No matter its small size, there are quite a few great things to do in Antiparos, the quaint island in the Aegean Sea which even Tom Hanks himself has chosen to call home for the summer.
Probably the number 1 reason why Antiparos is famous all across the globe is the fact that everyone’s favourite actor Tom Hanks owns a villa on the island. He usually spends his summers there alongside his family and their fellow Hollywood superstar guests.
That said, stalking Tom and his friends is not among our recommended Antiparos activities. Not only is it rude but it’s also unnecessary. Antiparos is tiny so chances are you will eventually spot them anyway in the most natural of circumstances. We didn’t, of course. Yet a friend of ours stumbled upon Matthew McConaughey on his way to the bakery. We can hate him to eternity for that. Our friend, not Matthew.
Seriously now, there are many fantastic things to see in Antiparos and this authentic island is perfect for everyone. From families with kids and couples to groups of friends and solo travellers.
So, here’s our complete guide and list of the best things to do in Antiparos, one of our favourite islands in Greece. Enjoy!
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How Many Days and What To Do in Antiparos
We spent three full days in Antiparos and loved every single minute. Although super tiny, the island is perfect for either a short escape or a longer relaxing holiday by the sea. You can also visit Antiparos on a day trip from nearby islands. However, we strongly advise against that unless there is absolutely no time for you to enjoy at least an overnight stay there.
If you’re wondering what to do in Antiparos and what’s so special about it, you should know that the island represents literally everything you’ve ever heard of the Greek Islands. Imagine a whitewashed town with cats wandering around its narrow streets and colourful bougainvilleas hanging over its blue doors, pristine sandy beaches and a vibrant yet nostalgic nightlife. Welcome to Antiparos!
10 Amazing Things To Do in Antiparos Greece
1. Mingle With Locals and Fellow Travellers in Chora
Antiparos Town or Chora is the island’s main settlement. Start your walk from the quaint port and then head towards the heart of Antiparos Town by walking along the main pedestrianised street. The latter is home to many eateries and shops. Keep walking until you reach the main square and then get lost in the magic of the island’s narrow whitewashed alleys.
2. Wander Around The Enchanting Antiparos Castle
Now, don’t expect to see a full-scale castle as Kastro (the Greek word for castle), is more of a district within Antiparos Town. The Venetian Castle of Antiparos was built in 1440 so as to protect the island from pirate invasions. There used to be a main tower in the centre of the castle, around which houses were built as a continuous construction. The outer walls of these houses coincided with the defensive walls of this fortified settlement.
Nowadays, all that remains to remind of a castle is the base of that main tower as well as a Gothic gateway near the main square. The castle area is still inhabited. Wandering around its super tranquil streets and admiring the superb island architecture is definitely one of the best things to do in Antiparos.
3. Watch The Sunset at Sifneiko Beach
Whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to watch the sunset at Sifneiko Beach. The latter looks towards Sifnos Island, hence its name. In order to get to the beach, you have to walk an easy and utterly picturesque path that starts from the main square. Just follow the signs to Sifneiko or Sunset Beach.
Once there, you can either hang out on the beach or sit at one of the two cafés. Either way you will enjoy one of the best sunsets you have ever experienced.
4. Visit Antiparos Cave
The Cave is one of the best places to visit in Antiparos and hands down the island’s top attraction. With a depth of about 85m, Antiparos Cave is utterly impressive and home to spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Unfortunately, the cave has been quite damaged throughout the centuries as it has often been used as a shelter or even a place of worship. Many stalactites and stalagmites have been broken or removed altogether while others bear scratches or even writings on their surface.
Upon entering the Cave of Antiparos, you will be greeted by a massive column which is 45 million years old as well as the quaint Agios Ioannis Church. Then it’s time to descend to the depths of the cave by means of 411 steps. Keep in mind that you then have to climb those 411 steps back up so if, for any reason, you don’t think you are strong enough to do so, just hang around at the cave’s entrance instead.
Unlike other caves in Greece, visit to Antiparos Cave is without a guided tour. A single ticket costs 6€/adult (3€/child) and the cave is open from April through October.
