The island of Antiparos used to be also known as Oliaros island. It is a small inhabited island in the southern Aegean, at the heart of the Cyclades islands, and it is located less than one nautical mile away from the larger and better-known island of Paros, the port of which it is connected with a local ferry boat.
Saliagos island is the most ancient settlement in the Cyclades, and Despotiko, an uninhabited island in the southwest of Antiparos, is a place of great archaeological importance. Both islands can be reached from Antiparos island.
The Community of Antiparos was founded in 1914 and was promoted to a municipality in 2010 with the implementation of the Law “Kallikrates”, under the principle of” each island and a municipality”. The whole area occupies an area of 34.8 square kilometers, including the island of Antiparos and Despotiko. It has, according to the census of the year 2011, 1.037 permanent residents and a density of 29 inhabitants per km². The island’s economy is based on tourism, fishing, farming and less on agriculture in the plains. It is known for its distinctive Cycladic beauty with white houses, cobbled streets and beautiful flowers that thrive in the yards of the houses. It is a popular tourist resort in the summer for Greeks and European visitors, as well as land investors from the U.S.A.
The main settlement of Antiparos lies at the northeastern tip of the island, opposite the area of Pounda on Paros. The historical center of the island is located in the Venetian castle of Antiparos, which is connected through the shopping streets in the picturesque coastal street. Other settlements are the famous resort of St. George in the southwest edge, Soros and Kampos and popular beaches in the wider area of the center are Psaralyki, the Sifneiko, and the camping beach.
Antiparos is just 30 minutes by small passenger-only ferry, from the town of Paroikia on Paros or just eight minutes with a car ferry from Pounda on Paros which runs every half hour from dawn to after midnight. That makes Antiparos, an island which you can actually treat as a dormitory for much busier Paros. With frequent ferries (including the late ones via Pounda) you can even eat out in Paros and return to Antiparos for the night; or you can cross to Paros after breakfast, spend a whole day exploring (perhaps by car or scooter) and regain the friendly peace and pace of Antiparos the same evening. If you insist on spoiling yourself, you can hire a car on Paros and drive back to Antiparos every night! The water-sports facilities at Pounda on Paros are actually closer to Antiparos, being eight minutes away by ferry.
Antiparos is a brilliant white ensemble, awash with vivid brushstrokes in the deep-blue Aegean Sea. It is a historic place of global interest. Monuments and symbols speak to us of the figures that once lived on the island, creators of the singular Cycladic civilization, creators of its history.
Today, thousands of tourists visit the island every year, in order to admire the cave, this rare jewel of Antiparos, and places of archaeological interest, to enjoy the outstanding view that can be found scattered in every corner of our island, the beautiful, clean beaches, picturesque slab-paved alleys, savory traditional food, fresh fish, grilled octopus, local meat, and the magnificent wines and tsikoudia (raki) of Antiparos. For lovers of nightlife, there are many bars and discos to choose from. But, above all, one finds warmth, kindness, and hospitality on the part of the inhabitants of the island, qualities that guarantee your stay on this island will remain unforgettable.
The Neolithic community (dated back to 4000 B.C) was discovered at Saliagos island, findings of which can be seen exhibited today at the archaeological museum of Paros, in Paroikia. At Despotiko which remains today an uninhabited island, opposite Ayios Georgios, many excavations are taking place in the region of Mantra, bringing to the light such great findings archaeologists believe that Despotiko will be declared to be an Archaeological Park of the Cyclades islands.
If you would like to visit the beautiful island of Antiparos, you may book your accommodation through our site and get a special discount. If you have fallen in love with Antiparos and you wish to stay, then perhaps you should look at some of the real estate on Paros and Antiparos. If you need any extra information, then please contact us here [email protected] or +30 6934 620 501 (Whatsapp also!) or viber: +30 6909463436
DIVING ON ANTIPAROS
Located conveniently on the main harbor road, Blue Island Divers have been operating for over 10 years on Antiparos. We know all the best places to visit for both beginners and experienced divers.
If you have never been underwater before and want to enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of seeing all those fish close up, or if you’ve already been there, perhaps an underwater cave or a shipwreck will be more for you.
Come along and visit us, and have your expectations exceeded.
For contacts: [email protected] ; +30 698 31 59 452
HIKING ON ANTIPAROS
We will help you experience the island and its people, the way they live and work. We will take you by foot to remote beaches. We can take you fishing, show you how mountain honey is collected and how the local cheese is still made by the shepherd in his hut on the mountain. Guided hiking around Antiparos or advice on where to take the best hikes on Antiparos.
