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We asked our committed community member Ali Boyle to share with us his “love story” about Paros, give us some insights about this Cycladic island, and make a list of thing to do in Paros He responded immediately and now we present you a guide of Paros by a local on Paros! Ali is a great host too. If you ever travel to Paros, feel free to check his villas.
It was 2016 and I made a life-changing decision. I looked at myself in the mirror, smiled and said “I am going to live on a Greek Island, 24-7-365.
I gave up my job, cancelled all of my direct debits, packed up my Mini Cooper, put a map in my back pocket, and drove through Europe.
With the Rolling Stones blaring out of my speakers and the roof down – the grey skies of the UK were left behind and I ventured forward to the blue skies and the warm sun of Paros Island.
My partner and I had bought a few houses on Paros and my new job would be to decorate and renovate them for renting out via web-sites like Airbnb etc. After about 10 months of hard work I had finished the work and was ready to welcome my first guests.
Despite visiting Greece each year since 1978, I first found Paros in 2001 and the island grabbed my heart and soul from the very beginning. I love everything about Paros, and for me personally, it is the best island in the Cyclades.
I love the people of Paros, the smiles, the blue skies, the food, the sea, the sunrises, the sunsets, the religion, the respect to elders, the family orientated spirit….my list could go on and on.
In addition, I am a keen photographer, and I love the light and clarity of light in Paros and all of the Greek Islands.
I often hear myself saying:
“Look at the colour of the sea, the clarity, the depth, the reflections”
“Check out those churches and Cycladic buildings”
“Look at the lines, shadows, colours, hues and simplicity of design”
“Wow, there’s few great character shots”
Often when my season is over and my guests have left with a smile and a content swagger, I will check out Greeka, then jump on my scooter, buy a ticket on Blue Star Ferry and sail to the many glorious islands. With my camera in hand, I will visit: Naxos, Ios, Santorini, Koufonisia, Iraklia, Milos, Folegandros, Mykonos; all of them are special and gorgeous in their own unique way.
So, as this dark and dreary year comes to a close and we look forward to the bright lights of a new year, I thought I’d blog you a list of some of my favourite places on Paros:
I will start with my hometown of Drios next to Golden Beach.
In Drios there are about 7 tavernas and many hotels. A supermarket, coffee/cake shop, bike hire, etc etc…
Drios bars / tavernas etc:
We really enjoy “The Green Project” next to the white church on the main rd. This is owned by a local chap called Yannis, all the food is produced from his local farm.
He serves food and drinks and is open until about 02:00. Best to go later at night.
In the centre of the village, opposite the supermarket is a taverna called “Anna’s“. They have a great roof terrace for dinner… sit upstairs if you can.
Say “hi” to Anna for us. Anna is a wonderful lady, perhaps best described as “the heart of the community”. The food does not come more traditional than this and the bill is always small. Please put a note on Tripadvisor for Anna!..
“Annezina Village” is a wonderful place. This is a small hotel, it has a bar by a swimming pool. Annezina Restaurant (part of Annezina Hotel: Annezina’s has a great chef and the food is brilliant… Contemporary Greek and quite trendy for our little town. This is a gorgeous restaurant and the bill is normally very reasonable for such a classy dining experience. Annezina also does Greek cooking lessons during the day (all days except Sat and Mon). In addition to this, Annezina has a Greek night every Monday. This is an “all you can eat Greek buffet”, with live Greek music and dancing. Free wine is provided. The cost here is 35 euro per head. This starts at 8pm and goes on until the wee hours. Behind the supermarket is a wonderful taverna called “Anchora“. This is excellent.
There are also approx 3 tavernas on Drios beach. All worth a visit. (To Kyma and Markakis)
Heading out of Drios to Golden Beach (5-minute walk), there is a taverna on the main rd, next to a bike hire shop “Xilaris“. They do wine and moussaka for a small price.
If you walk further you come across a lovely bar called “The Golden Garden“. Golden Garden opens about 10pm and is great for a night out…cocktails or ouzo.
Yasou Cafe: This is next to the supermarket in Drios and is great for coffees/cakes and breakfasts.
On Golden Beach, there are about 6 tavernas…
Our favourite is on the beach attached to The Golden Beach Hotel. The food and service are great and dinner for 2 will cost about 30-40 Euro.
The view and service are wonderful. Please say hello to my friend Yanna who is the waitress there…..After dinner, pop into The Golden Garden on the way home.
Blue on Golden Beach is the perfect venue for a special occasion.
Places you must visit on Paros
Piso Livadi for breakfast, lunch, cocktails, or dinner. This is a small Greek harbour village. Drinks at Remezzo bar, dinner at Soiree or The Sailor…. the perfect night out.
