Renowned since antiquity for its fine Parian marble, Paros is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea in Greece and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists. The island is located in the heart of the Cyclades-the ring of islands located in the central of the Aegean Sea. Although Paros is often skipped on the shorter cruises in favor of the bigger-name islands in the Cyclades, like Mykonos and Santorini, Paros, which is one of the larger islands of the Cyclades constellation, offers numerous breathtaking natural beauties that attract thousand of visitors every year and make it one of the most exciting travel destinations around the world.
From ancient times already, due to its central geographical location in the heart of Aegean Sea, Paros became the leader island that changed the route of the Cyclades complex. Specifically, the island is located west of the Naxos island, east of Antiparos and 90 n.m. from the port of Piraeus. It is the third in size island after Naxos and Andros, with a 195 sq. km extend and a length of shores that reaches up to 118,5 km. As the boat approaches the island, the visitor will see Parikia, which is the main town, while one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the island is the amazing town of Naoussa.
The history of Paros goes back centuries as it has been inhabited since 3,200 BC according to the excavations made on the island of Saliagos, located between Paros and Antiparos-these two have probably formed one single island during ancient times. According to Greek mythology, the Cretan Alkaios was the first king of Paros, who decided to build his city on the site of today’s island capital, Parikia. During those times Crete was trading with Egypt, Assyria, and the Balkans, and Cretans transformed the island into a naval station which was given the name of Minoa, an honorific title given to Royal Cretan cities. This is explained due to the island’s strategic position which was the ideal place for ships to stop-center of the Cyclades complex-and receive food and water resources since its plains were particularly fertile-viniculture has given great results and the wines of Paros are famous all around the world for their fine taste. In fact, over the centuries, Paros evolved to an administrative and commercial center of Aegean and the crossroad of different civilizations. The island met times of glory and financial robustness, but also times of decline. All its past is expressed in the remains of the archaeological sites, in the historic monuments and in museums that host archaeological findings. Grandiose Byzantine churches and monasteries with the architecture of Cyclades express the deep faith of its residents.
Today, Paros belongs to those travel destinations that have international fame, due to its natural beauties, settlements and tourist infrastructures. Touring around Paros will fill any visitor with unique pictures. Walking in the narrow, with pebbles, paths, you will be beguiled by the magnificent atmosphere of Cyclades and the sights all around the island. Naoussa has the most picturesque fish port in Aegean Sea and if you wish to travel back to time, you can visit the villages of Lefkes, Marpissa, Alyki, Abelas, Drios, Piso Livadi and Pounda. Of course, the island has a lot of luxurious hotel complexes and affordable rooms to let, to cover the demands of every visitor. Exquisite sandy beaches with crystal waters, traditional villages with whitewashed cubic houses in narrow paved alleys contrasted with the many bougainvilleas, lovely chapels, and an exciting nightlife, form a combination that will make your visit an unforgettable one.