Paros island useful information

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Useful Information about Paros island

paros island   1. Welcome to Paros!

Paros is situated in the centre of the Cyclades; it has 168km coastline, 25 km x 20km the island is located west of the Naxos Island, east of Antiparos and 91 n.m. SE from the port of Piraeus.
It is the third in size island of Cyclades and among the prettiest of them. It is a real island paradise filled with first-rate sandy beaches, bays, tiny churches, Byzantine monuments, photogenic whitewashed villages, cobblestone streets, sun-filled days, and vibrant nightlife adds to the charisma of this fun-loving island.
The island’s communications are fairly well developed offering to its inhabitants and its visitors all basic services: port, airport, marinas, civil services, banks, post offices, public transport and more.
The medical airplane of Paros, available for emergency, for any resident or visitor of our island, health care services include both a public and a private medical centre in Paroikia, an air-ambulance plane, as well as smaller health centres, private doctors and pharmacies in many villages, provide all of us with the feeling of safety.
Visit us in April or May when the island is at its greenest and you will have a beach to yourself. It's a great place to consider for spring and autumn sun. Note that the hottest and busiest months are July and August, with temperatures in the mid-thirties, whilst earlier in the year during April, May and September temperatures are nudging the mid-twenties.

paros island

paros island   2. Villages of Paros

Paros has many quaint and traditional villages. Their bright white houses along labyrinth like streets, decorated with arches, pretty balconies, Greek pottery, bright flowers and fragrant plants will make you want to wander around for hours.
Everything wide open, just like the people of this Island.
Paroikia:
Paroikia is the lively capital of Paros, a pleasant little, flat town.
Take a few steps inside, and you'll be struck by the charms of Parikia, with its energetic "agora," the marketplace and a fine Byzantine cathedral. Near a park of pine trees, close by the port, visit Ekatondapiliani - the church of a hundred doors, which has been steadily in service... People stroll through the white alleys, settle back below the Kastro or rest at one of the taverns or cafes. Paroikia Archaeological Museum, behind the Ekatondapiliani, has some fascinating exhibits including a fragment of the priceless 4th century marble engraved Parian Chronicle which records the major cultural and artistic achievements of ancient Greece from around 1500 BC to 260 BC.
Naoussa:
Naoussa is one of Paros' prettier villages, in the north coast of the island, approx. 10 km away from Parikia, settled around a little hill in the Bay of Naoussa with a church at its peak. It is the second biggest & most important village after Parikia. Naoussa is said by many to be one of the most beautiful fishing ports in Greece, and it has kept its authentic character despite growing tourism.
Lefkes:
Lefkes set up high off of the coast to avoid the many pirate attacks that laid waste to the seaboard areas of the island. You'll find narrow, winding streets and lots of characteristic white sugar-cube Cycladic architecture. Charming Lefkes, set within the island's interior hills, has preserved many of its old buildings in the middle of a labyrinth of narrow roads. You can also walk on the well-preserved Byzantine road that takes off from Lefkes and runs through the flowery mountain to Prodromos village.
Prodromos, Marmara and Marpissa:
Prodromos, Marmara and Marpissa are very small picturesque villages. It’s on the road, offshore and lie approx. north-east. These triangles of villages are within approx. 20 km distance from Parikia, just above Piso Livadi. Here you find beautiful alleys with tall trees, traditional farmhouses, acres of wheat and barley, beds of water melons, orange- and lemon trees, olive groves and figs. There is even enough water to plant tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and, of course, grapes. Within walking distance, on the top of the hill there is the 16th-century monastery "Moni Agios Antonios".
Ambelas:
Ambelas, one of the smallest villages of Paros, retains its feel of a picturesque Greek village with fishing caiques and little motor boats moored in the small harbour. It’s on the north-east of the island and lie approx. 3 km away from Naoussa. It has lovely beaches with a beautiful view of Naxos Island and Naxos town. But this outward appearance belies the variety of restaurants, cafes and even mini-market to service the needs of the families and couples, who turn the small village into a lively meeting spot.
Piso Livadi:
Piso Livadi is a nice village with a fishing port on the south-east of the Island and the small and similar villages Logaras & Drios nearby.
Aliki:
Aliki is similar to Piso Livadi, it’s the most southern fishing village, facing the little island Antiparos. Punta, which is further north, is the ferry port to the neighbouring island of Antiparos.

