Exploring The Magic Of Paros With Greek Hotelier Kalia Konstantinidou

Exploring The Magic Of Paros With Greek Hotelier Kalia Konstantinidou

Greek hotelier Kalia Konstantinidou shares her love of the sunny Cycladic isle, with pointers on where to find the best artisan studios, dance floors and some of the sweetest mangos you’ll taste anywhere

showgirl beauty and Mykonos‘ hedonistic allure might once have got
all the attention in the Cyclades, but their oft-overlooked
neighbouring island, Paros, is charming a new generation of
Hellenic holidayers as the 2023 summer season arrives. The island,
about three hours by fast ferry from Athens’ Piraeus port, is typically Elysian –
bougainvillaea-draped homes, fresh seafood and wide, soft-sand
beaches – but a steady loyalty offered by Greek regulars ensures
its cosmopolitan buzz is as strong as the seductiveness of its
sun-baked shores.

Pool, Acron Villas, Paros, Greece
Kalia Konstantinidou

Acron Villas, left, and Konstantinidou

Kalia Konstantinidou has been visiting since childhood, spending
family holidays and teenage summers exploring both the island’s
picturesque edges and its thrumming nocturnal side. Now the founder
of one of Greece’s coolest hotel brands, the Empiria Group,
Konstantinidou returned last year to open the company’s latest
property, the laid-back Cosme. “To me, Paros is a cosmopolitan
mosaic of local and international elements,” she says.

Below, she shares her recommendations on exploring this
under-the-radar Greek island.

An insider guide to Paros with Kalia Konstantinidou

When is the best time to visit Paros?

Paros is beautiful throughout the year, but if I had to pick,
I’d say May and June are the most magical. The island still has
that early-summer mood.

How would you describe the island?

It’s the quintessential summer vacation destination for Greeks:
think the scent of bougainvillaea flowers as you stroll in Naoussa
alleyways, and the distant horns of the ships in Parikia as they
announce their arrival into port.

Parostia, Cosme, Paros, Greece
Aurora Suite, Parilio, Paros, Greece

A suite at Parilio, left, and Cosme’s Parostia

Where should we stay?

Take your pick! For a laid-back, relaxing vacation, try our
hotel Parilio, an ode to the soul of the Cycladic sea and
light. For connecting with friends and family, Acron Villas
offers authentic Cycladic scenery with easy access to the buzzy
heart of the island. Or, try Cosme. The Astro Suite there is the epitome of

What’s the best breakfast on the island?

I’m biased, but it’s definitely at Mr E restaurant in Parilio. My order is the Aegean omelette, filled with
gruyere cheese from Tinos, Mykonian luza, and Santorini cherry
tomatoes, olives and chives.

Somewhere for a lazy summer lunch?

I always order the Thriamvos lobster at Parostià in Cosme, followed by the must-try

What about dinner?

I’ll always opt for the Paros salatouri with fish, wild greens
and salted lemon when I’m at Mr E. Otherwise, you’ll find me at the
latest outpost of Mario restaurant in Paroikia – they plate up
the best tarama and pasta with fresh shrimps.

Somewhere to drink and dance?

After a tequila-spiked cantaritos at Cosme’s Circe Bar, I’ll be ordering a negroni at Sante Cocktail
. Then, it’s on to Agosta Bar and Kosmos for a dance.

Tell us something we don’t know about the island.

The first two weeks of August is the island’s mango harvest
season. If you’re lucky enough to find one and savour it, you’ll
feel like you’ve discovered a rare island treasure.

Where should we go for a dip?

Laggeri beach.

Parilio, Paros, Greece
Parilio, Paros, Greece


Is there a secret, only-known-to-locals spot you could

The Tsitsanis Taverna in Prodromos village is as
local as it gets. Don’t tell anyone!

Any favourite shops we should check out?

Try Anthologist and Yannis Sergakis. For a sophisticated souvenir,
pick up some handmade ceramic homeware from Todd Marshard’s studio in Lefkes. He’s a former
New York-based fashion photographer who quit everything to live in
Paros and become a ceramicist.

Any local businesses that have impressed you?

is a family-run, sustainable endeavour in Kolymbithres
where you can walk around the premises, learn about the crops and
taste the produce. Everything they sell is harvested, processed and
packaged by hand.

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