Paros Island is located in the central Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean) and is one of Cyclades Islands. Paros is to the west of Naxos Island, from which is separated by a sea channel with width approx 5 mi (8 km). Paros is approx 100 mi (160 km) southeast of Piraeus-Athens, and has population around 14,000.
The island was previously named Pactia (Plateia), Cabarnis, Demetrias, Hyleessa, Hyria, Minoa, Strongyli. Greece's Paros municipality includes numerous uninhabited islands with total area approx 196 km2 (76 mi2). The nearest to Paros island is Antiparos (to the southwest). At its narrowest, the channel between both isles has width less than 2 km (1 mi). A passenger and car ferryboat operates all day scheduled shuttle crossings to and from Pounda, approx 5 km (3 mi) south of Parikia (Paros Island's capital).
Parikia is on a bay on the island's northwestern coast. The harbour is an important ferry port serving numerous passenger ferries deployed in the Aegean Islands (fast ferries / catamarans and cruiseferries) with several daily crossings for Piraeus-Athens, Heraklion (Crete) and other islands - like Ios, Mykonos, NaxosSantorini. On September 26, 2000, the ship MS Express Samina run aground (collided with a rock off Parikia Bay) killing 82 of the people onboard.
Paros was famous for its fine white marble, that gave rise to the term "Parian" describing marble / china of similar qualities. Nowadays, abandoned marble mines can be found on the isle. The island today is popular for its numerous beaches, the most visited of which are Chrissí Aktí (Golden Beach), Agia Irini, Logaras, Naousa Bay, Parikia, Piso Livadi, Pounda. The constant strong winds in the strait between Naxos and Paros make this destination very popular for windsurfing.
Paros Island cruise terminal
Most cruise liners and ferries to Paros Island dock at Paros - port town on the central-western coast. Alternatively, some ships may dock at Naousa / Naoussa - harbor port town in a bay on the northern coast.
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