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Antiparos

The sister island to Paros, Antiparos is a small, picturesque and unspoilt island in the heart of the Cyclades, separated from Paros by a narrow channel of beautiful sea. This small island of about 35sqkm with only one road has golden, sandy beaches and natural, pristine beauty. The main village, also called Antiparos, is an extremely picturesque whitewashed village with a fishing port, a very pretty waterfront, narrow, winding streets, and the 15th century Venetian Kastro, or castle. Antiparos is a typical picturesque Cycladic village, with one main street leading up from the fishing harbour full of traditional fishing boats or caiques. Fishermen go out every weekday morning and on their return sell their catch on the waterfront. The main street, like most of the village, is completely pedestrianized, and is lined with cafés and restaurants, souvlaki kiosks and traditional shops. It has several minimarkets which sell everything, a chemist, a bakery, newsagents, a bank, hardware shops and several travel agents. There is a very efficient laundry. The small main square next to the church is encircled with cafes under the shade of the trees. The men sit and play cards and back gammon as the day cools. At night it is very busy. There are several bars and discos on the outskirts of the village.

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The island’s history

Although there are remnants from Neolithic times, Antiparos kept a fairly low profile in the region’s history until taken over by the Venetians from the 13th to the 16th century. The Ottomans held the Cyclades for three centuries, until the 1821 War of Independence after which Antiparos became part of Greece.

What to do on the island

One of the attractions of the island is the enormous cave of Antiparos, with the church of Agios Ioanis Spiliotis guarding the entrance. This beautiful cave reaches deep into the hillside and has been in use since the Neolithic age. It has recently been converted into a full-fledged tourist site, with a stairwell, lighting, and information guiding visitors through the mysterious procession of huge stalactites and stalagmites.

All around Antiparos are many tiny islands, mostly uninhabited but often full of historical interest and archaeological sites, especially the isle of Despotiko to the west. There are regular ferries to most of these islands, as well as to nearby Mykonos, Santorini, and other islands.

The beaches

The island is dotted with pretty bays and beaches and a sprinkling of houses and tavernas and a second, smaller and very quiet harbour. The sunset from here is spectacular. There are several tavernas where you can watch the sun disappearing over the horizon. The most popular beaches are Psaralyki, Soros, Sifneiko, Apantima, Glyfa, and Ag Spiridon, and for naturists the Camping beach in the north of the island, and Perigiali beach.

Getting there

Fly to Athens then to the island of Paros. It is sometimes difficult to get tickets, especially in high season so we recommend that our clients fly to Athens and then take a taxi or a bus to the port of Piraeus. There is a high speed hydrofoil to Paros, which is a lovely scenic trip and takes about 2.5 hours (4.5 hours by ferry).

Easyjet has direct flights to the islands of Mykonos and Santorini from where you can catch a ferry to Paros (crossing from Mykonos 40 minutes).

A car is essential and can be hired from a recommended agency in Paros. The car can be collected at the port or airport of Paros.

There are boats and ferries that sail from Paros to Antiparos very regularly and take only a few minutes.

 

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