Antiparos in Greece

Antiparos in Swedish.
Antiparos in Greece.

Antiparos is located in the middle of Cyclades, just southwest of Paros. The population is 1,210 and the surface is 35 km2. It can be compared to the neighbouring island of Paros, with 13 700 inhabitants and an area of 197 km2. Highest mountain is Profitis Elias measuring 310 meters above sea level. As you can see Antiparos is a very small island.

Antiparos was once a part of Paros, an earthquake is believed to have caused the divorce. The sound which today divides the islands from each other is narrow; the narrowest part only takes ten minutes to cross by boat. The proximity to Paros has done that Antiparos largely developed in the same direction as its older brother.

Tourism is the main source of income, but it is relatively small-scaled and it is not as touristy as in Paros. But the island is not especially genuine, far from it, but despite that Antiparos is a pleasant island; which is also blessed with shallow beaches and a charming Chora that is car-free.

For families, Antiparos is a perfect island - the beaches are child friendly and many of them are within easy walking distance of Chora. Accessibility is one of Antiparos hallmarks; almost everything is within walking distance.

The main street in Chora. Antiparos.

The main street in Chora.

I have stayed in Antiparos a couple of times. What I like most are the evenings in Chora. Sitting in the car-free village and eat a good dinner in one of the alleys is something to remember all winter. Is it full moon is even better. But I'm childishly fond of the neighbouring island of Paros, and for some years I stay there instead of Antiparos. However, I usually go over and say hello. The journey over just takes 5 minutes.

To go to Antiparos by yourself you first have to go to Paros, which is the only island with regular boat services to Antiparos. The best way is to fly directly to Santorini, and then take the ferry to Paros. But you can also fly to Athens, which has daily ferry connection with Paros, or you can take the domestic flight to Paros.

The boats to Antiparos leave from Pounda and Parikia on Paros. From Pounda, the boats shuttling from early morning until just after midnight, and the crossing takes about 5 minutes. To Pounda you can take the bus from Parakia, or if you have your own vehicle it is possible to bring it on the ferryboat as well. The boat from Parikia leaves ones an hour and takes about 45 minutes.

Soros beach. Antiparos.

Soros beach.

The island is small, distances are short and the roads are few, it is almost no point to rent a bike, car or scooter. The most common way to see the island is on foot. But if you want to visit the beaches on the other side of the island, or perhaps if you like to go to Paros, you can rent a car, moped or bicycle in the port.

The island's local bus goes to the stalactite cave and to Agios Georgios beach. the bus starts out in the port. With bathing boat, you can make a nice trip around the island, read more under the heading Beaches.

Antiparos, or Chora as many say, is the island's only village, and it extends from the port to Sunset Beach. It is a flat village dominated by the port and the main street. The port is small but bustling: boats to and from Paros come and go, sailboats and fishing boats crowding with each other, tourists and villagers sits on the strategically located tavernas from where it is a nice view of Paros.

The narrow pedestrian main street begins in the port and leads up through the village. Along the pedestrian street there are boutiques, souvenir shops, tavernas, fast food restaurants, cafes, bars and travel agencies. The main street is the centre of things at Antiparos; almost all people on the island pass the street at some time during the day, often several times.

Agios Georgios beach Antparos.

Tavernas in Antiparos.

The evenings in the pedestrian streets of the Chora is very cozy.

The village's major attraction Kastro is located at the main square a little way up the main street. Kastro, meaning fortress, is common in Greece, they were used as protection against pirates who terrorized most of the islands in Greece.

Most of the Kastros are in ruins today, the best preserved in the Cyclades are to be found on Kimolos, Folegandros and here on Antiparos. Antiparos Kastro is in well-preserved condition and is still full of life; in the beautiful houses there are still living people. From the courtyard narrow wooden steps leads to the houses, the outer walls served as protection and were a part of the defence.

There is only one entrance to the Kastro, follow the signs on the square and you'll find it; at the entrance there is an information board where you can read about the history about the Kastro. On the square outside the Kastro there are several cafes and bars and it is a nice place to sit down and study the street life.

Antiparos is popular for its easy accessible and often child friendly beaches. Many are within pleasant walking distance from Chora.

Kastro in Chora.

Psaraliki 1 and 2 are two very popular beaches are just around the corner of Chora, you can walk here in just a few minutes. The sand is mixed with pebbles, plenty of shade from tamarisk trees, shallow and child-friendly.

