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Antiparos

The Perfect Miniature Island

Antiparos is a small holiday paradise just across from Paros, from which it is divided by a shallow channel just a few metres deep. Guests here keep coming back as it is the closest thing to a private island – small, not much accommodation, low key. It’s the sort of thing children would come up with if asked to draw an imaginary Greek island. No pirates any more though luckily! The island is only 35 square kilometres but, because of its length, has 57 kilometres of beautiful coastline where golden sandy beaches and pebbly coves give way to small remote bays with blue-green waters. The land to the north is flat and fertile while small hills rise from the centre to the west, with Profitis Ilias (300m) being the highest. Antiparos is surrounded by numerous smaller islands. To the north: Kavouras, Diplo and the rocks Kokkinos Tourlos and Mavros Tourlos. Also tiny private Rematonisi which is owned by the Goulandris family.

This is a great island to chill and enjoy an easy summer life. Arrival is by plane or Superfast ferry from Athens to Paros, and then a short hop over to Antiparos. The combination of being on a small and unsophisticated island, yet with the convenience of large and busy Paros next door, is very attractive.


Best for

Everything that makes the Cyclades famous, but in a small, relaxed and easy form - yet with Paros nearby for transport possibilities and other activities. Sandy beaches, friendly locals, good fish tavernas, windmills, cute whitewashed town, toothless, smiley old men on donkeys, the tiny roll-on-roll-off ferry that takes six minutes to cross the shallow channel from Paros, and leaves every half hour. Accommodation is mainly in villas, so a house-party atmosphere prevails with a chic, international in-crowd, and the exclusivity that comes from there not being quite enough villas to go around!

Worst for

Lack of excitement (though there was a murder here a few years ago - a crime passionelle...). It’s not the most interesting island scenically, with a lack of hotels, smart nightlife and boutiques. Last-minute travel and accommodation in August is almost impossible. The beaches on the north coast are sand blasted by the wind all summer (this is a Cycladic island after all!) and the sheltered ones get crowded in summer.

Would Suit

Families, young teenagers who need a safe and easy environment to be let loose in, those wanting to just pack a couple of bikinis and flip flops, though you can also dress up to match the chic international crowd. Tom Hanks so loved his first visit that he bought a house here for his young family to enjoy Greece in a quiet and natural way. Those wanting to chill and enjoy a laid-back summer life in a small, relatively-exclusive atmosphere, and still rub shoulders with the beautiful people.

Would Not Suit

Those wanting stylish hotels, fine restaurants, serviced beaches, fancy clubs and a party atmosphere. Those wanting a varied and exciting island that they can spend days exploring.

Don't Miss

Take a boat-ride with Oliaros Tours to visit the coastline. The famous cave system and the ruined castle - great fun for children. Still Waters - the idyllic taverna on a picture-perfect Apandima beach, serving oriental dishes. Management is so chilled that you sometimes have to check if it is open! Antiparos town with its cobbled , flower-hung lanes and blue shuttered white-washed houses is also a must. For eating out try Captain Pipinos tavern on Aghios Giorgos beach, while Soros beach is the cool place for lunch.

Activities

Scuba diving: Blue Island Divers

+0030 2284061767

www.blueislanddivers.gr

Sea Kayaking: Argonauts Blue

+30 22840 61364

Boat trips: Cycladic Cruises

+30 22840 61378

Paintballing, cinema, Bicycling.

High Season

Not a bad place to try to escape the August hordes. There are very few hotels, limited accommodation, and not too many daytrippers, so even when the island is full, it is never that busy. Tickets - either ferry or plane - via busy Paros have to be booked well in advance unless you are coming in by helicopter. Wind can disrupt travel. The island has responded well to its chic summer visitors by providing them with good tavernas, clean beaches and cute bars and cafes.

Low Season

There is some weekend life as Antiparos has a colony of Athenian summer visitors who have weekend and holiday houses here, but there will be little to do except chill … bliss!