With well over a hundred fantastic Greek Islands to choose from, deciding which one to visit can be overwhelming. Not to mention different for everyone depending on personal tastes. But at the moment tiny Antiparos Island seems to one of the few places everyone can agree on.
This quiet, little island in the Cyclades with its slow pace of life and exceptional beaches has become the darling of the region lately, a magnet for everyone from island-hopping backpackers to Hollywood celebrities.
Located just a 7-minute ferry ride from the larger and more popular Paros, peaceful Antiparos (sometimes spelled Andiparos) is rapidly becoming the one of Greece’s “it” islands. With exceptional scenery, more great accommodation options popping up all the time and plenty of outstanding tavernas to enjoy, it is easy to see the appeal.
Despite its rising popularity, however, Antiparos is still a far cry from the touristy chaos of places like Santorini or Mykonos, and remains one of the best places to visit for a chilled out, relaxing island holiday. It is only 35 square kilometres in size and has just around 1,000 permanent residents, so a booming metropolis it is not.
However, it is considerably cheaper than Paros or nearby Naxos, features a lovely harbour, excellent beaches, good hiking, a wide range of water sports and even one of most famous caves in the country. All fabulous reasons to add Antiparos Greece to your Mediterranean bucket list.
For more information to help planning your visit to the Cyclades Islands, check out our following guides:
Where to Stay in Antiparos
Most people choose to stay in or near Chora as it has the most restaurants and things to see within walking distance. However, there are also some nice places near the beaches and a few good choices in tiny, little Agios Georgios on the southwest coast.
For a more detailed analysis, check out our full post on the Best Antiparos Hotels
Meanwhile, here are just a few that we would particularly recommend:
Kouros Village is located just on the north side of the harbour, making it a convenient base for your stay on the island. With a pool, garden, sun terrace and BBQ, it is a great summer hangout. The suites are modern with A/C, TV, wifi, kitchens and beautiful views.
Those who crave a quiet spot off the beaten path but still want to have a few tavernas nearby should consider Kameo Antiparos in Agios Georgios. This sleepy village has a pair of good beaches, some excellent places to eat and is the main jumping off point for boat trips to the sea caves and Despotiko Island.
Kameo has luxurious Greek suites with amazing views and all the creature comforts. And there is a wide range of units from hotel rooms to studios and even a family house.
If your main focus is beach time, the Ergina Summer Resort next to Soros Beach is perfect. The beach is only a 5-minute walk down the hill and the views across the channel are terrific. The self-catering apartments have traditional architecture, kitchens, wifi and TV, and when you get tired of making your own food there are several tavernas near the beach. Ideal for a relaxing getaway.
Nature lovers and budget travellers will love the idea of camping next to one of the best beaches on the island. Camping Antiparos has a wide range of sites for those with their own gear or if you haven’t come prepared you can rent a tent there. It is just a short walk to Chora but there is also a restaurant and minimarket on site.
12 Great Reasons to Visit Antiparos
Some of the best reasons to visit are fairly obvious – wonderful beaches, classic Greek villages, a distinct lack of package tours or cruise ships. Other reasons are less obvious but intriguing nonetheless – such as, where exactly do Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson stay on Antiparos, and do you think they’d want to share some seafood with us?
1. Wander around Chora
Small, white and mazey, Chora is the main town on the island and a delightful little place full of narrow alleys, impressive arches and classically whitewashed buildings. Simply strolling aimlessly and taking photos of the cute houses (and many, many cats) can be an experience in itself.
2. Visit the Venetian Castle of Antiparos
The architectural and historic highlight is the Antiparos Kastro. What the castle lacks in size and grandeur, it makes up for in design and historic importance and this Venetian gem is a must-see when wandering the lovely streets of Chora.
Its exact age is strangely shrouded in mystery but most agree it dates back to somewhere between the 13th and 15th centuries when it was the main fortress of the island. You enter through an attractive square and can enjoy the main tower base, some traditional homes and nice little church.
