A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Paros vs. Ios for Food, Nightlife, Beaches, and Couples

Should you visit Paros or Ios?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Paros and Ios. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Paros

Paros is a striking, historical, and diverse island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Ios

Ios is a touristy, backpacker-friendly, and historical island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Paros and Ios: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Paros or Ios?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Paros than Ios, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Paros is better known for its museums, food, scuba diving & snorkeling, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Ios is more popular for its nightlife. Paros is well known for its world-class beaches, beautiful undersea world, and quaint coastal villages. Also, Paros is famous for The Byzantine Monastery of Ekatontapyliani. Ios is well known for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd.

How is Paros different from Ios?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Ios and Paros. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Paros or Ios?

Paros
Ios

Paros is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its museums and history.

Paros offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. There are many interesting archeological sights and museums around the island. Some interesting places to visit are the Venetian Castle in the old port of Naoussa, the Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani near Parikia, and the beautiful church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John) Detis, which dates back to the 17th century. There's also the Archeological Museum of Paros, which is found in the capital of Parikia.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Ios. If you can pull yourself away from the beaches or parties, there are a number of archaeological and historic sights around the island. Churches like Panayia Gremiotissa Church and Evangelisimos Cathedral are worth visiting. Other attractions include Odysseas Elytis Theatre, Homer’s Tomb, and Skarkos Hill.


Is the Food Better in Paros or Ios? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Paros
Ios

Paros is very popular for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its restaurants.

For foodies, Paros is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Cheese and wine are mainstays on the island and restaurants in general pride themselves on using locally-sourced, high quality ingredients. Many of the traditional recipes can be found in restaurants, but they're also still prepared in the homes of the residents as well. Seafood, vegetables, and grains are all common ingredients.

Ios has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Nightlife?

Paros
Ios

Ios is terrific for nightlife and partying. Also, Paros is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

Ios is a must-see party destination. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

Paros is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. It doesn't have the hard core party scene that you find on some Greek islands, but it does have plenty of dance clubs, bars, and music venues. There's a wide diversity of options on the island, from quiet local bars to beach clubs that host wild parties, and everything in between.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Resorts?

Paros
Ios

There are superb resorts to choose from in both Paros and Ios.

There are plenty of resorts in Paros to choose from. The island is relatively large and you'll find everything from local hotels and guesthouses to large resorts and backpacker hostels. Many resorts have pools and great views.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.


Is Paros or Ios Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Paros
Ios

Paros is notable for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Paros. The island is filled with caves and interesting rock formations that make for excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. There are a number of tours available that take you to the island's best dive and snorkeling spots. There are also private and group courses available for those who are learning to scuba dive.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Ios. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Beaches?

Paros
Ios

Paros and Ios both offer amazing beaches.

Paros offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The beaches are clean, diverse, and relatively easy to access. There are a range of options, from quiet hidden gems to beaches with clubs and bars nearby. Favorite beaches on the island include Kolymbithres Beach, Chrissi Akti Beach, and Santa Maria Beach.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Hiking?

Paros
Ios

Hiking trails can be found around both Paros and Ios, and they are notable.

Paros offers some nice hiking trails. The island has about 35 kilometers of hiking trails that pass by small cottages, stone farm homes, and around the beautiful landscapes. You'll find tucked away windmills and watermills as well as breathtaking views and hidden coves.

Ios is a good destination for hiking. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.


Is the Shopping Better in Paros or Ios?

Paros
Ios

Paros is notable for its shopping opportunities. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its shopping areas.

Paros is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. You'll find some of the best shopping in Kastro, which is the old quarter of Parikia. There are shops selling clothing, jewelry, ceramics, and other unique souvenirs. Many shops stay open late into the night, so you'll have plenty of time to browse.

Ios has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Families?

Paros
Ios

Paros is notable for its family-friendly activities. However, Ios is a mediocre island for its kid-friendly activities.

Paros is a very kid-friendly island. Kids will appreciate the beautiful beaches, great swimming opportunities, abundance of water sport activities, and child-friendly food options. There's also a folklore museum and several great archeological museums.

Ios is not always a place people visit with their families. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Couples?

Paros
Ios

Paros is very popular for its romantic activities. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for couples.

Paros makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The island makes a perfect honeymoon destination with its stunning beaches and picturesque villages. There are also many great local hotels and wonderful dining opportunities. If you're looking for an idyllic setting, then this is it.

Ios makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.


Is Paros or Ios Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Paros
Ios

Ios is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Paros is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Ios is extremely popular for backpackers. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Paros is a very popular island for backpackers and budget travelers. You'll find some nice hostels and apartments on the island. There's also a decent nightlife scene and the island is more affordable than many Greek islands.

