Expedia Australia has recently revealed its list of top winter island destinations for Australian travellers in 2023, and the charming Greek island of Paros has earned a spot among these coveted options. Expedia, a respected travel service provider, carefully compiled this ranking by examining the travel preferences of Australian tourists and evaluating the quality of accommodations in various global locations.
In the Expedia Island Index, Paros holds the eighth position, with Fiji taking the top spot, closely followed by Okinawa in Japan and Lombok in Indonesia. Hawaii's Kauai and Malaysia's Langkawi complete the prestigious top five rankings.
Daniel Finch, Managing Director of Expedia Brands, noted, "The prominence of Fiji as the top destination on the Expedia Island Index is not surprising, given its growing popularity among Australian travellers. However, for those seeking alternative inspiration, there are equally enticing destinations to explore."
Paros' inclusion in this esteemed list reflects the renewed interest in island travel experiences globally. Recent data reveals a significant surge in searches for accommodations on these featured islands, averaging an impressive 315 percent increase over the past year. This trend reaffirms the enduring appeal of islands as preferred vacation destinations.
Expedia Australia's research also sheds light on the strong preference among Australians for leisurely holidays with minimal planned activities, with approximately 83 percent of Australian travellers expressing a desire for a relaxed vacation experience. Furthermore, 74 percent of Australian travellers are considering international destinations for their getaways.
"Whether motivated by budget considerations or a growing desire to unwind and rejuvenate, Australians are embracing overseas getaways that prioritise relaxation above all else," added Finch.
Paros' inclusion on Expedia's list of top winter island destinations for Australian travellers, shows that the island holds a unique appeal during the winter season, making it an enticing year-round destination. Below, we explore the charms of Paros in winter and provide a glimpse of the enjoyable activities available during this season.
Paros in the Winter
Nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea, the enchanting island of Paros beckons with its timeless charm and captivating allure. Renowned for its pristine beaches, traditional Cycladic architecture, and rich history, Paros stands as a gem among the Greek islands.
Winter in Paros, from December to February, brings milder yet often rainy weather. Days average between 9 to 11 hours of daylight with limited sunshine of around 4 to five hours per day. Nights are cooler, ranging from 4-11°C (39-52°F), making it a less popular time for swimming.
Whether you seek tranquil moments along its sun-kissed shores, a journey through ancient mythology and culture, or the vibrant ambiance of its charming villages, Paros offers a multifaceted and unforgettable island experience not just in summer, but all year round.
Exploration of Quaint Villages
Take leisurely strolls through the island's picturesque villages like Parikia, Naoussa, Lefkes, and Marpissa. Absent of the summer hustle and bustle, you can fully appreciate the traditional Cycladic architecture, charming narrow streets, and vibrant bougainvillea-adorned houses. Don't forget to visit local cafes and boutique shops that remain open, offering a glimpse into the island's authentic daily life.
Dive into Paros' rich history and culture by visiting its museums and historical sites. The Archaeological Museum of Paros, located in Parikia, houses fascinating artefacts dating back to ancient times. Explore the iconic Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church, often called the Church of a Hundred Doors, and uncover its centuries-old legends and architecture.
Delight your taste buds by savouring the island's cuisine in cosy tavernas and traditional restaurants. With fewer visitors, you can indulge in leisurely meals featuring freshly caught seafood, delectable meze, and authentic Greek dishes. Don't miss out on trying local specialties like "marathopita" (fennel pie), myzithropitakia (sweet cheese and honey pies) and "revithada" (chickpea stew).
For the adventurous souls, Paros remains a windsurfing and kitesurfing haven even in winter. The island's strong and consistent winds make it an ideal destination for these water sports. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, local schools and rental shops are open, ready to provide equipment and lessons.
Nature Walks and Hikes
Paros' natural beauty takes on a tranquil allure during the winter months. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the island's scenic trails. A hike to the summit of Mount Profitis Ilias offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paros and neighbouring islands. You can also embark on nature walks along the coastline, taking in the serenity of deserted beaches and rugged cliffs.
If you visit Paros during the holiday season, you'll have the opportunity to participate in local celebrations. The Carnival season, for instance, brings a unique cultural touch to your winter stay. Join in the festivities, parades, and traditional events organised by the locals. It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the island's community spirit.
Relaxation and Rejuvenation
Lastly, use this peaceful season as a chance to relax and rejuvenate. Consider booking a spa day or wellness retreat at one of Paros' wellness centres. Pamper yourself with massages, yoga sessions, and holistic treatments while surrounded by the island's tranquility.
Paros in winter offers a wealth of experiences for travellers who prefer a quieter, more culturally immersive escape. Whether you're drawn to its rich history, natural beauty, culinary delights, or water sports, you'll find the island's winter charm both captivating and rejuvenating.
Read also The Allure of Greek Autumn