Right opposite the bigger island of Paros, there’s a small Greek Island, unspoiled and tranquil, ideal for a relaxing vacation. It’s Antiparos. Many travelers usually overlook and consider the place just a one-day destination, however, there are several things to do in Antiparos that make it a great place to visit in Greece.
Let’s take a look at the most beautiful things you can do in Antiparos, but first, let’s learn some basic facts about the island.
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Where to Stay in Antiparos
There are several hotels facing the beaches or the port, as well as some apartments to rent, studios, and even villas for those with a higher budget. Being the island so small, the offer is limited and places tend to be booked quite early, the best thing to do to secure yourself the place you want is to book your place as soon as you can.
Here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Antiparos. Generally, budget means hotel stays for around $65 a night, mid-range is from about $50-100 per night, and luxury will cost over $100 per night.
Mid-Range: With a more flexible budget, we recommend Villa Peristeri, on the southern coast of the island.
Where is Antiparos
Right in the heart of the South Aegean region, in Greece, Antiparos is a small Cycladic island located less than one nautical mile (about 2 km) from the island of Paros. The trip takes about 10 minutes from the port of Pounda, or a little more than 20 minutes from the capital of Paros, Parikia.
Antiparos is just 39 square kilometers and has an irregular coast with beautiful sandy beaches. There’s just one main road that connects the north to the south of the island and the landscape is hilly, but not mountainous,
The small capital of the island, the Chora, can be explored in a short time too. From Antiparos, it’s possible to sail to the small islet of Despotiko that’s uninhabited and home to an important archaeological site.
Although renting a car is always a great idea in Greece, especially on such a little island which has just one bus line available, the best way to discover Antiparos is by renting a bicycle.
When to Visit Antiparos
Like any other Greek island, Antiparos enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long, dry summers, and short winters. Since the beginning of May and until the end of September, the temperatures are pleasant and there’s almost no rain.
The sea starts warming up at the beginning of the season, reaching its highest temperatures at the end of August. The island is never really very crowded, however, more tourists visit in July and August. To have a very quiet experience, give September a try.
Best Things to Do in Antiparos
The highlights of Antiparos are the stunning beaches, the wonderful landscape, and the whitewashed Chora, with its ancient castle and the beautiful cobblestone alleys.
A few windmills add a touch of white to the evergreen landscape, and there’s also a unique cave that you should definitely visit when traveling to Antiparos.
Relax at Antiparos’ Beaches
You can enjoy quite a few different shores on the island. Start by heading to Soros, a well-organized bay with a beautiful beach bar renting sunbeds and umbrellas. The bar also serves great cocktails from early morning until the sun goes down.
Soros is probably the most famous beach on the island and a great place to spend the day. It’s just 10 minutes from the port of Antiparos, and it can be reached by car, by bike, or with the local bus.
On the southern tip of the island, Agios Giorgos is a solitary bay facing the small islet of Despotiko, with a pristine, turquoise sea, and a few tavernas along the coast.
Here you can spend a day in complete solitude, and also taste the freshest seafood on the island. It’s from the small harbor of Agios Giorgos that you can jump on a boat to explore the sea caves, Despotiko Island, and all the southern coast of Antiparos.
The beaches of Despotiko, only reachable by boat, are a real gem. They are often completely deserted, so you need to pack everything for the day. The waters are shallow, but the area can sometimes be affected by the winds.
On the north, Camping Beach is a shallow shore, ideal for small children and for those whose swimming skills are not so advanced. In the same area, the small bay of Theologos is as flat as a pond, waveless, and extremely shallow too. A long line of tamarisk trees provides shade so you don’t really need to rent an umbrella.
Discover the Chora of Antiparos
The tiny center of Antiparos is easy to visit in under an hour, Small and very picturesque, you will love the whitewashed architecture and the front yards adorned with bougainvillea. It’s the only and main center of the island where you’ll also find most souvenir shops, traditional tavernas, and picturesque cafés.
In Antiparos town, there are also a few tiny churches you can visit and the main square, right next to the Kastro. The Kastro is an ancient, tiny castle that once protected the island against pirate incursions.
A walk along the main street of Chora hardly takes more than 30 minutes, however, the souvenir shops decorated with Cycladic shades of blue, the pink flowers, and the colorful doors and windows offer a surprise every step you take.
The alleys of the small village are the place where everyone meets in the evenings, enjoying a traditional Greek meal, or having a cold beer in one of the many cafeterias.
Spend an Afternoon at Sifneiko Beach
This part of the island is known as Sifneiko because it directly faces the island of Sifnos which, on clear days, can be easily spotted in the distance.
Sifneiko is known for being the best spot on Antiparos to have a great view of the sun setting directly in front of you. To enjoy the experience, you can either sit at the small beach of Sifneiko and even enjoy a picnic while the sun goes down.