3. Marvel at the harbour
As is the case with many Greek Islands, the harbour of Antiparos is wonderfully photogenic. Serving as a picturesque welcome as you arrive, the port area is filled with colourful boats bobbing on the calm, sheltered blue water. There is a traditional windmill, some fascinating statues, a classic Greek church and plenty of fishermen and fishing boats going about their daily lives the same way they have for centuries.
4. Explore the Cave of Antiparos
Visiting this huge, historic cave is one of the most famous things to do on Antiparos. A short drive from Chora, it is filled with incredible stalactites and stalagmites, some that are as much as 45 million years old. It is a huge, eerie place with a wide range of amazing rock formations.
Not surprisingly, the Cave of Antiparos (also called Spileo Stalaktiton Antiparos) has been a popular destination for thousands of years and even served as a sacred spot for the Cult of the Goddess Artemis. Be sure to check out the 18th century Agios Ioannis Spiliotis church near the entrance, then tackle the more than 400 steps that take you around 100 metres down into the bowels of the cave.
Unfortunately, there was a surprising amount of graffiti in the cave. Some modern, some ancient. Which begs the question – how old does graffiti have to be before it goes from being vandalism to a historic point of interest?
Surely the names carved during the time of Alexander the Great represent important history. Probably also the evidence of the Marquis de Nointel, French ambassador to Turkey who held Christmas mass in the cave in 1673 and encouraged all of his 500 guests to carve their names into the stalactites. King Otto and Queen Amalia in 1840. Yeah, historic, for sure. Greg <heart> Lila – 2017, on the other hand? I’m not so sure.
5. Enjoy all the amazing Antiparos beaches
Like any Greek island worth its salt, Antiparos has a lot of terrific beaches. From calm, sheltered bays to windy, watersports hot spots to scenic rocky sections to secluded nudist hangouts, you should have no problem finding the perfect beach for your tastes.
Very close to the port, Theologos Beach is both convenient and popular. Its wide, sandy bay and calm waters are sheltered from the wind and there are plenty of tamarisk trees for shade, making it a good choice for families.
Just north of the harbour and Theologos Beach, Kaloudia Beach offers all the same benefits but it slightly quieter due to being just a touch farther from the main set of restaurants and bars.
Also known as the Antiparos Nudist Beach, this calm, flat beach on the north shore of the island is next to Camping Antiparos and just a short walk from Chora. It features very shallow water and often a vast array of flesh. Nude or not, it is often possible to walk or swim across to the nearby Fira and Diplos Islands.
On the opposite side of the island to the harbour, through Chora, you’ll find lovely little Sifneiko Beach, with its classic crescent of sand and terrific views. It is well-known for having fabulous sunsets.
A pleasant 1-kilometre walk or short drive southeast from Chora, you’ll find Psaralyki Beach (also spelled Psaraliki Beach). Actually two beaches separated by a small headland, Psaralyki I and Psaralyki II are among the most popular beaches on the island.
They are both well-organized, with umbrellas, sunbeds, tavernas, beach and water sports and trees for shade. Psaralyki I is bigger, has better swimming and is more popular with families while Psaralyki II has a small, secluded nudist section and a couple of bars that often go hard into the wee hours of the morning.
Just around the point from Psaralyki, Fanari is a lovely sandy beach with impressive palm and tamarisk trees, vibrant blue water and sun beds and umbrellas for rent. It also has one of the better beach clubs on the island.
A fairly basic beach without any facilities but it is relatively calm (wind) and quiet (people). There are trees for shade but you’ll need your own towel to lie on.
Glyfa Beach (also spelled Glifa Beach) is fairly basic and won’t jump out at you scenically but is also relatively close to both Chora and the Cave of Antiparos (both 5 minutes by car). It is also quiet and shallow, making it one of the best family beaches on Antiparos, and there are some good tavernas and accommodation options nearby.
Rather dominated by the Beach House Resort, tiny Apantima Beach is very cute, well sheltered and features and adorable little dock where fishing boats come to launch. It is also within walking distance of the cave.
Large and windswept and mostly empty, Soros Beach is pretty much the end of the good roads if you’re heading south. There is a popular beach bar, plus umbrellas, sunbeds, tamarisk trees and surprisingly good parking areas.
