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   I was the accidental tourist when I first discovered Paros. The high-speed boat to Mykonos was not functional and by no means did I want to spend a night in Piraeus. The way I looked at it, Paros was a two-hour boat ride, closer to where I wanted to go. It was also an island that I had originally wanted to go to but dropped from my itinerary because I was going to too many islands in too little time. So knowing very little about the island here's what I discovered once I got there.

  Paros town is the major transit hub for the Cyclades with connections to every island with hoards of backpackers crowding the harbor area. I was quite impressed by the efficiency of the harbor area with boats constantly entering and exiting of cueing backpackers to the proper boat. There was no confusion (except when there were 2 different boats, 5 minutes apart to the same island) Unfortunately, most of the people who go to Paros, never leave the harbor because they have a quick transition. Originally, I was only going to spend one night but changed it to 2 nights and three days because I fell in love with it. In 2003 I had to return to the United States unexpectedly. The boat I was taking back stopped in Paros, at sunset. It took all my will power not to get off the of that boat. There is something about Paros that just draws me in!

  Paros was known through out antiquity for its white marble and wines. Paros was a trade port from antiquity. With the marble apparently being used for Salomon's temple in Jerusalem. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it became property of the Venetians and under the Duchy of Naxos until 1537. Little was visible of this occupation, except the remains of a castle, built out of the ruins of a temple of Athena. It then was taken by the Turks, who let if fall to pirates.

  Paros had a little of everything you would want of a Greek island. It has the typical Cyclades style of labyrinths of white washed houses with the traditional churches. IT has great, small, beaches that have not been destroyed by tourist operators. Monasteries, and easy transportation connections.

  One of my guidebooks says that it is becoming a little Mykonos, however prices were reasonable and there were not hordes of tourists. I was told it was a slow period though. I had a great balcony where I watched a spectacular sunset all to myself. Prices seemed reasonable. In the main season (I was there in June) it may get more crowded but I would defiantly go back to this island. Comments to

Updated 11/21/01