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Antiparos and its spectacular beauties in the heart of the Aegean (pictures)

When you reach Antiparos by boat from Paros, you see a smooth island landscape with naked  mountains in the background. You only need to take a boat for a round trip around Antiparos to discover its spectacular wild beauties.

Here is KTG’s Exclusive Report about 15  Amazing Things to Do on Antiparos

Antiparos port
Amazing Antiparos

Located in the heart of in the Aegean Sea, Antiparos is an all typical Greek island in the characteristic Cyclades style: two-story white houses with blue doors and windows, paved narrow streets, a port with fishing boats, low vegetation if any and sandy beaches all around.

KeepTalkingGreece.com spent a few days on Antiparos, enjoyed the sea, the landscape and food and everything the islands had to offer and here is its exclusive report about the 15 amazing things to do in Antiparos.

Whether you arrive on the island with a small boat from the main port of Paros, the longer and often rough way …

… or with the open ferry from the port of Pounda, the short and calm way

Antiparos Paros Pounda

all you need to do is to get into your hotel or room to let, drop your luggage and walk to the nearest beach.

1. Psaraliki Beach

All you need is your bathing suit and a beach towel – Also, some water and some snacks if you want to spend all day at the beach and you turn too lazy to walk to the next beach bar.

After a good swim in the fresh blue sea, lay down under an almiriki tree, a salt cedar, and soon you will understand why Greeks love to spend hours under trees by the beach and philosophize about God and the world….

2. Wind and Kite Surfing

Weather conditions in the channel between Antiparos and Paros are ideal for wind and kite surfing.

The summer north winds, Meltemia, pass right through the 1 nautical mile wide channel with usually over 4 Beaufort. The local surf club is offering also lessons.

There are also scuba dive clubs or you can just grab a sea mask and start exploring the amazing underwater world.

3. Round trip

This is the absolute must you have to do when on Antiparos. There are currently two boats making the round trip tours. A fancy one and a less fancy one. We choose the less fancy one, the more traditional one, Alexandros, a big wooden fisherman boat owned by a local former fisherman.

The boat leave the port at 9 o’clock in the morning and return at 5 in the afternoon.

Antiparos

Trust me! It is once in a life time experience. To sail around the magnificent Antiparos and watch the truly amazing and partially wild, wild beauty.

Antiparos rocks
Antiparos rocks
Antiparos rocks
Antiparos cruise
Antiparos church

The tour starts towards the North, the boat turns West and then down to the South.

It is amazing to sea the wold rocks and how the sea changes colors. From wild deep blue to fair blue to emerald green and aquamarine.

Antiparos blue
Antiparos sea

Antiparos sea

At the south of  of the island, the boat sails through the straight between Antiparos on the left and the uninhabited island of Despotiko on the right.

Due to the ongoing excavation, the boat was allowed to approach just a small beach on Despotiko. The captain and the crew set the BBQ and while we were waiting for the meats to get ready, local tsipouro was handed around and grilled octopus bites.

The procedure is clear: a swim, tsipouro, swim, a wine-leaf stuffed with rice and herbs, an octopus bite, a …swim … until the meats are grilled and served with the most delicious Greek salad I ever had.

As one can imagine, I was too busy with swim, drink and eat that I only thought to take a picture when the dishes were empty and we were leaving.

The only picture I have from this superb lunch is one from the promotion leaflet….

After the channel crossing, the boat keep sailing along the East of the island with more amazing landscapes.

A natural rock formation locals call “epitaphios” because its shape resembles the construct Greek Orthodox Christians use for the procession on Good Friday.

4. The Castle

The Venetian Castle of Antiparos is located in the heart of the main settlement and is from the times when the Cyclades were under Venetian occupation.

Antiparos castle

Its construction dates to the mid of 15th century when a Venetian nobleman decided to marry a Venetian noble woman from Antiparos.

Antiparos castle

The original version had a ‘motte’ (mound) at the centre and houses round the perimeter. The houses were built as one continuous block construction, the outer walls providing both the defensive wall of the fortified settlement.

Antiparos Castle

The only entrance was at the south wing.

Inside the main settlement the houses developed as three-story structures, each having a separate entrance which leads to an external staircase.

Antiparos Castle

Many of the old houses in the castle have been renovated in recent years, are inhabited or just host artists’ workshops.

5. The Cave

The cave with its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites is located in the center of the island and is considered as “one of the most beautiful and mysterious caves in the world.”

The cave has been used as a natural shelter from the Neolithic period onward.

Once the ancient Greek goddess Artemis was worshiped here.

At the entrance to the site is the plain but magnificent church of Agios Ioannis Spiliotis.

The cave is fully exploited in the second half of the 1900s with funds from the EU by erecting barriers, building adequate steps, installing lighting, security cameras and loudspeakers to inform visitors.

I dared into the cave the first time I visited Antiparos several years ago. If I remember well, I dared stepping some 50 meters and then I rushed out. Like every other cave this one is nothing for people who feel uncomfortable in such enclosed spaces.

I enjoyed the fresh air and the beautiful views, while awaiting for my friends to conclude the tour.

