• Ferry System
  • Parikia Airbnb
  • Getting Around Paros
  • Other Sites on Paros

On our 3rd trip to Greece, in 2019 , We spent nearly a week on the island of Paros, and as we discovered, after a week, we wished for additional time there.  Greece is a country we have come to love over the last several years. On this particular trip, Athens and Naxos we had visited previously, but Paros would be a new destination for us. For the first part of our trip, our good friend Linda, another intrepid traveler, would be joining us.

Greece is a large country that includes the mainland and over 6,000 islands with over 227 or them being inhabited. You can fly to some of the larger islands or choose the more popular method to travel to the islands, the Ferry System. We used the high speed ferry system on each of our trips when departing Athens for the islands.

While most people choose Santorini, Mykonos or Corfu as their destination, our preference is the smaller islands in the Cyclades. We chose to return to Naxos which we had previously visited 5 years ago and visit Paros its sister island. Because the port at Piraeus in Athens can be terribly busy in the mornings, we selected to go there and purchase our tickets a day ahead to save time on our departure day. Piraeus port is located approximately 12 miles from city center and is quite busy in the mornings, the most popular times for ferries to depart. From the numerous ferries departing throughout the day you can choose either the high-speed ferries which cost about 30% percent more or the regular speed ferries. Both types are comfortable and very safe. The Greeks are known for their long history as the best sailors in the world and being at “one” with the ocean. at the time of this trip, the ferry cost from Athens to Paros on the regular ferry coach accommodations are around 35 € and a First Class ticket goes for around 50 € one way.  At www.ferryhopper.com schedules, prices and tickets are all available.  The ferries have food, drink, newspapers and duty- free shop as well as upper deck outdoor viewing areas providing a great way to experience the beauty of the Cyclades and the Aegean Sea as you sail by.

Paros is approximately 93 miles from Athens by ferry and is in the center of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea. The island is roughly 75 square miles and is known for its beautiful white marble, scenic mountain villages and spectacular coves and inlets that make up this beautiful islands shoreline. There is truly a special tranquility here you feel immediately when you arrive! We particularly enjoyed slowing down the pace from the bustling city of Athens.

We arrived with our luggage and were greeted with the smell of salt water and ocean breezes. These were mixed with the beauty of the traditional Greek colors of white and blue on all the structures of the island, contrasted with the spectacular turquoise colors of the Aegean. Our accommodations were booked through Airbnb, and our communications with our hosts had instructed us to meet our “contact” at a particular beauty shop, behind the windmill, steps away from the ferry arrival location on Paros. We were to ask for a particular stylist, and her boyfriend would be the one to take us to the apartment, and get us settled. Sounded a little cloak and dagger, but being the adventurous sorts we are, we followed the directions precisely .

We found our contact, Jorgo and he welcomed us to Paros and told us we were going to enjoy our stay on this beautiful jewel of the Aegean Sea. We gathered our luggage and followed him through the clean winding streets and passageways, complete with blooming Bougainvillea. Welcome to the islands!

Our cozy 2-bedroom 2 bath Airbnb flat, had a rooftop terrace that allowed us to enjoy the epic Greek sunsets and views of the stars at night. Our host shared a wealth of information about the island, recommending locations for the best beaches, and places to eat and drink and hear live music. Our rental was in a fabulous location on a narrow side street in the heart of the local port town Parikia, and we considered it a perfect location.

On an early walkabout on our first full day in Parikia, we came across a woman practicing yoga on the beach.  After watching her finish up her poses, we struck up a conversation with her.  She had been teaching Yoga for several summers on Paros.  She shared, “Paros has a very special energy. You can feel it here”.  We must say, after our stay, we agree completely.

We rented a car while we were on Paros so we could visit some other villages and locations on the island. You could get by without a car, as there is much to see and do in Parikia; the small town where the ferry arrives. We spent one day traveling to the mountainous and charming quaint village of Lefkes, one of the oldest villages in Greece. The people were quite charming and the place we chose for lunch was a small family run taverna built on the side of a steep overlook. The dining area was a deck overlooking the pastoral village so beautiful, we spent several hours there enjoying the food and the views.

Traveling for us involves getting off the beaten path and engaging with locals as much as possible, because we believe it gives us a richer and more rewarding experience. This day was a perfect example, after lunch, we took a stroll from the taverna down the streets of the village to the church located up the hill from the small village of Lefkes.

Even though it was September, the afternoons were still quite, hot, and we took a break in the shade during our return stroll through this hilly residential area of the village and talked about how fortunate we were to be able to experience the beauty of Greece. We were each taken by surprise during our brief rest stop, when a door opened at the house right across from the wall were sitting on, and an older Greek woman approached us. She was carrying something and smiling and offered us a cluster of freshly washed green grapes, smiled, and gave them to us as a gift of hospitality and friendship.

She and turned and returned to her home as quickly as she had appeared. We were taken by surprise by this kind gesture. We all replied “Efharisto” (ef-caris-toe), “thank you” in Greek. We were left with a smile basking in the random moment of kindness we had just experienced! We were grateful for the warm hospitality and sweet taste of the grapes. This gift a stranger had shared with us, in a wonderful unplanned encounter typifies what Greek hospitality is all about.  The rest of our blissful days on Paros we spent exploring beaches, the shops of Parikia, and tavernas.

On our departure day, seeming like a quest, we turned in the keys to our Airbnb at the hair salon by the port area. Then, we were to meet up with the car rental guy on the street, sign final paperwork and return the keys. The casual way we were to park the car anywhere on the street and find the rental operator was certainly a departure from what we were used to in the states. After turning over the car, we settled in for a nice breakfast at an oceanside Taverna, to wait until time for our ferry to depart.

We hope you will experience the special energy and sense of calm in the quaint seaside villages of Paros Greece on your visit. Time truly seems to stand still here.

Enjoy the Journey!