Agkeria village is 12 kms away from Paroikia. Continuing towards the south, you will find the small beaches of Trypiti, Glyfes and Lolandonis. Agkeria is a region of diverse vegetation which makes it ideal for trekking in a delightful environment. About 4 kms northeast of the village there is the Monastery of Agioi Theodoroi, and about 1.5 km further away the chapel of Agios Georgios. Another road leads from the village to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Spiliotis (Saint John of the Cave).

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The Folklore Museum

Aspro Horio
A small village, 2 kms from Drios, with access to the small beaches of Trypiti, Glyfes and Lolandonis, as well as to many other beautiful sites that abound in the Paros countryside.

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Kostos village is located 7 kms fromParoikia, built at an altitude of 160 m. The highlights of Kostos life are the three great festivities during the summer months, one on June 24th honouring the memory of Athanassios Parios, the second on July 17th, honouring Agia Marina, and the third on July 27th honouring Agios Panteleimonas, patron saint of the village. Upon entering the village the dominant feature is the monument of Athanassios Parios, who had developed significant activity as a writer and teacher all over Greece during the critical times of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman occupation. A visit to his home, south of Agios Panteleimonas monastery, is recommended. The visitor can stroll in the narrow whitewashed alleyways of the village and avail of some cool summer moments sipping a coffee or a refreshment at the traditional coffeeshop of the flagstone-paved square.

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The Monastery of Agios Panteleimonas
The Monastery of Agia Marina
The house of Athanassios Parios

Lefkes, 11 kms from Paroikia, is a delightful mountain village with rich vegetation, built amphitheatrically in the center of the island at an altitude of 250 m. The village has preserved its authentic Cycladic distinctive character, which has not been altered by the invasion of tourism. Typical sparkling-white houses, whitewashed terraces, wells and clean marble-paved alleyways. Everywhere the eye meets samples of folk architecture blending harmoniously neo-classical and Aegean-island aesthetics. Cars are not allowed to enter the village and the visitor will continue on foot, thus being able to appreciate this unique location.

The church of Agios Ioannis Vaptistis (Saint John the Baptist) is rich in post-byzantine icons from older small churches, but also in more recent works of famous Parian painters and icon-painters. Every year on the evening of August 29th, the saint's name day, festivities are organized.

Besides the imposing church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), there are little churches and chapels all over the village, hidden in narrow alleyways, which rival each other in beauty and age: Agia Varvara (Saint Barbara), on the main street, built on the ruins of the medieval church of Anastassi (Resurrection), Agia Theodosia (God given), with icons and murals dated in the 17th century, Agia Ekaterini (Saint Catherine), in Pano Horio (Upper Village), Agia Paraskevi, considered to be the first church that was erected in the original settlement of the 15th century, and others.

In the vicinity of Lefkes, scattered over the graceful mountain slopes, there are the Monasteries of Agia Kyriaki, of Agios Ioannis Kaparos (Saint John Kaparos), of Agios Ioannis Theologos (Saint John Theologian), and of Agios Georgios in Langada.

Lefkes has today a population of about 800 residents, people with a vision and active in the cultural activities of the island.

The village hosts a noteworthy folklore museum. At the entrance to the village there is the pottery workshop of Ioannis and Virginia Kydonieas who, for the last 40 years, have been creating excellent works of art based on designs inspired by the folk tradition of the island. In the summer, the local cultural association "Yria" organizes musical, theatrical and traditional dance festivals. In Lefkes one can find hotels, rooms for rent, coffeshops, and famous tavernas serving local delicacies. This village represents the ideal retreat for all those who wish a relaxed and tranquil vacation.

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Cycladic Folklore Museum
The churches of the village

In the picturesque settlement of Marathi, 5 kms northeast of Paroikia, there are the ancient quarries of the "Parian stone". Large tunnels approximately 200 m. long spread out at a considerable depth and are accessible through three entrances. On the left of the south entrance there is a Hellenistic-period relief bearing beautiful artwork, parts of which are still visible, and an ancient inscription, which was dedicated to the Nymphs, deities worshipped in the area; the quarry actually got its name from them: "Quarry of the Nymphs". One can still see today numerous supporting columns, some stairways, walls, and a substantial number of marble slabs.

