Paros is the Greek Island of your dreams that you’ve probably never heard of. To be fair, there are over 6,000 Greek Islands that pepper the eastern Mediterranean, so we’ll give you a pass on this one.
For the EF College Break crowd, Paros is an important one to know. All of our trips that visit the Greek Islands go to Paros. Why? According to Julie M., our Director of Product Development (AKA Trip-Maker Extraordinaire), “It’s stunningly beautiful, trendy and fun, but it also doesn’t have the hype some of the other islands have, so it’s a little less expensive and not quite as busy.”
Paros at a Glance
Paros is a fun, easy island to explore. Getting around is a cinch; a bus line links the three main towns—the capital and port Parikia, the fishing village of Naousa, and the mountain town of Lefkes.
Rent bikes, 4-wheelers, donkeys, boats—you’ve got some serious transportation options when it comes to exploring this island. Lots of sunshine, little rain and a constant breeze in the summer makes this island a charmer. There are several decent-sized tourist resorts, but the island’s essential character is still prevalent as hill villages, vineyards and olive groves abound. Not to mention there are 38 amazing beaches worth exploring.
Extremely Brief Snippet of Paros’ History
The island was known throughout antiquity for its white marble quarries. These quarries helped ensure the island’s prosperity. The Venus de Milo was carved from Parian marble. In more recent times, Napoleon’s tomb was constructed from white marble from this island.
Early on, this was a leading Cycladic city; a pre-Greek civilization that produced famous art. If you have ever taken an art history class (and paid attention) you’re familiar with Cycladic Art. During the golden age of Greece, the island was often on the wrong side of history, siding with the Persians in two wars against Athens (oops). Across the island, numerous traces of ancient, Byzantine, Venetian and Roman rule remain. The poet Archilochus is the island’s famous son; in ancient times, he was considered to be on par with the grand-daddy of Greek poets, Homer. A warrior, seafarer, famed lover—Archilochus had it all. Hello, ladies.
Talk to the Hand – Paros Style!
Meet Theoktisi. Saint Theoktisi, that is. Captured by pirates in the 9th century, she escaped to Paros, where she lived a pious, honorable life in the woods for 35 years. Then some lost guy, who happened to be a hunter, stumbled into her lair. Upon making contact with civilization for the first time in 35 years, Theoktisi did what any normal woman would do… she asked him for communion bread. He left to get the bread in honor of her request. When he returned, she promptly died. Excited that she was surely a saint, he cut off her hand to keep as a relic.
Good news! The hand is located Church of a Hundred Doors (Ekatontapyliani) and comes out on special occasions like her feast day, November 9th. Ultimately, the rest of her body was carted off by Ikarians, the Island’s pesky neighbors to the northeast.
Take the bus, rent a donkey or a 4-wheeler, enjoy a beachside taverna and take in one of the beautiful beaches like Golden Sand beach. The secret is out on Paros. Get there with EF College Break on Ultimate Europe or our amazing (and relaxing) Greek Islands trip.