I was there with a friend last summer and in principle we were going to stay just one day because a Greek girl told us it was an ugly and stressing island, but we finally stayed there for a week! Paros is a precious island! The cobbled streets are small, clean, and full of flowers everywhere. There's a lot of restaurants, pubs, and bars just in front of the sea, near the port and you can stay there till 3 or 4 in the morning. I stayed in the capital, Parikia, which is very beautiful and has good beaches. And then I went to Naoussa (twenty minutes by bus from Parikia) which is a charming town -- smaller than Parikia and one of the nicest places in the Cyclades. In short, I felt very pleased with Paros Island, and I'm sure you're going to feel the same.
Paros Island is a great spot for tourists in the Greek Islands. There are two major cities, Parikia and Naoussa, and both are full of hostels. While it is not as popular as Mykonos or Santorini, it still caters to tourists and people can usually speak English and French. The island is small, so it does not matter which city in which you decide to stay. You can easily rent a quad bike or scooter and make your way around the island.
Naoussa has a lot more shops and markets to walk through, while Parikia has more restaurants and activities. The restaurants in Parikia are all along the coast, and pretty much serve the same kind of food and have the same prices. They attract tourists because the tables are along the water. Hostels in Paros Island are abundant, so just make sure to read reviews and see which has the best atmosphere for your needs.
Paros caters more to the outdoorsy types, with a lot of beautiful beaches and water activities. It is extremely easy to rent a bike or scooter, and it is a lot of fun to just walk or ride around the streets. Locals are used to the tourists and are often nice, but in high season during July and August, it can get a bit congested (nothing like Santorini or Mykonos, though).
Nightlife is a little more quiet here, but there are definitely bars and clubs to go to -- just ask the front desk of your Paros Island hostel or the people staying here. Prices are relatively cheap for food and drinks as well, and there are plenty of boat excursions. Make sure to go to Antiparos, which is a beautiful cave just a boat ride away. You can snorkel, paddleboard, waterski, and kayak as well. Kolimbithres is a beautiful beach that can be reached from Naoussa, with interesting rock formations that you can climb on and swim through. There are a few touristy beaches that are more like resorts, which play music and serve drinks all day and night. Paros has a few less tourists than the other islands, so things are less expensive, but there are still plenty of activities and the people of Paros cater to the tourists.
Hi, I'm Leah,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Paros Island hostels. Welcome.