|Colin Murison Small's|
Size: 15km x 3km
As the blurb on the best map says, “Antiparos is a picturesque island with beautiful beaches, many ciders, solitary whitewashed chapels….” Don’t bet on the cider though: just sip an ouzo under a cedar.
Antiparos is 30 minutes by small ferry from Paroikia or eight minutes by car ferry from Pounta (between the town and airport) which runs every half hour from dawn to after midnight. That makes it an island which you can actually treat as a dormitory for much busier Paros. With frequent ferries (including the late ones via Pounta) you can even eat out in Paros and return to Antiparos for the night; or you can cross to Paros after breakfast, spend a whole day exploring (perhaps by car or scooter) and regain the friendly peace and pace of Antiparos the same evening. If you insist on spoiling yourself, you can hire a car on Paros and drive back to Antiparos every night! The water-sports facilities at Pounta on Paros are actually closer to Antiparos, being eight minutes away by ferry.
Life revolves round the harbour-front and the main street leading from there to the square, taking you past dozens of tavernas and restaurants and many of the island’s shops. There is real atmosphere here in a very laid-back way and people return again and again. There are plenty of beaches to choose from: several are within easy walking distance of the village, others are a few km south on the east coast – use the bus or hire a bike. On some it doesn’t matter if you forgot your swimsuit.
There are direct charters from Gatwick and Manchester on Fridays (and scheduled services on Thursdays and Sundays from Gatwick) to Mykonos, the best gateway for Naxos and Paros as well as Mykonos itself. There are direct charters on Tuesdays from Gatwick and Manchester to Santorini which is usually also the best gateway to Folegandros but can sometimes also work for Paros and Naxos too. However, the increasing number of comfortable fast ferries from Piraeus is making that option much more attractive even for the more distant islands. – access them by flying into Athens on OA from Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester. Lastly, from Athens you can fly on direct to Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Santorini by OA “connecting” flights – but remember that in OA parlance a connecting flight is the one you see leaving runway 2 just as you land on runway 1; and often the ensuing wait makes a ferry crossing much quicker. There are ferries linking Santorini with Folegandros and frequent small boats serve Antiparos from Paros.
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