The opening of the Paros airport in the summer of 2016 rapidly transformed an already very popular Greek island.
Paros now has even more intense summers than in the past, its tourist season starts at Easter and continues strong up until the end of October. And nowadays, it’s not just Naoussa and Parikia that are flooded with people in July and August, but all of the island’s seaside villages, and even the mountainous villages where the more ‘alternative’ travellers or those who own a house on the island go.
Despite Paros’ rapid tourist development, those seeking peace and quiet, as well as parents travelling with small children, can still find calmness on the island.
From the west of the island, where Paros faces it’s small neigbour Antiparos, to the eastern side, which hosts some of the most famous beaches in the Cyclades, you’re certain to find the perfect spot for your perfect family holidays.
Those who vacation regularly in Paros often cross the whole island to enjoy a meal at one of the amazing fish taverns on Alyki beach, where families set camp early in the morning and stay till sunset, letting the children roam freely on the beach’s white pebbles.
Around the scenic bay of this calm village, you’ll find many rooms to let and small hotels with reasonable prices, another reason the village of Alyki is such a popular destination for families. On the beach of Piso Alyki, there is a spot where you’ll feel completely free from any worry, lying under the tamarisk trees in the sweet Cycladic breeze.
After your swim, sit at the famous fish tavern ‘Mouragio’ (one of the best in the whole island) or at the homonymous Alyki restaurant, right by the sea at the bay, for perfect meze and fresh fish. In addition, there’s a playground, a football, basketball and volleyball court in Alyki.
A traditional beach for Paros families, and also for many tourists travelling with their children to one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean.
To get to Logaras, you need to go right on the crossroads whose left leads to the much more famous Piso Livadi – in fact, when you’re swimming in Logaras, you can see the people and restaurants of the neighbouring beach.
Logaras has quite deep crystal-clear waters and the terrain is a mix of sand and pebbles. In the past, it used to be really quiet and was perfect for families, with only some rooms to let and just a few taverns, right next to the sea, where Swedish and German tourists, who rented a house for a couple of months, found refuge.
Things have changed lately. Now, some modern, noisier, establishments have opened, while groups of younger people vacationing on the island also go to Logaras to swim and have a meal. In general, the growing popularity of neighbouring Piso Livadi has started to spill into Logaras. However, the warm and calm vibe that used to be typical of this beach still remains, in part. You’ll still see large groups of families “setting camp” in the beachfront tables of the legendary “Fisilani”, with gigantic beach bags overflowing with all things necessary to spend a whole day there. Trays carrying rich breakfasts still come and go on the sand, followed by trays with meze and then, casserole dishes. In the late afternoon, action moves to the modern ‘Cactus’ with tables next to the water where you can enjoy refreshing cocktails and well-made meat dishes. In the beginning of the beach, there’s a new arrival, ‘Magoo’ that takes you directly to Positano in Italy with its elegance and pink sunbeds on the rocks.
Paros is an island whose two sides are quite separate. For those who’re staying near Naoussa, beaches like Pounta, Drios, Logaras and Hrisi Akti are the best choices, a stone’s throw away. But if you’re staying near Parikia, then the large, wide, serviced, and exceptionally clean beach of Krios is going to be among your top choices.
Families will love its great openness, but mainly the crystal, very shallow waters that resemble a lake, glistening in the warm Cycladic sun. Its only disadvantage is the cold currents, that you do however get used to after swimming for a few minutes.
There’s a small beach bar on the beach, under the tamarisk trees, ‘Krios Lounge’, that stays open till late at night, serving coffee, salads and even souvlaki.
The famous Krios campsite is nearby, one of the most convenient and popular in Paros, just 2 km from the port of Parikia.
The second most famous beach in Paros, after Kolibithres – a series of small, rocky bays –, is calm Monastiri, an ideal destination for those who love water and beach sports. Together with its very shallow, crystal-clear waters, it makes a paradise for small children who can swim and play on the sand for as long as their hearts desire and can also ride a paddle boat with their parents.
If you have children, it’s almost certain that your day starts early in the morning. So, if you get here early, the sight you’ll come across will reward you. A huge parking lot right next to the beach, totally empty, allowing you to park wherever you wish, even in the shade, under one of the trees. Then, head for Monastiri beach bar to pick the best spot for your things, all sunbeds will be available at that hour. Just note that if you choose to sit at the large wooden sunbeds in the centre of the beach, the cost is €25 per pair of sunbeds. However, if you choose the blue metal beds, (you’ll find many by the side of the beach) and place them under one of the tamarisk trees, the cost is just €5 per bed.