This cute little cove has some umbrellas and sunbeds and is very conveniently located if you are staying in one of the apartments on the hill above. However, the even smaller Chaubry Trafil Beach right next to it is actually a bit more sheltered and scenic.
Faneromeni Beach / Garbis Beach
Garbis and Faneromeni Beaches are both small, narrow, picturesque, perfectly rectangular coves with mediocre sand and no facilities. But the barren hills around them are good for wandering. Of the two, Faneromeni Beach is slightly bigger with marginally better sand.
Agios Georgios Beach
Right next to the village of the same name, Agios Georgios Beach is directly opposite popular Despotiko Island and is the best place to find a spot on one of the many small tour boats that go to both the island and the sea caves. There are some impressive sand dunes behind the beach, trees for shade and some great seafood tavernas nearby.
Vathis Volos Beach
Right next to Agios Giorgios Beach but even smaller and quieter.
Probably the most unique beach on the island, Epitafios Beach can only be reached by boat – unfortunately, we never made it there due to strong winds throughout our stay. But when conditions cooperate you can take a short, affordable boat trip to see this spectacular pebble beach tucked in under imposing cliffs and surrounded by sea caves and rock arches. If you have snorkelling gear you could probably swim there on your own.
6. Swim at Antiparos Grotto
This was our favourite place on the island. The gorgeous Antiparos Grotto has some of the famous Sea Caves of Antiparos and is a fantastic place to go for seclusion, swimming, scenery and even cliff jumping. We found ourselves completely alone here and went for a refreshing swim, even coming across a seal in one of the caves. We didn’t have gear with us but we’re told the snorkelling there is exceptional.
Most people stop at the grotto on one of the scenic boat trips so if you go independently either late or early you may have the place to yourselves. Although it is easier to access by boat, you can also drive there via a classically rough road to a gate blocking traffic at the entrance to a construction area. You can park there, walk around the gate (it seems to only be designed to stop cars) and follow a dirt road/trail down to the water (roughly 10 minutes).
7. Gaze at the beauty of Faneromeni Peninsula
We already mentioned Faneromeni Beach and Garbis Beach but the entire Faneromeni Peninsula is worth a visit even if you’ve had your fill of lying on the beach. The rocky Bay of Faneromeni is simply beautiful thanks to the Ubini Rocks, which are fascinatingly random and powdery volcanic tafoni rock formations.
Faneromeni Church of the Virgin Mary is also worth a look, as a classic building featuring stunning views of the bay and across the water to both Paros and Naxos. Keep in mind that the road gets rougher and smaller the further south you go, so if you’re driving one of the tiny rental cars popular in the area you will need to proceed with caution. We managed it, though, just driving very slowly toward the end.
8. Check out an Antiparos hiking trail
There aren’t a lot of specific areas for hiking on Antiparos but the island is very open, making it easy to go for a short wander inland from most of the beaches. One specifically good trail, however, leads all the way around the northern end of the island starting on one side of Chora and returning to the other.
This nice dirt path follows the shoreline past lots of impressive rocks and coves, eventually to the pleasant bay in front of Camping Antiparos and Camping Beach, before returning through slightly more development along the east coast back to the harbour.
5 km / 1.5 hrs / flat
GPS Map: AllTrails
9. Try scuba diving
The scuba diving in Antiparos is some of the best in the Cyclades, with a bevy of underwater wonders including scenic reefs, phenomenal shipwrecks and a huge variety of marine life. You can do great scuba diving day trips around the island or even sign up for a full diving course at the highly recommended Blue Island Divers in Chora, or one of the Paros dive shops that also have offices on Antiparos.
Known for fabulous visibility, some of the top Antiparos dive sites include the Canyons, Barracuda Point, Bubble Reef and Panderonisi cave.
10. Do some windsurfing and kitesurfing
The narrow strait between Antiparos and Paros is a wind tunnel that creates ideal conditions for both windsurfing and kitesurfing. It is especially good in summer when the meltemia winds rush through. All of the eastern beaches will work but Psaralyki Beach (Spot One Surf Club) and Glyfa Beach generally have the most options.
