Paros was my favorite place in Greece. Hold your gasps because I didn't say "Santorini". Let's be realistic. Yes, Oia, the iconic beauty of the Aegean Sea is gorgeous, but, Paros has fewer foot traffic, it has a variety of villages that hold unique charm, and the whole island has the artsy vibes and photogenic scenery of the "greek island" we all dream about.
Paros offers hiking, sailing, scuba diving, wind surfing, swimming, surfing, horseback riding, wineries, group tours, water sports, biking, eating, drinking, and any activity you would hope for on a greek island. My main discovery not long after disembarking from the Ferry, it's a French destination. Considering Paros was recommended by my French boyfriend, it all made sense why each day thereafter, the French language flooded the sidewalks and local buses, and I only seemed to meet, French people! (It was coincidence that my hostel room had 3 other Americans. In my 1.5 years of travel, it's infrequent, depending on the country, to meet another American, but for us to monopolize a room, unheard of!)
Accessibility to the other villages, like other islands, was through local buses. The one that everyone raved about was Nauosa. It was stunning! (And my favorite, which I could totally live there if it wasn't a complete tourist hot spot).
And the real beauty. . . being able to photograph the streets without a single person walking through it. I didn't appreciate that enough, Santorini was a *$@! show!
Cute huh? I thought so too.
The buses in Paros don't have a fluid schedule, so you have to go to and from the port, or pay to get to another village before connecting. Because of the time windows of buses and my days on the island, I opted for one other village. Lefkes. It's a small village nestled in the mountains. They told me it would take an hour to explore. So, the 1.5 hour "layover" before the next bus to return to the port seemed perfect. It really only took 30 minutes.
Because I had the entire extra hour to 'enjoy' the small village, I spent about half sitting and admiring this adorable corner of the island.
The last full day on Paros, I had learned about the old town by the port. I couldn't believe that I had been all over the island, but hadn't explored something so close. It was equally beautiful.