Paros and Naoussa
Note: This information below was last updated in 2004; for up-to-date specifics on this area, we recommend Lonely Planet: Greece.
This popular island is ideally situated in the central Cyclades. It is a ferry hub with great connections to other island chains. Despite its popularity, Paros still manages to mix nightlife with sandy-beached and picturesque whitewashed towns. Parikia (known just as "Paros" on ferry schedules) is the main port as well as the largest, liveliest town on the island. Naoussa offers a quieter small-town alternative.
Getting Around Paros
Convenient, reliable buses run every day throughout the day (and night on more common routes). Costs range from €0.60–1.20; pay on board. Bus schedules are posted at all stations and copies are available for you to keep. In Parikia the bus station lies just east of the main boat docks.
Tourist Information: The TI is located behind the windmill, to the right (daily in July–Aug 8:30–24:00, shorter hours off-season).
Post Office: Open Monday-Friday 7:30–14:00; OTE phones are out front.
Supermarket: The biggest is just across from the marina (credit cards accepted).
Olympic Airways: Their office is on the small Mavrogenous Square (tel. 22840/21900) near the pharmacy and bank.
Banking: The National Bank of Greece, ATM's, and an 24-hour automatic currency exchange machine, are also on Mavrogenous Square.
Arrival in Parikia: At the port, you'll find plenty of travel agents (most give out bus schedules, store luggage, and sell ferry tickets) and luggage depots (€0.85–1.50, 8:00–24:00). Paros is well-connected to Athens by plane (6/day). You can take a taxi from the airport to Parikia for around €6 or the public bus for €0.85.
Cathedral: Ekanontapiliani, the 6th-century cathedral, is located behind the park, inland from the marina.
Old Town: The old town lies behind the windmill to the west. Throughout these whitewashed winding streets you'll find plenty of shops with jewelry, batik beachwear, pharmacies, and creperies.
Beaches: Just east of the harbor lies Parikia beach. This nice, sandy beach is conveniently located and quite crowded. To get to the beaches of Martselo or Krios across the harbor, take a 30-minute boat ride (€1.20, boats run hourly from 9:30–19:00, depart from harbor near larger port).
Sleeping and Eating in Parikia
The room-finding service at the dock is helpful, but be careful — they don't necessarily find you the best room. If you arrive without a reservation, your best bet is to deposit your luggage for an hour, get your bearings, and search out a room on your own. The listings below are within 15 minutes from the port on foot.
Pension Festos offers 11 clean rooms (Db-€15–25 depending on the room, Qb-€30–35, tel. 22840/21635, fax 22840/24193).
Mimikos Rooms, run by Dimitros Skiadas, rents six rooms. All are doubles with balconies, and three have bathrooms (Db-€15-30 depending on season, located beyond Mavrogenous Square, follow the many signs, tel. 22840/21437). Consider eating at the restaurant next door, in their garden terrace.
The Happy Green Cows, a quaint vegetarian restaurant, has a funky interior, fine meals, and good wine they produce themselves (a block inland from the National Bank, down a narrow alley, tel. 22840/24691).
In high season, Parikia is the place to party on Paros. The strip west of the harbor is lined with bars and discos. For a quieter evening, consider a movie at Parikia's open-air theater (two blocks inland from west end of Parikia Beach). English versions of films are shown twice nightly at 21:00 and 23:00. Check at the box office for current showings and times. Tickets are €5. You can even get hot, buttered popcorn for €1.
This small town, northeast of Parikia, is a pleasant alternative to busier Parikia. Just a 20-minute bus ride from Parikia, Naoussa is still crowded in high season, but without the bump-and-grind feel. The "downtown" is separated by a stream and connected by a bridge. The bus station and TI are located at this bridge. From here, you can walk inland to the main square of town.
Tourist Information: The TI offers maps and bus schedules as well as a room-finding service for walk-ins (daily 10:30–21:30, tel. 22840/52158). Ask about the traditional music and dance festivals held on several weekends in the summer.
Bus Station: At the station, located at the bridge, schedules are posted in the window. Buy your ticket on board.
Beaches: The nearby beach of Santa Maria is popular with windsurfers, but also has quieter, less windy coves for just lying in the sun or taking a swim in the shallows (5 buses/day, 20 minutes). Boats to Kolithres or Monastiri beaches run twice hourly from 10:00–19:30.
Shopping: The streets that continue behind the town square are filled with specialty boutiques selling jewelry, pottery, and other local crafts.
Sleeping and Eating in Naoussa
Several places offering rooms can be found on the streets off the main square. Many people with rooms to let also come to meet the buses when they arrive.
Hotel Christina offers big, clean rooms in a beautiful setting. All rooms have a TV, fridge, and phone (Sb-€30–70, Db-€35–90 depending on season, breakfast-€6, air-con, tel. 22840/51017 or 22840/51755, fax 22840/53372, www.christinaparos.gr).
The wharf area around the fishing boats is lined with seafood restaurants. Just follow the strings of drying octopi. A fine bakery is just up the hill from the town square.