Cyclades. Archipelago of white houses, brown earth and awesome beaches.
You may have heard of Mykonos and Santorini, probably. Perhaps not so much of Paros that, albeit very popular among French and German tourists, isn’t as frequented as the other island of the Cyclades. Perhaps not even as much as the twin island of Naxos, just a narrow sea channel away to the east, which gets slightly more visitors due to being a ferry hub for the area.
Unfortunately so. Paros can boast a great variety of beaches and true gems of the whole Cyclades among them. I’ve spent 2 weeks exploring all Paros beaches and selected the best ones. So let’s check!
If you’re staying in Paros town, this is the closest beach you can get to. It is within walkable distance from any area of the town, being on the extreme north end of the populated area. It is not extremely frequented as you could think as it is not considered among the best ones, wrongly so though.
Luckily it is also large enough to accomodate a few rows of umbrellas and long enough to not be disturbed to much by the occasional screaming children just arrived with the family. Beach is sandy as the bottom of the sea, but for a few rocks. Water is great, as nearly everywhere in Paros. Trees line the back of the beach, to provide free shade.
So if you’re not of the mind to travel much for a dive in the waters, Livadia beach will do just fine.
Perhaps you chose to stay in Naoussa instead, the lively but smallish town on the north side of the island. Naoussa too, as Paros town, has its own beach right in the middle of it, named Piperi beach. Among Paros beaches it is one of the smallest but by no means less worthy of a visit. Circled by rocks, slightly on the western side of Naoussa but easily walkable from the centre, it is much smaller than Paros town beach. Luckily, not so crowded too, as around Naoussa good beaches abound and most tourists prefer to travel a bit farther. But if you are in a hurry or woke up very late, Piperi beach provides clean waters, sands, trees for some free shadow and the whole Naoussa town on your back for services. Handy.
Going east from Naoussa, we met the small town of Piso Livadi, the main spot for boat excursions to the always popular Santorini. While the town is really small yet picturesquely cycladian, it hosts another of the Paros beaches right in the middle of a town: Logaras beach.
As with the beaches of Paros town and Naoussa, Logaras too is pretty long, not-so-wide, sandy (but here with a higher concentration of small pebbles), and rarely over-crowded. On both sides it is sheltered by high cliffs and rocks but the bottom of the beach is mostly sandy. It is 10 minutes of walking from Piso Livadi going south, right from where the bus stop. The path goes up and then down a cliff, providing some beautiful views over Piso Livadi and the sea.
Unless you’re staying in Piso Livadi, probably you’d miss this little gem of a beach. Yet it is worth a small stop, perhaps while visiting the more popular Golden Beach more south or while waiting for your boat to Santorini. Take a bite in one of the seafront, perhaps it would be better to call them “on the sea”, restaurants of Piso Livadi and head to Logaras beach for rest and swim.
So far the Paros beaches we saw shared the same features: sandy, long, in the middle of a town, sheltered by some trees. It would seem it is the standard among Paros beaches, and it may well be so.
Kolimbrites is very different. There are no trees whatsoever, unless you go many meters in the backside of the beach. It is very small and very crowded, as it is probably the most popular of all Paros beaches. Plenty of boat excursions bring a constant flux of beachgoers from the nearby Naoussa on the south. The beach itself it is among the smallest ones and nearly half of it is covered by large, but round, rocks. So forget to lay on the sand if you come late. There are barely any services offered but for a single restaurant 20m away from the seafront. Only one bus comes here, infrequently.
Yet it is so worth visiting. The sea is amazing, very shallow and light green. The sand is extremely fine, Maldives-like. The rocks are never rough and make beautiful shapes that can be admired in full only from the water. You can easily lie on them, soaking in the sun.
It has a feel of Sardinia, if you have ever been there, and it is a huge compliment. An unique vision among Paros beaches and surely one not to be missed.
Piso Aliki beach
Facing directly south, Piso Aliki beach lies just south of the town with its same name. The south coast of Paros is rough and high, with very few opening of sand. Piso Aliki beach is one of those, the biggest one.
It can easily be reached by just walking, 10 minutes at most, from Piso Aliki, which is connected by bus with the capital. The beach is frequented in the majority by families and locals, as it is off the beaten path of the majority of tourists. That makes this stretch of pebbles and sand, lined by trees, a quiet site to lie your beach towel on. No immediate services behind the beach though, you got to go back to Piso Aliki.
It is probably the beach you can “feel like a local” the most among all Paros beaches. I spent half a day here and didn’t regret it a bit.
Golden Beach Paros
One of the most famous Paros beaches. Long, wholly sandy, golden sand, thus the name. It lies south of Piso Livadi and is the most frequented beach of the east coast. If you’re searching for relax, you’ve been warned.
Most frequented also means that there are more services available. In this case, 2 bar/restaurants, toilettes, showers and water sports. You won’t be left alone then, not even by the ferocious fishes that swim in the waters of the beach. Small ones but they are pretty aggressive in biting the swimmers’ legs. Or perhaps I just went in a day when they were particularly hungry.
In any case, despite the crowd, of humans and fishes, it’s a stunning beach and a paradise for lovers of long, sandy beaches. A visit to Paros isn’t complete without a trip here.
Santa Maria beach
Situated on the east coast as Golden Beach, but much more north, Santa Maria beach shares most of the characteristiques with its southern neighbour: long, sandy, crystal waters, plenty of services on the back. No aggressive fishes though, to everybody legs’ relief.
The water is truly stunning, Caribbean-like, also thanks to the not excessive number of tourists coming here. It is probably one of the less easily reachable Paros beaches, as the bus serving it runs just a handful of times per day. This limits the beach to those who are more adventurous or who can drive. Still it is never deserted as its beauty is known and many come here regardless of the distance and reachability.
Yet is well worth taking the fuss to come here indeed. A personal favourite of mine, not to be missed.
If Santa Maria beach is not easily accessible, Lageri is impossible to reach in comparison. No buses come here, not even roads. You’ll have to stop before reaching Santa Maria beach, still on the north side of the island, and walk on the border of the sea, among very stony paths, to go around a little congregation of apartments for rent and finally reach the beach. Bring shoes or you’ll cut your feet. It is a path without any shadow too, so cover yourself before starting it.
As you can imagine, the difficulty in reaching it makes it for a truly secluded place. There are no services in this sandy and totally quiet beach, only you and the sea, with probably a handful of couples sharing the beach with you. It is also a naturist-friendly beach. Beside then the most adventurous tourists and some naturists, nobody comes to this corner of paradise, making it the absolute perfect beach among all Paros beaches to go if you’re looking to forget about everything and have a complete day of relax.
With its sister on the north, Siparos beach is the one you encounter when you get off from the bus going to Santa Maria beach. It’s a neglected place, as nearly everybody either goes to Lageri or proceeds to Santa Maria. Yet the water is really clean, it’s sandy, big enough to not have to fight for a spot on the sand, and very quiet.
It won’t win the first place for best beach of the island but if you don’t want to adventure further north for Lageri beach or you don’t want to meet any crowd without going to half-hidden spots around the island, Siparos beach may be perfect. Bring what you need for the day, as there are no services around, and relax.