It takes just 10 minutes by boat to cross the narrow strip of sea that separates Paros from Antiparos. The peaceful harbour filled with fishing boats is lined with small taverns and coffeeshops. The island's traditional houses have white-washed walls and patios filled with flowers. In the heart of the settlement, which unlike many other Cycladic islands is not built on a hill, stands a Venetian Castle constructed in 1440. In the place of walls, the square fort possesses a row of consecutive two-storey houses (some of which are still inhabited), built in such a way so as to create a defense against invaders. Entering this peculiar construction, we find the house of arms of the Lorentano family at the base of the central tower. The beauty of Antiparos unfolds as we move out of the settlement and travel south to the tiny village of Ag. Giorgis. The deep blue of the sea, scattered trees and quiet beaches, invite us for a swim in Psaraliki, Glifa and Soros. Right across from Ag.Giorgis lies the enchanting Despotiko skerry, with its tiny chapels, ancient ruins and natural beauty.
The main place of interest on Antiparos is the famous cave in the hill of Ag. Ioannis. At the opening of the cave is a small church devoted to Ag. Ioannis Spiliotis, while the huge, 45 million year-old stalagmite close to the entrance is the most ancient in Europe. We go down 411 steps into the depths of the Earth, to admire the white and pink stalagmites and stalactites, and the signatures of many famous people such as the lyrical, ancient poet Archilohos and King Othonas. The most beautiful way to see Antiparos is by taking a boat tour around the island, stopping at secluded beaches and the small, surrounding islands. The most significant of these is Saliago, where remnants of a settlement from the Neolithic age have been found.
Where to stay:
The traditional Hotel “Mantalena” takes its name from the Greek movie that was filmed here, starring the well-loved Greek actress Aliki Vougiouklaki. It offers a comfortable stay just above the picturesque harbor.
For a more peaceful environment, easy access to Soros beach, good food, and a view, visit ‘Soros Beach’ hotel.
Where and what to eat:
Try wild hare, goat, rooster in red sauce or patido (stuffed), “xinomyzithra” and spaghetti with lobster. In the Hora, “Giorgis Taverna” stands out for "souma" and seafood, or meat grilled over charcoal. Also try "Klimataria" for homemade, cooked food. For breakfast and all day food and drinks, don't miss "Margarita".