Area Guides: Paros

"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage."
- Thucydides, Greek Historian

Paros is part of the Cyclades, located in the middle of the Aegean Sea. It is accessible from sea (from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina – duration of travel ranges from 3 to 5 hours) and air (from The Athens International Airport – duration of flight is 45 minutes).

During ancient times Paros was famous for its marble production. Marble of Paros was used not only to carve the Acropolis of Athens, Apollo’s temple in Delos and Poseidon’s temple in Sounio but also to sculpt Hermes of Praxitelis, Aphrodite of Milos and Victory of Samothrace. Nowadays, the quarry is open to visitors as a monument of industrial archaeology.

Tradition says that Saint Helen, on her way to Holy Land to discover the True Cross, faced a storm off Paros and debarked on the island, where she promised to build a stately church in honor of Holy Mary if she survived the storm and found the True Cross. Her oblation was fulfilled by her son, Constantine the Great, first emperor of the Byzantine Empire. The church of “Panagia Ekatontapyliani” is an excellent sample of byzantine architecture that attracts visitors from all over the world. The name “Ekatontapyliani” means “With 100 Gates” and is said to refer to the 100 gates of the temple, from which one is secret.

Paros is ideal for lovers of outdoor sports, as it offers a lot of activities, such as wind surfing, kite surfing, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, horse riding, bicycling and beach volley. One of its most famous beaches among surfers is called “New Golden Beach” and is the place where during the 1990s the Windsurfing World Cup was organized.

For those who seek for a romantic sunset, it is worth discovering the Cave of Archilohus, the lyric poet of antiquity who was going there to get inspired.

Geographical Area : Rest of the Aegean Islands