Paros is a beautiful island in the Cyclades, known for its golden beaches, whitewashed villages, and rich history. But beyond the popular spots like Parikia, Naoussa, and Antiparos, there are many hidden gems waiting to be explored. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey to discover three charming villages near the east coast of Paros: Ambelas, Lefkes, and Marpissa. These villages offer a glimpse into the authentic and traditional side of Paros, where you can enjoy the local culture, cuisine, and nature.
Ambelas is a small fishing village located about 5 km from Naoussa. It has a picturesque harbor with colorful boats and a few taverns serving fresh seafood. The village is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, and has several sandy beaches nearby. You can relax on the beach, swim in the clear water, or try some water sports like windsurfing or kitesurfing.
One of the best ways to explore Ambelas and its coastline is by walking along the dirt roads and footpaths that connect it with other villages and beaches. You can start from the port of Ambelas and walk to Marmara, Tsoukalia, Molos, and Kalogeros beaches, enjoying the views of the sea and the hills along the way. You can also hike up to the Kefalos hill, where you can see the ruins of a Venetian castle and a Byzantine monastery. From there, you can continue to Piso Livadi or Marpissa, two other lovely villages that we will talk about later.
Lefkes is a beautiful mountain village located in the center of Paros, about 11 km from Parikia. It was the first capital of Paros and it still retains its medieval charm and character. Lefkes is built amphitheatrically on a hill covered with pine trees and has stunning views of the island and the sea. The village is famous for its traditional architecture, with whitewashed houses, marble-paved alleys, stone arches, and flower-filled balconies.
Lefkes has many attractions to offer to its visitors, such as the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist), which is decorated with post-Byzantine icons and paintings; the Folklore Museum of Cycladic Civilization, which displays exhibits related to the history and culture of Paros; the House of Literature, which hosts literary events and workshops; and the Ramnos street, which is lined with cafes, taverns, and shops. You can also visit the monument of Athanasios Parios, a famous writer and teacher who was born in Lefkes.
If you love hiking, you can follow one of the many trails that start from Lefkes and lead you to other villages or monasteries. For example, you can walk to the monastery of Agios Theodoros or Agios Georgios on the opposite hill; or you can take the Byzantine path that connects Lefkes with Prodromos, another picturesque village that is worth a visit.
Marpissa is a traditional village located about 16 km from Parikia, near Piso Livadi. It dates back to the 16th century and it has a rich history and culture. Marpissa is built on a hill overlooking the sea and Naxos island. It has narrow stone alleys with white joints that create a labyrinthine atmosphere. You will see many old churches, windmills, dovecotes, and houses with folk art elements.
Marpissa is known for its festivals and events that celebrate its heritage and creativity. One of them is the Routes in Marpissa festival that takes place every August and involves music, dance, theater, art, and workshops. Another one is the Easter festival that features a procession of the Epitaph and a representation of the Passion of Christ. You can also visit the Museum of the Aegean Folk Culture, which showcases the traditional life and crafts of the island.
From Marpissa, you can easily access some of the best beaches of Paros, such as Piso Livadi, Logaras, Punda, and Golden Beach. You can also hike to the Agios Antonios monastery, which is perched on a hill above the village and offers panoramic views. Or you can explore the ancient quarries of Marathi, where the famous Parian marble was extracted and used for sculptures and buildings.
Paros is an island that has something for everyone, whether you are looking for sun, sea, history, or culture. But if you want to discover its hidden treasures and experience its authentic charm, you should visit the surrounding villages of Ambelas, Lefkes, and Marpissa. These villages will enchant you with their beauty, tradition, and hospitality. They will also give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the best activities and attractions that Paros has to offer.
So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Paros today and get ready to explore these amazing villages!