paros island

paros island   3. Paros beaches

Paros is noted for its countless soft-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. They suit to every taste, ranging from long and sandy to very small, popular and more isolated ones, featuring beach clubs, umbrellas and sun beds or offering unspoiled natural beauty.
Serviced beaches are usually long and shallow, always sandy, easily accessible by car and also public transport or small boats, with beach bar-restaurants, some quiet with chilling music, others more uplifting. At some places there are water sports schools with national and international championships in the summer. “Punda “, "Kolimbithres", "Monastiri ", Krios ", Parasporos”, Golden Beach, New Golden Beach, Santa Maria.
Less crowded beaches with a few umbrellas and trees for shade, and a couple of tavernas to dine. They may have fine or thicker sand, very shallow water, ideal for families with young children. Santa Maria”,”Ambelas”, Laggeri, Xifara, Molos, Kalogeros,Logaras, Drios, Marchello, Ag. Irini
More isolated beaches range in size. If you are in an adventurous mood, along Paros’ coastline searching for that special beach, you will be pleasantly surprised. Ask around for directions and tips.

paros island

paros island   4. History & Culture

Paros has a very rich and interesting History.
It is full of picturesque churches, chapels and monasteries, windmills, and you stumble across historical remains wherever you go, some of them of great significance in Greek History.
Paros has been inhabited since the Early Cycladic period 3200-2700 B.C. In Paros, important archaic burial grounds have been discovered in Abyssos and Kampos, while another archaic cemetery, recently unearthed in Parikia itself, is now being opened to the public. In the Archaeological Museum of Parikia you can admire finds dating from the Early In the earliest antiquity Paros used to be called Minoa, from the first settlers that came from the Minoan Crete. Later it was occupied by Arcadians, led by Parios son of Parrasios, who gave the island its definitive name. After the Arcadians, Paros was inhabited by Ionians. It was during their time that Paros started flourishing and even founded a colony on the island of Thassos. Paros was the birthplace of several poets and artists, as Archilohos. Paros was renowned for its marble and some of the greatest structures in the Hellenic world originated form these marbles.

Worth while sightseeing on Paros Island are:

The Ancient Cemetery
in Parikia, approx. 400 m from the port heading left of approx. 700 BC.The cemetery includes a variety of graves of many different in types and from different periods. The main attraction of the cemetery is a mass grave that dates back to the Geometric Period and is the only one of its kind in the Aegean Sea region.
The Venetian "Kastro" & the Ancient Wall
it is in the old quarter and at the highest point of Parikia from the 13th century.
The Archaeological Museum
Visit it in Parikia, just behind the Church of Ekatontapliani. It displays a variety of objects from the Neolithic period, the Archaic Period, the Classical Period and the Roman period, such as pottery, marble idols, grave stones, inscriptions, marbles etc. A fragment of the 3rd-century Parian Chronicle is the most important exhibit - next to many other interesting findings.
Marble Quarries at "Marathi" on the way to Lefkes.
This is where the marble came from in the ancient times that was considered the world's best.From this marble quarry, ancient sculpted masterpieces were created, such as the statues of the Aphrodite of Milo, the Maidens of the Acropolis, the Niki of Delos and the Hermes of Praxiteles, as well as the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia and Temple of Apollo in Delos.
The sanctuary of Asklipios
The Sanctuary of the God of medicine, Asklipios, is on Agia Anna Hill, located a short distance from Paroikia. It was built in the 4th century BC, around a spring. Remains of the Temple of Pythons Apollo also exist in the area.
The Delion sanctuary
Approximately 1 kilometre from Parikia, up on a hill, is the DELION Sanctuary. The temple was the place of worship of the god Apollo of Delios. The original structure was built in the 9th – 8th century BC. Later on, in the 5th century BC, a new temple dedicated to Artemis was also built.
The venetian castle in Naoussa
The Venetian Castle can be found at the northern edge of the port of Naoussa. It was built in the 15th century by the Venetian Dynasty Samaria. Today, it is half-sunken beneath the surface of the sea. The port of Naoussa was once a safe haven for the pirates that pillaged the island.
Kefalos hill in Marpissa
Kefalos Hill is located in the traditional village of Marpissa. Upon the hill are the remains of a 15th century castle, which was built during Venetian Rule and was destroyed by the pirate Barbarossa. On the top of the hill is the Monastery of Agios Antonios. Built in the 17th century, it contains a gilded, wood carved screen and many valuable icons. If you journey up the hill, you will also be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view.
The mycenaean acropolis in Kolymbithres
The Acropolis, located in Koukounaries, above Kolimbithres, was constructed in the 13th century BC. After the Acropolis was destroyed by an earthquake, a Geometric settlement was built on the same spot in the 10th century BC and became a significant city till the Archaic Period. Visitors who make the effort to reach the site are awarded with a superb view.
Folklore Collection “Othona Kapari”.
Near the central square: old books and artifacts.
Folklore Collection by the Music & Dance Group of Naoussa, 200m from the central square. Traditional folk costumes.
Perantinos Museum, in Marpissa, with 192 statues of this famous marble sculptor. After its renovation, it would be visitable again this summer.
Scorpios Museum of Cycladic Folklore, in Aliki, where one can see miniatures of ships, sailing boats, and of characteristic Cycladic buildings constructed by the local artist Benetos Skiadas. It also includes miniatures, such as, a Parian house, a blacksmith’s workshop, a traditional cafeneion, a windmill.
The ancient shipyard in Drios
The ancient shipyard is situated on the beach of Drios. Basically, they are deep grooves that are carved into large, wide rocks. In ancient times they were used as lifting plans and as protection for ships.

