The Weekly Getaway: balancing between mellow days and posh vibrant nights in Antiparos
Antiparos has long been known for the cool crowd it attracts, having Paros act essentially as a filter for all mass tourism, some claim. With a decent Hollywood celebrity crowd recently visiting (and hey, let's not forget Tom Hanks is almost a local by now), the island boasts more and more high-end real estate development and demanding tourists. On the opposite end, it still receives an influx of young and wild campers looking to get some of that remote vibe the island offers.
The island is tiny, yet it offers a wide range of beautiful beaches. For the less adventurous ones, aka if you don't want to drive, you have a couple of options down at Psaraliki 1 and 2. Two sandy beaches close to town that have recently been somewhat developed and partly feature decent sunbeds but tend to get busy (also with families). A bit further into the mainland, Panagia beach is unorganised but offers a great backdrop of cedar trees for some cool shade.
Some good 10km from Chora is Soros beach, which features one of the only two beach bars on the island. If you want to avoid the sunbeds there are also some cool beach beanbags under the bar's semi-transparent rooftop. The other one is Beach House Antiparos, by the infamous Oliaros team, responsible for most of the real estate development lately. Your average beach, a cool kids playground and some wellness facilities.
Very close to it, the cool kids tend to visit Mikros Soros in a smaller and more private bay. If you follow the road off from Soros and head south, you'll first find Sostis beach with some amazing turquoise waters, as well as the tiny Panagia Faneromeni beach that must be the island's top one! Make sure you get some water and enough supplies with you to last through the day under the scorching summer sun!
Last but not least, Ai Giorgis is a long sandy beach overlooking the bay of Despotiko, that is also very close to Captain Pippinos for some good seafood/fish meze right after.
The main town
Walking through the main street in Chora is always an experience. Whatever the time of the day, you'll always find it relaxing to spend some time there. If you go early in the morning you'll be able to catch some of that beauty uninterrupted by the flocks of tourists and enjoy a goo breakfast. Locals used to go to Café Margarita that offers some nice shaded area in its balcony, but the cool kids have lately started stopping by Elia Kafenes where Panagiotis is the master chef behind its delicious menu. In the afternoon, there's probably no real resason for visiting unless you want to indulge into the delicacies of Taverna Klimataria after the beach.
During the early evening, you can usually catch some of the action by the kids playing in the streets... priceless! Especially when they set up impromptu little shops selling their art or other memorabilia. As the night falls, the crowd goes further north towards the restaurants and bars of the town. A first drink at Cicada is a must, before heading to Boogaloo for some funky beats. The main square gets very crowded during August so make sure you're prepared! In the early morning hours (once the bars forcefully close down after 3am by law), patrons move into formations towards the infamous La Luna. If you're brave enough, follow them on!
Out and about
If you happen to spend a few days there, then you must try and go to Despotiko. A boat service runs almost every hour (check which ones actually dock at Despotiko and not just sail around!) that you can catch from Ai Giorgis. If you happen to have rented a rib speedboat, you can always catch some of the more remote coves of the island by heading northwest.
Otherwise, you can try some diving lessons with Gary at Blue Island Divers near the main town. Just 5mins away by boat to Paros, you can also reach Pounda where all of the kitesurf action takes place! Paros Kite Pro Center is one of the two main schools there where they'll take good care of you.
- Antiparos Cave - stalactites and stalagmites, as well as two small picturesque churches. Located 170 metres above sea level with an area of approximately 5,600 square metres and maximum depth of 85 metres (that's more than 400 steps down the cement walkway!)
- Kastro - small traditional settlement in Chora; sometimes hosting art exhibitions such as the Antiparos International Photo Festival
- Despotiko - small uninhabitated island, currently undergoing excavations with some artefacts exhibited in the archaeological museum in Paros' capital, Parikia
- Aegeo Inn - very friendly family run small hotel in a convenient location next to main town; great value for money in a super clean environment
- Artemis Hotel - overlooking the port, this charming traditional hotel is a very good choice too
- Degaetas Resort - a bit further out, this resort comprises of small appartments all of which enjoy great views to Paros. Not very private as verandas are next to each other but overall a good choice
- Panagia Faneromeni - the best (and most remote) beach around. The 15-20min ride from the main town may be a trek but it's definitely worth it. Explore the long narrow cave behind the rocks on the right side of the beach
- Sostis - turquoise waters and a small sandy stretch, also on the way to Panagia Faneromeni but a bit closer. Get supplies with you!
- Ai Giorgis - Long sandy stretch overlooking the Despotiko island. There are smaller coves along the shore which are more quiet, away from the big crowd
- Panagia - close to the main town, this is a long sandy beach with a series of cedar trees as a backdrop. Follow the Google Maps pin!
- Mikros Soros - known for its hipster crowd, this beach is a bit secluded (and waters mostly rocky). The sun goes down after 5pm but it's definitely worth a visit
- H Klimataria - traditional taverna in the main town with a great veranda and a tasty menu of grilled or cooked meat. Must try the pork chop and their delicious fried potatoes!
- Captain Pippinos - probably the most famous seafood taverna on the island; could be combined with a visit to the Despotiko island and/or Ai Giorgis beach
- Lollo's Pizzeria - infamous pizzeria at the port; must try
- Elia Kafenes - best spot for breakfast/brunch. Panagiotis makes the most delicious egg dishes!
- Cafe Margarita - also good for breakfast although it has lately lost its charm; the shade under the trees though is still magical
- To Oikogeneiako - late night cravings of Greek gyros, although their beef patty sandwiches are even better! Look for the window and the old giagia preparing these tasty bites!
- Vickys' Ice Cream - Vicky makes all of her ice cream on her own; try the stracciatella!
- Boogaloo - most popular lounge bar/club with a nice courtyard and some funky upbeat tunes inside; best to visit after midnight
- Cicada - stylish and laid back atmosphere with a hidden backyard and some great tunes and cocktails; best to visit around midnight
- La Luna - legendary afterhours disco lost in some low-lit roads at the back of Antiparos town