Panagia Ekatontapyliani

According to tradition, Panagia’s Ekatontapyliani’s church in Parikia of Paros original building was the Byzantine Emperor Saint Constantine’s work to fulfil the wish of his mother, Saint Helen. It reported that during the voyage of Vasilomitoros Eleni, to the Holy Land, the ship was forced to take refuge in Paros due to a great storm. There, praying, Saint Helen to the Virgin Mary, patron saint of Constantinople, set out to build a majestic church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at the end of her journey. Her son, Constantine the Great, realized this vow by building a three-aisled basilica in Paros in the 4th century.

During the reign of Emperor Justinian (6th century) Panagia Ekatontapyliani in Paros was renovated with modifications of the early Christian parts and reconstructions. According to tradition, these conversions made by a student of Agia Sofia’s architect, who surpassed his teacher in art. According to tradition, 99 gates (doors) are visible while 100 will be revealed with the opening of a corresponding secret door located in Agia Sofia.

Etymologically, the name Ekatontapyliani or Ekatobyliani, or Katapoliani, according to the first, means a place in general (in this case a church) that has a hundred gates. It is reminiscent of the “Century Thebes” of antiquity that Aeschylus had sung. Homer with this name characterized the Thebes of Egypt that as a number were sacred in Egypt. (Information from Wikipedia)

Panagia Ekatotapyliani is one of the attractions in Paros, which will captivate you. You will have the opportunity to admire the marble iconostasis, the synthon, the ark, the cruciform baptistery that is unique in the world, the silver-plated icons of the Virgin Mary and Christ (offer of the Mavrogenides family), the tomb of Agia Theoktistis and the dormitory that lived the chapels, and a very remarkable collection of ecclesiastical relics of the church. Seeing this Byzantine monument up close, every visitor can not help but feel deeply overwhelmed and even moved by the grandeur and awe that the place radiates.

You can book programs with daily private tours in Paros and let some of the island’s most memorable attractions reveal their secrets.

The Frangokastello of Paros

The Castle of Parikia or Frangokastelo located on the site of the ancient citadel of Paros. It was built by the Venetians of the Duke of Naxos Sanoudos, in 1260. Rent a car in Paros and discover all the interesting places of the old town of Parikia

Frangokastello of Paros is a unique point of interest of Parikia and one of the most important post-Byzantine monuments of the Cyclades. Then the Venetians built the Castle of Naoussa and the Castle of Kefalos, located on the hill of Agios Antonios near the village of Marpissa.

The Castle of Parikia., Marble with unique architecture, was built on the ruins of a Doric temple of the goddess Athena who was also the patron Saint of the ancient city of Paros.

Today’s visitor will not see in the Castle of Parikia, loopholes and palaces; there is now only a massive wall of the Castle, which harmonizes with the old market’s picturesqueness.

However, the beauty of Frangokastello of Paros remains in this rare “patchwork” of giant stones that takes time to be revealed. The marbles from the ancient temples used as a building material give an unusual, almost eerie, look. They are there as you walk the alleys, having become one with the locals’ daily lives. If one sits down and listens to the surrounding energy around, one may hear some of the stories that the Castle whispers.

On the foundations of an archaic temple just a few meters west of the Frankish castle in Parikia, dominate the churches of Agios Konstantinos and the Annunciation of the Virgin. Patrons of former grandeur, they give a medieval atmosphere throughout the area and are two of the most exciting attractions of Paros.

The Gates of Paro’s sunset, from that point, creates a magical view both for the interpretation and its beauty.

You can follow one of Paros’ private tour  and discover that you are interested in this remarkable monument.

Venetian Castle in Naoussa

The Venetian Castle in Naoussa, Paros, was built by Venetians in the 16th century. The castle is also known as Kastelli in Paros is a defensive fort built to protect the port and the medieval settlement of Naoussa from the Pirates.

By renting a car in Paros, you can with particular comfort to see up close all the island’s attractions of specific interest, aesthetics and years of history.

Kastelli in Naoussa is built around its magnificent port and attracts many people every year. That Castle heavily besieged and finally, in 1537, trampled by Turks, paving the way for the conquest of all Paros.