Is Paros or Ios Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Paros
Ios

Visitors will find superb public transit in both Paros and Ios.

Public transit in Paros can get you to some places easily. There's a reliable bus system on the island that has some routes making a loop around the outside of the island and routes traveling inland to the smaller villages.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Ios. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

Is Paros or Ios a more walkable city?

Paros
Ios

Paros and Ios are notable when it comes to walkability.

Paros is a somewhat walkable place. There are many walking and hiking trails around the island, but it's a large island that requires some form of transportation to explore it in depth.

Ios is a somewhat walkable island. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.


For even more information, also check out Is Paros Worth Visiting? and Is Ios Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Ios or Paros?

How long in Paros or Ios?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Paros and Ios. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Paros than in Ios. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Paros, and 1-3 days is enough time in Ios.

Families should spend more time in Paros than Ios. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Paros, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Paros than Ios. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Paros that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ios than Paros if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Ios.


  • How many days in Paros or Ios? Ideal Length of Stay
    Paros 3-5 
    Ios 1-3

One day in Paros or Ios?

With museums and nightlife around the historical destination of Paros, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

In Ios, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this vibrant destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Paros or Ios?

Many people visit Paros for a weekend. With nightlife and food around the historical island of Paros, there's plenty to do. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Ios. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Paros or Ios?

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Paros, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

Ios is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Ios. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Paros or Ios?

Paros, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the party-oriented destination of Ios. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Ios or Paros?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Paros is €122, while the average daily cost in Ios is €91. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Paros and Ios in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paros 53
    Ios 39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paros 106
    Ios 78
Compare Hotels in Paros and Ios

Looking for a hotel in Paros or Ios? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Paros


Hotels in Ios


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Paros Hotel Prices and Ios Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paros 37
    Ios 16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paros

Also for Paros, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer From Naxos Port-Airport To All Destinations: $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ios

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ios:

  • 1-Way Private Helicopter Transfer to the Greek Islands: $2,435

Is it cheaper to fly into Paros or Ios?

Prices for flights to both Ios and Paros change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Paros 45
    Ios 33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paros

For Paros, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Two and half-hours Traditional Greek Cooking Class in Amorgos: $59
  • Naxos Town Food Tour : $92
  • Cretan Cooking Class and Dinner: Evening in a Rethymno Home : $96
  • Naxos Perivoli Farm Experience & Wood-fire Cooking Class: $104
  • Naxos:Half-day cooking class at Basiliko : $107
  • Greek Cooking Class with Full Meal: $114
  • Food Tasting and Cooking Class on Naxos with Local Market Visit: $115
  • Paros Cooking Class: $116
  • Naxos Old Town Private Food Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $154
  • Naxos Villages Food Tour : $163
  • Cooking Class with 6-Course Menu and Drinks: $647

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Paros 22
    Ios 26

Tours and Activities in Paros

For Paros, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Paros Self-Guided Game & Tour: $12
  • Naxos Self-Guided Treasure Hunt & Tour: $12
  • Naxos Highlights Bus Tour with Free Time for Lunch and Swimming: $33
  • Naxos Half Day History and Culture Guided Tour: $33
  • Naxos: Highlights of Naxos Day Tour: $33
  • Essence of Naxos Tour: $33
  • Naxos Old Town, Castle & Portara Sunset Tour (Certified Guide): $43
  • Sunset and Relax Cruise form Naxos : $44
  • Hiking tour on Kythnos: $49
  • Full-Day Cruise to Koufonisi Island from Paros: $55
  • Iraklia and Koufonissia- One Day Cruise from Naxos: $59
  • One Day Cruise to Koufonissi from Paros Island: $61

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • 5 -6 Hour Private Chora E-Bike Tours: $132
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Diaseli Cheesery: $110
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Homer's Tomp: $110
  • From RIB Boat Trip to Sikinos Island and Winery Tour: $85
  • Ios Island Trekking Tours: Discover Ios Unexplored: $27
  • Ios Island: Speedboat Cruise from Mylopotas Beach: $53
  • 4-Hour Cruise of the Best Beaches: $64
  • Private Orienteering Experience in Mylopotas: $165

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paros 25
    Ios 33

Sample the Local Flavors in Paros

Also in Paros, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wine Tasting and Tour in Saint Anna Winery in Naxos: $60
  • Citron Tasting and Distillery 1-Hour Guided Tour in Naxos: $66
  • 3 Hour Tour in Paros Wine Tasting: $165

Sample the Local Flavors in Ios

Also in Ios, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bar Crawl Ios Ticket in Cyclades: $38


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paros and Ios, we can see that Paros is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Paros would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Paros than you might in Ios.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Paros Expensive? and Is Ios Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Paros or Ios?

Paros has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Ios. When comparing the sizes of Paros and Ios, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.