Paros is one of the larger islands in the Cyclades and its main drawcards are good sandy beaches, traditional fishing villages and a vibrant nightlife. Its main port, Parikia, is home to a ruined Venetian castle and an impressive Byzantine church that have dazzled travellers for many generations. Windsurfing, kite surfing and scuba diving are its most popular watersports. Holidaymakers will also find a lively jazz scene, clubs around the town's waterfront and superb beaches at Naoussa on the north coast, while Lefkes in the centre of the island has a number of tavernas along its pretty winding streets.
Paros' many ferry connections are perfect for exploring famous islands and attractions nearby, such as Antiparos, which has an interesting chapel cavern and more lovely beaches.
Paros was famous during the Classical Age for the white marble quarried within its borders. Today, souvenir hunters may find some beautiful marble work on the island, as well as shells, leather work, embroidery and wooden sculptures. Parikia is the best place for shopping on the island and has the usual tourist shops and grocery stores, and lovely art in the town's galleries.
While Paros has a good variety of places to eat out, the best establishments are traditional and seafood is often the best choice. Visitors can easily find a place to smash plates with locals if the mood takes them.
Though Paros is too relaxed for its nightlife to compare to destinations like Mykonos, its summer season is fairly action-packed. Numerous bars, clubs and traditional Greek music and dancing are on offer, and Naoussa village and Santa Maria Beach are particularly popular for their party scenes.
Paros' winding cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings give visitors a taste of the old world, and the island is famous for its beaches, which range from quiet, remote spots to crowded party hubs. Ocean conditions are generally good for windsurfing.
Paros can get very crowded and may not suit those seeking peace and relaxation.