- Photo Essays
Greece has been getting a pretty bad rap of late given it’s economic problems and political instability. In spite of all of this when I visited in the Greek Islands in May 2012 the Greeks were holding their heads high and it was still an absolute pleasure to be travelling in Greece.
Paros Island is part of a group of islands called the Cyclades in Greece. It has cultivated the reputation of being the ‘friendly’ island and locals in the villages outside of the main port of Parikia are incredibly welcoming.
The regular local buses travel between all of my favourite villages of Paros Island and I should probably warn you….you are likely fall in love with all of them…
The hustle and bustle of the busy waterfront of Parikia is what greets you if you arrive by ferry to Paros Island. The noise of the harbour fades as you head away from the main square and further into twisting streets of the Old Town and the Agora (Market). At the heart of the Old Town is a 13th century Venetian fortress (‘Kastro’).
The views over the Aegean Sea from the rooftop bars along the waterfront are best enjoyed at sunset with glass of Retsina.
I may get into trouble for saying this….but it is worth making the trip to Piso Livadi just for the food!
There are only a handful of restaurants the line the compact waterfront but Halaris Restaurant is the one I return to time and again. Their zuchinni fritters and calamari are divine and the panoramic view of the village and beach aren’t bad either!
Piso Livadi is one of the east coast villages of Paros and marks the end of the ancient Byzantine road that you can walk from Lefkes village.
It’s not just the coastal villages that ooze charm. getting lost in the hilly streets of Lefkes is a huge part of this town’s appeal. Lefkes is a quiet, mountain village surrounded by olive groves and is tucked away in central Paros. At an altitude of 300 meters above sea level, Lefkes has a stunning view of the neighbouring island of Naxos to the east.
From Lefkes you can walk along the ancient Byzantine path that takes you through Prodromos and back to the Aegean Sea in Piso Livadi. Enjoying a picnic under an olive tree amongst wild sage and thyme whilst taking in the stunning views over the island is what makes this walk so lovely.
And of course, no Greek village is complete without a cat lazing about in the sun…
While it is difficult to pick a favourite village, wandering through the labyrithine streets of Prodromos is just delightful: clusters of bougainvillia rustling in the wind, shuttered windows leading to who-knows-where, and spashes of all shades of blue around each corner….despite the fact that this village is tiny, I could easily spend hours here.
When we walked towards Prodromos along the Byzantine trail from Lefkes black storm clouds were threatening and by the time we left we could barely see the coast for the rain.
On the north coast of Paros is the picturesque seaside village of Naoussa. Naoussa is so pretty and colourful, it may just hurt your eyes a little.
Rows of octopus lay strewn haphazardly across special drying racks along the harbour. Behind the harbour, it is easy to get lost amongst the stone-paved backstreets.
The best thing about Naoussa? Sitting in one of the tavernas that line the tiny fishing harbour eating a lunch of seafood fresh off one of the traditional fishing boats.