10 things nobody will tell you about Paros

1. There are no fruit & vegetable markets

You won’t find markets that are so characteristic of Mediterranean towns on Paros selling fresh vegetables and fish. But it doesn’t mean you have to get your supplies from the supermarkets! On the contrary, supermarkets usually have mediocre quality fruits and veggies and Parians get their daily supplies from vegetable stalls situated alongside the periferiako (main ring road). These vendors are selling local produce, most of them have their land right behind their stalls and the crops are usually free from chemicals!

2. Natural groundwaters are not sufficient to supply all the inhabitants

Water is a precious commodity on Paros. The number of inhabitants of the island in the winter is about 15.000 and this number easily doubles with the visiting tourists and people who have summer houses on the island. As the climate is arid, with a yearly average rainfall of only 480 mm (19 inches), the groundwater is not enough for the increased population in the summer. There are two desalination factories on Paros – one in Naoussa, and the newer one in Parasporos, close to Parikia – that help out and make seawater into sweet water by reverse osmosis. This is an expensive technological solution and as a result, water is very expensive on Paros compared to other European countries.

3. You should avoid to the port city of Parikia between 10.00 am and 13.30 am in high season

As Paros is an incredibly popular holiday destination, in the months of July and August most of the ships arrive at this time to the port. Top this, that the average tourist wakes up round about 10.00 am and you will have a solid traffic jam on the one and only main road of Parikia. Best to plan your day around it, nobody likes to waste half on hour sniffing fumes.

4. If you are a coffee lover, Paros has it all!

Paros is a coffee lovers paradise, where everybody has an opinion about coffee and it plays a huge part in daily life. While the well-known frappé is popular in the summer months with plenty of ice, this is the lowest quality coffee you can get, as it is made with instant freeze-dried coffee. Try cappuccino fredo (cold cappuccino) or fredo espresso but good to know, that even your filter coffee comes in a frozen variety. The original Greek Coffee though is always hot and you can ask for a “diplo” (stronger), or a “mono” (lighter) version and you will be asked if you’d like it “sketo” (without sugar) “metrio” (with one sugar) or “gliko” (with two plus sugars).

5. You will be waiting to pick up your rental car for up to 1 hour in high season

This is one of those rather inconvenient things, that nobody likes to talk about but you are probably better off knowing! As the port police do not let rental cars to come into the port area or park close-by, rental companies have to find clever ways to deliver your car at the place of your arrival. In high season it is not an easy task given the traffic and the congested roads. International car rental companies have their cars stationed close to the airport (so if you arrive there chances are you won’t wait for long), but if you choose to arrive at the port, sometimes it takes them up to one house to get it to the port area. We work with local rental companies and usually take our guests round to their offices or get the cars delivered to your home so as to minimize waiting times and unnecessary dragging around luggage for already tired travelers.

6. It is common that boats are half to one hour late

Boats being late is very common even without any severe weather conditions. You should always calculate your airplane-boat connection keeping this in mind. Your local representative on Paros will be begging you to tell her what is the name of the boat you are arriving with because she doesn’t have one hour to waste in the port waiting for you. So please always message her the name of the boat you are on, as she will be following your vessel on one of the Global Ship positioning systems to arrive just on time to meet you! (We do recommend for you too to check out these applications such as Marine Traffic or Find Ship that you can download to your mobile)

7. Internet is MUCH slower than you might expect

Internet connections on Paros improved hugely in the last couple of years but the speed of the Internet is seriously lacking behind in Greece compared to western European countries and the islands are the worst in that aspect. As I am writing this article sitting in my Paros office in Sotires (west of Paros) I work with a speed of 7.5 Mbps download speed and 0.65 Mbps upload. This is actually a pretty good speed, and figures vary by area (less in the mountains, better in densely populated areas) the number of users and weather conditions.

8. You don’t have to go out to eat delicious local dishes

And I am not talking about pizza delivery. There are many eateries cooking delicious, authentic Greek dishes, the kind that a Greek Mama would feed her family. These eateries have no tables so you can only take away or ask for home delivery. Fancy a day in just chilling in the garden of your villa? Order in or pick up your Greek dinner! Some of our favorite shops:

LEMON Ε – in Parikia behind the pharmacy at the crossroads

To Tsoukali tis Giagias (Grandma’s pot) – opposite Market Inn supermarket in Parikia on the main road

Greek Home Cooking – Next to ACS courier in Parikia on the main road

Paros Breakfast and More – Greek lunch with gluten-free options! – Parikia main road opposite the Aegean petrol station

9. Don’t expect to eat fresh local fish in August

As much everybody will swear that in his tavern they only serve the local catch of the day, in August all those fish come from Athens and most of them from fish farms. The reason for this is that August is the season for the reproduction of the fish, hence there is a strict fishing ban. I’d like to emphasiζe that this not take away from the nutritional value of the fish and you should nevertheless try the delicious local “gouna” (sundried cod) or “bakaliaros me skordalia” (haddock with garlic sauce)

10. The best season to visit Paros is October

While you might think that in October it will be rainy and cold and most places closed down this couldn’t be further away from the truth. In actual fact, most of us living in Paros are really looking forward to October when the wind calms down, there is a very low chance of rain and the sea is perfectly warm. Best season to have the beach for yourself, mingle with the locals in the taverns and enjoy the clear skies and sunshine without the rush, stress, and noise.

Did you learn something new about Paros? Thank you for reading and commenting below! Don’t hesitate to share this with your friends and drop us a line if you are planning to visit Paros!

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