Paros is a picturesque island whose cosmopolitan atmosphere attracts the attention of large numbers of tourists, yet manages to retain its warm, traditional character. The narrow, winding alley-ways, the arches, the unique small port of Naoussa, the numerous majestic beaches, and an infinity of entertainment choices, materialize the promise of truly unforgettable vacations. Paros is well known for the production of its renowned white marble, from which many famous statues of antiquity, such as Aphrodite of Milos and Hermes of Praxiteles were sculpted, as well as for its strong winds, which have rendered the island as a favorite windsurfing center. Its population numbers 12.853 residents, while its extent covers 195 sq.km.
History - Culture
Paros has been inhabited since Prehistoric times, and was among the most prominent centers of the Cycladic civilization, which flourished between the 5th and the 3rd millennia BC. Entering the Bronze age, Paros was under Cretan influence, which lasted until the decline of the Minoan civilization, half way through the 2nd millennia BC. During the archaic period (8th-5th century BC) it flourished as a center of art and commerce, a situation which ?with the exception of brief intervals- endured well into the Hellenistic era. In the Persian Wars, Paros allied with Persia, and was unsuccessfully attacked -in revenge- by the Athenians, under general Miltiades, after the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Then, the island became a member of the Athenian Confederacy in which it remained until the end of the 5th century, and the demise of the Athenian hegemony. A few centuries later, Paros was occupied by the Romans, along with the rest of Greece. Since then it changed many hands, and in 1207 the island was annexed to the Duchy of Naxos; the castle of Paroikia was built during Frankish rule. Paros was eventually occupied by the Turks and suffered many pirates" attacks - Franks and Turks being a regular plague. During the Greek War of Independence, Paros, being a naval power, played a significant part, contributing its powerful fleet and its fierce seamen to the cause.
If Paros enjoys a reputation of outstanding beauty, it has earned every measure of it; countless small gulfs and reclusive bays, sandy beaches and significant historical sights combine harmoniously to enchant travelers. There are the sites of "petaloudes" with numerous water springs, lush vegetation, and a vast population of butterflies, and "kolymbithres", a beautiful beach surrounded by smooth rocks that nature has so elaborately sculptured, as well as the innumerable golden beaches of Paros. The island is full of ancient ruins, castles, windmills, churches and monasteries. Close to Paroikia, there are the remnants of the Temple of Asclepius, and one can also visit the Frankish castle. Prehistoric remains have been discovered on the hill of the ancient acropolis of Paros. The imposing Byzantine church of Ekatontapyliani (the church of one hundred doors), built in the 4th century, is also in Paroikia, and the historical events and traditions that are associated with this impressive medieval monument are worth discovering.
Tourists will find a fully developed and convenient tourist infrastructure on the island. There is an airport, a fine road network, radio taxis, a public bus and boat service, all of which facilitate visitors to access the island itself and all destinations upon it. Accommodation facilities are numerous and of the highest quality throughout the island. Paros is famed for its luxuriant night life, while the restaurants and taverns meet every need and satisfy any appetite. The markets in Paroikia, Naoussa and Pounda are rich, while some of the best buys are ceramics, jewelry, cheese and wine. A most noted local specialty is ?gouna?, sun-dried fish with a hot flavor, which is ideally accompanied by ouzo or wine. Sporting facilities are everywhere, including football fields, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, but most visitors cannot find heart to leave the beach, even when their vacation is over.
Flights are carried out from Athens all year round. Ferries sail from Piraeus, Raphina and Thessaloniki throughout the year with service being somehow reduced in winter.
Ferries and flying dolphins link Paros, the rest of the Cyclades, the North Aegean Islands, the Dodecanese, Crete, and the Sporades.
The Archaeological and Folk Art Museum is in Paroikia, and there is a Folk Art Museum in the village of Lefkes.
Archaeology, gastronomy, ecotourism, sporting (water sports, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving).
PAROS AREA CODE: 22840-
MUNICIPALITY: 22840-21200, 21222
POLICE STATION: 22840-23333
PORT POLICE: 22840-21240
MUNICIPALITY POLICE: 22840-21022
OLYMPIC AIRWAYS: 22840-21900, 22511
PHARMACY MARPISSA: 22840-41810
SOCIAL INSURANCES ORG.: 22840-21339
MEDICAL CENTER: 22840-51216, 92009, 41205, 91217, 61219, 52304, 22410-1
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG. : 22840-22135, 22299
POST OFFICE : 22840-21236
TAXI STATION: 22840-53490, 21500
BUS STATION: 22840-21133, 21395