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The Aegean island of Paros is packed with charming villages, ancient sights and typical Greek tavernas. Expect whitewashed houses accented with heavy boughs of bright pink bougainvillea and fishing boats swaying in rocky harbours. At night, as orange light spills out from buzzing cafés and bars, you'll truly feel as though you've escaped everyday life. Paros is also a haven of quiet beaches and secluded coves, lively nightlife and a warm welcome.
Paros hostel options range from traditional rooms a few minutes' walk from the local markets and bars of downtown Parikia port, to boutique accommodation on the fringes of picturesque Náoussa harbour. Or get even closer to nature and choose a deluxe tent on the beach. Several hostels in Paros have rooftop terraces looking out over the sea, and some private rooms come with a balcony. Look out for extras like swimming pools and free transfers from Parikia.
Paros is dotted with picturesque towns and villages. The island's capital and main port Parikia is a tumble of whitewashed buildings and winding narrow lanes. To the north of the island, the sleepy fishing village of Náoussa comes alive at night with the busy bars and restaurants gathered around the old harbour. Meanwhile, Piso Livadi in the east is an area known for its seafood restaurants. Away from the bustle of the coast, quiet medieval village Léfkes lies inland with its local honey and traditional pottery handicrafts.
There's lots to see and do on Paros, from world-class windsurfing on Golden Beach to exploring ancient monuments. You can hike the historic Byzantine Road, a marble footpath connecting Léfkes and Prodromos villages or visit the 4th-century Panagia Ekatontapiliani, known as the 'Church of a Hundred Doors'. Natural attractions include craggy tidal pools on the north coast and towering stalagmites at the Cave of Antiparos, a 10-minute ferry ride from Parikia.
Domestic flights arrive into Paros National Airport and a shuttle bus runs from there to Parikia. If you'd rather fly direct from international destinations, trains run between Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos and its Port of Piraeus. Ferries depart regularly for Paros, with the fastest journey time being around 3 hours. Paros itself has an extensive bus network, or you can hire a car to get around at your own pace. Boat-taxis are available to take you from Náoussa and Parikia ports to beaches around the island.