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Paros-The Real Thing

Introduction to Paros Guide

Paros, Greek islands, Greece, Cyclades In a past edition of Lonely Planet's Greece Guide they call Paros a sort of 'poor man's Mykonos', implying that it is an island for people who crave style but can't afford it. I am sure the inhabitants of the island just loved reading that. It seems in the Cyclades there is an attitude of 'why them and not us' concerning Mykonos and all the wealthy people its popularity has created. The rumor is that anyone who owns property on Mykonos is a millionaire. The people of Paros take pride in their island, as do the inhabitants of every island, and many of them feel that they deserve to be the next Mykonos. They deserve to be rich, because in natural beauty Paros is at least as rich as Mykonos, and in culture maybe richer. But Paros is better off as Paros then as "the next Mykonos". In Paros you have the island for every man. Rich and poor, from the most culturally aware to the most hedonistic bimbos and jocks, from hippy to computer nerd and from foreigners to Athenians, they all come to Paros in the summertime. Why? Well for one reason just about every ferry going to Santorini stops here. For another reason, once people get off the ferry here many people do not want to leave. They have found their island. There are plenty of beautiful beaches of all different sizes and shapes. There are all sorts of water activities from kayaking to windsurfing and sailing. There are yoga classes, Zen Meditation, dancing lessons and horseback riding on the beaches and hills. There are hotels of every category, from luxury villas to simple rooms. There are great restaurants and plenty of nightlife including bars that may make you feel like you never left Daytona Beach. And there are plenty of people to interact with. Paros is 'the real thing' as they say. Not that it is the mythological 'real Greece' that sentimentalists like me come looking for but is in deep hibernation during the summer months. Paros, in my opinion is like the old fisherman in the picture, the merging of Greece and the west. Its an island that says to the tourists "You want Greece? We'll give you Greece". Paros is Greece like Cancun is Mexico. Paros is Greece in the present tense. Paros is the Greek island reality. Love it or leave it. From traditional island life to Internet cafes, Paros has it all.

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