prehistoric times Paros was united with nearby Andiparos,
but nowadays the two islands are connected by ships departing
from Pounta. Andiparos is a picturesque island, with beautiful
beaches, many ciders, solitary shitewashed chapels, a
charming little harbour, a Venetian castle in ruins and
with warm, crystal-clearwater all around its coastline.
However, what makes Andiparos unique is its famous cave
on Agh. Ioannis hill. An impressively large stalagmite
welcomes visitors at the cave's entrance, while dimensions
within the cave are equally impressive: 90m of depth,
40m of width and up to 40m of height. In the cave's chambers,
beautifully decorated by stalactites, the island's entire
history has been carved on stone, from Alexander the great's
would-have-been assassins who tried to hide there, down
to King Otto of Greece and the foreign visitors of the
country. In 1673 the French Marquis de Dointelle descended
into the cave, using ropes and torches, on Christmas Eve,
and performed the the Christmas Service on a stalagmite
that served as an Altar.
on Paros have brought to light some quite important findings,
which clearly show the island's significance in ancient Cyclades.
The neolithic settlement at Saliango, the early Cycladic settlement
at Parikia, the Mycenean acropolis near Naoussa, the temple of
Athena, the Delion (temple of Apollo and Artemis), the temple
of Asclepius, the ancient workshops, the cemetary, the House of
Parliament, the archaelogical sites at Ekatontapyliani, are some
of the monuments showing visitors around to the splendid civilisation
that once flourished on the island. In Paros' important Archaelogical
Museum, one can enjoy quite a few archaelogical findings, and
some unique masterpieces of Parian sculpture, such as the statue
of Gorgon, that of Demeter from Delion, torsos from archaic Kouroi
and Korai, wonderful tomb reliefs, and many statuettes and ceramics.
Map of Cyclades Islands
Map of Paros
albeit a most popular holiday resort, has managed to maintain
its traditional physiognomy by means of all customs, everyday
habits, and popylar art. At the religious festivals of the island
- the most important being the religious fair of Panayia (=Virgin
Mary) in August - parian people dance a circular dance called
Agheranos, a local dance evoking almost all local traditions,
from the coming of Theseus to the island (which is why the steps
remind of labyrinth) to the flying of gheranos (=crane) when a
falcon attacks the flock. The ancient art of sculpture is still
popular today and the visitor can see many bas relief in houses
and churches in Parikia and the marble fountains of Mavrogenis.
From the ancient times the people of Paros loved viticulture;
nowadays the traditional grape varieties of the island, the white
"monemvasitika (=malvasia) and the red "mantilaria",
continue to give us the unique parian wine.
most attractive beaches are to be found at its northern and eastern
parts. At the Plastira bay, near Naoussa, the famous Kolimbithres
are situated, i.e. little sandy beaches ornate with smooth rocks
in impressive shapes. Second to Naoussa are the beaches of Aghii
Anargiri, Xifaras, Langeri nad the exotic beaches at Santa Maria
and at Aliki, hidden amongst thickly grown ciders. Around Marpissa
there are some cosmopolitan beaches, such as Logaras, Pounta,
Tsardakia, and famous Xrisi Ammos (=Golden Sand), a popular wind-surfers'
location. For some beautiful beaches at Paros' southern part,
one should visit Glifa, Lolandonis and Faranga, while around Parikia
there are beaches like Delfini, Parasporos, Livadia, Krios, and
the smaller beaches of Kamini, Martselo and Aghios Fokas.