Successively occupied by Cretans, Minoans, Ionians, Arcadians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantians and others, who've all made their mark on this large, hilly and fertile island, Paros has been tagged as primarily a ferry hub in recent times. Yet Paros' bustling capital with its ancient remains, the resort town of Naoussa and sweet rural villages are all the more charming for their relative lack of crowds, and there's plenty to do, with good walks, plus excellent windsurfing, kite-surfing and diving.

Geologically speaking, Paros has long been a Greek star; white marble drawn from the island’s interior made the island prosperous from the Early Cycladic period onwards. Most famously, the Venus de Milo was carved from Parian marble, as was Napoleon’s tomb.

The smaller and more laidback island of Antiparos, 1km southwest of Paros, is easily reached by car ferry or excursion boat.