Antiparos is a small island bathed in the light of the Aegean and in tranquillity. Antiparos is the perfect antidote of the busy island of Paros which is less than a mile across. Quaint fishing boats and numerous cafes, fish taverns, restaurants are crowded along the waterfront, while in the rest of the island there are only peaceful cottages and small hotels.

Geography of Antiparos

Antiparos is located to the northwest of Paros Island, less than one nautical mile away, a distance which can by covered in 8 minutes by car ferry departing from the port of Pounda. Antiparos spans an area of 34,8 sq. km. with a total population of 1.037 residents. Both of the islets Saliagos and Despotiko near to Antiparos are not inhabited but they are of great archaeological importance.

History of Antiparos

Antiparos has been inhabited since Neolithic era. Archaeological excavations have found marble idols, ceramics and other important finds which are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Athens. The islet of Saliagos near to Antiparos is the most ancient settlement in the Cyclades, while findings of the excavations in the islet of Despotiko of a great sanctuary and several statues indicate a widespread cult of Apollo in the Cyclades. During the Second World War, the southwestern tip of Antiparos was used as a secret submarine base. Nowadays, Antiparos is popular as an alternative holiday destination for those seeking a more simple and slow-paced kind of holidays.

Sightseeing on Antiparos

The famous Cave of Antiparos is located on the southeast 9km far from the village, on the hill of Ai Yiannis at a height of 175m. In the entrance of the cave there is a beautiful little church of Agios Ioannis built in the 18th century. The cave spreads over an area of 5600 square metres and reaches a depth of over 100 metres with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The arched entrance to the cave is 20 metres wide and approximately 8 metres high. A huge stalagmite at the mouth of the cave is the oldest in Europe and dates back 45 million years. Sadly, during the Russian occupation of 1770-74, Russian officers cut off many stalactites that can be seen today at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The cave was also damaged by Italians and Germans during the Second World War.

The Venetian castle was built around 1440 to protect the inhabitants from pirate attacks. Today only the base of the central tower, the outside walls of the ground floor and parts of the roof can be seen.

Local Products of Antiparos

Antiparos has still many fishing boats so you can try octopus and fresh fish in every restaurant. Capers are used as seasoning in salad and you can see many caper bushes growing on the land of Antiparos close to the cave.

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