Panagia Ekatontapyliani Cathedral (dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary/"Panagia"), is the sacred jewel of Paros and one of the most important paleochristian monuments in Greece ('ekatontapyliani' literally means 'of a hundred gates'). It is situated in the northeastern part of the town, very close to the port. The impressive church is the dominant feature of the island's capital, each year attracting scores of visitors/pilgrims, especially on 15 August, when the religious celebration is accompanied by large-scale festivities.
Ancient Quarries - Marathi
4km up the road connecting Paroikia with Lefkes, we come to the beautiful, leafy settlement of Marathi, complete with its whitewashed houses and three small churches. Close by, towards the east, we come upon the ancient marble quarries. This was the birthplace of the highly awarded Parian marble, the main source of wealth for the island throughout history, renowned for its contribution to architecture and in particular, to sculpture in the classical era. The prevailing characteristic of the Parian marble is its clarity and radiance. It is uniquely translucent, as it allows the light to reach as deep as 3.5cm (the famed Italian Carrara marble has a 2.5cm transparency and the Penteli marble 1.5cm). You can still visit the quarries today via two entrances and tour their corridors and tunnels, which bear inscriptions by ancient artists.
The Hill of Kastro (Castle) - Paroikia
The hill of the medieval Kastro has been at the core of the community from the time of the first settlement ca. 4000 BC right through to today. Kastro was built by Markos Sanoudos, the Venetian duke of Naxos, (13th century), who used architectural elements from ancient temples. Strolling inside Kastro we come across tiny churches, a lot of them incorporated in the fortifications, such as Panagia tou Stavrou (Madonna of the Cross), Agia Anna, Agios Markos, Agios Stylianos, and, finally, Agios Konstantinos with its stunning architecture, a covered courtyard and breathtaking views of the sea, indeed one of the most delightful little churches in the Aegean.
The climate-weather conditions and the natural characteristics of Paros favor a series of sports. Paros is an ideal destination for sport fans. Many beaches are perfectly organized for windsurfers of all levels, from beginners to champions. The eastern and western beaches of Paros, in particular, are considered to be among the best areas for windsurfing and kitesurfing in the world.
windsurfing & kitesurfing
In Santa Maria, in Chrissi Akti (the Golden Beach) and in Pounta right across Antiparos, there are windsurfing/kitesurfing schools, where you can take lessons by experienced trainers and also rent the necessary gear, if you need to.
In Kolimpithres, there are water ski schools and places where you can rent the necessary gear, for the sport fans. Here, you can also have fun with water "games".
In Chrissi Akti (the Golden Beach), get ready for diving and underwater guided tours to explore the hidden natural and cultural sea treasures of the Aegean Sea. In Santa Maria there is also a diving school.
The fans of trekking can choose among the routes that cross Paros according to their physical condition. They will enjoy nature and its beauties. They will get to know the flora and fauna of Paros and admire folk creations such as dovecotes, country churches, residencies, pieces of folk culture.
Of course, the lovers of cycling can explore Paros, choosing among easy or hard mountainous routes for a special type of cycling. If you don't have your own bike, you can rent the kind of bike that you want and the necessary gear in rental centers, that you can now find anywhere.
The fans of horse riding will enjoy their ride in western Paros on thoroughbred horses that you can rent in perfectly organized stables. Interesting recommended routes through sandy beaches, smooth dirt roads or paths, always enjoying the natural beauties of Paros.
Paros has three bays come to the mainland - the bay of Parikia, which is the main port and the basis of vessels sailing.