Paros, like other Cycladic Islands, has a long and interesting history, largely due to its geographical location and the abundance of scholars and artists born on the island.

Evidence suggests that Paros and the surrounding islets have been inhabited since at least the Neolithic Ages, around 4000 BC, and quite possibly dating back as far as Paleolithic times. Caves such as Demonon in the hillside of Lagada in Aspro Chorio, or Antiparos` spectacular cave would have provided shelter for small groups of people who lived off the fruit of their labours.
However, most findings show that the island began to flourish during the Cycladic times, or early Bronze Age (3200-2000 BC). Ruins of villages from this era have been found on the sites of the modern day Kastro in Parikia, in the wind sculpted rocky hills of Kolymbithres, and also in Aliki and Glyfa. Ancient tombs from this time have been found all over the island, decorated with what we now perceive as classic Cycladic sculpture.

According to myth, Alkios, the 1st king of Paros built a city on the site of modern day Parikia during the Minion period (2000-1500 BC). Crete at this time was a major sea faring nation, trading with Egypt, Assyria and the Balkans. Paros was therefore an ideal base due to its strategic position at the center of the Cycladic group of islands. Its` blend of safe harbours and the fertile plains surrounding them made the island into a major naval station. At this time Paros became known as Minoa, an honorific title given to Royal Cretan cities. The Minoans were followed by the Mycenaeans, who in turn built their own settlements.

In the 1st millennium BC, the Arcadians took over under the leadership of Parios, hence the name Paros.The Ionians from Attica were the next to colonise the island and as a result, Paros’ naval strength grew, as did its agricultural activities and marble trade and Paros began to flourish. It became a prosperous maritime power, trading with the Phoenicians and even colonising other islands, notably Thassos, an island rich in metal deposits. It was during this time that literature and sculpture really arrived, many temples were built, one dedicated to the Goddess Athena was built in Parikia, although its marble blocks were later recycled into a Venetian castle built on the same site, remnants of which are still visible today. This was also the era of Paros` famous satirical poet Archilochos, who was the first to use personal elements in his poetry, and not refer only to the heroic deeds of others.

Paros also became famous for its` marble at this time. Nowhere else had been found marble of such high quality, translucent to a depth of 3.5cm. It became highly prized and was used by sculptors like Agoracritos, Scopas and Thrasymedes for famous works of art such as the temple of Apollo on Delos, the Praxiteles of Hermes, the maidens of the Acropolis, and possibly the most famous of all Greek statues , the Venus de Milo, now housed in the Louvre In Paris. The ancient marble mines are still possible to visit today at Marathi, in the hills above Parikia, although apart from the marble that was excavated here to make Napoleon`s tomb they have not been used for centuries, possibly even millennia.

During the Greco-Persian Wars of 499-449 BC Paros sided with the Persian fleet against the Athenians. After the Persians were defeated, Athens dispatched a fleet under the leadership of Themistocle which forced the Parians to surrender and ally with Athens. In 338 BC Paros came under the authority of Phillip Of Macedonia, Alexander the Great’s father, an alliance that lasted until Alexander’s death. Paros then fell under the rule of his successor, Ptolemy. The ancient graveyard on Parikia`s seafront dates from this period.

When Paros became a part of the Roman Empire it continued to produce great works of art until it became an island of exile. As Christianity spread throughout Greece during the Byzantine Era, wonderful churches and monasteries were built on Paros. One of the most significant Early Christian monuments in Greece is the Ekatontapiliani Church (Our Lady of a Hundred Gates) in Parikia.
During the 7th century AD constant attacks by pirates led to a virtual desertion by the island`s inhabitants and Paros became known as a pirate hideout.

In 1207 AD, Paros was incorporated into the Duchy of the Archipelagos, under the rule of the Venetian Duke Marco Sanudo, and later passed from one Venetian family to another. In 1537, the island was captured by the pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa – an event which is still celebrated today in Naoussa`s annual pirate festival on 23 August. In 1560 yet another long period of occupation started when Paros fell under Turkish rule, becoming part of the Ottoman Empire. From 1770 to 1777, during the Russian – Turkish Wars, the Russian fleet used Paros, and in particular Naoussa Bay, as a base of operation.

Paros participated in the Greek Revolution and was a safe haven for many refugees. It gained its independence in 1821 and was incorporated into the new Greek State. During the Second World War Paros was once again invaded, this time by the Germans, whose occupation took a heavy toll, leading many of the islands inhabitants to seek their fortunes elsewhere. From the middle of the 20th century, Paros has greatly developed its tourism activities and infrastructure. Today, Paros has developed into a major tourist destination famous for its` renowned cultural scene, glorious sandy beaches, laid-back days and bustling night-life.