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Antiparos

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antiparos_map.jpg (16749 bytes)Antiparos is a small idyllic island to the west of Paros. To get to the island, you must first arrive in Paros, either by boat or by plane. From there, you have two ways to get to Antiparos. Either you take a small passenger boat direct from Parikia, or you take the bus from Parikia to Punta and from there a small, flat bottomed car ferry over to Antiparos. The first alternative may be a little rocky, depending on the weather. The trip with bus and ferry is guaranteed calm, as the distance with the ferry is too short for the waves to build up uncomfortably. Both alternatives take a good half hour. Both the boat from the port of Paros and the ferry from Punta dock at the north end of Antiparos, in the only village, also called Antiparos. In the centre there is a fortifications. Antiparos village is where most of the island's 900 permanent inhabitants live. This is also where the majority of rented rooms are to be found. You can choose anything from campsite to private "rooms" to recently built hotels and studio flats. There is no need to book in advance, you'll always find a free bed. If you don't manage to find one yourself, you just have to visit on of the many travel agencies down at the port. But this should not be necessary, because if you arrive with a rucksack, you will barely step foot on shore before someone asks you if you want "rooms".

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Antiparos seen from the car ferry between Antiparos and Pounda (Paros)

Antiparos has many beaches. There are at least 5 within walking distance of the village. One of these is actually an officially designated naturist beach, and there are not many of these in Greece. In addition, there is one where nudism is practised. This one is also used by many families. The main beach is found on the east side of the island, just south of the port, and is a beautiful beach where the waves are never too big. This is because the distance to Paros is short and the prevailing wind in the Cyclades is from the north. This means the wind blows off-shore on this beach.

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Antiparos main beach (Psaraliki 1), with plenty of space. The beach is shallow and ideal for children of all ages.

There are more beautiful beaches further south along the east coast of the island. Another beautiful beach is situated on the Southwest coast, at St.Georgios. You will find all these beaches when you follow the new EU-sponsored road which now goes all the way to St.Georgios. It also leads to Antiparos´ most famous attraction, the great stalactic cave. This is a MUST when visiting the island. Hundreds of people arrive from Paros every day just to see the cave.

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From the stalactic cave, magnificent!

Antiparos is a perfect island for families with young children, and for anyone else who wants to experience a beautiful island. First of all because it is quiet and peaceful, yet not so quiet that it should worry anyone. There is a good choice of restaurants, bars and pubs, and even a couple of discos. Secondly, everything is within easy reach. Distances to beach, restaurants and shops are short, wherever you live in the village. And there are hardly any cars and scooters (although it has to be said that numbers have increased dramatically in the past few years). antiparoskirke.jpg (9935 bytes)The main street is completely free of cars. Children can run around and play by themselves, and everything is so concentrated that even the children can find their way round after a couple of days. And most of the beaches are shallow and almost without waves. And when the children are happy, then mummy and daddy are, too!

Another good point it that it is only a short way (1/2 hour) to Paros. Where there is an unbelievable variety of things on offer. A Norwegian youth from Oslo said it like this: "Parikia on Paros is worse than Karl Johan (Oslo’s main street) on a Saturday night." Those who want action, will find it on Paros. If they at the same time would like to stay in more quiet place, then Antiparos is the answer. But Paros is not only action. It is also a really charming place, with many exciting things and places to explore. One suggestion is therefore to go over to Paros early in the morning, rent car/motor bike/moped there and then go around the island for one or more days. One good idea: go in the day before, order a car for the next day and have it delivered in Punta the next morning.

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Antiparos hire firm for cars, mopeds, motor bikes and bicycles

Well, you can still do this, but in the summer of 1997, Antiparos got it’s first car hire firm. They have 10 cars. You can also rent mopeds and bigger motor bikes here, and you can even rent ordinary bicycles on Antiparos now. This means you can rent your car on Antiparos and take it over with you.

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From the main street of Antiparos. The picture was taken in the middle of the day. There are many more people in the evening, after sunset.

As mentioned earlier, you can choose between taking a direct boat from Parikia to Antiparos or the bus from Parikia to Punta and the car ferry from there to Antiparos. The direct boat is less frequent, I would guess that it goes about hourly from 8am to 6pm with a quiet period in the middle of the day. Ticket price in the summer of 1999 was 490 Dr. one way. The frequency of car ferry departures varies considerably during the season as well as during the day. In early and late season, ferries go about every half hour, while in the high season they go every 20 min. This is between 9am and 8pm. The first departure is 6am, while the last varies according to season. and in high season they go until 2 o'clock in the morning, but after 9pm only once an hour. As mentioned, there is a bus to Punta. The frequency of this varies according to season as well, but let's say there is at least one bus per hour between 8 am and 10 p.m. At night you have to take a taxi from Parikia to Punta to catch the ferry. With these frequent ferry departures between the islands, it is very easy to explore Paros even if you stay on Antiparos. The car ferry in the summer of 2000 cost 170 Dr one way. The bus to Parikia cost 230 Dr. Car with the ferry cost 1700 Dr one way. Taxi between Parikia and Punta was 2000 Dr at summer of 2000.

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The car ferry between Pounda (Paros) and Antiparos.

Agriculture and fishing used to be Antiparos most important livelihoods, and these are still important. The island is known for fishing, especially octopus fishing. It is quite easy to get good seafood here. In the last 20 years, however a new livelihood has grown up, and this is of course tourism. And tourism is getting more and more important for the island. There has been a rapid development on the island, especially in the last 10 years, with the result that today the island has a lot to offer us tourists. There is a great choice in places to stay. The choice used to be mainly between rooms and simple hotels, but today there are many new developments with beautiful flats. Even the first hotel/apartment complex with swimming pool has appeared.

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Antiparos fishermen.

As regards places to eat, there is also a good choice. One could eat at a different place every day during a three week holiday if so desired. Some of the places seem to change owners from one year to the next, but it is rare to see a place closed. The trend is for new places to crop up every year. Apart from this, our needs as tourists should be met by the at least 5 supermarkets, 2 bakeries, one pharmacy, the doctor who opens a few hours every day (but lives on the island and can therefore be found at any time, day or night), the post office, at least 7travel agencies, and last but not least, a photo shop.

Antiparos get a cash machine (ATM) in October 1999. You find it in the main street about 250m from the harbour, wall to wall with the photo shop. Its open all the year round. A bank office is also fit out, but we don't know at 12. February 2000 when it will open and if this only is a new high season bank.

Who goes to Antiparos? This varies through the season. The summer of -97 we were lucky enough to be able to visit the island twice. The first time was in the end of June. At this time there are many Norwegians and Swedes. Many are families with children of all ages. We met a Swedish family where the youngest child was only 4 months old. She was here with her brother who was just over year and a half. Both kids were having the time of their lives, and then, of course, mummy and daddy have a good time, too. This time of the year the island is dominated by Scandinavians. Later we returned at the second half of August. Then the visitors were completely different. There were a lot of Greeks and Italians, as both these countries have holidays in August. There were also more young people (students). There were generally speaking a lot more tourists in August than in June.

A Norwegian girl (Vigdis (Vicky in Greek/English)) lives at Soros on the south-east side of Antiparos, all year round. She rents her house out in the summer. She also acts as an agent for all the rooms/flats/hotels and houses to rent in Antiparos and she also know about land and houses for sale. Tel: + 30 22840 61596 Mobile: + 30 69449 28284 URL: http://home.no.net/vigdivas/

Link to Googles map and satellite photo over Antiparos

 

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© Jan Bergtun, 18 January 1998 Updated, 09.24.2011
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