With its world-famous good looks and some of the best hotels in Greece, Santorini has long reigned supreme as the most visited Greek Island – around two million visitors each year. But with increasing crowds to compete with and sky-high prices on the island, particularly in the height of summer, the friendly and more affordable island of Paros is becoming a trending alternative, or as Tiktok would call it, a ‘destination dupe.’
According to Expedia Group, which recently released their Unpack ’24 travel trends guide, flight searches to Paros in 2023 increased by 193 per cent compared to last year. Other trending destination dupes in the report include Liverpool as an alternative to London and Memphis as an alternative to Nashville.
Located in the Aegean Sea north of Santorini, flights from Athens to Paros are ten minutes shorter than flights to Santorini, with direct flights also available from London. While Paros is without the defining grandeur of Santorini’s caldera, it does possess many of the main elements that have long drawn visitors to the region – cubist villages, long beaches and coves, wandering goats, old monasteries: a mixture of hospitality, informal ease and wildness.
In short, for travellers willing to part with the familiar streets of Santorini or the mecca of the masses, Mykonos, the rewards are sweet, the beaches golden, and the hospitality second to none.
Where to stay in Paros
- Mythic (pictured): Built into the hillside itself, the elevated location offers some of the best views in Paros. All rooms here face the sea, many with their own plunge pools, plus two sprawling infinity pools outside, clad by double sun loungers.
- Cosme: This is the island’s newest address, set in a quiet bay beside the soulful village of Naoussa and designed to mimic the white-washed villages that dot the pear-shaped island.
- Parocks: Just a short walk to the beach, this luxe spa and hotel offers all its guests private pools or jacuzzis, endless views over the Paronaxia strait from every room or suit and a space of solace, clad in earthy tones.
See our guide to the best hotels in Paros for more.
Things to do in Paros
- Go surfing: Sparkling Santa Maria beach is a surfing hotspot, with beach bars and sun loungers for those who prefer their holidays horizontal.
- Visit the villages: Take a trip to one of the island’s medieval villages like Marpissa, Prodromos and Lefkes. Poised on a pine-studded hilltop, Lefkes is a particular favourite, a dazzling white-washed and blue-doored Cycladic cliché, in the best possible sense.
- Island hop to Antiparos: From Pounta it’s only a 10-minute ferry ride to reach Antiparos, a little island that’s a big hit with A-listers and beau-monde sun seekers.