The island of Paros has several nice beaches and a lively nightlife. Most visitors, however, will seek out the island's main town of the same name because it's the departure point of ferry boat service for the Cyclades and islands beyond. (Luggage depositories are available for travelers who might want to use Paros as a base for further exploration.) There is a pretty golden sand beach at Chryssi Akti (great for sailboarding) and a fishing village at Naoussa.

The island's main town, Parikia, is a colorful village with a 13th-century Venetian citadel and a slightly bizarre cathedral (called the Church of 100 Doors, the cathedral's belfry is a tall cypress tree). The island can become crowded and rooms scarce, so we advise that you prearrange accommodations.

If Paros gets too crowded, try the nearby island of Antiparos, Paros' alter ego. The island, served by excursion boats from Paros, has good snorkeling, a nice little village and a cave filled with stalactites (the cave is closed in the afternoons).

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