Parikia is the capital of Paros Greece and has about 3,000 inhabitants. Parikia was built on the same site where the ancient city and capital used to stand. This little town is the commercial and cultural centre of Paros as well as the main harbour of the island, serving many other islands. For the numerous connections Paros offers, thousands of visitors visit Parikia during summer just to catch a connection for another island.
Parikia is built amphitheatrically around the port and has a typical Cycladic architecture, with whitewashed cubic and flat roofed houses with spare architectural lines and coloured wooden doors, windows and balconies. On the entrance of the port, a superb whitewashed windmill welcomes the visitors and constitutes the trademark of Paros. The bus station and taxi station are located nearby.
Numerous restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars and night clubs are lining the one side of the coast road (which is closed for the cars during the evening) while the town’s beach is boarding the second part of the road.
A few minutes walking from the port will take you to the heart of the traditional Cycladic settlement of Parikia, which is clustered around the hill of Kastro (Castle). This quarter is typically Cycladic, full of whitewashed two-storey houses with coloured windows, doors and balconies and old mansions, separated by narrow whitewashed streets forming a labyrinth.
The castle, called Kastro, was built during the 13th century on the highest point of the town. Material and columns from an ancient temple, that used to stand on the same place, were used for the construction of Kastro. Nowadays, only part of the wall and a tower remain from the Venetian castle.
Many churches surround the area of Kastro such as the Panagia Septemvriani (The Virgin of September), the Church of Agia Eleni (Saint Helen) and the most important and oldest of all, the beautiful Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Our Lady of the Hundred Gates), which is considered as one of the most important Byzantine monuments still standing in Greece; this church also houses a fine museum.
Another interesting museum is the Archaeological Museum of Paros, located behind the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani and exhibits a collection of various findings dating from the Neolithic and Roman periods. Other very interesting sites to visit nearby Parikia are the ruins of Asclepieion, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Temple of Eileithyia (Truth), the Temple of Zeus Ypatos and more.