While romantic Santorini and bacchanalian Mykonos often get the lion’s share of attention (and tourists) in the Cyclades, another isle with quieter charms awaits a mere 45 minutes away: Paros. That’s where fashion designer Margherita Missoni and her friends—including Eugenie Niarchos and Tatiana Santo Domingo—vacationed this July. The beaches are calm and crystalline, the bougainvillea-dotted towns full of cultural appeal. Then there’s the cuisine, fresh and seafood-focused: “I love Greek food—and it’s outstanding here compared to anywhere else,” says Missoni.
Reachable from Athens by plane and Mykonos by ferry, it’s an easy, Elysian escape for those planning a summer trip to the Mediterranean. Below, Missoni’s travel tips for the under-the-radar Greek isle.
Where to Stay: Cosme
Just outside the harbor town of Nassoua is Cosme, a newly opened Luxury Collection resort. With whitewashed adobe walls, flat roofs, and colorful bougainvillea bushes, it’s an elevated example of the Cycladic architectural style that dominates the region. Inside, cooling cream and earth tones adorn the lobby and guest rooms, with the occasional pop of color from a blush couch or perhaps a pot painted with a classical Grecian face. “I love how it never feels too big and is quite private. The rooms may be all next to each other, but you don’t really realize it,” Missoni says.
Amenities include a half-moon infinity pool, shaped to complement the cerulean Aegean sea below, a private beach club, and and a spa with a star-gazing area that overlooks the sparkling lights of Nassoua at night. An added bonus? The onsite restaurant, Parostià. Helmed by Yiannis Kioroglou—formerly of La Guerite in St Barths—it serves a Mediterranean and Grecian menu. (Order the lobster.)
Another beloved hotel on the island is the boutique Parilio. Quaint and design-driven (local art dots all the rooms), the highlight of the property is an imaginative and idyllic cross-shaped swimming pool.