Antiparos Travel Guide

Antiparos

This smaller sister isle to Paros may have once been a well-kept secret, but thanks to celebrity resident Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, everybody now knows about this pretty little bolthole—it's certainly a secret no more but it still teeters on the right side of development. Two or three decades ago you would have gone to the Paros hamlet of Pounta, made your way to the church, opened its door as a signal, and waited for a fishing caïque to chug over. Now, 30-car ferries ply the channel all day and a lovely 7-minute ride wafts you over to Antiparos (or you can take a 20-minute ferry ride from Paros Town). A causeway once crossed the Antiparos strait, which would be swimmable but for the current, and on one of its still-emergent islets, Saliagos, habitations and objects have been found dating back almost to 5000 BC.

Antiparos's one town, also called Antiparos, has a main street and two centers of activity: the quay area and the main square, a block or two in. At both are restaurants and cafés. To the right of the square are houses and the Kastro's 15th-century wall. At the other end of the quay from the ferry dock, a road goes to an idyllic sandy beach (it is 10 minutes by foot); you can wade across to the islet opposite, Fira, where sheep and goats graze.

It is pleasant to go around to the other side of Antiparos on the good road to Ayios Georgios, where there are three excellent taverns, perfect after a swim. On request a boat will take you to the nearby islet of Despotiko, uninhabited except for seasonal archaeologists excavating a late-Archaic marble temple complex to Apollo, and there are plans to open a museum here in the near future. In autumn the hills are fragrant with purple flowering heather.

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