Other sites of Interest

Butterfly Valley
A little green oasis full of "butterflies" it is on private ground. “Petaloudes” is in Psychopiana, approx. 6 km south of Paroikia, is the finest natural site on Paros Island. It is an area of blossoming flora and running waters. Visitors are amazed by this fairy tale land, where thousands of butterflies flutter all around, creating a breathtaking image. You should visit the butterflies during summer. Remember that they come here in June.
Cave of Antiparos
Have a little time and visit the cave with stalactites and stalagmites, very steep and impressive, up on the mountain of Antiparos. Takes a ride by bus or car or a donkey!
Lighthouse
behind Monastiri Beach (Naoussa) Nice for people who like to walk!

paros island

paros island   5. Monasteries & Churches

All around Paros, you can see small white chapels.
There are also numerous monasteries, large multi-level constructions surrounded by protective walls with an interior courtyard –a sophisticated architectural style that emerged due to the fear of pirate attacks.
The churches of Paros are built in a noticeable variety of styles: small and large, some with domes, others connected, some with a plain roof cross, others with artistic bell towers. Each one is connected to a historical fact, a myth, a miracle making...Each one unique, www.i-m-paronaxias.gr
Church of Ekatontapiliani
"Our Lady of a Hundred Doors" in Paroikia just 200 m from the port.
It’s an impressive Byzantine monument. Approx. 1.700 years old. On the 15th of August its name day (a public holiday) is celebrated with a lot of festivities.
Notice anything different? It's the only church in Paros that is not white.
This is more than a simple church, many legends surround this place. It was started by St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, while on a pilgrimage to find the path to the True Cross. As is the Greek custom when in trouble at sea, she vowed to build a church on this spot, though there was a pre-existing church which in turn was constructed on the site of an ancient gymnasium or theatre.
Ekatondapiliani was made up of three interlocking buildings, with 99 doors and windows. According to legend, when the 100th door is found, Constantinopole (Istanbul) will return. For more information see www.ekatontapyliani.org
The church of Agios Constantinos
The Church of Agios Constantinos in Parikia is famous for its splendid architecture, its gilded, wood carved screen and unique Post-Byzantine icons.
The church of Agios Nikolaos in Naoussa
The little whitewashed church of Agios Nikolaos, situated at the fishing port of Naoussa, is the protector of all the fishermen of the island.
The church of Agios Georgios in Naoussa
Built in the 17th century has wonderful icons and a nice icon screen and offers to the visitor a fascinating view of the open sea and the village of Naoussa.
The church of Agia Triada in Lefkes
The Church of Agia Triada, located on a hill above the village of Lefkes, is an impressive structure, made of exquisite Parian marble. It contains a number of valuable icons, splendid hagiographies and an icon screen, a pulpit and a bishop’s throne, all of which are made of marble. The bell towers are masterpieces of ecclesiastical architecture.
Monastery of Loggovardas, forbidden for women, which has been steadily in service. The Monastery of Loggovardas was established in 1638 by the monk Paleologos. It is an impressive monastery, with splendid hagiographies and icons.
Monastery of Christ Dasous, forbidden for men, which has been steadily in service. The Monastery is located about 7 km South of Parikia, with the tomb of St. Arsenios,
Monastery of St. Mary Thapsanon from 1935 built on ruins of 17th Monastery, which has been steadily in service.
Monastery of Agios Ioannis Kaparos at Lefkes
The Monastery of Agios Ioannis, o Karparos, most well-known for its dream-like setting, is situated among vineyards and a variety of fruit trees (orange, cherry, lemon, peach, pear, apple and walnut trees). It is located approximately 2, 5 km.from Lefkes village.

