Cycladic basics #4
How does August in Paros feel
If you are looking for a post that emphasizes on the all-year-round beauty of Paros, on the unforgettable Parian summer, and so on and so forth, without any time-specific details, you should better look elsewhere.
Not that all of the above are false, of course: you should always take for granted the summer magic that is Paros, whether you are one that loves its calmness in June, or you belong to the lucky bunch that enjoy their vacations in September, when most people have only their memories of the Parian summer to get by.
Yet there is something about August, when one lives it in Paros, which truly justifies the existence of an article dedicated to this month. Something that makes the visitor admit that, truly, they have experienced all things necessary during this month, in order to be able to say that they have appreciated the island’s character in its wholeness.
Actually, this “something” consists of a many different aspects, all of which one can see, do, experience, enjoy, in the beloved island of the Cyclades in August:
The Feast of the Virgin Mary: In Paros, the landmark of the Greek summer is identified with the Ekatontapiliani, the famous church of Parikia. Thousands gather every year on the 15th of August for this big festival, which includes a pilgrimage and a Holy Service, a procession of the Epitaph of the Virgin Mary along the coastal road of the traditional Parikia village, as well as big celebrations. Every boat in the harbor is illuminated and the sky is lit up by the fireworks.
The (rest of the) festivals: There is no such thing as summer without any festivals in any of the Greek islands, and Paros has to offer feasts destined to stick in your memory. In Marpissa, on August the 6th, takes place the feast of Metamorphosis of Sotiros (Transfiguration), while in Aliki, on the same day, the “Festival of the Fish” is celebrated. On the first Saturday after the 15th of August, the Festival of Karavolas is held in Lefkes. This is a folk festival in honour of karavolas snails, which are a culinary favorite in the local cuisine.
The pirates: No, there aren’t any pirates in Paros! But there is the memory of an arduous era, when the island was a pirate outpost and was invaded and ravaged by the infamous pirate Barbarossa, in 1537. The “Koursariki Pirate Night” takes place on the 23rd of August, in Naoussa, as a reenactment of the invasion. The pirates attack from the sea with flares; they kidnap the women and raid the streets of Naoussa. Of course, the event is completed with traditional treats, music, dancing and fireworks.
The meltemi winds: These well-known Aegean winds pay their visit to every island of the Aegean; however, the meltemi of Paros – at their wildest in August – has made the island a top destination for the lovers of water sports. You will enjoy windsurfing in Santa Maria, Chrissi Akti and Pounta Beach, kite surfing in the Paros – Antiparos strait (this is where the world championship is held!), or sailing.
Dining with a view: The moons and sunsets of August pair perfectly with the exquisite flavors offered at the Deck, which are inspired by the stripped-down, oceanic wisdom of the Mediterranean cuisine. This is the proper way to enjoy a vacations’ seafood and cocktails; with a breathtaking backdrop and totally relaxed.
The people: One may hear the locals commenting on how Paros “sinks” with visitors every August, however, it’s all these visitors that bring the whole island into a powerful vacation mood. What makes Paros so special is that whoever chooses to visit arrives with a cosmopolitan spirit and a drive to have fun, yet not to get totally wasted. That’s the reason why, even in August, one can have it all: relaxation and calmness, fun, nightlife and a change of scenery.