Yoga on Antiparos and Paros
Yoga helps you to be in better contact with your body. You don’t need to be ‘super-fit’ to do yoga. Everybody has stronger and weaker parts of his body. By paying a lot of attention to this while doing the yoga poses, and by continuing this attention throughout the day, you will reach a better balance.
Yoga helps to find more balance, more strength, and more flexibility. Yoga helps to calm down the nerves, it brings down the blood pressure and the heartbeat. Therefore it is extremely helpful in these modern times with a lot of external pressure and competition. It can help to reduce stress-related symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, sleeping problems and so on. Because of the importance of the alignment and the spine in many yoga exercises, it is also very helpful against back pain.
Rent a boat or a yacht on Antiparos
If you have a license, you can rent a boat or a yacht of your own and make your own trips around Paros and Antiparos. The prices are very reasonable.
Boats with 150Hp engine require boat driving license and can sail with no n.m. commitment
Boats with 225Hp engine require boat driving license and can sail with no n.m. commitment
Boats with 30Hp engine do not require boat driving license and cannot sail more than 3 n.m. from the closest coast.
Boats with 115Hp engine require boat driving license and can sail with no n.m. commitment
If you need any extra information on renting a boat or a yacht on Paros or Antiparos, then please contact us here [email protected] or +30 69 34 620 501
Kayaking on Antiparos
Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Fishing and Pedaloe Boating: instructors and equipment can be found at the organized water sports club of Antiparos.
Snorkelling on Antiparos
Discover the underwater world of the Greek islands, we can provide you with the snorkelling equipment and advise you where to go.
Boat trips around Antiparos and other small islands
From the settlement of Saint Georgio, you can enjoy a boat a trip to the virgin beaches of Despotiko island and the sea caves.
From Antiparos port, you can enjoy a trip around the island by Thiella boat, with ouzo, a barbecue on board and Greek dancing.
From the island of Antiparos, you can visit daily, the islands of Paros, Naxos, Delos, Mykonos, Koufonisi, Santorini.
Rent a boat to discover the islands. Rent a boat -Sail Away.
You can find many more activities on Paros Island, just five minutes away from Antiparos.
Spiridon Beach: The beach is almost considered to be the city beach of Antiparos. When you arrive by boat, you can see the beach on the northern side. The beach provides a good, albeit solid quality of clean sand and crystal clear water.
The water is very shallow here for a long time and it takes quite a few minutes until it reaches a certain depth. Therefore, this beach is also ideal for small children. Furthermore, the beach has the advantage that it can be reached quickly from the town of Antiparos. There are some trees in the area that offer visitors their shade.
Psaraliki Beach: The Psaraliki Beach consists of two small beaches, which lie side by side. One is called Psaraliki 1 and the other is Psaraliki 2. The two beaches can be reached easily by foot. Follow the road from the town to Antiparos towards the south, take the first right turn, then turn left and follow the road.
The beaches can also be referred to as the main beaches of the island of Antiparos. There are some trees which offer their shade and the quality of the beach and the sand is high. On the beach, chairs and boats can be rented out and at the Psaraliki Beach 1, you can find the Farangi Club, where you can eat delicious meals and drink coffees or beverages.
The beach is highly recommended for families with children, this can be proved by the many sand castles and other sand objects that have been made in the clean sand on the beach. The two beaches are quite beautiful and you have a panoramic view of the neighboring island of Paros.
Sunset Beach: The Sunset Beach on Antiparos lies to the western side of the main town of Antiparos. Its name says it all, you go there for the brilliant sunset, this is the best time to be on the beach. There are restaurants and bars where you can relax and watch the sunset.
Nudist Beach: The nudist beach is located on the northern side of the island of Antiparos, east to the camping area. The beach is characterized by its clean sand and crystal water. Unfortunately, there is no sunbeds and shade can be only be found in certain areas. Even as a non-nudist you can stay here, nudism is not compulsory!
Ayios Georgios Beach: Situated in the small tourist resort of Ayios Georgios, this is a stunning beach that is sheltered by a picturesque bay with a beautiful view to the uninhabited islet of Despotiko, famous for its archaeological findings.
You can embark on several boat trips to the nearby islands or try some local specialties and freshly caught fish at many nearby sea front taverns. Ayios Georgios is not an organized beach, so be sure to pack what you need and bring water and snacks with you.
