Part of the Cyclades group in Greece, Paros is the second largest island of the islands here, and is a very popular destination for visitors. It is also considered one of the most beautiful islands, and if you go, you’ll see why. When you imagine a Greek island, you imagine the beautiful, clean, white buildings, sandy, clear water beaches and amazing architecture.
This describes Paros perfectly, and if you go, returning home may seem dreary and boring due to how incredible Paros is. Paros consists of an amalgamation of different villages. Parikia is the main town, and Lefkes, Marpissa and Naoussa are a couple others to name a few. In essence, Paros will not leave you disappointed in the slightest, and will probably be the best experience you’ve had to date.
Culture and Immersion
Things to do in Paros are, in a word, fun. You certainly won’t be bored here, and though I’ll be mentioning a bunch of beaches, those daily trips to the beaches will not get tiring, rest assured.
Beaches – So we’ll start off with the beaches! Greece is world renowned for its amazing beaches, so this is definitely a must do, and you’ll probably find yourself on the beach more than once (or 40-50 times). It’ll probably become a common thing in your daily activities, and be sure to try all the beaches! Logaras, Farangas, Parasporos, Kato Yalos, Agia Irini and Krios are a couple of the beaches you’ll run across here.
Watersports – This could be a good time to brush up on your watersports! Paros is famous for this, and they’re a great daily exercise if you can imagine it. Surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing are a few of the sports you might pick up here.
Tao’s – Located at the top of the hills in Paros, Tao’s is a meditation center with a great view of the Aegean Sea and surrounding areas. Various activities, seminars and activities occur here daily, and there’s a Thai cuisine and café.
Naoussa – Naoussa is the old fishing village in Paros. Located in the northeastern portion of Paros, is a charming little town with beaches, restaurants and taverns. The fish restaurants are especially plentiful here, and are also especially delicious, which brings me to the next thing.
Eat – Paros is so extremely close to the sea, so its seafood is absolutely amazing. If you’ve never had good seafood, prepare to have your mind and taste buds blown out of their sockets, as the freshly caught and prepared fish will be the best you’ve ever tasted. If you’ve had good seafood, prepare to revise your definition of what good fish is!
As Paros is on the Euro, the prices will be a bit more expensive than you are used to (due to the higher value of the Euro in comparison to the dollar). However, Paros is one of the more traditional islands in Greece (Naoussa as an example), so it is cheaper in comparison to the other islands. Do be careful about eating at the fish restaurants every night, as they are fantastically delicious, but will also drain your wallet. ATMs can be found all over Paros, so you don’t have to worry about withdrawing money at all.
Culture Shock and Support
Traveling halfway around the world, you’ll be in a completely different environment from the moment you step off the plane. Language, culture and societal norms will be unlike what you’re are used to, which you’ll learn to appreciate by the end of the trip. However, at the beginning, this change can be quite scary and daunting to take on. So, be sure to pick a problem that caters to American students, so that you can be well informed of the cultural differences and avoid making a faux pas.
However, remember that you have your fellow students! If you’re missing the long hours of studying and the obnoxiously loud people back in the US, well, then you’re weird. On a more serious note, talk to your fellow peers! If you’re experiencing some homesickness, there is every chance that they are as well. Don’t be embarrassed if you need to talk to someone about home, it is completely normal and who knows, you may become even closer friends!
Helpful Hints/Insider Tips
Paros has a relatively small area, so you’ll generally be ok with just walking around. Well, the great weather and beautiful streets will probably have you walking to get to your destinations anyway. However, if you prefer not to walk, there are buses that run from town to town.
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