The best island in Europe for 2018
A new, great distinction for Greece is the “Best Island in the World for 2018” award. Paros was the island which won the World’s Best Awards of Travel & Leisure World, based on the views of travelers from all over the world.
Travel + Leisure (T + L) is a travel magazine based in New York and is known as one of the most important travel brands in the world. Every year, T + L is conducting a survey of the world’s finest prizes, asking millions of readers to “study” their travel experiences around the world and share their views on cities, islands, cruise ships, hot springs, airlines etc.
In the category of “Top 10 islands in Europe”, readers rated the islands according to their activities and attractions, their natural landscapes and beaches, their food, their friendliness and their total value, and six of the 10 best islands in Europe are Greek.
Paros has taken the first place thanks to some of the most gorgeous beaches of the Aegean Sea and its charming Cycladic villages. Naoussa has one of the most beautiful harbors in Greece, while Kolimbithres, a beach on the northern coast, is famous for its unique granites. In fact, a reader said, “Paros is a hidden jewel.”
The island of winds, with the world-famous beaches, kitesurf and windsurf, with the Cycladic icons, the hidden alleys in Parikia, with the most important early Christian church of the Aegean, Panagia Ekatontapyliani, the Venetian castle in the harbor, the Byzantine street of Leukes, and even with the exotic cocktails, the music, the cheerfulness and the strong rhythm, it has captured the impressions and the hearts of the tourists who enjoyed its beauty and the activities they fancied on their holidays.
The great traveling magazine wrote about Paros:
Páros is located in the heart of the Cyclades, a few hours away from Athens by ferry. The island is alternately described as Greece’s best-kept secret and its biggest up-and-comer — and it’s always raved about. While there are several reasons to book a trip to Páros, the island is most renowned for its natural beaches, cosmopolitan nightlife, and ancient monuments, such as the sanctuary of Delian Apollo and Artemis.
Travelers can start their Páros trip in Naousa, a traditional fishing village that’s considered to have one of the most beautiful ports in Greece. The town’s whitewashed alleyways are some of the most picturesque places to enjoy a glass of ouzo.
Windsurfers should make a point to stop by Golden Beach (or Chryssí Aktí), the frequent home of the windsurfing World Cup. Kolymbithres, on the island’s northern coast, is famous for its unique granite formations. The rock has been eroded by water to form smooth, swooping shapes punctuated by sandy coves and small caves.
Those looking to party on the sands should visit Ambelas, popular among locals for its gatherings, or Santa Maria, where the beach bar serves mojitos to go with sunset views.
Travelers who would rather explore the island’s history can hike along the Byzantine Road. The ancient marble footpath connects the island’s villages of Lefkes and Prodromos, providing a time-tested way for visitors to cover ground. Visit the capital of Parikia to tour the ancient cemetery, the 13th-century Venetian castle, or the Archaeological Museum, with artifacts dating back to the Neolithic period.