Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Slalom
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Good, Specialist
Santa Maria is a fully-organized beach with golden sand and crystal clear waters, located on a wide (but relatively protected from northern winds) bay at the northeastern part of Paros. It is also situated near the northern “entry” of the Paros - Naxos channel, which explains why the wind here is less strong than further south, at Tsoukalia or at Golden Beach.
In close proximity to Naoussa, offering easy access. Santa Maria attracts a lot of people, primarily of a younger age, in July and August.
Wind Type: Thermal Winds
Best Direction: N, NNE, NE
Main Direction: N, NNW
Worst Direction: S
Main Wind Direction: Side Shore, Side Offshore
Even though the wind here is weaker by about 1-2 Bft compared to other spots in Paros, you still have sufficient wind to enjoy your sport when Meltemi winds blow. The wind does of course get above 5 Bft on occasions, offering much more thrill. Due to the small peninsula and the islet in the southern part of the bay, Santa Maria is not a good spot for southern winds.
Quality: Crystal Clear
Depth: Average (deepens gently and incrementally)
Attention: Rocks, Island
Shallow access. Both the shore and the seabed are sandy – with the exception of a small protrusion in the center of the bay, where the organized beach ends. Since the bay is closed to the north, the waves typically come from the NE. In order to find them you will need to either go farther in or move towards the southern part. Always be careful to stay away from the rocks and the little islet located there.
The campsite and bar on this beach mean lots of activity, and swimmers aplenty. When the wind blows strong and the waves are good, you may see some people testing their abilities in regular surfing or body boarding there. Windsurfing is just about possible in summer, but kiting's only an option out of season.
Bathers Period: June, July, August
Kid Friendly: Yes
This is a long wide expanse of golden sand and despite being one of the most popular beaches on the island due to its’ size, it never seems to get too crowded, even during the summer months. There are with some rocks in the center of the beach and at its south end.
Access to Santa Maria:
Santa Maria is just 3 kilometers away from Naoussa on a fully paved road. During the summer months, there is also a regular bus service that connects it to Naoussa (and with a connection to Parikia from there). You can also reach the beach via boat from Naoussa.
Access to Paros:
Arrival by Airplane: Paros Island features its own airport with daily flights to “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens International Airport and all major International Airports. Paros Airport is located at 10 km from Parikia. From Athens airport, there are daily flights to Paros (half an hour flight). The number of flights and their time-table depend on the time of the year (2 or 3 daily flights in summertime).
Arrival by Ferry/Boat: Paros is also connected to most Greece’s ports by Ferry Boats. It features one port, Parikia port. There are two types of ferries; the high-speed ferry which takes approximately 3 hours and the normal ferry which takes approximately 4 to 6 hours.
The main port to take you to Paros from Athens is in Piraeus. Ferries leave every day, starting at 7 in the morning. From the airport, you can get to Piraeus by taxi or by bus (about 1 hour, depending on the traffic). From Athens, you can get to the harbor by subway (25 minutes from the city center). There are also ferry departures, especially high-speed ferries, from the port of Rafina, which is closest to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, but not so many. If you fly to Athens, you can go to Rafina port by bus or taxi. You can also travel to Paros by ferry from/to main Cyclades Islands.
Local Transportation: When you arrive in Paros, you can either use the public transportation (local bus) or taxis or, even better, rent a car (or a motorbike in the summer). If you land to Paros airport, you can take a taxi or ask the rental agency that your car will wait for you at the airport. If you come by ferry, you can rent a car at the car rental agencies that surround the port.
Arrival by Car: Renting a car or a motorbike to get around is common in Paros and there are many such agencies operating at the airport, the harbor, Parikia and Naoussa.
Arrival by Bus: Travelling by bus within Paros is safe, but it can be tricky as sometimes the timetables change without prior notice. During summer, the buses depart approximately every 1 hour from several towns all over the island. Departure points: Buses leave from Parikia, Lefkes, Dryos, Naoussa, Alyki, Pounta and Kolimbithres, going to several locations around the island and back. During the summer period buses also leave from and to Santa Maria and Ampelas.
Arrival by Taxi: You can also get around Paros by taxis; you will find the main taxi stand in Parikia central square and in Naoussa. Taxis in Paros are pretty expensive. You are advised to ask for the fare before getting in the taxi in order to avoid bad surprises. They can be hailed on the street or arrive by appointment.