I am bringing this thread to life again as I will be visiting Paros this summer. I have been there once before and enjoyed its many golden sandy-brown beaches very much!
The central island of Paros, lying some 8 km west of Naxos, is occupied by a range of hills of gently rounded contours, rising to 764 m in Mount Profitis Ilias (rewarding climb, with guide; magnificent panoramic views). Three bays cut deep inland - in the west the sheltered Paroikia Bay, with the island's capital that serves as the main sailing port and as a yacht charter base; in the north the bay which shelters the little town of Naoussa, which in Roman times was the island's main port for the shipment of Lychnites marble; and in the east the flat Marmara bay. The whole island is covered with a layer of coarse-grained crystalline limestone, in which lie rich beds of pure marble.
The island's considerable prosperity has depended since ancient times on agriculture, favoured by fertile soil and an abundance of water, and on the working on marble, which is still quarried on a small scale. In recent years the rapid development of the tourist trade has brought changes in the landscape, the island's economy and its social structure.
Excavations have yielded evidence of settlement in the Late Neolithic period (5th-4th millennium BCE). The island, which has preserved its ancient name, was already well populated in the age of the Cycladic culture (3rd millennium BCE). In the 1st millennium BCE the Ionian Greeks settled on Paros and made it a considerable sea-power, minting its own coins; in the 7th c. BCE Paros founded colonies on Thasos and in Thrace. In the 6th and 5th c. BCE Paros was celebrated for its school of sculptures. It was a member of the first Attic maritime league, and its unusually large contributions to the league (30 talents in 425 BCD) are evidence of the island's wealth in the 5th c. BCE.
In Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times Paros was not of great importance. In the 9th c. it was depopulated as a result of raids by Arab pirates, plundering and burning. From 1207 to 1399 it belonged to the Duchy of Naxos, and thereafter was ruled by various dynasties until its capture by the Turks in 1537. It was reunited with Greece in the 19th c. after the foundation of the new Greek kingdom.
One of the loveliest villages of Paros, Lefkes is situated in the central part of Paros, 11 kilometres south-east of Parikia.
Lefkes has 500 inhabitants and is built at an altitude of 300 metres above the sea level, on a verdant hill covered with olive trees and pine trees and offers a breathtaking view of Naxos Island.
This beautiful village used to be Paros’ capital during the Middle-Ages and is full of little traditional whitewashed houses, mixed with Venetian architecture, wonderful churches dating from the 15th century, whitewashed windmills and beautiful dovecotes.
The charm and the beauty of Lefkes are still untouched by mass tourism, which help it maintain its authenticity.
The Church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) is the village’s main church; it is a beautiful Byzantine church made of fine white marble, glimmering under the sun; rare and valuable Byzantine icons are housed in this church and are very worth-seeing.
In Lefkes are also a Folk Art Museum which exhibits various local tools and clothing and a Museum of Aegean Folk.
From this marvelous village, the “Byzantine Road”, a paved footpath dating from the Byzantine period, leads to the village of Prodromos and finishes down to the sea.
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