Tout ce que vous devez savoir avant de venir dans notre merveilleuse île

Choosing Between Naxos & Paros: A Newbie’s Guide

The Portara, Naxos

Envisioning a Greek island vacation and can’t decide which one to pick? With a daunting choice of over 200 islands, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. Fear not, we’re here to guide you through choosing between two gems of the Cyclades group: Naxos and Paros. Offering not just breathtaking beaches and quaint villages but also an immersion in rich history and culture, each island has its unique appeal. Yet, they hold distinctive qualities that might sway your preference depending on your travel style and interests. Planning to decipher the puzzle of choosing between Naxos and Paros? Looking to understand their main attractions and distinctions, and figuring out an easy and cost-effective travel route? You’re in the right place. This beginner’s guide aims to equip you with all you need to know to make an informed decision for your idyllic Greek retreat.

Key Similarities and Differences Between Naxos and Paros

Both Naxos and Paros enchant visitors with their exquisite beaches and natural landscapes. Yet, they cater to different tastes and preferences, drawing unique crowds. This comparison highlights the primary similarities and differences between Naxos and Paros, focusing on their beaches, cuisine, and nightlife.

Beaches and Natural Landscapes

Naxos boasts some of the finest beaches in Greece, characterized by expansive golden sands and crystal-clear azure waters. Popular beaches include Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, Plaka, and Mikri Vigla. Besides its coastal beauty, Naxos is renowned for water sports like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing. Its lush, mountainous terrain offers a plethora of hiking trails and picturesque villages worth exploring, with attractions such as the Temple of Demeter, the Portara, and the Kouros statues enriching its cultural landscape.

Contrastingly, Paros features smaller, more diverse beaches, including rocky coves and unique geological formations. Notable beaches include Kolymbithres, Golden Beach, Santa Maria, and Aliki. Like Naxos, Paros is a hotspot for water sports, particularly windsurfing and kitesurfing. The island’s flatter, drier environment is dotted with rolling hills and vineyards, inviting visitors to explore charming towns like Parikia and Naoussa, as well as quaint villages such as Lefkes, Marpissa, and Piso Livadi. Landmarks like the Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, the Venetian Castle, and the Valley of the Butterflies add to its allure.

Food and Dining Experiences

Both islands boast exceptional restaurants that serve fresh, locally sourced seafood. Naxos is known for its laid-back tavernas, offering traditional dishes like rosto pork, kokoras krasatos, kalogeros, and zoula. It’s also celebrated for its cheeses, potatoes, olives, olive oil, wine, and citron liqueur. Engaging in a food tour or cooking class is a splendid way to dive into Naxos’s culinary heritage and specialties.

Paros presents a blend of Greek and international cuisines across more trendy restaurants, alongside cozy cafes and bakeries. Influenced by its marble and fishing industries, Paros’s gastronomy includes unique dishes like gouna, karavoli, and melahrino. The island also produces exquisite olives, olive oil, wine, and cheese. Like Naxos, food tours or cooking classes offer a deeper appreciation of Paros’s gastronomic delights.

Nightlife and Social Scenes

During summer, Naxos showcases a vibrant nightlife with cocktail bars, tavernas featuring live music, and nightclubs across the main town. In the realm of nightlife, however, Paros stands out with a wider array of options. Paros’s nightlife centers around Parikia and Naoussa, with Parikia offering a more relaxed atmosphere along its waterfront and old town, while Naoussa boasts a chic and glamorous vibe in its picturesque harbor and Venetian castle. Both locations feature a variety of music genres, catering to a diverse mix of locals and tourists.

This or That? Selecting Your Greek Island Getaway

Having explored the main similarities and differences between Naxos and Paros, you might now be pondering which island aligns better with your travel desires and preferences. Indeed, choosing between them isn’t straightforward since each offers unique attractions to satisfy a broad spectrum of travelers. Nevertheless, depending on your travel persona, one may resonate more with you. Here are some tailored guidelines to assist in making your decision between Naxos and Paros for your idyllic Greek island escape.

For Families and Couples

For those journeying with family or a significant other, Naxos could be your ideal choice. It edges out Paros in terms of being more conducive for families and couples, boasting wider and tranquil beaches, more reasonably priced and authentic dining experiences, along with a plethora of serene and romantic activities. Naxos shines as a gem for those keen on delving into the rich nature and culture of the Cyclades, offering numerous hiking trails, picturesque villages, and ancient landmarks. You’re promised a peaceful yet engaging retreat in Naxos, ensuring the vibrancy of island life isn’t missed.

For Solo Travelers and Adventure Seekers

On the other hand, if you’re venturing solo or thirst for adventure, setting your sights on Paros might be the way to go. Paros slightly tips the scale over Naxos for solo travelers and adventure seekers, presenting a more vibrant nightlife, an assortment of trendy global eateries, and a contemporary, stylish atmosphere. Paros stands out as an ideal locale for water sports enthusiasts, boasting prime conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing – some of the best in the Aegean Sea. It’s a haven where you can forge new connections, immerse in exhilarating activities, and still capture the essence and allure of the Cyclades.

How to Travel Between Naxos and Paros

Embarking on a Greek island getaway to Naxos and Paros presents a unique advantage: their close proximity. Separated by a mere 17 km across the sea, these islands are easily accessible to each other via ferry. The short journey, taking less than an hour, creates the perfect opportunity for exploring both islands within a single trip, or even venturing on a day trip from one to the other. Here’s all the essential information you need for ferry travel between Naxos and Paros.

A variety of ferry operators, including Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, Seajets, and Minoan Lines, facilitate travel between these islands. They offer a selection of vessels ranging from conventional ferries to high-speed catamarans, with prices varying from €19 to €75 per person. For schedules, availability, and ticket prices, consider visiting their websites or using online platforms such as [Ferryhopper] or [Rome2rio]. Tickets can be acquired online, directly at the port, or through a local travel agency. However, to ensure your spot, especially during the bustling peak season of July and August, booking in advance is recommended as ferries tend to fill up quickly.

The ferries operate between the main ports on both islands: Naxos Port and Paros Port. These ports are conveniently situated in the capital towns of the islands, Naxos Town and Parikia, respectively, and are accessible by public transport, taxi, or rental car. The ports offer a variety of amenities, including parking, luggage storage, cafes, restaurants, shops, and tourist information points. It’s advised to arrive at the port at least 30 minutes before departure, with your ticket and identification at hand. Passengers have the option to either relax inside the ferry or take in the splendid views from the deck. Though the ferry ride is generally smooth, it can become choppy in windy conditions. Along the journey, you might also catch glimpses of other islands, such as Mykonos, Delos, and Antiparos.

Ferry travel between Naxos and Paros is not only convenient but also offers a delightful way to experience the unmatched beauty and cultural diversity of the Cyclades. Whether you aim to explore both islands or focus your adventure on just one, there’s a ferry service to match every budget and itinerary. Remember to plan ahead, travel light, and above all, enjoy the journey!


Naxos and Paros stand out as two of the most beautiful and popular islands in the Cyclades, each offering unique experiences that cater to different types of travelers. For families and couples in search of a serene and authentic Greek island atmosphere, Naxos presents an ideal destination with its expansive beaches, cozy tavernas, and picturesque villages. On the other hand, Paros appeals to solo travelers and those looking for adventure, boasting a vibrant scene with diverse beaches, international dining options, and fashionable nightlife. The convenience of ferry travel between Naxos and Paros means you don’t have to choose one experience over the other; you can easily explore both islands and create a vacation that combines relaxation with excitement. Why wait? Book your tickets today and embark on an unforgettable Greek island adventure!

Share the Post:

Related Posts: