Paros is the third largest of the Cyclades islands, with a long history and many conquerors. The island, crowded and touristically exploited since the 1960s, can also offer the ability for calmer holidays, as well as beautiful beaches. The characteristic white colour at all the island's villages, due to the local marble used at the majority of the buildings, distinguishes the architecture and the general aesthetics of the island.
The Venetians occupied and ruled Paros during the 13-16th centuries, and the Ottomans until 1821, with both conquerors having left their fingerprint on the island, mostly at its architecture. Although, the really impressive fact is the contradictory yet harmonic coexistence of the intense touristic activity with the maintenance if the traditional habits by the locals: noisy night clubs pop up among the traditional cycladic-designed buildings and large hotel resorts placed on or close to solitary beaches. Tourism is the main financial source of the local economy, though the viticulture and olive groves are still supporting it, along with some fishermen who still exercise their craft, making Paros a self-sustainable island, at least on these local products.
Long and crowded or picturesque sandy beaches offer a unique holiday vacations opportunity, while the frequent Aegean summer winds (meltemia) create the perfect conditions for the windsurfing fanatics.
The renowned Paros marble, unique for its quality and clarity, had been mined for many years from the ancient quarries near Marathi and has been the raw material not only for the most examples of ancient Greek art, such as the Venus of Milos, Apollo's temple in Dilos, Zeus' temple in Olympia, the Hermes of Praxiteles, but also for the local construction works, giving Paros its unique beauty and picturesqueness.