How do I best get to Paros?
The most common way to get to Paros is to fly to Athens, Santorini or Myconos & then continue your trip with a ferry. This takes between approx 4 hours with the slowest boat from Athens up to 40 mins with the fastest boat from Myconos. That's the time range you need to calculate. It is very important to know when you need to land in order to catch a ferry to Paros on the same day, otherwise you need to stay somewhere overnight.
Here's a rough guideline:
For traveling from Athens, you need to land in Athens up to 14.00 hrs to catch the usually last ferry per day to Paros around 17.00 hrs. Calculate around 1 1/2 hrs for the bus trip from the airport to the port of Piraeus. (It's the bus "X96" that goes every 20 mins from the airport and costs around 5 Euros per ticket - no need for the taxi-hassle!) Sometimes there are also boats from Rafina, too, but you'd need to check the boat schedule for that first.
For Santorini, it's best if you land by 11.00 hrs, then you'll be sure to get a ferry or speedboat the same day; sometimes there is also a ferry around 18.00 hrs from Santorini, but not every day.
Myconos is a bit tricky, as there are daily boats but unless it is high season only very early in the morning (around 10.00 hrs), so usually there is no way around staying overnight on Myconos. There is no ground rule here either, so you'd have to check the ferry schedule there, too.
You can also fly from Athens to Paros with one of the small Aegean planes (=up to 38 passengers), which fly approx. 3x a day.
However, for this you have to apply to the travel agency where you book your flight or get directly to el.aegeanair.com, and be aware that it is not easy to get seats. The flight takes approx. 35 minutes. Otherwise of course, if you are island hopping, you can get to Paros from almost all other islands, even places like Crete or Samos, and if there is not a direct boat, you get a connection from another island.
Should I book the ferry in advance?
That depends on several factors but usually we recommend not to, unless you want to be sure to get one certain ferry during high season or around holidays like Easter when there is a rush on everything.
Otherwise, it depends on the weather, which is an important point to consider during the low season when the weather can still be pretty unreliable; it's also important to know that the schedules are often subject to last-minute changes or cancellations, which can leave you stranded with a ticket that is difficult to change or waiting for "your" boat that is a day or so late when you could have taken any other boat before that.
So generally we think it is sensible to wait for weather forecasts during the low season months and that it is usually the best idea to check the Internet before your trip.
See here : Go Ferry
To get a rough idea of the schedule and then book your ticket when you arrive in Piraeus or Rafina.
Please check our page "Traveling with ferries" for more details and how to find boat schedules!
Tips for season 2014
Paros Island has a lot to offer to its visitors. Whether you prefer a quiet, peaceful holiday enjoying the beautiful nature & traditional Greek atmosphere or you would just like to party, you'll definitely find what you are looking for.