As an alternative, Sifneiko Cafe is one of the most visited bars on the island. You can order a cocktail and patiently wait until the sun completely goes down. You can either have a light dinner and spend the rest of the evening listening to music in Sifneiko, or you can head back to the village and enjoy a traditional Greek dinner.
Explore the Cave of Antiparos
The Cave of Antiparos is often included among the most impressive and biggest caves in Europe. It’s a perfect morning excursion which you can easily take by catching the main bus that connects Chora and the port with Agios Giorgos, in the South.
Antiparos’ Cave is one of the few stops, ask the driver and he will let you right at the beginning of the path that takes you to the cave. There are four rides per day, it’s a great idea to depart with the first one in order to have more time to explore.
The path that takes you up to the entrance of the cave is a paved uphill road. The somewhat tiring journey is rewarded by the stunning vistas of the Cyclades, the sea, and the green hills of Antiparos.
Once you pass the small church of Saint John of the Cave, you will spot one of the oldest stalagmites in Europe, about 45 million years old! Right after, you access the actual cave and need to go down over 400 steps to get to the heart of it.
Once inside, you can spot the unique stalagmites and stalactites that shape the mysterious interior of the cave which has attracted visitors since ancient times.
Many of the formations have been signed by famous visitors, some of which even took pieces to take back home as a memory of the visit. Something completely banned today.
The cave is open every day from 10 am to 3 pm with the last public bus departing at 3.15 pm. You can take photos inside provided you don’t use a flash. The fee to access the cave is €5.
Sail to Despotiko Island
A visit to Despotiko Island can be a fantastic adventure. Every boat trip to Despotiko starts by making a stop at the seaside caves in the south of the island where you will admire the impressive blue color of the sea and the volcanic formations along the coast.
The next stop is at the archaeological island, where you can enjoy a guided tour through the abandoned temples, ancient classic columns, and unique discoveries of Despotiko.
Comparable to the sacred island of Delos, close to Mykonos island, Despotiko has all the characteristics of a sacred island which probably functioned as a place of worship in ancient times.
On the site, there’s an important Archaic sanctuary is one of the most remarkable findings in the area. All the objects that have been discovered in Despotiko, such as vases and figurines can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Parikia, on Paros island.
The third and last stop after the visit to the site is the nearby beach of Despotiko, where you can spend from 1 to 2 hours, after agreeing with the captain of your boat.
The place is completely deserted, there’s a small chapel right by the sea open to visitors, and a wide beach perfect for swimming or sunbathing in complete loneliness.
Check the Kastro of Antiparos
Back in Chora, take some time to explore the ancient walls of Antiparos’ castle. This old fortress is located right in the center of the village.
The Venetian castle dates from the mid 15th century, and it’s a fairly small structure with Medieval traits. Today, only the base of the castle is still standing. The houses surrounding the area were built as a continuous block to offer protection against external threats from the sea.
The outer walls of the houses functioned as the defensive walls of the fortified settlement. The only entrance to the fortified area was a Gothic arched gateway which you can still see when accessing the main square of the castle.
Where to Eat in Antiparos
There are many tavernas and cafes to explore, probably the most traditional one is Pavlo’s, which has been serving homemade dishes and wine for decades and has made a name on the island. Over there, do try their chicken and the unique Greek stuffed meat, such as lamb and goat.
Antiparos is simple the most perfect place to spend some time relaxing and recharging, with its laid-back vibe and fantastic landscapes, you will enjoy every minute of your stay!
5 Things to Bring with You to Antiparos
If you’re planning a trip to Antiparos, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more packing tips, check out our complete Greece packing list.
– A physical guidebook, in paper or on Kindle. We love Lonely Planet Greece for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.
– A water bottle with a filter. While generally, the tap water in Santorini is drinkable, we generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! There are places on the island where the water tastes like minerals.
We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.
– Motion sickness pills. Santorini roads are winding, especially around the coast. If you have a weak stomach as we do, save yourself and bring some non-drowsy motion sickness pills.
– Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, TP & other Balkan transit needs. Bathrooms in the Balkans tend to be… how can we say it?… not so well-stocked. Save yourself the disappointment and bring a mini-rescue pack of wet wipes & hand sanitizer.
– Travel safety items. We think Santorini is very safe to travel to, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie nor I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack.
It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
More Greece Travel Resources
Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip.
First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.
Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.
If you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide. We also have Athens safety tips so your trip can be hassle-free. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned!
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Finally, Make Sure You Come to Antiparos with Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Santorini, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!
Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. While Santorini is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this Guide to the Top Things to Do in Antiparos for Your Next Adventure!
Gabi Ancarola is a translator and travel journalist living in Crete. She regularly writes about the island for several magazines about travel, gastronomy, and hospitality. She has published several travel guides about Greece and runs a local gastronomy tour in Chania. She loves cooking local dishes, taking photos, and driving on the mountain roads of Crete.