agios Konstantinos, while in the interior is the Basilica of the Madonna of Katapoliani (Panagia Ekatontapiliani, Madonna of the hundred doors) Byzantine church with bricks, an older part, the chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas , dating to the IV century AD, several mosaics and important icons inside. The religious complex also houses the Byzantine Museum. To visit near the basilica, the Archaeological Museum of Paros, with important finds of ancient Greek and Roman times. Around the port to see the pretty little church of Agia Anna. The town of Paroikia is full of clothing stores, especially for the sea, restaurants, taverns and locals.
In the north of the island, the town of Naoussa overlooks a large bay, with a glimpse into the array of white houses overlooking the harbor. Despite the tourist development, with the tables of the numerous taverns on docks, the port of Naoussa is still dedicated to fishing, one of the main business activities of the town. The many fishing boats and boats give the port of Naoussa a very distinctive and authentic look. To be seen. On the tip of the west shore of the harbor stands, among the taverns and shops, the delightful white church of Agios Nikolaos.