11. Relax in Agios Georgios
Heading straight west from Soros Beach (turning just before the road gets really bad on the way to Faneromeni) you’ll find the only other real town on the island. Known for its attractive little church with awesome views, it also has two good beaches, photogenic sand dunes and is the best place to get boats to the sea caves and Despotiko Island.
There are several atmospheric waterfront tavernas, lots of new apartments being built and, occasionally, topless women playing paddleball.
12. Explore Despotiko Island
Starting at Naxos, moving to the smaller Paros, then onto even smaller Antiparos, only to catch a boat to tiny Despotiko Island is sort of like playing a Greek Island version of Russian nesting dolls. Uninhabited Despotiko Island is just a short boat trip across the strait from Agios Georgios and is famous for the Despotiko Ancient Sanctuary.
Here you’ll find an ancient temple with impressive columns and outstanding views. There are also some nice trails and secluded beaches if you have time to explore. It is often visited as part of a longer boat tour that also stops off at Epitafios Beach and the sea caves.
Where to Eat: Antiparos Restaurants
If you opt to stay in a self-catering apartment or are just craving a snack, Antiparos Market has a good selection of supplies.
Pantelis Fish Tavern is one of the most popular seafood places in Chora and the perfect place to try a traditional Greek meal.
Romvi Extended is another good choice with a fantastic location overlooking the harbour. Friendly service and nice cold beer at the end of a hot hike.
Get your coffee and pastries fix at Acaba Café in the heart of Chora.
For something a little different, check out Scent, a tasty Vietnamese option with a pleasant, open garden.
Pizza lovers need to make time for one of the classic, wood-fired pies from Lollo’s Pizzeria.
Captain Pipinos is the best of three atmospheric waterfront tavernas in Agios Georgios (although they are all pretty good). With a great location, good prices and excellent seafood, it is understandably popular.
When to Go: Antiparos Weather
Like most of the Greek islands, Antiparos enjoys a very mild climate year-round thanks to the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. It doesn’t get as hot in summer as some of the other parts of Greece (22/28 low/high) and remains pretty reasonable even in the dead of winter (10/14 low/high), although there is also more rain at that time (especially in December).
In summer, though, Antiparos gets virtually no rain and, overall, enjoys a very dry climate. Although there are some hills in the centre of the island, the wind can be strong and is probably the biggest variable for your stay on the island. Spring and fall are generally the calmest times.
Since all of the islands get busier in the summer months, May-June and September-October can be ideal times to visit for good weather and fewer fellow tourists. From November until the end of April many of the restaurants shut down and there will be fewer accommodation options, although there will still be enough open to keep you fed and housed.
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How to Get to Antiparos
There is no airport on Antiparos and the only ferries come across from Paros. Luckily, Paros is very well-connected to both Athens and the rest of the Cyclades.
Antiparos Ferry from Paros
This tiny ferry makes the short trip across from Paros every 30-45 minutes starting at 7 am. You must buy your tickets on the ferry, they only accept cash, only sell one-way tickets and you have to back your car on so they can swing around and get you back off as fast as possible.
Boat Tours from Paros
Another popular option is to join a traditional “gulet” cruise that goes all around both Paros and Antiparos. Or, if you have a group and want and even more luxurious experience, book a private sailing cruise that will hit all the best spots exactly the way you want it.
How to Get to Paros
The Paros airport may be small but it sees a fair bit of traffic and is the closest landing spot if you’re trying to get to Antiparos. At this point, they only receive domestic flights, although that may change as Paros continues to become more popular.
There are regular flights from Athens that can be combined with international flights, so if you’re looking to maximize your time you can certainly arrive by plane. From most places, we find that SkyScanner is the fastest and most accurate site for booking flights.
Paros is a major hub for Greek island ferries, with Parikia serving as the main port. Paros is easily connected with pretty much all the other Cycladic Islands, plus many others scattered around the Aegean. Schedules and fares vary considerably throughout the year.
In summer, the most popular routes often sell out well in advance so it is a good idea to reserve your ferry tickets as soon as you have finalized your dates.
