Parikia is the capital of Paros Island, in the Cyclades archipelago. It is also the main port of the island and its most famous tourist destination. In winter, it’s a peaceful small town of about 4000 inhabitants, but it comes alive in summer when it’s filled with tourists from all around Europe. As soon as you arrive there, you’ll be immersed in the typical Greek atmosphere made of white houses, flowered balconies, cobbled alleys, blue sea and picturesque views.
Visiting Parikia in Paros – a Guide
How to get to Paros Island
By ferry from Athens (Piraeus Port): there are 3 ferry companies connecting Piraeus to Paros Island. The journey takes between 2h50 and 4h.
By ferry from Naxos: Naxos is the closest island to Paros and the journey only takes about 30 minutes.
By ferry from Mykonos: the journey takes from 40 minutes to 1h15.
Paros is also connected by ferry with other islands (Syros, Santorini, etc)
By plane from Athens: Paros has a small airport for internal flights only. It will take 40 minutes to get there from Athens.
Check here my detailed guide on how to get from Athens to Paros.
When is the best time to visit Paros
The best period is May – October. July and August can be very busy months.
Things to see in Parikia
- Panaghia Ekatodapiliani: this ancient temple is also called “the church with 100 doors”. It might have been founded by the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, that is St Helen. The complex includes the main church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, two smaller churches and a baptistery.
- Kastro neighbourhood: it’s the oldest part of the town overlooking the port. It’s very picturesque with its winding cobbled alleyways and several ancient buildings and ruins.
- Ancient Cemetery: Along Parikia’s waterfront you will find an ancient cemetery dating from the end of the 8th century BC that was in use until the 3rd century AD
- Archaic Temple of Athena: you can still see a portion of this ancient temple in Kastro area.
- Frankish Castle: it dates back to the XIII century and it was the residence of the Venetian Governor. The term “Frankish” does not specifically refer to the Francs or the French people, but it was generically used to indicated all Western people. Address: Lochagou Kourtinou
- Archeological Museum: you shall not miss it if you love ancient history, because it displays numbers of archaeological remains from a period spanning from the Neolithic to the early Christian times. One of its highlights is the Nike of Paros.
- Parikia’s churches: you’ll find many old churches in Parikia and you shall visit at least Panaghia Stavrou, Aghia Anna, Agios Konstantinos, Evangelismos and Taxiarchis.
- Windmill: it’s one of the first things you’ll see on your arrival. This landmark is also a café and a nice place to watch the sunset.
You might be interested in: A Guide to Naoussa, Paros.
Beaches in and around Parikia
- Livadia Beach: close to the Old Town and fully equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, it’s the perfect place to watch an authentic Greek sunset!
- Souvlia Beach: small, central and free.
- Martselo Beach (Marcello Beach): if you don’t mind venturing further, you’ll find this beautiful beach 5Km away from Parikia. You can reach it by bike, by car or by ferry (leaving every 30 minutes from Parikia’s port). One part of the beach is equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas and a bar while another section is free.
- Krios Beach: it is located 3 Km away from the centre of Parikia and it’s the perfect place for families thanks to its shallow waters, facilities, a bar and a restaurant. It can also be reached by ferry from Parikia.
- Zoodohou Pigis Beach: it is a free public beach located just in front of Zoodohou Pigis church in Parikia
You might want to check out: The best beaches in Paros
Things to see near Parikia
- Antiparos Island: this small island is well connected to Paros by ferry and the journey only takes 10 minutes. Remember that you won’t be able to take your car with you on the ferry to explore Antiparos. If you wish to do so, leave from Pounta instead! – Check here the best things to do in Antiparos.
You might also like The best day trips from Paros.
- Valley of Butterflies: if you want to enjoy some nature and some shade, reach this special ecosystem where the tiger moth butterfly leaves from June to August. These butterflies spend the summer hanging on the trees.
- Lefkes Village: a picturesque village perched on a hill and offering nice views of the inland.
- Marble Quarries: many precious marble blocks have been extracted there for centuries and some worldwide famous statues were made of it.
Check out: The best things to do in Paros Island.
Shopping in Parikia
The best souvenir shops in Parikia are to be found in the Kastro area. The most typical souvenirs are handmade sandals, traditional jewels and decorated pottery.
Nightlife in Parikia
In summer, Parikia’s Old Town and waterfront get really busy and local nightlife is quite renowned. The waterfront is also surnamed “the disco street” and you’ll find a place for any taste and budget, from the clubs where international DJs play all night long to some more romantic lounge bars with a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea.
Where to eat in Parikia
- Steak House – Brizoladiko: the right place to watch the sunset while tasting some gyros.Generous portions and affordable prices.
- The Little Green Rocket: try it if you love fusion cuisine. The menu is really unconventional and it can be a nice break from the more traditional Greek dishes.
Where to stay in Parikia
- Argonauta Hotel: the rooms are decorated in traditional Greek style for an authentic atmosphere. This family-run hotel is just 5minutes away from the port and the nightlife area and it also has an internal restaurant.
- Alexandra’s Room: close to Livadia Beach and the nightlife area, this B&B has a great location for a traditional beach holiday with friends. Some rooms are also equipped with a kitchenette and a panoramic balcony.