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Once only a transportation hub in the Aegean, this island has become one of the most popular resort destinations in the Mediterranean. Its three major towns each have their own appeal.
Parikia, the island’s capital, offers an eclectic marketplace, the ruins of a Venetian castle, and a Byzantine cathedral. The island’s most important cultural treasure, the Byzantine cathedral Panayia Ekatondapiliani (Our Lady of a Hundred Doors), is situated behind a high white wall that keeps its courtyard separated from the noisy street. It has several icons dating back to the 15th century as well as a 4th century baptismal font.
Lefkes, set within the island's inland hills, has preserved many of its medieval buildings amidst a maze of steep and narrow streets. Less developed than the two other major towns on the island, if offers an escape for those weary of the beach front.
Once a humble fishing village, Naoussa has now become a thriving resort town while retaining the charms of its origin. This city’s hotels are near some of the best beaches on the island.
The leisure options on this island are many. Parikia offers several good locations for dining and drinking. The Port Café is a basic kafenio popular with travelers, or for a more elegant option the Evinos Bar has a lovely view of the harbor. The island also has several good beaches including the Santa Maria Beach, which hosts the annual World Cup windsurfing championships.
For an interesting side trip, the marble quarries of Marathi can be reached by car. These quarries are the source of the famous Parian marble so prized by ancient sculpters.
There is also a pontoon across to the nearby Anti Paros, a smaller, almost abandoned Island famous for its Caves. The caves have attracted visitors for hundreds of years (as shown by its graffiti), but the island still has a wonderfully ‘backward’ appeal to it.
Olympic Airlines offers two daily flights between Paros and Athens as well as flights to other islands in the Aegean, most visitors arrive by ferry (5 hours from the mainland), with regular connections to other Cyclades islands.