The Village beach is to the left of the port, if you have your nose towards the water, lies the island's shallowest beach. A paradise for the really small children, the water just reaches to the knees on an adult. Nearby there are many nice pensions.

Nudist beach, a few kilometres north of Chora, after the shallow Village beach, is a paradise beach for nudists. Official nudist beaches are rare in Greece; nudism is common, but rarely allowed. But this beach belongs to the tiny group of official nudist beaches, and consequently it is extra popular.

Is is not only for nudists, many dressed also like Nudist beach. The beach is more naked than good. At a swimming distance opposite Nudist beach is the small island of Diplo, where there are some small strips of beaches.

Soros is located on the island's southeast coast and is considered by many (not me) as the island's best beach. You go here by your own transport, either to swim or to eat lunch at some of the tavernas.

Psaraliki 2 beach. Antiparos.

Psaraliki 2 beach.

Agios Georgios beach is situated just after Soros on the south side of the island; it is in my opinion Antiparos best beach. The beach is fairly shallow and the water is crystal clear. Lack of shade, but there are a few tavernas nearby if you wish to escape the sun for a while.

If you want to experience really good bathe, you can make a boat trip around the island. There is surprisingly good water and great swimming along the coast of Antiparos and at some of the nearby islands. The landscape is in some places, amazing, the rocks on the south side of the island, reminiscent of Santorini's dramatic coastline.

One of the tour boats is called Alexandros and leaves early every morning from the port. If weather permits, I might add, it is not uncommon with cancelled boats, so do not hesitate to go if the weather is good. Tickets are sold at several places along the main street.

If you go with Alexandros it is included five stops for swimming in caves, clear blue coves and from rocks. Refreshments are served on board, and lunch is eaten at one of the beaches. Lunch might be composed of grilled fresh squid, sea urchins, souvlaki and salad. Very good! If you are lucky you might try to fish squid during the tour, sea urchins, it is best that you leave it to the crew. A day trip with Alexandros, I would highly recommend and I can promise that there will be a day you never forget.

Tour around Antiparos with Alexandros.

On tour around Antiparos with Alexandros.

For not so many centuries ago, the dripstone cave was regarded as one of Europe's most fascinating caves. In our times, more interesting caves have been discovered, and the cave in Antiparos had to step aside. But still it is the Cyclades, and one of Greece's, most spectacular caves.

It is a wicked shame that many of the cave's stalagmites and stalactites have been broken and taken away, some of those who remain have not been left alone, many stalactites are full of graffiti. For example there are graffiti of the Greek King Otto and of the poet and Greece lover Lord Byron. Despite all the damage, the cave is worth visiting, there are still many impressive stalactites left.

Already at the entrance you get impressed by a magnificent stalactite, but that's nothing compared to what is to come. First you have to descend the stairs which is wobbly, wet and damp. But finally down there it is time to enjoy the beautiful stalactites. The most spectacular parts are well-lit by colourful spotlights to enhance the effect. When you are ready with your call, you have 360 steps up to the "surface" again.

Busses to the cave starts out from the port of Chora; the busses stops below the cave, from there it's an uphill slope a hundred metres to the entrance. You buy tickets at the entrance, the price includes a small brochure in English. There is also a small kiosk where you can buy refreshments.

The cave of Antiparos.

The range is very wide, and the standard is pretty high. If you have not booked room in advance, you can go with any of the room owners who usually meet up all the boats arriving at the port. The position does not make much difference on such a small island, what is perhaps more important is the standard.

Kouros Village is one of the few hotels on Antiparos which has swimming pool. It is very good and has wonderful views of the sea. From the port, it takes a maximum of five minutes to go there. The hotel includes a restaurant and a bar, serving light meals and breakfast. The owners are very friendly. Other good accommodation is Hotel Mantalena and Pavlos Place.

Book Kouros Village here »

Boka Hotel Mantalena »

Boka Pavlos Place »

Book other hotels in Antiparos here »

Kouros Village. Antiparos.

Good greek food on tavernas in Antiparos.

The evenings are magical on Antiparos.

If you should get tired of the restaurants on Antiparos, take the ferry to Parikia on Paros and eat there.

Ferry timetable »

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Photos from Antiparos »

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Paros - nearest island »

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