A famous resort with great nightlife
Beautiful and famous, Paros is located west of Naxos. Opposite its western coast is the island of Antiparos. Paros has an area of 194.5 sq km, a length of 20 km and a width of 15 km. The terrain is low near the coast and mountainous towards the center of the island, where the highest peak, Prophet Elias, is at a height of 771 m. The white marble of Paros is famous since antiquity. The coastline has a length of 118 km. The shores elsewhere are rocky and elsewhere low and sandy, and form many bays with beautiful beaches.
Paros is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. On the west coast, the capital and main port of Parikia offers all services to visitors. It is a traditional settlement with monuments of the ancient city, built in the same place. The church of Panaghia Ekatontapyliani is the oldest Christian monument in Greece.
On the north coast is Naoussa, historic harbor and traditional village; it is a famous resort with nightlife. The bay of Naoussa is one of the safest anchorages. There are also other known resorts, as Alyki, Marpissa and more. In the center of the island is located the beautiful village of Lefkes (Poplars).
The island took its name from Paros, leader of colonists who came from Arcadia. According to tradition, the first inhabitants were from Crete. In historical times, after 1000 BC, the Ionians settled on the island. During the Archaic period, in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, Paros was one of the strongest of the Cyclades islands and a great competitor of the island of Naxos. It founded colonies in Thassos and other places, and its white marble, the famous “lychnitis”, was demanded everywhere.
Paros was the birthplace of the poet Archilochus, the sculptor Scopas and other important persons of antiquity. At the time of the Persian wars, Paros was friendly to the Persians, and in 489 BC, after the victory at Marathon, the Athenians wanted to punish the island. It was unsuccessfully besieged by Miltiades, but in 479 Themistocles obliged it to join the Athenian League. At the end of the Peloponnesian War the Spartans came. They left in 394 and in 378 Paros became a member of the 2nd Athenian League. After came the Macedonians and then Ptolemy of Egypt, Mithridates of Pontus and the Romans.
In the Byzantine era, during the 10th to 12th century, Paros experienced pirate raids, and in 1207 was included by the Venetian Marco Sanudo in the Duchy of Naxos.
In 1416, was plundered by Turks. Most residents fled and it became a base for pirates. In 1537, it was conquered by the Turks and in 1645 was sacked by the Venetians. During 1770 – 1774, the time of the Russo-Turkish war, the bay of Naoussa was the base of the Russian fleet in the Aegean Sea. On April 24, 1821 the Greek revolution was declared in the island.