6. Swim Channel Crossing

The famous Swimming Competition between Antiparos and Pounda on Paros is organized once a year.

channel crossing

Hundreds of locals and visitors, Greeks and foreigners, participate in the Channel Crossing.

channel crossing

For many years the Channel Crossing Competitions was held in July but they have decided to move it to early September because the North winds normally disappear and the weather conditions with respect to the waves height are much better.

watermelon

The first twelve winners receive an Award, the rest slices of freshly cut watermelon.

7.  The Lagoon

An aquamarine lagoon I would have never thought it exists in the Aegean Sea.

Antiparos lagoon

It is located between two of the tiny islands of Panteronisi, in the south of the Antiparos – Paros channel.

Antiparos lagoon
Antiparos lagoon

A swim in the lagoon is a must, one simply cannot resist.

You can reach the lagoon with private boat or the boats operating the daily round trips.

8. Sunset at Sifneiko

As the settlement of Antiparos lies on the east side of the island, it is clear you have to walk to the west side to enjoy the sun sinking into the Aegean Sea.

sunset Greece

The area is called Sifneiko because is it looking towards the island of Sifnos.

sunset Greece

9. Despotiko

The small island of Despotiko is just 700 m away from the shore village Agios Georgios in the south of Antiparos. The straight between the two islands has a minimum depth of just one meter, indicating that the two islands were connected in old times.

I wouln’t recommend you try walk in the sea to reach Despotiko. This was done once 2000 years ago and it’s never going to happen again.

Try the comfortable way with a boat, even thought chances are low that you will be able to visit the excavation site which is normally closed for the public. But you can walk around.

Although currently uninhabited, excavations have proven that Despotiko had vibrant communities living there in prehistoric and ancient times. Excavation in 2015 revealed the Sanctuary of Apollo dated to 6th century BC.

A discovered ornate façade of a structure measuring 35 meters by 15 meters, suggests that the  sanctuary was extended and rebuilt several times during the Classical and Hellenistic periods.  Some of the artifacts from the excavations are exhibited in the archaeological museum of Parikia, the capital of Paros.

Excavations in 2017 revealed an ancient restaurant for ritual meals, right next to the Apollo Sanctuary. It is the first ancient restaurant discovered in the broader area of the Aegean Sea.

10. Go to the movies

Who would have thought? There is a open air movie theater running all through the summer months with English speaking quality movies with Greek subtitles to address the needs of both local and foreign visitors.

The weekly program is written on a board hanging on the main road of the village, opposite the small street that take you to the cinema.

All you need to do is just follow the signs or just follow all the other people walking through the small mostly dark street.

Cine Oliaros is named after the old Phoenician name for Antiparos which meant “wooded mountain.”

11. Live Music

Some restaurants and taverns have live music on the weekends.

Kanonaki

Don’t miss the chance and get to know the local cheerful “nisiotika” – music from the islands -, especially when musicians play traditional string instruments like the complicated kanonaki, the little kanoon.

12. Food

Hungry? There are dozens of tarvernas, restaurants, snack bars along the coast as well as in the village. They offer from Greek kitchen to upscale Italian food. Enjoy fresh fish, local meats and typical Greek cuisine.

Make sure to try the local specialty, Xinomysithra. A soft cheese with a very slight sour taste, made of goat milk.

Xinomysithra

Until some years ago, one could enjoy fresh lobster at very affordable prices  in summer. But it is hardly available anymore as the wholesale price is at 60 euros per kilogram. A local tavern owner told me “they sell it on wholesale for 65 euros, how much would I then sell it to my customers?”

Who want to east lobster thought when there are so many great local dishes with local products?

One of the taverns I love to eat at is Klimararia with its beautiful garden and its excellent cuisine. It must be one of the oldest taverns on Antiparos, oldest in the since that it has not changed owner has not alternated its character and quality. My parents had discovered it in the 1970’s, it had just opened back then. Klimataria keeps the character of the family run tavern, although the owner has retired and his sons runs the business. I was happy to meet the old man again after several years and talk about the good old times.

13. Strolling through the village

You would hardly need a car while you have vacations for a couple of days.

The daily program is quite clear: swim or sight-seeing by boat in the morning, lunch, strolling around in the afternoon, dinner and fun at the many bars and clubs.

All you need to do is walking, but no worries the distances are short.

Enjoy the narrow streets decorated with thousands of bougainvilleas flowers.

Antiparos bougainvilleas

Antiparos fishing boats

Antiparos port
gaoura
Antiparos
Antiparos

Do some shopping and go for an aperitif before dinner. And a digestive after dinner, or an ice cream or whatever. Opportunities and chances are plenty.

14. Meet Tom Hanks?

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking next to Tom Hanks. The Hollywood star has a summer house on the island which he devoutly visits with wife Rita Wilson every year.

15. Least but not Least

Don’t miss our earlier photo-report about The Purrfect Entrepreneurs of Antiparos.

If you are lucky, you can meet them again running their shops and tavernas, work as guards at the Castle or just do errands and help locals deal with the tourist season.

Antiparos port

Small but fine. That’s what Antiparos is, right there in the middle of the Aegean, with all its history and spectacular hidden beauties.

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