Parian Marble Tour
What made Paros great: A ‘drive & walk’ tour with special archeological & cultural interest. Follow the 2500-year-old trail of the famed ‘Parian stone’, the raw material of ancient sculpted masterpieces, walking around Paros town and visiting the site of the ancient marble quarries in Marathi, to seek the traces of ancient stone-cutters… and to see what Parians make of the stone today! Hotel pick-up & wine picnic included; available as private or semi-private tours.
Description A driving force of the island’s development and source of its importance and past riches, the ‘lychnite’, the unique Parian white translucent marble (aka. ‘Parian stone’), has shaped life, history and the environment on Paros through the ages. Following the pieces along the marble trail on the island makes an exciting cultural & sightseeing tour – not just for history and archaeology buffs!
We start at Parikia, the island’s capital, with a short tour of this 4000-year-old town to discover marble spoils and construction pieces that withstood the passage of centuries, tracing their origins and use – now and then. We then drive you up to Marathi (5km) for a guided visit around the site of the marble quarries that were operational for 2500 years, producing tons of choice marble for the whole ancient Greek & Roman world. We walk and explore the 19th century quarry facilities, the caves and the surface cuts (ancient and modern). The highlight of the tour is a light caving adventure: the descent into the Cave of Pan (and the heart of darkness) to seek the traces of ancient miners and discover a tunnel with a last vein of the prized ‘lychnite’ marble used in the creation of such masterpieces such as Venus de Milo, the Parthenon Marbles and Nike of Samothrace.
Next up, in the shade of cypresses, we treat you to our ‘Taste of Paros’ wine picnic including freshly-cut salad, a local cooked dish and Parian cheese & various produce. The tour ends with a visit to a nearby workshop to see the fusion of tradition and inspiration in the utilitarian but also artistic creations of a modern Parian marble carver.
If you like, you can buy a piece of carved Parian marble as a souvenir. The return to your hotel is a short drive through inland Paros to Parikia or Naoussa.
More info or booking request? Ask here!
In a nutshell [Parian Marble: Past in the present] History/culture/tradition/countryside, easy, drive=5km & walk=4km, duration: 4h-4h30m (incl. stops).