Paros (island) – this island, a six-hour ferry boat ride from Athens, is located in the central Aegean Sea. Sun-drenched beaches, like Chrissí Aktí, Santa Maria and Poúnda, welcome sun-loving visitors who want to enjoy the crystal clear sea, the sun or even their favorite water sports: from jet skiing to windsurfing, canoe kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, as well as snorkeling. Water sports outfits, such as “Awake Paros” (www.awakeparos.com), “Force & Surf Center” (www.force7paros.gr) and “Surf Beach” (www.surfbeach.gr) are on hand to provide such activities to visitors. Chryssi Akti, named after the golden sand it is covered with, is the most popular beach for windsurfing at Paros island; in this area, schools take advantage of the shallow crystal clear waters and offer even to beginners the opportunity to test their abilities safely. Néa Chryssí Aktí beach (Tserdakia) offers countless thrills to those who are “advanced”, as this area is where the winds of the greatest duration and strength are recorded. Wind direction (left side-shore) combined with the angle created by sea waves lift windsurfers up — creating the ideal conditions for jumps.
Parikía (Parikiá), the capital of Páros, is a beautiful Cycladic village with whitewashed cubic houses and impressive neoclassical mansions. A well preserved 13th century Venetian castle stands proudly on a hill at the centre of the village offering an amazing view of Parikía. In the capital you can also admire an important ecclesiastical monument, the 6th century church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani, also called Katapoliani. The name “Ekatontapylianí” means the church with 100 gates (“Ekató Pýles” in Greek), one of which is a secret one! Don’t miss the chance to visit the baptistery (4th century AD), one of the best preserved baptisteries in the Orthodox East, and the Byzantine Museum. The Parikía Byzantine Museum is housed on the ground floor of the church. Its exhibits include icons, wood-carved iconostases and other heirlooms from various monasteries and churches on the island.