Antiparos may not be the most glamorous of the Cyclades group of Greek islands, compared to Mykonos or Santorini– but it still attracts Hollywood stars and celebrities every summer.
For many Greeks and foreign visitors, Antiparos is one of the best-kept secrets of the Cyclades, a hidden gem that attracts thousands of loyal travelers every summer and is only half an hour by boat from its ‘parent’ island Paros.
Among the Hollywood stars attracted to Antiparos is Tom Hanks, who loves the island so much that he bought a summer house there along with his wife of Greek descent, Rita Wilson. The Hollywood star knows the picturesque island well and visits almost every summer.
In the past few years, Hollywood luminaries Nia Vardalos, Whoopi Goldberg and Matthew McConaughey have visited the island.
In 2021 Jeff Bezos, while cruising the Aegean aboard a luxury yacht, had dinner on Antiparos with Tom Hanks, Anderson Cooper and Greek PΜ Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The dinner was hosted by billionaire businessman Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
Last year, Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling, and their two daughters were spotted enjoying a stroll on the cosmopolitan island.
Things to do and see at Antiparos
But Antiparos, just a stone’s throw from its biggest cousin Paros is not just for the rich and famous. It is ideal for a relaxed and peaceful holiday.
The main settlement lies at the northeastern tip of the island, opposite Pounda on the main island of Paros, where a ferry sails for Antiparos harbor.
Hora (Town) of Antiparos has been built around a 15th-century Venetian castle. The stone-paved streets, the whitewashed alleys, the houses decorated with luxuriant pink and purple bougainvilleas and the central square with its shadowy eucalyptus trees create an enchanting atmosphere.
There is not much left of the Venetian castle built circa 1440; only a circular tower remains standing to remind locals and visitors alike of what once was.
While in Antiparos there are many stores for alternative shopping. You can find unique fashionable clothes and accessories, trendy gifts and novelty items, alternative souvenirs, and generally items that mostly reflect the bohemian Antiparos lovers of previous decades.
Cave of Antiparos
There is the Cave of Antiparos, an impressive landmark, as it is one of the largest in Europe. You need to take 411 steps to get to the heart of the cave and gaze at the incredible stalactites and stalagmites mutilated by visitors in the past.
The cave is situated on the southeastern side of the island on the hill of Agios loannis. The entrance to the cave is guarded by a small 18th century church called Agios loannis Spiliotis (Saint John of the Cave).
This cave, which sits some 177 meters above sea level, is internationally famous and is believed to be the oldest cave in Greece, dating back some 45 million years.
Swimming at Antiparos
Once on Antiparos, swimming, diving or sailing around Agios Georgios beach is a must. Cool turquoise waters, volcanic formations that have created coves, bridges, and caves one can swim through or dive into will add one more memorable experience to the whole trip.
You can embark on several boat trips to nearby islands (like Despotiko) or try some local specialties and freshly caught fish at many nearby taverns.
This is no organized beach, so be sure to pack what you need and bring supplies with you.
For romantic souls, or nature lovers, watching the sunset on Sifneiko beach is great, and a tradition for Antiparos visitors.
Glyfa beach, located at a distance of 3.5km from Antiparos town, is a sandy beach in the southern area of Antiparos facing east towards Paros island.
It is ideal for families and children to play in the sand and swim in the sapphire waters. Access to the beach is easy, and trees provide shade from the sun in the hours when it gets stronger.
At night, you can have dinner in one of the many traditional Greek tavernas or more trendy restaurants and later have a cocktail at one of the many bars.
For the young and the young at heart, Antiparos has one of the legendary open-air discotheques in Greece, a remnant of the late 1970s disco craze. It is the last disco in the Aegean and one of the last in Greece overall, and dancing to a classic rock tune there at least once on your holiday is a must.