Paros: Ancient Sites outside of Parikia


Personally, my favorite ancient site on the entire island is the marble quarry and its vicinity.  It has a view, a modern history perspective, an adventure and a sense of well-being that comes, I think, from the large amounts of crystal still in the mountain. 

While the history of Paros may stem from its position as a travel hub its archaic wealth comes from its pure transparent marble.  Many of the statues studied by art students are made from it, including the Venus de Milo which was carved on the neighbor island of Milos.

group descending into ancient quarry
Descending into antiquity

To go beyond the entrances of the quarry galleries you need good shoes, a strong flashlight (torch) and little or no claustrophobia.  It is possible to enter one gallery cross over and exit another.  On the southernmost gallery wall is a carved relief dating from the Hellenistic period, that and hand chisel marks are all that remain of the ancient operation as there has been modern mineral mining as well.  Its ruins are more visible around the hillside.

2022 Update: The non-profit organisation “Paros Ancient Marble Quarries Park” and local associations organise guided visits.

Kolimbithres and others

Next we travel to the top of yet another hill.  Just a short walk and then a steep climb from the popular beach at Kolimbithres is a 12th century B.C. Acropolis.  Evidence has been found that the site itself dates back to the 14th century.  The foundations and walls are quite extensive and it is impossible to tell what is original and what has been rebuilt as the site has seen people coming and going for at least seventeen centuries.  Yet the corridors, rooms and obviously ancient drainage show it as a major settlement.  Much has been found here and the better pieces are on display at the Paros Archeological Museum.

On the far side of Naoussa along Langeri Bay are the remains of a circular wall that is thought to be a later defensive work of the same people.

As you circumnavigate the island there are a few additional stops of interest.  Behind the Church of Pera Panagia in Marmara is an ancient tub.  Let me know, please if you know or learn anything about it. 

Drios rocks; carved by nature or man
Carved by nature or man

At the southeast corner of the island in the resort town of Drios you will find the island’s greatest controversy.  Dubbed ancient boat trenches, the straight, rectangular grooves appear too even to be a natural phenomenon.  Yet they are at the wrong sea level to have been useful in ancient times when the land was higher (or the water lower).  Stop by one of the nearby tavernas for lunch and ponder this ancient mystery.

Drios beach in July
One of our favourite places for lunch

Finally, for the adventuresome you can hire a boat and or scuba gear and search for the Tower of Pirgaki located somewhere off this southeast corner of Paros.  The accounts vary about just which peninsula it is near.  Plus it can only be seen when the water is calm, generally the spring and fall.

Despotiko – Tsimintiri

These tiny islands with active digs and re-construction now have their own page: Despotiko    It includes our photo journal of a recent visit.

Thus ends our history of Paros and tour of its ancient sites. 

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