The beach bar opens at 11, so if you’re there very early, make sure you bring provisions. One thing is certain, the calm and beauty of Monastiri early in the morning is a memory that will stay with you for life. There’s also a restaurant, while at night, they show films at the small stone theatre.
Widely known as the beach that windsurfers love, the magical Hrisi Akti is one of the most famous beaches in all of the Cyclades. And it’s so much more than that. It’s an endless beach that’s completely different depending on which part of it you’re on. A nice beach where your children can safely play in the shallow waters, while you enjoy the sun on a sunbed of one of the countless beach bars there.
The ‘exotic’ ‘Beach Project’ is one of the most recent arrivals on the beach, a large beach bar-restaurant facing downhill at the lovely waters of Hrisi Akti, with comfy orange sunbeds, umbrellas equipped even with USB ports so that you can charge your phone, and great food including pasta, pizza and burgers. You can spend your whole day there without realising where time went.
The beach bar and restaurant of hotel ‘Golden Beach’ is also nearby, a calm complex that offers umbrellas and sunbeds all day long, as well as tasty homemade food that includes pastitsio (traditional dish with pasta, minced meat and bechamel), moussaka, grilled meat, and great fish.
There’s also a sports activities centre there suitable for everyone from the most experienced to true beginners. You can rent anything ranging from a windsurf board to an inflatable donut for your children.
Part of Hrisi Akti, just two km away, there’s the much quieter and less known beach of Drios. The white sand and the tall tamarisk trees around the shore are really impressive. Drios’ calm is magical, it makes you forget you’re on a busy popular island like Paros, bustling with life during the summer. The beach isn’t very long, but it’s quite wide, and it’s not serviced. However, there’s a lot of shade under the trees and there are many restaurants nearby, serving fresh fish and seafood, straight from the caiques that dock at the nearby port.
The sibling of Hrisi Akti’s ‘Beach Project’, ‘Green Project’ is very close by, and is one of the most popular places in Paros. At its tiled, blooming garden, under the nice yellow lights, you’ll discover a new kind of calm while you’ll be certain of the quality of the food you’re having, since every ingredient comes from their own vegetable garden and orchard that’s next to it. Their cocktails are wonderful with homemade marmalades, like Very Cherry that is simply amazing; their pesto linguine are delicious, while they’ve recently added a few sushi dishes.
A beloved destination for both foreign and Greek tourists in Paros, the cosmopolitan Piso Livadi is gaining an increasingly larger following, and now has its own municipal parking lot, on the main road, where you won’t get a spot easily, especially in the evening.
However, in the morning the setting is different. Piso Livadi has extremely shallow and warm waters, but due to the marina nearby, not many people go there to swim. However, the sea is clean, and you can enjoy your coffee at one of the many tables right next to the water. Next to your table, your children can play in the sand and you won’t even have to get up to supervise them.
Go to the legendary ‘Vroha’, to ‘Ostria’ or ‘Remezzo’ on the beach, or to ‘Kapetan Giannis’ at the other side of Piso Livadi, if you want to see one of the best views you’ve ever seen. Apart from the household name of ‘Halari’, that is included in every tour guide of the island, you can also go to ‘Gialo’, a relatively new arrival and serves some very imaginative dishes.
If you’ve been to Paros many times in the past decades, you’ll know that Ambelas, this stunningly beautiful bay at the north-eastern part of the island, used to be a quiet refuge for few. Mostly, for families renting lodgings nearby and going swimming with their children early in the morning before retiring for lunch and a siesta at noon.
However, Ambelas now has become the place where the heart of cosmopolitan Paros beats. Naoussa may be buzzing with life in the evening, but early in the afternoon the fun is in Ambelas, where some of the best beach bars of the island with great design and service are. If you do get there early in the morning, you will still be able to get the same peace and quiet of the past, and there is space to lay your towel if you don’t want to pay for sunbeds. The water is more than magical, calm and warm.
If cost isn’t an issue, then Ambelas is an ideal destination. Go to the extremely popular ‘Aspro Paros Seaside Restaurant’ and enjoy a coffee or juice at five-star facilities. If you’re interested in food, a few metres away, you’ll find two of the best restaurants in Paros. ‘Hristiana’ and ‘Thalami’ don’t just have good food and amazing fresh fish caught daily, they are two restaurants that are experiences in their own right. Get there early, that is before 13.30, since ‘Thalami’ doesn’t take reservations and gets really busy.
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