Is public transport in Paros better than renting a car?

Paros is one of Greece’s most popular tourist and vacation destinations. The reason why this is the case is actually quite simple: although rather small, this island has a lot to offer to its visitors: from gorgeous beaches with crystal clear waters to scenic traditional villages that seem plucked right out if postcards. It goes without saying then that Paros is the kind of island that one will want to explore in order to experience all the beauty that it has to offer. One can’t appreciate Paros by spending his or her time there lounging by a hotel’s pool.

One of the first dilemmas that somebody booking a trip to Paros will face – apart from picking a hotel or another place to stay – is whether they should also rent a car in order to get around the island and explore it at their own leisure. The island has a rather good public transport network and there are many tourists that choose to use public transport for their trips within Paros rather than rent a car. Is that a good idea though? Let’s see the pros and cons of using public transport in Paros in order to answer the aforementioned dilemma.

Pro: Low cost

Public transport in Greece is not expensive, especially when we are talking about transport within towns and cities. The truth however is that fares in islands and other tourist destinations are usually a bit on the more expensive side – when compared to the price of tickets in an average Greek city -, mainly because those services are usually seasonal. However, a bus ticked to and from a popular beach or other destination in Paros, is definitely going to cost less than the average daily rate of a car rental. So, if you are on a budget, then public transport is definitely an acceptable solution.

Pro: Relatively convenient routes

Greece’s tourism industry is the country’s main source of income and islands such as Paros essentially survive on tourism, which is why they try to do everything within their power to help visitors enjoy their vacation. For this reason, you will find that bus timetable and schedules are usually quite reasonable and cover most of the popular beaches and villages within the island. With that being said, a schedule is still a schedule and this means that you will have to adjust your vacation time around it.

Con: Buses don’t go everywhere

Like we said earlier, Paros – and most Greek islands for that matter – has a pretty good and reliable public transport system; however, it is not perfect. There are some beaches and destinations that buses simply cannot reach and they are easier to reach by car. In some cases, there are destinations that are reachable only by car. Furthermore, if you happen to stay at a relatively small village or one that doesn’t get many tourists, chances are the bus service and routes will not be as good as those of the most popular villages and destinations in the island. If you are on a budget, this can prove to be a huge problem.

Con: Buses are not always in the best condition

While the people responsible for Paros’ buses do everything within their power to keep their buses clean and comfortable, things during the summer can get so hectic that some problems may prove impossible to fix. It is not uncommon to board a bus without working air conditioning, which can be a problem considering the hot summer sun that Greece is famous for. Also buses can get really crowded which combined with the heat, won’t make your journey that pleasant.