The CAVE IN ANTIPAROS
The famous cave of Antiparos is situated on the southeastern side of the island on the hill Ayios Ioannis, at the height of 177 meters above sea level.
The inhabitants of Antiparos have known about the cave for many centuries, but the inside of the cave remained undiscovered until 1973, when the French ambassador to Constantinople, Marquis de Nouadel who was a lover of antiquity, visited the island. He entered the cave by climbing down ropes and was amazed to find nature’s wonderful creation. Marquis de Nouadel and his escorts lit up the inside of the cave with large candles, oil lamps and dry firewood.
As it was the day before Christmas, he decided immediately to perform a mass on the top of a stalagmite, which looked like an altar. When the ceremony was over, they carved a Latin inscription on the stalagmite. This inscription can still be seen today. If we translate it into English, it means «Here Christ himself celebrated the day of his birth in the middle of the night in the year 1973». The cave was visited by the first king and queen of Greece, Othonas, and Amalia on the 27th September 1840. However, the earliest visitor to the cave is believed to have been Archilochos, a lyrical poet from Paros, who lived from 728 – 650 B.C.
The arched entrance to the cave is 20 meters wide and about 8 meters high. The enormous stalagmite which is at the entrance to the cave is the oldest in the whole of Europe and is estimated to be 45 million years old. While descending the 411 steps that lead towards the heart of the cave, which is more than a hundred meters deep, visitors experience a mixture of feelings, such as awe, wonder, and emotions which they have not felt before.
The area of the cave is about 5600 square meters and the temperature in the winter is about 15 degrees centigrade and the humidity of about 65%. The cave was formed of corrosion of the limestone. In the beginning, the entrance was formed and then the antechamber and later, with the accumulation and pressure of large amounts of water, the lower part of the cave was opened up. The water which remained inside the caves formed channels and fissures in the earth’s surface. After the water drained out of the cave, the decoration of the cave began in the shape of stalagmites which were formed by a slow dripping from the roof of the cave. It has been estimated that to create one centimetre of a stalagmite, it takes 80 to 120 years.
The old way to visit the cave was by boat from the harbour of Antiparos to the beach below the cave and then by foot or on a donkey 200 meters elevation to the cave. The boat ride is really pleasant, but going up to the cave in the hot summer sun was pretty tiring, especially on a donkey. So in 1996, a new road to the cave was opened and it is now possible to reach the cave by car or coach.
The cave was renovated in 1995, the steps that used to be quite dangerous are now steady and safe, there are now iron poles that you can hold on to when climbing the stairs, and the cave is lit up with electricity. There is a shady place to sit and take a break when you enter or exit the cave and the entrance fee is 3 Euros.
There is a public bus which will regularly stop at the cave. Also, there are buses by tour operators from Antiparos to the cave.
The castle of Antiparos
From the top of the pedestrian main street, head for the distinctive, giant plane tree of Plateia Ayios Nikolaou. From here, a narrow lane leads to the intriguing remnants of the Venetian Castle of Antiparos, entered through an archway.
The castle dates from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The surrounding wall boasts external quirky staircases and balconies while the remains of the central keep are crowned by a stone water tower and clasped round by genomic churches. There’s a small Folk Museum here also.
The capital town of Antiparos is built around a beautiful Venetian Kastro, dating from the 15th century. The Kastro is built around a tower, of which only the base remains.
The sea caves of Antiparos
There are many astonishing sea caves around the island of Antiparos. There is a boat trip, that takes you to visit these caves, which are filled with emerald colour waters.
The island of Despotiko: The island of Despotico is small and uninhabited now but in ancient times, this island was heavily populated. It is located just a short distance south of Antiparos Island in the Greek Cyclades group of islands. Geographically it is in the middle of all of the Cycladic islands.
Here you will find the excavations are still in progress today. The island is a place of peace and calms with the coast offering small coves and sandy beaches to stop and enjoy. The only inhabitant of the island since ancient times was a goat shepherd who had to leave the island and his home because it was placed on top of the sanctuary. The island of Despotiko is one worth exploring on your adventure to Antiparos. Pack a picnic and enjoy the serenity of this beautiful resident of the Cyclades.
Antiparos town, otherwise known as Chora is the capital of the island and also the area where you can find supermarkets, ATM machines, a bank, beautiful restaurants and taverns and many accommodation options. There are also many travel agencies in Chora and a tourist information office.
