Paros has long been a watersports paradise, attracting fanatics from all over the world who appreciate the dependable weather conditions and the clean seas. Small water taxis leave Parikia and Naoussa for the outlying beaches, while operators offer tours of the island and some companies have small self-drive boats for hire for following your own itinerary.
Wine-making is said to have evolved on the island some five millennia ago during the Cycladic civilisation period and the island has a long tradition of viticulture. Similarly, Paros has a strong culinary identity and cooking classes are available to learn the gastronomic secrets of the island.
A blaze of wildflowers under the Spring sun, Paros is a perfect destination for hikers and trekkers with a network of 35 kilometres of trails and paths. Some are organised and well-marked, others are old like the Byzantine Road that connects Lefkes and Prodromos, while the Paros Park peninsula is a splendid way to appreciate the authentic landscape of the island.
The Southern Cyclades are blessed with reliable winds in the summer with the meltemi caressing their shores. The channel between Paros and Antiparos funnels these zephyrs for some of the best wind and kite surfing conditions and water sport enthusiasts flock to the turquoise seas from all over. Paros Kite have 30 years of experience on Pounta beach and their beach bar next door to the surfshop is a great pkace to refuel after a day of exertion in the water. Paros Kite (Tel.: 69441 99666, www.paroskite.com)
Enviromental and Cultural Park of Paros
An 800 acre park of wild, natural beauty at the northwest tip of the island has something for everyone; an amphitheatre that hosts festivals and concerts, an open-air cinema screening free movies, secluded beaches, 7 kilometres of hiking trails, and a monastery with a cartography museum. Head to the lighthouse at sunset for views across to Delos, Mykonos and Naxos.
A stroll outside Naoussa, the Moraitis family have been making wine since 1910 at their winery. True to their traditional roots, the 100 acre vineyard blends indigenous varieties with modern technology to produce wines that reflect their island heritage. Tours and tastings explaining the journey from harvest to glass are available, and they also have a splendid little wine bar, Vinotheque, in Naoussa itself with wines from all over the island. Moraitis Winery (Tel.: 22840 51350, www.moraitiswines.gr)
Popularly known as the Butterfly Valley, the winged wonders are actually Jersey Tiger Moths. 7 kilometres south of Parikia, in an area of dense vegetation, the brown and yellow moths with orange back wings seem to cover ever bush and tree from June to September. An oasis of green, it is a unique natural experience on Paros and there is a pleasant café to soak up the calm atmosphere. Petaloudes (Tel.: 22840 91211, www.butterfliesparos.com, 2€, Closed mid-September to mid-May)
The oldest diving school on Paros, Pro Divers are based on Santa Maria, ideal for beginners and intermediate divers, while the greater bay offers underwater adventures around the uninhabited islands of Flitzi, Fonisses, Gaidournissi, Ovriokastro and Toulites. More experienced explorers will relish the wreck dive at Amarides on the way to Naxos. Pro Divers (Tel.: 69806 16268, www.prodivers.gr)
Paros: Cosmopolitan Cyclades island
The most beautiful villages of Paros
Piso Livadi: A small, peaceful seaside village in Paros, with excellent food