‘Life is nothing but sleep, swim, eat and read’, wrote the photographer Cecil Beaton enthusiastically while spending the summer of 1958 on Paros with Truman Capote. Lazing around, reading, swimming, enjoying tomatoes and feta cheese: today a blissful stay on Paros feels much the same way. The beautiful Cyclades Islands, with their gentle landscapes and white and blue villages, are the ideal destination for this type of simple cathartic holiday. And the beaches... take your pick from wild beaches, beach bar sporting hot spots or wind-swept kitesurfing stretches. Here's our shortlist of the best beaches on Paros.
- Piperi Beach
- Kolymbithres beach
- Santa Maria beach
- Golden Beach,Tserdakia
- Lageri Beach
- Agia Irini beach
- Piso Livadi beach
The most urban
The village of Naoussa is a tiny Saint Tropez on the Aegean Sea, with blue and white facades, alleys bursting with bougainvillea, colourful fishing boats, and jet-set fauna on the terraces of epicurean tavernas shaded by grapevines. In the heart of the village, we love the very small beach of Piperi, nestled in a bay surrounded by rocks and with a great view of the white houses, for its beach bars and cocktails.
The most Instagrammable
Kolymbithres beach can be reached by taking a caique (fishing boat) from Naoussa to make a beautiful crossing of the bay. Kolymbithres is simply one of the most beautiful beaches in the Cyclades. Large blocks of gneiss rock, polished by the winds, frame this small golden sandy cove and its clear blue waters, and the giant rock sculptures unfailingly protect the tiny cove from strong winds and currents. The drawback: in summer, it is hard to find a spot on the sand where you can lay your towel. Go early in the morning, or in the low season. And if there are still too many people, you can go for a walk on the coastal path.
Santa Maria Beach
The most fun
Just fifteen minutes by car from Naoussa, in the bay of Plastira, is Santa Maria, the most developed beach on Paros. This long stretch of coastline is lined with deckchairs for rent, tavernas, bars and watersports clubs. Waterbabies can enjoy sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, diving and snorkelling; while back on dry land there’s yoga or beach volleyball - something for everyone, really. It is also a beach where people like to chill out, with DJ sets in the evening and the island of Naxos on the horizon.
Golden Beach/Chrissi Akti, Tserdakia
The most trendy
Between Drios and Piso Livadi, Golden Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches on Paros, with its large stretch of golden sand which goes on for miles, rows of deckchairs and umbrellas, and its very clear waters. Next door, New Golden Beach is a watersports haven for paddle boarding, surfing and windsurfing. There are no swimmers here - the clear waters are the territory of windsurfers. For swimming, you can walk to the beautiful sandy beach of Logaras, shaded by tamarisk trees behind the rocky cape of Piso Livadi. Those who are less athletic might prefer the deckchairs and beach bars of Pounda Beach, enjoying silky cocktails and perfect smoothies to replenish their energy after an all-nighter.
The most unspoiled
Lageri Beach is a long, isolated beach in the northeast of Paros at the end of a sandy road that is difficult to access, so it is best to get there by taking a water taxifrom Naoussa. Despite its renown - it is one of the most famous ‘deserted’ beaches of Paros - it remains relatively uncrowded, even in the height of summer. There are no bars or tavernas, and that's why we love it. Go there at the end of the afternoon to enjoy the soft light of the setting sun.
Agia Irini Beach
The most intimate
In the Gulf of Parikia, Agia Irini beach owes its name to the small church of Saint Irina that borders it. To get to this beach lined with palm trees, and with turquoise waters, you have to go along a long stony path that discourages most people: as a result, Agia Irini remains less crowded than the neighboring beaches.
Piso Livadi beach
The most charming
People like to lose themselves in the alleys of the village of Piso Livadi, which is less flashy than Naoussa, and visit its pretty church with a blue dome - Saint George the Thalassite. In terms of beaches, we prefer the long strip of fine sand that stretches between two white and blue chapels to the main beach of the village with its many restaurants. The small port and the churches give it a great charm. We love it!
Cover photo: kite_rin/Fotolia