the town of Paros, or Chora as the locals call it, is the capital and the main port of the island of Paros. Built on the place of the ancient city of Paros, it is situated at the middle of the western coast of the island, within a wide and safe bay. It counts some 5.000 permanent residents and is the economic and administrative center of the island. The name of the town goes back to the Byzantine times, when most of the residents were “paroikoi”, that is to say tenant farmers of the church of Ekatontapyliani; thus, the initial ancient name of the town, “Paros”, became “Paroikia”. The actual town is extended from the sea up to the low hill on the top of which it is found the Monastery of Aghioi Anargyri.
The town is quite developed, offering several tourist, administrative and economic facilities and services both to the permanent residents and to the numerous visitors. A wide range of alternatives for accommodation of any kind and category are available for the tourists. Of course, during the peak period, especially in August, but also in Easter, it is better to book your lodging well in advance. The town is full of fish taverns, traditional restaurants, ouzo bars and cafés, where the visitor can enjoy a variety of dishes, not only of the famous local cooking and the Greek kitchen, but also of international taste. At the coastal road and in the narrow streets around the castle, where it is situated the market place of the town, you will find all kind of stores, as well as agencies of various services. Apart from the department stores, there are here several banks, tourist and rent a car agencies, Post office, internet cafés and pharmacies. And, of course, after the sunset it is the time for night life: a lot of bars with loud or low music, clubs for dance all night round, are available for the thousands of visitors.
From Paroikia you may go to any of the beach of the island; and there are a lot of them, some close to the town, other more remote, some quiet enough and scenic, other with full facilities and a cosmopolitan atmosphere; but all of them are very clean, with crystal clear sea and fine sand. You will reach the beaches by car, motorbike and bus, or by the excursion boat departing every day from the port of Paroikia, to get hundreds of visitors to these beaches.
A lot of cultural activities are organized in Paroikia in summer. The important religious feasts are celebrated with local feasts (“panighyri”), the most important of which is the religious feast in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Ekatontapyliani, celebrated on the 15th of August. It is a very famous feast attracting people all over Greece, but also numerous foreign visitors. On the 1st of July a local feast takes place at the monastery of Aghioi Anargyri, in honor of the homonymous Saints; another “panighyri” is organized on the feast of the Assumption of Jesus Christ is , which takes place at the twin church of Aghios Sostis and Analipsi (“Assumption of Jesus Christ”).
The commonest and cheapest means to reach the town and the island is of course the ship. Paros is connected daily with Piraeus by ferry boats and high speed ships, with frequent service, especially in summer; there is also connection with all the islands of the line and other islands of Cyclades and the Dodecannese. From El. Venizelos, the international airport of Athens, there is at least one flight to Paros daily. But of course, if you may reach the island by yacht; the port of Paroikia is available for mooring and water and fuel supply.