5. Take a Trip To Despotiko Island
Despotiko Island is a super tiny islet just off the coast of Antiparos and one of its top attractions. It is home to an ancient sanctuary which used to be the largest one on the Cyclades Islands, second only to the world renowned sanctuary on Delos Island. Despotiko has no permanent residents. Join a boat tour so as to visit the archaeological site as well as some of the island’s remote, heavenly beaches, the most popular of which is the exotic Livadi Beach.
6. Explore The Island’s Sea Caves
The southern part of Antiparos Island boasts quite a few spectacular sea caves and secret coves. You can explore these and swim in unbelievably emerald waters during the same boat tour that will take you to Despotiko Island. There is a full day boat tour that departs from Antiparos Port and costs 50€/person as well as a half day boat tour that departs from quaint Agios Georgios Village for 25€. We joined the latter and loved it.
7. Get a Taste of The Antiparos Nightlife
As mentioned above, Antiparos Island is the ideal destination for all kinds of travellers. The same is true for the island’s nightlife. The latter is neither expensive nor suited to younger crowds alone. The night scene of Antiparos has something for everyone and is absolutely authentic and irresistibly vintage.
When the night falls, head to the main square of Antiparos Town. Although peaceful and laid-back during the day, the square literally comes to life in the evening. There are mostly clubs playing mainstream music on the square. That said, just around the corner from the square, The Doors is a legendary bar which plays rock music since 1981. There are also quieter bars for a cocktail and a chat in the streets around the square.
No matter where you choose to start your night out in Antiparos, though, there is only one place to end it. Read on.
8. Dance The Night Away at La Luna
You haven’t been to Antiparos if you haven’t spent a night at Disco La Luna. The legendary disco opened its gates in 1981 and it seems that nothing has changed ever since. Stepping inside the time capsule that is La Luna, you can’t help but feel that you’ve somehow been teleported to the 80s. Both in terms of decoration and music selections.
During the summer months, La Luna Antiparos opens its doors every night at 2am. However, it’s after 3am that all roads lead to the picturesque disco which is situated just outside the town. To get there, you follow one of the prettiest paths we have ever walked on, which starts from the very heart of Antiparos Town (there is a sign). The road to the disco is so dark that the stars and the moon in the sky look gorgeous.
Legend has it that the disco owes its name to a German tourist who used to say that in order to find the disco in the dark you have to let the moonlight guide you (luna is the Italian word for moon). Nothing can get more romantic than that. Oh wait. There is one thing that is actually more romantic than that: the moonlit path itself.
The party at La Luna is at full swing from about 4am until after the sun is out. The dancing never stops. Not even when the openings on the roof let the broad daylight come in. Only when the DJ stops the music do people reluctantly start walking towards the exit door. And, oh God, the beauty that awaits outside as the island wakes up from its sweet sleep.
Useful info: There is a 5€ entrance fee which includes a beer or drink. Please stick to bottled beer or ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages so as to avoid headaches, hangovers etc.
9. Stay Awake For The Sunrise
We often tell you that, during your travels, it’s worth waking up to see the sunrise at least once. This time we advise you to do things just a tiny bit differently. Don’t sleep at all! The best way to enjoy the sunrise on Antiparos Island is to spend a night at La Luna and then walk to the town at dawn.
The path that connects the town to the disco is mesmerisingly beautiful at sunrise. The surrounding countryside takes on a stunning hue of pink and gold that makes you feel as if you’re walking in a dream.
Once in the town, things only get better as there is nothing like walking around a gorgeous half-asleep island settlement that seems to have surrendered to absolute peace and quiet. This image of Antiparos Town won’t be easy to forget.
10. Swim in The Waters of The Best Antiparos Beaches
It goes without saying that one of the top things to do in Antiparos (or any other Greek Island for that matter) is swimming and having fun on the beach. Like all the Cyclades, the island is home to many gorgeous beaches you won’t want to miss. Apart from the island’s sea caves and the beaches of Despotiko Island we talked about earlier, let’s have a look at some of the best beaches in Antiparos.
