Smack in the heart of the Aegean, often dubbed the pearl of the Cyclades, the island of Paros boasts not only abundant natural beauty but also an alluring diversity that beckons the explorer in you: Archetypal blue and gold beaches, cosmopolitan towns, buzzing nightlife and a thriving water sports scene on the one hand. And on the other, a host of impossibly quaint settlements where time seems to stand still and where ancient customs remain embedded in modern everyday life. On the outskirts of the main road leading east from bustling Paroikia, these medieval villages have largely escaped the tourist development that has reshaped the rest of Paros. Postcard pretty, they look (and sometimes feel!) like they did in the 15th-century. When they were originally built as castles out of the fear of the pirates at the time plaguing the Mediterranean.
Nowadays Paros is a coveted destination blending paradisiacal beaches, quaint whitewashed villages and scenic fishing ports; welcoming, affable locals, amazing food and drink; a host of fascinating customs and traditions; viby beach bars, world-class water sports and a bustling nightlife scene. But then again this, the third-largest island of the Cyclades, has been an important commercial, trade and cultural centre since time immemorial. Smack in the heart of the Aegean, thanks to its strategic position on the sea routes between mainland Greece and Asia Minor, Paros has been flourishing since the earliest stages of antiquity and there is still ample, tangible evidence of this ancient acme. At the Yria Boutique Hotel & Spa, we are certainly fascinated, and that’s not to mention proud, of our island and its manifold achievements across the aeons. If you’re interested in learning more about the place you are planning to visit, let us take you on a journey through the long and turbulent, albeit enthralling, history of Paros.
A cluster of shiny little pearls scattered around the Aegean. The stomping grounds of gods and heroes; homes of mythical kings and queens; lairs of terrible monsters and beasts. Inhabited since the early bronze age, the Cycladic islands are steeped in captivating folktales and fables. Legends and myths of the Cyclades are plenteous and prolific; attempting to account for the islands’ unique morphology and geography and their, more often than not, turbulent history and evolution. But perhaps most importantly legends and myths of the Cyclades also aim to shed light to the behaviours and traits of the islanders (and humankind overall) without filters, judgement or inhibitions.
Azure sunny skies over verdant landscapes dotted with multi-coloured wildflowers, their scents permeating the air: You probably wouldn’t expect such imagery from a typically dry and barren Cycladic island, yet this is Paros at this particular time of year. Resplendent with its cool little towns coated in white, quaint fishing harbours lined up with taverna tables, blue-domed churches, blonde-sandy beaches and vibrant bars and cafés.
We live in perilous times. Some would say dystopian even. But in times of crisis, the only real antidote is optimism. A happy thought, a brave smile, an impromptu peal of laughter can be just what the doctor ordered. And what can be more uplifting than thinking about your prospective holidays? Which, let’s be pragmatic, they are bound to come, sooner or later.
History and myths are intertwined in the case of Valentine’s day. Read on for the lowdown, get inspired and take your lover into a romantic getaway in Paros.
Lefteris Lazarou’s name is synonymous with pescatarian fine dining in Greece and abroad. Despite his rather humble beginnings -like his father before him, he started as a ship cook- the nowadays acclaimed culinarian worked his way up to the top of the international gastronomic scene, demonstrating his culinary creativity and prowess time and again. Amalgamating influences from all over the world, whilst based on fresh seasonal material and the Aegean that’s right on our backyard, his signature take on seafood-based Greek cuisine has earned him a coveted Michelin star and a reputation that exceeds the country’s borders. It is no wonder then that his restaurant, Varoulko, steadfastly features amongst the best in Greece’s thriving food scene for 20 years now.
An interplay between cerulean and laden, grey skies. Rough wavy seas. Quaint whitewashed villages without a tourist in sight. A calm, esoteric vibe, so very different from the frenzied, sprightly summer ambiance. Though you’ve probably never associated it with Christmas, Paros’ spectacular winter scenery offers a captivating, albeit somewhat unconventional, backdrop for celebrating the sparkling season.
With plentiful, safe, clean, sporty and fun beaches, Paros is a dream summer destination. Yet this postcard-perfect, white-coated Cycladic island is actually much more than its sands and sun.
Happy, shiny people posing under brilliant cerulean skies; eating and drinking against the backdrop of quaint whitewashed villages; dancing their nights off amidst scenic fishing ports; kite surfing or just lounging on blue and gold beaches….