paros island

paros island   6. Paros entertainment

Apart from the natural beauties of the island and its cultural monuments, Paros is a beloved destination for the young visitors due to the night life and the entertainment that it offers.
Many bars, clubs, cafes, small taverns with Greek music and traditional dishes, beautiful romantic restaurants and internet cafes are grouped to offer a rich network of entertainment which covers all tastes for all ages. During the summer all villages have various cultural events such as: fairs, festivals, concerts, shows, theatrical performances, art exhibitions etc.
For the cinema lovers also, during the summer months, two outdoor cinemas are working (Rex & Paros) in Paroikia showing movies in open air.
Classical music concerts also take place in the grounds of the beautiful Byzantine Ekatondapiliani church in Paroikia, traditional music and dancing is performed by local Dance Groups in Naoussa.
For the art lovers there are so many galleries and art courses to choose about on the island. If you would like to learn more about art courses or how to get involved with them, please let us know!

paros island

paros island   7. Festivals

What better way to experience the culture than the way we do.
Traditional festivals on the islands throughout the year preserve local traditions.
Many are religious based, others reminiscent of historical events and some for the sake of fish and fishermen.
Once a year every little church celebrates its name day (its patron saint). During these festivals the religious element coexists with the joy of life, since after the liturgy, merry-making, dancing and local delicacies follow. Don’t miss this opportunity to dance and celebrate along with the sounds of traditional music and songs.
Good Friday During the procession of the Epitaph the villagers revive scenes from the passion of Christ, in Marpissa & Marmara.
Easter Sunday Celebration of love, Marpissa.
April 23 Festival of Saint George, Aliki.
Festival of the Ascension of Christ 40 days after Easter, in Agios Fokas, Parikia and Piso Livadi.
June 23 Festival of Klidonas - burning of the dried flower wreaths made on May 1st, in Naoussa, Aliki and Prodromos.
June 30 Eve of Saint Anargiri, celebration in Parikia.
1st Sunday of July The Fishermen's Festival, in Naoussa.
August 6 Feast of Saviour's Metamorphosis, Aliki and Marpissa.
August 15 Festival of the Virgin Mary, in Parikia. Having the famous Ekatontapiliani Church dedicated to Mary, this is considered as the most important celebration on the island. Crowds gather from all over the country to attend the liturgies and to worship.
August 23 Nine days after the Virgin Mary Holiday, the streets of Naoussa are flooding with “pirates” in a revival of a Corsair attack night.
August 27 Saint Fanourios Holiday, celebrations in Ambelas.
August 28 & 29 Saint John Detis Holiday, Naoussa and Lefkes.
September 8 Holiday of Pera Panagia, Marmara.

paros island

paros island   8. Paros Nature –flora and fauna

Paros, gives the impression of being dry, especially in summer months.
A closer look, however, reveals the particularly rich and interesting flora. The specific weather conditions allow the vegetation close to the shore, of an amazing variety of plants, wildflowers, myrtles, cedars and of therapeutic herbs.
Parian countryside is blooming wild flowers such as cyclamens, anemones, mandrakes, medicinal and aromatic herbs, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme.
The cultivation of cereals and grapes, olives, garden produce and fruit trees in terraces on the hillsides lends special beauty to the landscape since, from a distance; the ground appears to undulate in the Aegean Sea breeze.
More than 200 species of birds have been recorded on Paros.
We mainly come across seabirds, raptors, nocturnal and other. The Aegean area with its many islands, the rocky islands and the aquatic biotopes constitutes a “network” of valuable stop-over for the migrating birds.
Specifically in Paros, there are 11 small aquatic biotopes, in Santa Maria, in Kolimbithres, in Molos, In Golden Beach, in Aliki, in Campos, in the area of Pounda, at Livadi in Paroikia, in Antiparos and on the rocky island of Cavouras.
* It is worth one to visit the Wild Animals Care and Protection Association “Alkioni”, which is located in Kamares (internal road that connects Paroikia with Naoussa), where the hospital instrumentation is and to admire closely the praiseworthy effort of the volunteers and as many of the birds that are in condition, of course, to stand the human presence.(www.alkioni.gr)