Inhabited since antiquity it was one of the most significant centres of the cycladic civilization. In 8th century it had great economical and artistical development mainly due to its famous marble. It was conquered by Frankish, Turks, Russians. After 1821 it was included in the new established state.
The wonderful Paros, homeland of the poet Archilohos and other famous artists that were chiselling the marble (Agorakritos, Skopas and others), is extended in an area of 209 sq.km. and it is in a distance of 95 n.m. (5 hours approx.) from Piraeus. In the seasides of the island there are formed two natural bays, of Naoussa in the north and of Parikia in the west side.
Parikia or Paros, capital and harbour of the island is built in the place of the ancient city. The white houses, full of basils and jasmins, the narrow streets, the chapels and semiruined Venetian castle compose a fascinating picture. From the castle they are saved some parts of the wall, foundations of the ancient temple of Dimitra and a restorated tower, while at the top they are found ruins of the venetian church of Christ.
In the settlement of the castle there are many churches as Panaghia of Stavros, Aghia Anna, Aghia Aekaterini, Aghios Yannis, Aghios Stylianos, Aghios Onoufrios, Aghios Markos and the church of St.Constantine of amazing architecture.
In the ancient city it distinguishes the byzantine church of Panaghia Ekatontapyliani or Katapoliani named so due to its many doors. It has been built since the 4th A.D. century but several additions have been made. The most important was that one made by the emperor Ioustinianos in the 6th century. According to the tradition it was built by Sts Constantine and Heleni. Inside the church there is the icon of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) considered a work of Evangelist Lucas. It is also saved a wall painting of the 11th or 12th century of St. George. In Katapoliani it ia housed the Byzantine Museum too with icons and heirlooms of rare art.
Near the church of Katapoliani there is the Archaeological Museum with findings representing the whole history of Paros and Antiparos since 6000 years.
The coastal road leads to the hill of Aghia Anna with the splendid view to the Aegean sea. You can visit in the hill the ruins of Asklipiio and Delio where Apollo, Diana and Leto were worshipped at the top of Vigla.
The men’s monastery of Loggombarda is situated southwards and is dedicated to Zoodohos Pighi. It was established in 1638 by the monk Palaeologos from Naoussa.
You can also visit the women’s monastery of Crist in Dassos, in the region Psychopiana, dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ (Metamorfossi Sotira).
Interesting is an excursion to Petaloudes, 6 km. from Parikia, a region with rich vegetation with thousands butterflies.
The cosmopolitan Naoussa is the famous port of Paros that has had a significant role in the history of the island. It is one of the most picturesque ports of Cyclades and the most beautiful of Paros with the white houses, the narrow stone-paved streets, the arches and the churches. It is in a distance of 10 km. from Parikia and has perfect touristical infrastructure, wonderful beaches and several sightseeings.
It is worthwhile to visit the ruins of the Venetain castle in the port built in the 15th century by the aristocrats Somaripa, the churches St. John Theologos, St. Nicholas Mostratos, Taxiarchaki, St. George and St. Athanassios that it was a ‘ hidden school’ as well during the Turkish occupation.
Near the city of Naoussa it is Palaeopyrgos with ruins of the classical age. According to the archaeologists here it was Asty the capital of ancient Paros.
In the far end of the village there are the picturesque deserted windmills, while passing the castle there is the settlement of St. Demetrios with the houses built right on the seashore.
In Naoussa there is also a Byzantine Museum in the church of St. Nicholas Mostratos with icons of postbyzantine period, works of painters of icons from Paros and Crete. From Naoussa you can visit the monastery of St. Andreas with the golden coated wooden sculptured temple and the Monastery of St. John of the 16th century in the region Katholiko.
Kolymbithres in the western side are the famous seashores of Naoussa with sandy beaches and huge rocks in various odd shapes reminding of sculptured works stuck on the sand. From here you can go to the islet of St. Kali by boat where you will visit the chapel of Analipsi (Ascension).
13 km. south of Parikia there is the village Alyki by the sea with calm and clean sea.
In the Popular Art Museum you will visit the exhibition of Benetos Skiadas with miniatures of houses of Paros of last century, windmill, ironsmith workshop, chapels and monasteries, a collection of miniatures of ships as well.
In the southern side of the island, 19 km. from Parikia, it is built amphitheatrically Marpissa with the white churches and the monastery of St. Antonios. In the hill of Kefalos near the village they are saved ruins of a castle of the year 1500 approximately. Port serving to Marpissa is Pisso Livadi with beautiful houses and Logaras with wonderful beaches.