From the pier opposite you can catch a day trip to Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos.
Logaras is a large beach area, beside Piso Livadi, with great tavernas. If you want a “beachy” day, with a nice lunch, This is a good place to visit.
In Naoussa, head to where all the fishing boats dock. There is a wee white church there, this is my “Mum’s church” and I light a candle there.
Nearby are some great bars and restaurants. They look expensive but are reasonable. Have an ouzo and water at “Leonardis” or dinner at “Barbarossa” or “The Silent Fishes”. This is our favourite.
You can catch fishing boats at Naoussa to go to all the nearby beaches.
Prices in Naoussa are generally more expensive than elsewhere, but do not let that put you off; it’s worth paying a few extra euros just because it is so beautiful.
Lefkes is a traditional Greek village up in the hills. Do not do with a hangover!. Great for photos and an energetic breakfast/lunch. You must visit.
In Aliki, watch the sun go down with a cocktail. We enjoy lunch in Aliki… Shrimp Saganaki is the best at “To Moyragio“. We also love a restaurant called “Thallassa Moy” and “Apoplos“.
Parikia is great for shops, banks, bars etc. Despite being the main port, there is a lovely area of the town called “Kastro“. We often enjoy a great lunch at “Tango Mar“. This is just off the main beach (Livadia) in Parikia.
This is a monastery for monks. You can visit there but need to cover up. Men only can visit… women are not allowed. It is on the road between Naoussa and Parikia.
Have a stroll around the back of Marpissa, up the top near the big church. Very pretty.
Like Marpissa, Prodromos is a little traditional Greek village. Take your camera and have a walk around the little streets. Dinner or lunch at Titsanis is recommended.
Pounda is seemingly very good for water sports, wind surfing etc.
Antiparos is a small island just off Paros. Ferries go every 30 mins from Pounta port. It is very beautiful and great to spend a day there…or spend a night on Antiparos (Kouros Hotel…fantastic)
Beaches to visit in Paros
Most people get to the beaches on Paros by small boat from Naoussa or from Parikia. We have found it easier to explore by moped.
Here’s some we have visited:
Golden Beach is a wonderful long sandy beach with loads of water sports. Golden Beach has a great reputation and has a “Blue Flag” status; you can windsurf and kayak there. We often have an early morning swim here, with the locals, then go home and cook breakfast.
Wow. This is a great beach especially if the Meltemi wind blows. There is a wonderful taverna there called The Cliff.
Pounda beach is just up from Golden Beach, very trendy, mixed/young crowd.
Parasporos is mixed and trendy (near Paroikia)
Krios / Livadia
Wonderful beaches near Parikia.
Gorgeous clear water. Farangas has a great taverna for a long lunch
More gentile crowd! Lovely beach.
Santa Maria is a lovely big beach, a lively mixed crowd. Scuba diving, windsurfing etc. There is a brilliant taverna on the road to Santa Maria called “Siparos”…This is one of the best on the whole island and well worth a visit for lunch or dinner.
Gay friendly, nudist. Not for the feint hearted!
Monastiri in one word : WOW…There is also a great taverna here, plus there are often music festivals/concerts in the evening.
Kolimbithres is famous for the magical rock formations. This is a great beach for the young and young at heart, a few good tavernas too.
These are more “local”, great for an early morning swim.
Take away food for the beach or for dinner later on the balcony: “Mammas” in Marpissa or “Anna’s” in Drios.
Dinner after the beach:
Piso Livadi: Great tavernas down by the port… Drinks in “Remezzo” is magical. “Soiree” is brilliant for dinner. Also, “Anna and George’s” (on the main rd, near Marpissa) is excellent.
Golden Beach: There are approx 6 restaurants here. The best is “Golden Beach Hotel” or “The Beach Project” for breakfast or lunch.
Drios: “Annas”, “Annezina” , “Anchora”, “Green Project”, “To Kyma”, “Markakis”.
Logaras: Again great tavernas : “Cactus” and “Fisilanis“.
Aliki: Great for sunset drinks and dinner at “To Moragio” or “Thallassa Moy” or “Apoplos”
Filitzi: “Siparos” is gobsmackingly brilliant!
Naoussa: “Silent Fishes” or “So-So”
All of the above are only my recommendations, and I am sure that there are many, many more magical places out there for us to discover.
Here’s wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy year ahead….I am sure we will be pleased to see 2020 pass us by, let’s hope 2021 will bring brighter days.
If ever you are passing through my special island please pop by and say “hello”.
Stay safe, stay happy.