The other settlements of Antiparos are really picturesque and attractive. Try to see Chora as your base of all operations and also explore the beautiful settlements and villages of Antiparos like Ayios Georgios, Psaraliki, and Soros.
Take an evening walk along the narrow, cobbled alleyways with the whitewashed houses, the small chapels, and larger churches. There are many hotels and accommodation options in Chora but also in the small settlements and villages.
Soros on Antiparos is a small touristic settlement, offering many accommodation options, a mini market, and many nice restaurants and taverns.
Ayios Georgios on Antiparos is a small holiday settlement, which offers a couple of good accommodation options, as well as one of the best fish taverns on the island “Captain Pipinos”, whereas you should also visit the cafe and snack bar belonging to the Dolphin Hotel.
Very little is known about the history of the Greek island of Antiparos as its history has been overshadowed by the popular neighboring island of Paros. Antiparos used to be well known as Oliaros and many historians believed that it was in fact connected to the island of Paros at some point in time. The history of Antiparos starts from the Neolithic times where remains of an ancient settlement dating back to 4000 B.C were discovered on the small island of Saliangos, an island located between the islands of Paros and Antiparos in 1964 by the British School of Archaeology.
This further confirmed the theory that the two islands were united back then. The first inhabitants of Oliaros are believed to be Phoenicians from Sidon who came here in the Neolithic Age and were succeeded by various other conquerors. It was probably occupied by Minoan Cretans in the 2nd Millennium B.C. Excavations in the nearby island of Despotiko have also revealed ruins of tombs dating back to the Early Cycladic Era.
Oliaros got its present name of Antiparos sometime in the 13th Century A.D. when it came under the Venetian Rule just like many of its neighboring islands. Although the name was new to the island, it had its sources in ancient mythology where Antiparos was one of the fifty sons of Aegyptos and was murdered along with forty of his brothers by his wife Gritomethea, one of the fifty Danaides. It was around this time that the island was frequently attacked by pirates from Algeria, Crete, Kefalonia and other places.
The Venetians made Antiparos a part of the Naxos Duchy and built the Kastro in order to protect the island from pirates and invaders. Three hundred years later, in 1537, Antiparos along with the rest of the Cyclades came under the Ottoman rule. For a short period of time between the years 1770 and 1774, Antiparos was also under Russian domination. This was also when Antiparos started becoming well known and visited frequently by foreign travelers who published their views and impressions about the archaeological sites on the island. The people of Antiparos were among the first in the Cyclades to participate in the Greek War of Independence in 1821. After years of struggle and revolution, it was finally incorporated in the Greek state in 1832. Antiparos also actively participated in the resistance movement against the Germans during World War II and was used as a secret base by the Allies.
There are regular bus services on Antiparos that can take you to every village, beach, and settlement, but the timetables do not suit everybody’s needs. If you would like to rent a car, a scooter, an ATV or a buggy, we are here to help you!
Here are some useful agencies for renting vehicles on Antiparos:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone numbers: +30 22840 61346 or +30 6972847835
HOW TO GET TO ANTIPAROS
Antiparos is a small island that is located very close to Paros, just a six-minute boat ride away from Pounda on Paros or during the summer months a 25-minute boat ride from the main town of Paros Paroikia.
Boats leave from Paroikia every hour starting from the 15th of April until the middle of September, this boat is a passenger boat, it does not take vehicles, whereas the little boat that leaves every half an hour from Pounda takes vehicles also. The ticket for a passenger from Pounda to Antiparos costs 1,5 Euros while a car costs 5 Euros.
From Paroikia to Antiparos the price of the ticket is 5 Euros.
HOW TO GET AROUND ANTIPAROS
There is a bus service that takes you from the port of Antiparos to the famous cave of Antiparos and back!
There are taxis on the island of Antiparos and they are not that expensive (compared to the rest of the Greek islands).
There are also taxi boats on Antiparos that will willingly take you around the island or to the surrounding small uninhabited islands.
Taxi boats on Antiparos: +30 22840 61237 or +30 22840 61028
If you need any extra information, please contact:
or telephone: +30 69 34 62 05 01
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ON ANTIPAROS
Police station on Antiparos: +30 22840 61202
Port police for Antiparos: +30 22840 61485
Petrol station on Antiparos:
Doctor’s office on Antiparos: +30 22840 61219
The post office on Antiparos: +30 22840 61223
Camping on Antiparos: +30 22840 61221
Telecommunications company: +30 22840 61212
The community of Antiparos: +30 22840 61570
Information for activities on Antiparos: +30 22840 24506
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