Today, although a part of the Venetian castle in Naoussa has sunk, this massive medieval monument is one of the most charming sights of the island of Paros. The memories of the past silently dominating the walls of the castle of Naoussa, offering intense energy to the picturesque port and its visitors. Kastelli in Naoussa due to its location is one of the most romantic attractions you will see in Paros.

At the medieval southwestern gate of the Venetian Castle of Naoussa, is built the chapel of Agios Nikolaos, also known as Agios Nikolas of Mostratos. A great church in the Cyclades’ colours completes the idyllic setting of the port of Naoussa.

You can book programs with daily private tours in Paros and let some of the island’s most memorable attractions reveal their secrets.

The Valley with the Butterflies in Paros

The Valley, with the Butterflies in Paros, is located on the ring road of Parikia to Aliki. A green break in the Cycladic landscape that prevails in the  Valley with the butterflies is a natural park full of different tall trees and local vegetation. Between June and September, the Valley is filled with “Tiger” butterflies, creating an unusual but beautiful phenomenon. Millions of butterflies make their nests under the trees’ dense foliage and on the ivy that covers the trunks. The coolness, the running water and the intense vegetation in this small area are as if they were made mostly for their reproduction. To be precise, this species belongs to the butterflies or moths, Panaxia Quadripunctaria, which remain immobile during the day. They have brown-black wings with yellowish-white stripes and are barely visible on the leaves, but at the slightest sound, they start and fly all together in the air, creating a red spectacle since their wings are crimson on the underside. Each flight, however, consumes a lot of energy, which they need to reproduce.

You can rent a car in Paros and see up close this unique attraction that only nature can create, or if you are one of the most adventurous to combine it with a donkey ride in Paros.

Do not miss this beautiful walk in the stone streets, tall cypresses, laurels, locusts, plane trees and many other. The dense foliage of the trees that lets little light reach the ground makes the landscape seem mystical. The Valley with the Butterflies in Paros is a point of unique interest since it has been included in the community network of protected areas “Natura 2000”, as a Site of Community Importance and has been declared a vital area for the birds of Greece.

Walk, relax, rejuvenate and enjoy nature, drinking your soft drink in the cafe that operates in the Valley, accompanied by the beautiful Butterflies and the green landscape to complete the beautiful scenery.

The Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros

The Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros is a very well-kept, clean and aesthetically pleasing area located very close to Naoussa. It was founded in 2009.  Since then it is working with dedication to the protection and promotion of the peninsula of Ai Giannis-Detis.

The peninsula of Ai – Giannis Detis as it is called, has a rare natural beauty, with windless beaches, crystal clear waters and its own anchorage.

The access can be done by rental car and boat since there are regular itineraries from Naoussa.

Throughout the peninsula of Ai – Giannis Detis in Paros, the Aegean history has left indelible marks over the years. In the environmental park, you will admire the prehistoric settlement, the post-Byzantine monastery of Agios Ioannis, and you will see up close the remains of the Russian fleet’s headquarters on the peninsula during the First Russo-Turkish War (17684).

The Museum of the Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros is a point of particular interest for those looking for the island’s history. It presents Paros the Russian occupation and this part of the Aegean, in 1700, Greek and European history a few years before the revolution. Very organized, it is a different proposal to visit the vacationers. There have printed information material for the exhibits, which is distributed free of charge.

The total area of ​​Paros Park is 800 acres, with incredible natural beauty and is considered a unique attraction owned by the Municipality of Paros. It includes beautiful facilities always friendly to the environment, stone refreshment room, summer cinema with charming performances and free entrance for the public, exhibition space, theatre, organized and non-organized beaches with excellent calm waters, sea caves, paths for nature lovers, ample parking and many other activities.

The Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros, with the beauty and the organization that characterizes it, lays the foundations in a modern and alternative way of fun and experience during your holidays. Within the framework of sustainable management of the ecosystem, gentle interventions challenge you to get closer to what only nature can offer, peace, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Do not miss seeing up close a place with such unique beauty and respect for the natural wealth and history so generously offered to us.

Every summer in June, the annual summer festival in the Park of Paros begins, with many events, lectures, music and experiential activities.

Other beaches nearby are Kolimbithres and Monastiri.