Paros wasn't an island I was super excited about, mostly because it was chosen simply as a way to break up the ferry ride from Santorini to Mykonos; I didn't think we could survive 4+ hours on the sea. So, I did some minor research which led me to choose Paros over Naxos (because according to Wikitravel, it's considered the most beautiful island of the Cyclades). Fortunately, it was a lovely surprise how much we enjoyed our short time there.
First of all, the island isn't quite as "spiky" as Santorini or Mykonos, meaning there are no real steep climbs to reach the picturesque towns. We only stayed in Parikia, but everything was settled rather close to the water so we didn't have to get our sweat on constantly as we explored. Secondly, the beaches here are gorgeous and sandy, not gravelly. We walked 5 minutes from our hotel to a beach by the port and it was so beautiful and won my heart as my favorite of the trip. Lastly, the vibe here is so laid back, the hoards of tourists are much more minimal, and the people are so friendly and welcoming. They genuinely want you to have a good time instead of just trying to take your money. It was certainly the most affordable island we visited - the lodging was cheap, as was the food and the portions at restaurants was quite generous - and if I were European and looking for a laid back trip, this is where I would go.
BLUE STAR FERRIES
Our hotel had arranged a free transfer for us so they picked us up promptly at the ferry and took us to our hotel, which was just a short five minute drive from the port. The view from the hotel was fabulous. We paid $120 for the night and this was the cheapest room of the trip, but most definitely the most hospitable.
We ended up eating at Elaea, which was a nice choice as the staff were super friendly and the portion sizes were insane and the prices were dirt cheap.
And here's my map of our Greek isle spots (visited spots are in red and didn't-get-to-visit spots are in blue):