Antiparos, the serene anti-star of Cyclades

In the hospitable and calm waters of the Aegean Sea, in Cyclades islands and very close to Paros lies the serene islet of Antiparos. In the past, it was a one-day trip destination for locals and tourists visit ing Paros island but in the 21st century, it has become a summer holiday destination for people seeking a place for peaceful holidays combined with the Cycladic beauty.

Its inhabitants are slightly more than a thousand and there is one main village, Chora. Taking the first walk in its cobblestone streets already helps the visitor relax and enjoy this lovely scenery. The white buildings with colourful doors and windows together with the pink bougainvilleas create a very satisfying environment for the eyes.

 

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Antiparos main street

As Antiparos was attracting pirates a castle was built in 1440 to protect its residents. It now lies in ruins in the middle of the traditional settlement.

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Bougainvilleas everywhere!

It is not a coincidence that Tom Hanks spends his vacation in Antiparos every summer staying away from the cosmopolitan and touristic islands of Greece.

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Cute house in Antiparos

The most famous sightseeing of Antiparos is its cave on the hill of Agios Ioannis. The cave is believed to be the oldest one in Greece and the stalagmite in its entrance is the oldest one in Europe, 45 million years old. To enjoy the cave’s spectacular formations the visitor needs to take 411 steps going in 100 meters depth. There are daily trips to and from the cave starting from the port.

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Church in Antiparos port

The island may be tiny but there are beaches for all kinds of travellers and ages. In walking distance from the port and the main village you can visit a couple of beaches: Psaraliyki number 1 and 2, Sifneiko and the Camping beach. Psaralyki beach 2 is organized with a beach bar also renting out sunbeds, the waters are swallow and the sand golden. You can also find shade under one of its many trees. This beach was ideal for people of all ages and one of my favourite in the island.

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Psaralyki 1

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Psaralyki 1

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Psaralyki 2

Travelling from the north to the south of the island you will find Apantima beach, very narrow beach with a taverna, ideal from families, Soros beach with the most famous beach bars of the island, which is preferred by younger aged tourists and Agios Georgios beach on the south which I would recommend to those looking for tranquility. Right opposite Agios Georgios beach you can see Despotiko island. Despotiko is a small uninhabited island, just 700m away from Antiparos, with archeological findings of great importance. You can reach Despotiko taking a day cruise from the port of Antiparos or a boat from Agios Georgios beach.

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Agios Georgios beach and Despotiko island on the left

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Agios Georgios beach with a view of Despotiko

There is no direct ferry from Piraeus and no airport on the island. To reach it you need to take a ferry from Paroikia port of Paros (1 hour trip) or from Pounda Paros (15 minutes trip). To visit the beaches or cave you can take the local bus that runs almost every 2 hours. There are a couple of travel agencies where you can book a trip to the closest islands or rent a car or bike.

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Caffee in Chora under bougainvilleas

There are many shops, bakeries, caffees and restaurants, mostly with Greek food, in the village. I had the best lunch in Anargyros Restaurant and some great cocktails in Boogaloo in the main square. All the bars in the main square can offer you an alternative to the general tranquility as they attract many people, also from Paros island, during the night and transform the village to a very vivid nightlife destination.

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Port of Antiparos

If you are not 100% convinced this is the island you are looking for you could give it a try with a day-trip while visiting Paros to make up your mind.

Don’t forget to take some time and enjoy the sunset from Sifneiko beach and share your thoughts about this small beauty in the comments.

 

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