A stop off en route to Santorini by ferry as well as a deserving destination itself, Paros has been a popular Greek vacation spot for as long as vacations have existed.

Surrounded by 75 miles of clear blue Aegean Sea waters, its long stretches of glorious sand are where many arrivals first head. Golden Beach, a delightful 20-minute walk from the streets of the island’s capital, Parikia, is well named, with an extensive expanse of rich golden sand that’s soft under foot. The sun loungers and parasols here are matched with a wealth of watersports, windsurfing among them.

Be sure to stroll back to Parikia, arguably the most active spot on this laidback island, to explore its appealing portside and morning market packed with local produce. Then head along its ancient streets, many lined with traditional tavernas, towards its famed windmill or the ruins of Kastro Fortress, built when the island was part of the Venetian Empire in the thirteenth century.

Parikia is a town that’s perhaps only bettered by Naoussa’s old town, which offers up typical Cycadean vernacular architecture of angular whitewashed buildings. There harsh lines are broken by flowers stemming from balconies and window boxes. Meanwhile, Naoussa’s blue-domed chapels are an attractive backdrop to its cobbled streets and harbor, busy throughout the day with the movement of local boats known as caiques.

But the history doesn’t end there, with Paros the birthplace of one of the most famous works of art in the world, the Venus de Milo. Although the marble statue is now housed in Paris, the quarry and the mining galleries in which the stone was produced can still be visited, alongside the attractive nearby village of Marathi.

Among a multitude of other villages, each of which have their own reasons to visit, from Lefkes to Marpissa, is a series of seven hiking routes, each unveiling views of neighboring islands that will have you struggling to walk on.

Top Greece Travel Destinations

Athens / Crete / Delphi / The Peloponnese / The Cyclades / Mykonos / Santorini

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