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Antiparos


This description provides information of ancient sites, seaside resorts, churches, monasteries, landscapes and small towns and villages. Additional details can be found in various books printed on Greece, such as the 'Blue Guide to Greece.' The names of places conform to the accented Greek pronounciation which would be the one a traveller would face upon a potential visit.

For a general map of the Kyklades, click here!(55K).

To go back to the Kyklades main page, click here!


Antiparos is a famous island for one thing only: its gorgeous cave!
Antiparos is located in the western part of Paros island and connected via frequent caique (small diesel driven) boat. The island is 34 square kilometers and it is 12.5 kilometers by 5.5 kilometers (8 x 3 miles). The tallest peak is Prophet Elia (at 399 meters altitude) which is found in the center of the island. Mainly barren, the earth is volcanic in origin. In ancient times, the island was green but it seems that some intervening destruction of unknown nature changed all that. It ancient name was "Óliaros," meaning forested island.

There are two villages, Antipatos and Soros. Main occupation of the islanders is fishing and hunting (when permitted - mainly hares). There are many octopi in evidence as well as red mullet and sole fish for those interested in spearfishing.

There are obvious differences between the north and southern part of the island. North there are clear indicators that the island had volcanic activity during the Pleocene epoch, giving reasons for the barreness of the surface.

There are many wonderful beaches for everyone to enjoy (please keep them clean!) especially in the Eastern part of the island, facing Paros.

Phoenicians were the first inhabitants of the island, who also left traces in the nearby islands of Despotikó and Strongilí. In the middle ages, Antiparos became a haven for pirates, clearly indicated by the Castle which overlooks the main town and built to defend against them. In 1770 and for the next four years, the island was under the Russians and then under various occupants. Pirates from the island of Cephalonia and Mani further destroyed the island, the inhabitants and the cave.


THE CAVE
The cave of Antipáros is one of the finest in Greece, crowned by a wonderful array of stalactites and stalagmites, and is a cool escape in the heat of the summer.

Located in the sourthern part of the island, there are donkey rides from the main town.

In ancient times, the cave was in use, but little information remains. In the entrance, there is a small church dedicated to Agios Ioannis (Saint John), followed by a descent of 400 steps (!). We then meet a passage and a wonderful number of both stalactites and stalagmites. One of them is 7 meters wide and 8 meters tall, called Agia Trapeza (Saint Bank(?)) in honor of the Ambassador of France, who, in 1673, held vigil in front of it.

Further down, many of the original stalactites have been re-built, as they were destroyed by the occupying forces over the years, and at one place there is a sign indicating that the first king of Greece, King Otho, visited the cave, on the 27th September, 1840.


ANTIPAROS
Artemis, 0284/ 61460
Chryssi Akti, 0284/ 61206
Galini, 0284/ 61420
Antiparos
Antiparos, 0284/61221, can take 100 tents; is on the beach, has taverna and store

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