I speak more about the difference between each island we visited in my Travel Guide for Athens, but I’ll preface this post by saying that Paros is definitely in my top five favorite places I’ve ever been to. It is one of the lesser-visited islands, in the scheme of doing a trip to Greece, but is 1000% worth the trip there. It’s unspoiled and the least touristy place we visited during our trip as well. If you love hidden gems and tucked-away beaches and villages, this is an absolute must-visit!
To get to Paros we took a two and a half hour ferry from Santorini to Paros— via Golden Star Ferry, which is one of the bigger ferry options. We heard that some people got seasick when taking the smaller ferries, so we opted for this one and had no problem at all. Though we don’t generally get seasick, this ferry was huge and you barely felt the waves below us at all.
We also opted for the ‘VIP’ section of the ferry, only because when we booked it it was the same price as the regular tickets (strange?) so we went for that. You put your luggage in down below when you get on and then sit on the various levels up top (you should get an assigned seat), and it was honestly very easy to navigate and figure out. You do need your ticket to be printed to board, which you can either have your hotel do or do at the ferry stand upon arriving at the port (I think it costs a euro to print each ticket).
We had scheduled for someone from our hotel to pick us up at the port when we got to Paros, which made it easy to get from the ferry to our hotel. The whole journey from Santorini to Paros took a full afternoon/into the evening, so I wouldn’t say that you could do it for a day trip. BUT, visiting Paros was so worth the journey as you’ll read below.
Where We Stayed
Saint Andrea Resort— This resort is about a 20 minute drive from where the ferry drops off in Paros (we took the ferry from Santorini to Paros— more on Santorini in my Santorini Travel Guide) and it was such a delight to arrive to this gorgeous spot! The hotel is located right across the street from the Mediterranean and a 20 minute walk into the town of Naoussa— which ended up being our absolute favorite town on the island (and potentially favorite town of the whole trip). The architecture of the resort was very updated and romantic– it kind of reminded us of places we’ve visited in Italy. We had two adjoining rooms that were lovely (we especially loved the chic bathrooms!). Though the view wasn’t amazing, compared to the other places we stayed throughout Greece, the pool area and proximity to Naoussa made it the perfect spot to both pop into town and relax. The pool area was exceptionally awesome– with its own outdoor bar, restaurant, and plenty of daybeds and chairs, it was truly the best spot to enjoy the gorgeous Paros sunshine.
What We Did
Walking through Aliki— On our first evening in Paros we took a cab to the seaside fishing village of Aliki, which was a little town lined with seafood restaurants and adorable shops— right along a small harbor full of fishing boats. It’s definitely a beachy, summery town that is fun to walk through and grab a drink or bite to eat. There seem to be a number of beautiful beaches and small coves around the area too, though we didn’t have a chance to visit them during the day.
Walking through Naoussa— After our first (and sadly) only night at the hotel, we woke up and got dressed to walk into Naoussa, which is the biggest village on the island and located in northern Paros, about a 20 minute walk from our hotel. It was a pretty walk along the ocean, which led us past some gorgeous buildings and into the harbor/village of Naoussa. It was pretty much love at first sight when we started walking around… worn fishing boats tied up against the docks, seashell treasures being sold at little stands, whitewashed pathways and pops of electric pinks, blues, and yellows on the buildings… and then the shopping! Stores that carried some of our favorite brands, as well as items that were made in Paros. We simply couldn’t get over how adorable and unique the whole village was. We spent the good part of the day walking around and shopping (read on for our favorite boutiques!) as well as sitting by the water for a glass of rosé and a bite to eat.
Photos by Linardo’s Bar— Probably my favorite photo moment of the trip, which is saying a lot since this was the most photogenic and picturesque trip I’ve ever been on. Linardo’s is a small white bar, with a pink door and sign and pink bougainvillea to match. It’s located right in the town of Naoussa, which we walked to from our hotel (it’s a really pretty 20 minute walk along the coastline). We got there in the early morning for a photo op, but I also heard that it’s a ton of fun at night, with delicious cocktails and the most photogenic spot all in one.
Shopping through Naoussa— This was the absolute best shopping of our trip!! There are dozens of darling boutiques that are tucked into the winding streets of Naoussa. They reminded us of the type of boutiques and shops you’d find on Nantucket or St. Barths— unique, quaint, and full of fabulous finds! Some of our favorite shops included Saline, Sun.Set, La Vie En Rose, and Handmade with Love. Just wander around the village and pop into each one that looks interesting.
Laying by the pool— After our morning of shopping in Naoussa, we ended up laying by the pool at the Saint Andrea Resort and I fell asleep in one of their daybeds. It was so leisurely and wonderful to get to relax by the pool in such a scenic setting. This was truly one of the most relaxing afternoons of our trip to Greece.
Where We Ate
Aliki— This is the authentic Greek restaurant we went to in the town of Aliki on our first night in Paros. It came highly recommended by my former boss, Eleni, who has a home on the island! The people who worked there couldn’t have been nicer and it was located in an ideal spot right on the water. Highly recommend if you love authentic Greek cuisine!
Saint Andrea Resort— We had breakfast at the resort as it was included in our stay (I believe all of the breakfasts we had during the trip were included in our resorts) and it was an exceptional buffet spread. Really delicious pastries, hot foods, and a Greek yogurt bar! Their dining area was right next to the pool and a really beautiful spot to sit for a meal.
Glafkos Taverna— We stumbled upon this restaurant in the town of Naoussa, and it had the best setting and food all in one. It’s located right in town on the water, and you can order from a variety of delicious Greek and seafood dishes. We particularly loved the fried zucchini and tuna tartar! This is the ideal spot to sit for a bite to eat and a glass of wine in between walking and shopping through town.