Cape Korakas Lighthouse
Cape Korakas, Paros
Spending early mornings or late evenings on long, meandering hikes around Paros is one of the most memorable parts of a visit. Cape Korakas lighthouse, built in 1887, is at the end of one of these trails and acts as a visual reward for your cardiovascular labors. The trail leading up to it is framed by spectacular rock formations, as well as steep slopes leading down to hidden beaches and coves. Image courtesy of paroshikes.com.
Marble Quarries of Marathi
Epar.Od. Parikias-Marpissas, Paros
For some reason, you’ll rarely hear the Marathi quarries mentioned, despite the fact that the marble used to sculpt the Venus di Milo came from this very site, and it’s known as possibly the most ancient marble mines in the world. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight to properly explore the mine shafts. It’s isn’t really set up as a tourist destination; in fact, there is no signage or explanatory material. But given its history and significance as the primary source of material in building the Parthenon and many other Greek landmarks, it’s certainly worth a look.
Malvasia is the grape varietal grown on Paros for hundreds of years and makes for a crisp, dry white; no matter where you dine on the island, you'll find it on the menu. This family-run winery is the main grower of Malvasia and has about sixty acres of vineyard across the island. It's an entirely organic production, and on those too-hot-for-the-beach days, an afternoon in Moraitis’s cool, all-stone tasting room feels like an oasis.
The original structure of this church was reportedly founded by Roman emperor Constantine the Great’s mother, Helena, while en route to the Holy Land, and it dates back to 326. But the church was rebuilt during the Justinian period, in the 500s, and to this day it's full of Byzantine frescoes and icons clad in silver and gold. Its columns are made of Parian marble, which comes from the same quarry as the marble used to build the Pantheon in Rome.