Three More Easy Walks on Paros of the Cyclades

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Got an afternoon to kill and don’t feel like going to the beach? Then here are a few ideas of how to pass your time

1. Agios Panthes

This is not an easy hike at all – as we found out, just in time. In Paros, most attractive hiking trails start in Lefkes, the island’s highest and most centrally located village. The road to Agios Panthes, the island’s highest mountain, takes off near the parking lot on top of the town.

Somebody had told us – or at least that’s what we understood – that the distance from Lefkes to the peak was about 5 km. After about 3 km, it began to dawn on us that this was not true and that the highest peak, as much as we could see, was a lot further away, so we returned to the car and went up “the easy way”, i.e. on all fours (wheels).

Which proved to be the right thing to do: the trail from Lefkes to the summit of Agios Panthes is roughly 10 km long, leading across windswept plains with little to see, except for the traces from a semi-lost culture of agricultural activity.

"Three more easy walks on Paros - Agios Panthes"

Still, we were not sorry for having taken a very much shortened version of this walk – at least we got an impression of what the interior of the island looks like.

We were surprised how many small churches there were on the hills, and how forlorn and barren the landscape felt. Before the tourists came, this must have been a lonely, lonely place.

You get many good views across the Mediterranean, but mainly from the part of the trail where you should already be tucked inside your car. The view from Agios Panthes fails to give you an idea of how chilly, windswept and isolated it feels over there.

"view on one of the three more easy walks on Paros"

 

2. Saint Anthony Monastery

The trail up to the Saint Anthony Monastery in Marpissa is essentially a continuation of the Byzantine Road, so you could – in theory – do this after the walk we described in our last post, which, if you remember, was not overly strenuous and can be easily done in half a day.

The convent is located high above the village of Marpissa, and while climbing up the dusty road, you will get attractively changing views over the Mediterranean.

"one of the three more easy walks on Paros to the Saint Anthony's monastery"

The monastery itself is lush and gorgeous, but the gates were, unfortunately, locked when we arrived, so do not count on getting more than a glimpse from the outside of the fence.

"St Anthony's monastery in Paros"

The hike up is about 3 km long from the foot of the hill, 4 km from the village centre, and don’t forget that you have to walk the same way back again. This is certainly something you should take into account if you are planning to do this after a boozy lunch. This trail leads you uphill all the way and feels relatively steep and taxing, probably more so during the summer months.

"one of the three more easy walks on Paros"

 

3. Parikia

Finally, an urban walk, or, to be honest, more of an urban stroll. Parikia is the largest town on Paros, so chances are that, sooner or later, you will find yourself with some time to spend there. If that happens, go and take a little walk – Parikia is a charming little town which is best explored without a map or a fixed itinerary.

"a street in Parikia in Paros"

The town’s major sight is the Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (built in the 6th century), literally the Church of Our Lady with the 100 Windows (the Church, that is, not the Lady).

Only 99 of these windows have so far been found, and according to legend, when No. 100 is discovered, Constantinople (aka Istanbul) will return to Greece.

"Parikia in Paros"

There are also some traces of Venetian architecture in the town – reminding us of who “ruled the waves” in the Eastern Mediterranean for much of its history.

"Parikia in Paros"

And before you leave, sit down for a while in one of the many cafes and tavernas by the seaside and make a toast to Paros and the Cyclades. We will be there with you, if only in spirit.

"A taverna in Parikia in Paros"

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3 comments to Three More Easy Walks on Paros of the Cyclades

  • Wonderful pics. I could go to Greece this summer… And yes, too bad the monastery was closed. I agree, it looks quite beautiful from afar with its white colour. And Parikia sounds delightful with its Venetian architecture.

  • Too bad the monastery was closed — it looks quite beautiful from afar.
    Parikia sounds delightful. Wonder if anyone’s looking for that 100th window?

  • Interesting story about the windows at the church! It seems like where you went was nearly empty, not just with tourists but with people. It must be making a unique experience to see these lesser known parts of Greece!

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