PAROS



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Paros - Lefkes and the central and southern loop - the South and Southwest of the Island

The South and Southwest of the Island

The south of the island was widely populated in the 3rd and 2nd millennia bc, as the Early Cycladic cemeteries (at Galana Krimna, Avysos and Dryos) and the settlement of the same period discovered at Aghios Myron, between Alyki and Farangas Bay, attest. In later historic times, however, this part of the island was less developed than the north and west, although the presence of several long, straight channels cut in the shelf of rock by the shore at Dryos (22km), which served to dry-dock or beach barges and boats, suggests that there must have been significant commerce in the immediate area. In the vicinity of Aspro Chorio, just north of Glypha (24km), there was a sanctuary of Artemis: the magnificent seated, Archaic goddess, now in the Archaeological Museum, was found near here in 1885, as well as a separate inscribed statue-base naming ‘Artemis’. There are ancient spolia (which may come from the same sanctuary) in the nearby monastery of Aghios Ioannis Spiliotis (26km), built into the entrance of a cave, north of Trypiti­.
   The southeast and south coasts, with their succession of sandy beaches, remain an area of primarily recreation al appeal, centred on the attractive fishing harbour and sandy bay of Aliki­ (11km from Parikia by direct route). On the return north to Parikia from here, however, are a couple of curiosities: just east of the airfield, is the idi osyncratic ‘Skorpios Folklore Museum’. Venetos Skiadas is an artesan who specialises in creating models of every thing Cycladic, from Tiniot dovecotes, via ancient towers and theatres, to the boats both of recent times and of antiquity. The other point of interest is the ‘Valley of Butter flies’ or Petaloudes (5.5km), above the village of Psycho piana, where an abundant spring feeds dense groves of pomegranate, olive, cypress, fig, rose, prunus and citrus trees. This area was part of the estate of the Mavrogenis family whose fine, stone mansion with coloured intonaco is visible in the valley. Prominent on the hillside to the south is the ruined mediaeval tower of Alisafas. Outside of the month of June, the valley has an abandoned air; but the butterflies—which are in fact Jersey tiger moths—return each year in dwindling numbers to mate in this well watered ravine. They are the same species as those which congregate in the Petaloudes valley on Rhodes . There is a small admission charge to enter the meandering walks through the area.
   One kilometre north of Petaloudes is the nunnery of Christos tou Dasous (‘of the forest’) (4.5km), dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ (open to women only, 10–1). The monastery, which is sometimes referred to as Aghios Arsenios, originally belonged to the Mavrogenis family. It has now become a place of pilgrimage because it contains the tomb of St Arsenios, a patron saint of the island. Arsenios, who was born in Ioannina in 1800, re turned late in his life to Paros, where he had spent much of his youth, and became the deacon of the nun’s convent here. He died in 1877, and was proclaimed a saint in 1967.


Travel Guide to Paros & Greece

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access

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
By air: Olympic Air operates two 35-minute flights between Athens and Paros daily. The airport is 10.5km from Parikiá.
By boat: There are generally two daily car-ferry connections (4hrs 30mins) to Paros from Piraeus (most regularly with Blue Star Ferries) in the summer, with frequency drop ping in the winter. This is augmented in the summer months (late June– late Sept), by up to four high-speed services daily (minimum 3hrs journey), divided equally between the ports of Piraeus and Rafina for Athens. These services provide an average of three onward connections daily to Naxos , Ios and Santorini.
Paros Travel Guide

eating

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros, -Levantis, on Agora Street in Parikiá, is one of the best places to eat in the Cyclades, for food that is refined and yet still Greek: the setting is simple and unpretentious, the cuisine sophisticated and delicious, and the service attentive and pleasant. More expensive and with a refined menu which offers nonetheless some excellent dishes, is Daphne in Gravari Street. Amongst the myriad eateries around the three harbours of Náousa, the easternmost taverna on the north shore, Glafkos, has excellent seafood and welcoming service. Le Sud is also good for more var ied and sophisticated cuisine. In Léfkes, "I Pezoula tis Lichoudias", is tiny, and undoubtedly a little artificial, but some of the home-made Greek dishes are nonetheless traditional and of local inspiration.
Paros Travel Guide

further reading

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Thomas Hope’s Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Greek, first published in 1819, is partly based on Nicholas Mavrogenis (see p. 34–35) of Paros and his world and times. The book caused a sensation when it was first published in London; Byron privately admitted that he wished he had been its author. A paperback edition was reissued in 2001, by Elibron Classics. Paros: History, Monuments etc. by Yannos Kourayos (Athens 2004) is an exemplary guide to the island’s antiquities—clear, authoritative and to the point. For the remarkable figure of the Marquis de Nointel and his Christmas mass in the Cave of Antiparos, see: Henri Omont, Relation de la visite du Marquis de Nointel à la grotte d’Antiparos (1673), Bulletin de géographie historique et descriptive, 1892 (4), pp. 4–33, and Albert Vandal, L’Odyssée d’un ambassadeur. Les voyages du Marquis deNointel (1670–1680), Paris, 1900. Theodore Bent, The Cyclades, or Life among the Insular Greeks (1885), reis sued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series, contains his descriptions of making the earliest excavations of prehistoric Cycladic remains on Antiparos.

Paros Travel Guide

lodging

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros has no shortage of smart places to say: but for simplicity and unpretentious comfort, the following can be recommended. The intimate, family-run Hotel Dina in the heart of Parikiá, could not be more central, and is inexpensive, comfortable and quiet (T. 22840 21325, fax 23525, www.hoteldina.com). On the edge of Náousa, Yades Studios provide tasteful accommodation with help ful management (T./fax 22840 51072, www.yades. gr). Beautifully appointed, and with full facilities, is the excellent Hotel Petres (T. 22840 52467, fax 52759, www.petres.gr; open Easter– mid-Oct). The hotel is set back in the hinterland to the south of Náousa, but with beautiful views north over Plastiras Bay.
Paros Travel Guide

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