What’s the first thing you think of when your hear the word Paros? It’s the sunshine? Or is it the epic sunset? Not sure? So, for newbies to this Greek island, I’ve created this post to help you plan your trip depending on what you want to experience.
Considered the gem of the Aegean Sea, the Cyclades archipelago is made up of 250 islands and islets, among which only 24 are inhabited, and 12 of them are widely renowned for their beauty. All of them are truly amazing and quite unique. But if you’re looking for that idyllic island vacation where you can enjoy wonderful beaches and gorgeous seafood, head to Paros! In short, think Mykonos – without the endless parties and the attitude. Without the insane prices. Now turn your thoughts into your dream beach vacation, and let me introduce you to Almira Suites.
Many hotels like to claim that they are ”family-run” but at Almira Suites, this truly is the case. Sister, Brother and Mother all look after different aspects of the hotel, and are on site every day – it’s clear that their heart and soul is in this place.
With several suites and studios featuring terraces and splendid views of the Aegean Sea, Almira has everything you could want for an authentic island vacation. There’s a slow and peaceful way of life here, and it’s hard to believe you’re so close to the vibrant Naoussa nearby.
This small hotel couldn’t be a more perfect getaway for anyone wanting a quiet break that is all about getting back to nature. It has a really calm vibe and is a sure-bet for a good time! Moreover, the hotel features modern bathrooms and crisp cotton bedding, while furniture is simple and colors are soothing (cream, beige and charcoal).
In a nutshell, this Greek gem is perfect for small groups looking to recharge and reconnect, and families in search of sun and total relaxation. And here’s why…
Breakfast is fabulous, served on a delightful terrace with striking views over the bay. Almira Suites serves everything from omelette, cheese and local meats to a wide selection of pastries, home made jams and traditional Greek desserts. Best part? The owner – Mariza – is beyond helpful, and she goes the extra mile every day to ensure that all the guests are having a wonderful stay.
To top it off, here you’ll enjoy the famous Paros soft cheese, a unique milk dairy product. Forget french cheese – this one is stellar!
GOOD TO KNOW: Almira Suites serves only breakfast, but Mariza will gladly advise you upon the best tavernas and seafood restaurants in the area. She’ll book the best seafront tables for you, and memorable beach dinners are guaranteed.
Almira Suites boasts a rocky beach which is not suitable for kids or shy water babes but Paros has so many different styles of beaches, that I feel like everyone can find the beach of their dreams in this island. Here you’ll need a car if you want to explore the island, but that’s all part of the fun, right?
Mikri Santa Maria is relatively close to Almira Suites – just a 15-minute drive – and this beach is quiet, pristine and has lounge chairs available to rent for a decent price. In addition, you can get beachside food and drink service. Once here, you’ll feel like you have reached a piece of paradise.
Plus, how cool is it that you can swim out to rocks and you can jump into the big BLUE?
INSIDER TIP: there’s a path leading down to a very good fish restaurant – Dixty (the “Net”). Make sure to have lunch here, the owner is a professional fisherman!
One of the most popular beaches in Paros is Kolymbithres Beach, which is very easily accessible by car and more protected from the winds than others. As a result, it can get crowded on windy days.
Another beautiful place for swimming is Monastiri Beach – the water here is simply amazing! You’ll also find many small boats and yachts docked here, usually belonging to Greek families, who came here seeking a quiet oasis.
The video below gives you insight into this oasis.
Lastly, make sure to sip on an ice-cold drink at the beach bar – Monastiri Paros Park. It’s all about Greek beers and delicious wines here while listening chill beats.
Alternatively, take a boat trip to Antiparos (just a 7 minute ferry ride from Pounda port), where you can swim or snorkel in sublime azure water. It’s no secret that Antiparos is home to stars like Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rita Wilson, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson – Tom Hanks even bought a villa in Antiparos 15 years ago, and he still visits this small island once in a while.
To Dos While You’re Here
The capital Parikia is tempting but it can get crowded and is overwhelmed with bands of tourists. Better head to the port of Naoussa – you won’t be disappointed! There’s so much to see and discover in such a small town, you’ll want to spend days just getting lost in the beautiful white washed streets. And when it comes to seafood – Naoussa is a paradise.
During high season it’s not easy to get a table at the best seafood restaurants in Naoussa, such as Barbarossa or Tsachpinis (our favorite restaurant for dinner). Tasty baby calamari are served along with grilled sea bass and fabulous mussels. There’s always something going on here and you’ll find yourself getting high of the buzzing evening ambiance.
How To Get To Paros
There are two ways to get to Paros: by plane or by ferry. The most common route is to fly into Paros via Athens. Flights from Athens to Paros will take around 40 minutes. But if you want to get a glimpse of Mykonos, I would suggest you fly directly into Mykonos and then take the ferry to Paros (just one-and-a-half hours’ away).
Bottom line: after traveling to so many beautiful destinations in Greece, I can honestly say that the Cycladic Islands are a once in a lifetime experience! Both Paros and Mykonos are fabulous destinations – read about my Mykonos trip here.
A BIG thank you to Mariza and Dimitris for the warm welcome and wonderful hospitality – we’ll be back for sure! Next destination: Naxos!