Parikia, also known as Paros Town, is the capital, and commercial and cultural hub, of Paros Island in the Cyclades island complex. It sits on a large bay, protected from the summer ‘meltemi’ and surrounded by stark white buildings in the Cycladic style. Parikia was built on the same site where the ancient city and capital used to stand.
Paros has long been an attractive destination and from Parikia you can rent a boat to explore all that is on offer in the Cyclades. Paros Island is in the center of the Cyclades and so a sensible base for sailing in this area. Parikia itself is worth exploring for its Cycladic architecture, winding alleys, archways, excellent museums and the ancient temple of Demeter, goddess of agriculture and fertility. There are good beaches on both side of the port. The remains of a 13th C castle, called Kastro, stand on the highest point of the town, built from ancient materials found on site.
Coming ashore at night, there is plenty of entertainment. Most of the bars are along the south-west waterfront, from where the sunset is spectacular. Open air cinemas reside in the back streets and the lively, noisy clubs are further south on the waterfront.
The new Paros airport is located in the southwestern part of the island, about 10 km from the port of Parikia. It connects with Greek and several European cities.
By ferry, Paros is connected to the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. Ferries also run to some of the other Cycladic islands, like Ios, Santorini, Kimolos and Naxos. In addition, there are ferry connections to the islands of Crete and Rhodes in the Dodecanese. There is a choice of passenger ferry and high-speed ferry.
Sailing from Paros Town, the whole of the Cyclades complex is accessible, depending on what you want to see. Crowded and popular, or more remote, being on a boat is the way to see this region. The almost constant wind ensures good sailing and, for those who like something a little more challenging, there are longer passages with stronger winds. There are also plenty of safe and protected areas to sail around. The ‘meltemi’ can get very strong in this area in August.