There are quite a few very good beaches within walking distance from Antiparos Town. These include Psaraliki 1, Psaraliki 2, Panagia, Sifneiko, Theologos and Camping Beach. The latter, as its name suggests, is the beach that is located next to the island’s camping site (more on that later on) and it’s a nudist beach, probably one of the oldest in Greece.
Sifneiko Beach is often exposed to strong north winds thus not ideal for a swim. That said, this beach is renowned for its amazing sunset. Theologos Beach is ideal for families with small children as it features calm and shallow waters. Our personal favourite choice near the town is Panagia Beach, which is sandy with incredibly crystal clear waters.
As far as the rest of the island is concerned, one of the best Antiparos beaches is Soros, a long sandy beach with deep blue waters which lies about 8km from the town. Last but not least, if surfing is your thing, then Livadia Beach is where you’ll find the best waves.
Where Is Antiparos Greece
Antiparos is situated in the heart of the Cyclades Islands, literally a stone’s throw from its super popular neighbour Paros Island.
How To Get To Antiparos
There is no direct ferry service to Antiparos Island. Therefore, the only way to get to Antiparos is by getting to Paros Island first. The latter is accessible by either ferry or plane from Athens.
Once on Paros Island, you can get to Antiparos by ferry which departs from Pounta Port every 30 minutes. Ferries run from very early in the morning until very late at night. The journey lasts less than 10 minutes and a single ticket costs 1,30€/adult (children travel for free) and 6,30€-7,30€/car. Check out the Paros Antiparos ferry schedule here.
During the summer months, there is also a ferry that connects Antiparos to the main port of Paros Island (Paroikia). This vessel is for passengers only as it can’t carry any vehicles. The journey lasts about 30′ and a single ticket costs 5€. When there are strong winds blowing, this ferry service is interrupted and you can only get to Antiparos from Pounta Port. There is frequent bus service from the main port of Paros in Paroikia to Pounta Port.
How To Get Around
Antiparos is very compact so renting a car is not really worth the money and trouble. You can get everywhere within the town as well as to many nearby beaches on foot. The island is flat for its most part thus easily walkable. During high season, there is frequent bus service from Antiparos Town to the cave, the small port and beach of Agios Georgios as well as many other beaches such as Panagia and Soros.
If you feel like exploring the most remote beaches or taking your time admiring the beauty of the island’s countryside, you can either rent a bicycle or a scooter.
Where To Stay in Antiparos
The best place to stay on the island is definitely Antiparos Town. This way, you can get pretty much everywhere on foot and only need transportation on a couple of occasions, such as visiting the cave or one of the island’s remote beaches.
Check out some of the best Antiparos hotels here.
If you like camping, then you should know that the island is home to one of the oldest and most popular campsites in the Cyclades. Camping Antiparos welcomed its first guests in 1978 and it’s a synonym to carefree summer holidays ever since. It mainly attracts young crowds who are on the island to party but it’s also very popular with families.
Where To Eat in Antiparos
The fact that Antiparos is one of the most authentic and unspoilt Greek Islands means that its food is equally so. For breakfast or brunch, head to Aspronissi Bakery for delicious sweet and savoury treats or Margarita Café for freshly made omelettes and crepes. For a trendier take on brunch, Elia Kafenes serves the fluffiest pancakes. All three places are situated along the town’s main street.
For a traditional Greek souvlaki try either Plaza or The Family Souvlaki, both of which are located near the main square in Antiparos Town. If you feel a sudden craving for Italian food, Lollo’s at the seafront near the port serves the best handmade pizza and pasta but it’s a bit overpriced compared to other restaurants in Antiparos.
For the best handmade ice-cream as well as other dessert options go to Vicky’s on the main street of Antiparos Town. Last but not least, one of the best places to eat in Antiparos is Captain Pipinos in Agios Georgios. This traditional restaurant serves mouthwatering seafood dishes with exceptional views to Despotiko Island and the sea.
Are You Ready To Travel To Antiparos Island?
Now you know pretty much everything there is to know in order to plan your own amazing trip to Antiparos Island. This gorgeous little island in the Aegean Sea is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a quintessentially Greek summer holiday.
With so many amazing things to do in Antiparos, we can safely say that the island is one of the best places to visit in Greece. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Antiparos adventure now!