FerryScanner has one of the best ferry networks in the world and is the most user-friendly site we’ve come across. It is the site we use to book all our own ferry trips.
How to Get Around
It is possible to walk all around Chora, the harbour and to several nice beaches right from the pier.
For Agios Georgios, the Cave of Antiparos and some of the more distant beaches you’ll need a vehicle, though. Luckily, it is a great place for a road trip and there are only a handful of roads on the island so it is hard to get lost. The only downside is that some of the more remote roads are pretty rough so you’ll have to proceed with caution (although we were able to make it everywhere in a small rental car, just carefully).
In Greece, in particular, we have found a lot of exceptional deals on car rentals through Discover Cars. It is also possible to rent mopeds and ebikes in Chora and the island is small enough to make that feasible, although a few of the backroads are a bit sandy and could be tricky on two wheels.
Driving Times from Chora
Glyfa Beach: 5 km / 5 min
Cave of Antiparos: 9 km / 12 min
Soros Beach: 9 km / 13 min
Agios Georgios: 11 km / 15 min
Faneromeni Peninsula: 13 km / 25 min
It can be hard to find spots in Chora in summer but there is a relatively spacious public parking area just next to the pier when you come off the ferry. Parking at the beaches is a mixed bag – some have a decent amount of space and others just force you to park along the side of the road.
Luckily, this is Greece, a place with the motto “just park wherever you want and I’m sure we’ll eventually figure out how to get around you”.
From June to September, municipal buses run several times per day to a few of the most popular spots on the island. The only route goes from Chora to Agios Georgios, stopping at the cave and some of the main beaches along the way.
Is it worth going to Antiparos?
Yes, because it is simply an adorable little island. While it may not have the dramatic landscapes of Serifos or Sifnos, or the endless supply of ancient churches of Paros, or the famous historic sites of Naxos, lovely Antiparos is, in many ways, mainly enjoyable for what it doesn’t have.
Such as crowds, traffic, tour groups, cruise ships, chain hotels, etc. No, visitors to Antiparos come for the beautiful natural surroundings, uncrowded beaches, top-class scuba diving and windsurfing and a relaxing pace of life. And one huge cave, of course.
Is Paros or Antiparos better?
When choosing between Paros and Antiparos it will mainly come down to how busy you want to be. Paros is larger, has more towns and villages, more restaurants, more hiking trails and a wider selection of accommodation. Antiparos, on the other hand, is smaller, quieter and slightly more relaxed.
However, even though it is smaller, Antiparos still has more than enough beach, hotel and restaurant options to fill the average week or two holiday. So if you’re looking to get off the main tourist trail and really enjoy a peaceful stay, Antiparos is the better choice.
Trip Planning Resources
Here is a list of the most important resources we use when planning our travels, all in one convenient spot. Full disclosure, when you use any of these links to reserve or sign up for something, we receive a small commission which is greatly appreciated. However, your price does not change and we have only included products and websites that we can honestly recommend.
- For checking out flights we usually find that SkyScanner is the fastest and most accurate site.
- We book the majority of our hotels on Booking.com. With frequent stay discounts, thousands of reviews and free cancellation, it is very rare for us to have a bad hotel experience these days.
- Wise is by far the best international multicurrency bank account we’ve found. We can now send and receive money in half a dozen different currencies, convert to dozens more with no exchange premium and pay or withdraw local currencies. Highly recommended.
- When travelling we always get SIM cards with data for our phones. Local SIM cards are sometimes a bit cheaper but if you have a relatively new smartphone (iPhone XR or newer, Samsung S20 or newer) you can just buy an eSIM online, get a QR code by email and you’re good to go. After extensive research I have decided that KeepGo eSIMs have the best coverage and prices for most of our trips.
- World Nomads offers some of the best global travel insurance coverage. It is especially good for frequent travellers and digital nomads but also has competitive plans for short trips.
Antiparos Greece Summary
Whether you are the active type looking to enjoy watersports and hiking or content to relax on the beach by day and treat yourself to phenomenal Greek dishes by night, you should have no problem finding the perfect mix during your stay on Antiparos.
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