The Parian marble is to this day studied and admired worldwide. It is also worth paying a visit to the Agios Minas Monastery and the Panagia Theofanou (God Revelation Virgin Mary) Convent.

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The ancient quarries of the "Parian stone"

The Marmara village got its name from the numerous marble stones that gave an air of elegance to its rich houses and churches. Today it is a typical Cycladic spotless village featuring whitewashed alleyways and courtyards abounding with colourful flowers. The churches of the village are countless and they are all in very good condition. The building material for their construction came from ancient temples of the region. The visitor can also stop by the marble basins, where the women used to wash clothes in older times, and to stroll along the meandering alleyways. Beyond the village lies the Marmara valley, the most fertile region of Paros, which once was a vast olive grove burned down by the Venetians. Up to the Molos beach below the land is covered by small meadows, 'the fields', fenced by reeds and willows.

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If you happen to be in the Church Koimiseos Theotokou (Dormition of Virgin Mary) on a Good Friday evening, you will watch the procession of the epitaph (bier) through the narrow alleyways of the village. Young boys and girls, always respectfully following the Bible, re-enact the Passion of Christ throughout his last days on earth, e.g. the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, etc.

Every year on September 7th, the eve of the Pera Panagia church celebration, a number of festivities are organized by music and dance groups, accompanied by traditional delicacies and local wine.

The village was named after Marpissa, the mythical daughter of Evinos, king of Aetolia, according to Homer (Iliad, book I 555-564), who was the 'Golden Apple of Discord' between the god Apollo and Idas, son of the king of Messinia. Marpissa was built amphitheatrically on a hill at an altitude of 40 m., close to the sea, 17 kms east of Paroikia. The village features charming houses dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, picturesque windmills and traditional churches, interesting architecture and invaluable treasures. The climate is mild, and you can enjoy the coffeeshops and tavernas in this traditional location. The contemporary (1960) cathedral, church of Metamorphosis (Transfiguration), is built according to the Byzantine order with a roof and a dome covered with tiles. Next to the church there is the Byzantine Museum and close by the Nikos Perantinos Sculpture Museum. The Folklore Museum is situated in the Agios Nikolaos square.

Between Marpissa and Marmara we find the Pantokratoras monastery (17th century) and between Marpissa and Prodromos the Agios Panteleimonas monastery (1655). East of Marpissa there is the Kefalos hill, where one can see the ruins of the Venetian castle built by Nikolaos Somarippa 1st. Other ruins include those of ancient temples dating to the beginning of the 15th century. There is also the 16th century Agios Antonios monastery in very good condition. In the courtyard one can find ancient remnants such as volutes; actually the pulpit of the church stands on an overturned archaic volute.

West of Marpissa, on the mountain, there is the 16th century monastery of Agios Georgios Langadas. It was recently renovated and is accessible to visitors. If you visit the village on a Good Friday, you will be impressed by the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ, while on Easter Sunday an authentic Greek celebration and feast takes place every year.

The predominant, however, festivities in Marpissa take place on August 6th, when the Transfiguration of the Savior is celebrated, enriched by various cultural events.

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The Folklore Museum
The Nikos Perantinos Sculpture Museum
The traditional churches
The Pantokratoras Monastery
The Agios Panteleimonas Monastery
The Agios Antonios Monastery
The Agios Georgios Langadas Monastery
Easter in Marpissa

The town of Naoussa, built in a protected bay on the northern shores of Paros, is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque little ports in the Aegean, harbouring the largest fishing fleet in the Cyclades, where you can feel the heartbeat of the town. The old fishing storerooms have now been converted into bars, cafés and ouzo tavernas serving fresh seafood and fish. As a prime tourist attraction, it can offer a wide variety of hotels, rental rooms, camping site, travel agencies, car rentals, shopping, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. However, some peace and quiet can still be found in the interior of Naoussa, if you decide to stroll in its narrow flagstone-paved alleyways with their whitewashed contours, true to the Cycladic tradition. Naoussa is also surrounded by superb beaches.

