Footpaths around the peninsula of the Environmental & Cultural Park of Paros, in the bay of Naoussa
There are 3 main signalled routes at Paros Park. More information is available in Paros Park website:
Alternatively, you can choose to do the round of the penninsula, following all routes:
• Duration: A medium length walk of around 2 hours at an easy pace, including breaks.
• The walk is all along carefully marked trails or pathways. There are several recommended stops in areas of outstanding natural beauty, most notably at the lighthouse.
• Once you arrive in The Park, everything is clearly signposted. Even if you go “off piste”, it’s impossible to get lost.
• During summer months, a water taxi operates from the port of Naoussa to The Park.
View Footpaths of Paros Park in Google Maps
Starting at the bar area on the beach, Katholiko, – or Monastiri, as it is commonly known, where there is ample parking space, even in the summer months, a dirt track, to the left of the bar heads straight up a gentle incline, until it meets one of the signposted pathways ( No 4 ), all of which are well marked out by white stones on either side. From here we turned left along route 4 , figuring that as the somewhat confusing signs pointing in opposite directions both gave a walking time of around 20 minutes to the lighthouse, we may as well take the (even more) scenic route along, as much as possible, the rocky coastline of this beautiful penninsula.
From here there are spectacular views in every direction. To your right, the lighthouse, perched atop a North Western cliff top; to the left, the rocky coastline of Western Paros and the boatyard on the other side of the narrow strip of land connecting the isthmus of The Park to the rest of Paros. Ahead there is deep blue sea with several islands visible in the distance, whilst a panoramic view of the calm turquoise waters of Monastiri Bay lies behind.
We turned left, where route 4 meets route 1 and headed straight for the coast, before turning left again along a little sub-path of route 1 The path here snakes between various rocky outcrops, before arriving at Alonaki, a perfect spot to take a short break and drink in the breathtaking views.
From Alonaki, turn right, along the main route 1, all the while hugging the rugged cliff edge of this utterly unspoilt landscape, before again turning right for a short detour, along route 6 (don’t worry everything is clearly signposted), which takes you to the intriguing ‘Rock Park’, and then re-joining route 1 and continuing on to the lighthouse.
At this point we met an old lady collecting wild greens (or 'horta'), which she proudly showed us before pronouncing them to be the best on the island. Aside from wild greens, at this time of year (November), the whole area was covered with wild crocuses showily displaying their bright red stamens, (saffron).
From here it was a short walk of around 300m, over uneven terrain – so be careful where you put your feet- up to Korakos lighthouse which dates from 1887, and stands at an altitude of 10 metres. Originally oil powered, it now runs on electricity provided by the cable that was freely swinging in the Autumnal winds.
The views from all around the lighthouse are spectacular, with Naoussa’s church and surrounding old town, perfectly framed between a dip in the opposite hills. Behind Naoussa, the neighboring island of Naxos rises majestically in the distance.
Following routes 1,2 and 5, we headed west towards Naoussa dipping down into a small valley, again in Autumn, carpeted with pink and white crocus flowers. Halfway up the opposite hillside route 5 branches with a turning to the left. This is route 7 and leads to the top of the hillside facing out towards Mykonos.
The view is great, but it’s not the easiest of climbs and you have to re-trace your steps back down to route 5 which soon after crossing the peak of the hillside starts to snake down towards the beachside pathway of route 3. (Here it’s often easier to ignore the marked out path and just head straight down the gentle slope of the hillside.)
On arriving at the coastal path, turn right to head back to the main (Katholikou) beach, or left towards to Tourkou Ammos beach, along a natural pathway cut through the wind-sculpted rock formations that make this area so unique.
In summer, Tourkou Ammos, often has many luxury yachts moored across from its golden coarse grained sands. Out of season, it will no doubt be all yours to explore.
From the beach, walk across the headland and then turn right following the coastline which consists of many small pebbley coves, including one composed almost entirely of small white stones which give the surrounding sea, a deep emerald sheen. There’s also a sign here pointing to what was in the late 1700’s a Russian Naval base during the Turko-RussianWars of 1687-1689. But there is nothing there now. 300m or so later you will arrive back at Tourko Ammo beach, no longer wondering at its slightly strange name.
From here, retrace your steps along the coastline on route 3, and around 15minutes later, after passing some beautiful red and orange hued sandstone mini-cliffs, you will arrive back at your starting point on Katholikou, or Monastiri beach.
Time, in season, for some well deserved refreshments at The Park’s canteen.
Every summer, Paros Park holds a Music & Arts Festival – definitely worth attending!