The small eastern beach at Aspros Gremos.
The southern beach at Tsoukalia, with Antikefalos hill in the background.
Filitzi island and the small peninsula opposite to it.
The beach and the port of Ambelas.
Explore northeastern Paros on a bike
Text | Photos | Mapping: Alexis Petidis
If you love cycling, the change of pace and the freedom it brings, Paros and Antiparos offer several bike options. Below we propose one of the best. It’s a relatively easy route across some of the most photogenic landscapes of the northeastern coast of Paros that stretches along quiet asphalt roads and dirt tracks winding through quaint villages and peaceful beaches, ideal for a refreshing dip in the sea.
The route starts out from Naoussa, where you can rent a bike, if you don’t own one, and ends in Prodromos, a quaint, scenic village (a typical example of an old walled settlement) that is not to be missed. Τhe last stretch of the ride is tailor-made to suit every skill level, so it’s up to you to decide which route to take: from Prodromos you can head for Marpissa, Pisso Livadi and other villages and beaches on the South East coast, ride up to Lefkes (a rather tough, uphill section), or go back to Naoussa by the main Marpissa-Naoussa road (a fast and effortless ride, though, be aware, traffic can be heavy in July and August). During off-peak days and hours, a passing bus will probably give both you and your bike a lift to the starting point.
Due to the dirt tracks and the distance, the route is fit for mountain bikes, and calls for fitness, proper hydration and whatever else is needed to safely enjoy the ride.
The starting point in Naoussa is the intersection (point 1 on the map) leading to Agii Anargyri beach and then to Santa Maria. (There is another road to Santa Maria, starting just off the southeast edge of Naoussa and bypassing the village, which meets the route after about 1 km.) Stay on the road to Santa Maria for about 3 km. A few dozen meters past “Siparos” restaurant on your right, turn right onto a narrow 1-odd-km long dirt track (point 2) leading to Filitzi beach – or rather, a chain of tranquil beaches (point 3). Make a right onto the coastal dirt road running parallel to the beach – riding extra cautiously along the sandy section, go past the housing complex off to your left in the distance, and turn left onto a wide dirt track (point 4). About 300 m further on, consider taking a look – swimming included – around the narrow strip of land opposite the islet of Filitzi.
At 6,4 km from the starting point, the wide dirt track heading south turns into an asphalt road (point 5), running beside the two adjacent sandy beaches of Aspros Gremos (point 6), leading you to the quaint fishing port of Ambelas (Section 7), another spot worth a stop.
To leave Ambelas, walk your bike along the small beach and proceed onto the coastal dirt road. Leaving the beach behind, about 1 km off the fishing port, you get to a 300-odd-m cement stretch (point 8), followed by a narrow, bumpy dirt truck.
Less than 2 km from point 8, you reach an intersection (point 9). Ride straight on through (or rather, zigzag across it so as to resume your original direction). Continue southwards, and 800 m further on (point 10), turn left onto a wide dirt track lined with reeds, leading to the sea and running parallel to the Tsoukalia beach. This is a brilliant windsurf spot attracting windsurf fans when the etesian winds (the dry north winds of the Aegean Sea) set in. On these days, the waves can be spectacular to watch but less-than-fun to swim in. If you are looking for calm waters, keep pedaling further south, to Molos beach, which has a leeward section, protected from the strong winds.
At the end of the coastal dirt track at Molos beach (point 11), turn right onto the asphalt road leading to Marmara. Here you can make a short detour to visit renowned Kalogeros beach.
Resume course heading for Marmara, where you meet the Prodromos-Marmara-Marpissa road (point 12). Bear right, ride through the centre of Marmara, past a traditional windmill, and, just off the village, over a small bridge (point 13) until you finally reach Prodromos, at the intersection with the main Naoussa-Marpissa road (point 14). As mentioned above, there are several sightseeing opportunities here, but don’t forget to take a stroll around the traditional heart of Prodromos.
*In 2019 part of the road between Ambelas and Tsoukalia collapsed. Before setting off make sure it has been repaired.