Due to its strategic position, Naoussa played an important role in the history of the island. This is documented by the ancient settlements (Koukounaries hill), the protocycladic cemetery (Plastira), and the Venetian castle / fortification on the northern part of the port. In the wider area there are six monasteries of great architectural interest and exquisite iconography, namely the Longovarda Monastery, Ai-Yannis Detis (St. John Tied), the Cathedral Koimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition of Virgin Mary), Agios Athanassios Monastery, the medieval church of Agios Georgios.

The native residents of Naoussa are lively people, who love to have a good time, to dance and to sing. Every summer, on the first Sunday of July, traditional festivities are organized dedicated to wine and fish. Naoussa is also the headquarters of the famous Greek dance groups that teach young people traditional dances and give public performances.

On the evening of August 23rd, during the big 'Pirate Night', the locals re-enact the invasion of the port by the pirates.

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The ancient settlement on the Koukounaries hill
The Protocycladic cemetery
The Venetian castle / fortification on the northern side of the port
The Longovarda Monastery
The church of Ai-Yannis Detis
The Cathedral Koimisis tis Theotokou
The Agios Athanassios Monastery
The medieval church of Agios Georgios

Paroikia, the capital of the island, is located approximately in the middle of the west coast of Paros, around a large and protected bay, and it is the center of all administrative and financial activity, as well as the passenger and commercial port of the island. Its name dates back to the Byzantine era, when the Ekatontapyliani church had hired many residents of the islands as tenant farmers (paroikoi).

In Paroikia you can find branch offices of most banks, post office, health centers, travel agencies, car rentals, internet access, etc. You can also chose the accommodation that suits you best among dozens of hotels, rooms for rent and camping sites. However, the best choice can be secured by an early reservation at one of the accredited lodgings available on the island, and you are well advised not to trust anyone offering accommodation upon your arrival to the port of Paroikia.

Along the seaside road and in the narrow alleyways of the town around the Castle, there are all kinds of little shops, as well as traditional tavernas, eateries and restaurants, where you can savour the local and international cuisine, as well as delicacies from all over Greece. Also, in Paroikia you can find many cafés, numerous bars, live music spots and lively clubs for the visitors who wish to have fun until the early morning hours.

Sunset in Paroikia is a breathtaking experience, while behind its cosmopolitan façade an enchanting hidden town reveals its rich past to the eyes of those who take a walk in its small and narrow streets. There you can witness the coexistence of traditional Cycladic houses and neoclassical buildings, ancient monuments, little bridges, fountains and little churches, all together composing a tapestry of various styles and eras. Places of great interest are Ekatontapyliani, the Archaeological Museum, the ancient cemetery, the hill with the Venetian castle, the Asklipeion, the Pythion, the Delion and the paleochristian basilica.

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The Panagia Ekatontapyliani church
The Archaeological Museum
The ancient cemetery
The Venetian castle Hill
The Asklipeion
The Pythion
The Delion
The Paleiochristian basilica

Prodromos village is located 5 kms from Lefkes. It is a charming little place with streets that are constantly whitewashed, sparkling white houses, beautiful churches and interesting monasteries. It was named after the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St John the Baptist), a 17th century building. Traditional coffeshops and tavernas are available in the village.

For the trekking fans, the Byzantine trail between Prodromos and Lefkes offers a unique experience of about one and a half hour. This path was constructed 1000 years ago and it is paved, for the largest part, with large marble slabs. Every Good Friday noon, after the 'apokathilossi of Jesus' mass (deposition from the cross), the local cultural association offers everybody the traditional fasting dish, chickpeas with octopus. On the evening of Good Friday, during the procession of the biel, children and young villagers re-enact the Passion of Christ.

Every year, on June 24th, the day the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos celebrates the Saint's name, the ancient custom of 'Kleidonas' is re-enacted (burning the flower wreaths made on May 1st and hanging on every door, carrying a large pot with the 'speechless' water, traditional dances, etc.). Every year, on July 27th, the name day of Agios Panteleimonas, a great traditional feast takes place in the square of the village.

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The Byzantine trail













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