Paros is located in the center of the Cyclades and is one of the most popular holiday destinations, with unparalleled natural beauty, endless beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning scenery.
Paros has been inhabited since at least 4000BC. It started flourishing around 3000BC, and all over the Cyclades the Parian marble can be found from this time. The island was then called Minoa which indicates that the island’s civilization was Minoan (Cretan) then. Later on, the Parian marble was to be used in Delphi, Delos and the temple of Poseidon in Sounio.
Paros island was defeated by Naxos at this time, and lost its position. It still held a strong cultural foothold though with a school for sculptors. When the Persian wars began, Paros initially fought with the Persians against Athens. After the Persian defeat at Salamis, Paros joined the Athenian league.
Towards the end of the Classical period Paros was ruled by Sparta, then the Macedonians and finally the Romans. Chistianity came to Paros around AD300.
During the Byzantine period Paros island continued to be an important place because of its marbles, but around 900 the island was totally deserted when the Arabs invaded. It was repopulated though and came under Venetian rule in the beginning of the 13th century.
During the Turkish rule the islanders were heavily taxed, but allowed much freedom. The islanders built many churches and monasteries during this time. Paros took a strong part of the Greek revolution against the Turks in 1821 and was soon freed.
There are various water sports around the island and you can also go scuba diving, which is quite unusual in Greece. You can also go biking or jogging quite easily since the island is basically flat. Among other things that have made Paros so popular is that the island is ideal for windsurfing and every summer Paros island hosts windsurfing competitions. There are many sporting facilities on the island, most of them located in the larger hotels. The island also has diving and snorkelling schools and there are many places where you can enjoy these activities, either as part of a group or independently. Fishing is another activity that many enjoy and the island boasts plenty of places to do this.
Just like anywhere else in Greece, you will find little bars and taverns even in the smallest village on Paros. If you really want to party, it’s best to stay in Parikia – that’s where the clubs and discos are. There are also many places with live Greek music. Naoussa as well has a lively nightlife. Paros restaurants are very varied, and you can get traditional Greek food or more international meals. In Parikia you will find most of the restaurants and taverns at the right side of the port towards Argo beach and further to Krios. On the left of the port the long promenade is bursting from cafeterias, pizzerias, music bars and snack bars.