During our days in Antiparos, we chose to post all our pictures and updates online with the hashtag #KidsLoveAntiparos. In fact, if you type it, you’ll find our photos. And even if you may not see actual pictures of the children, landscapes will tell you why… The reason is simple, nature blossoms everywhere with brilliant colors and wild fragrances. As in most Cycladic islands, light is a key element, but here everything looks wilder, everything calls for adventure. With so much to discover, it’s quite obvious why Kids love Antiparos, the perfect island for families!
What to do in Antiparos with kids
Apart from the peace of mind such a relaxed island brings to parents, not everything looks so quiet to kids’ eyes. Getting lost in the maze of alleys in the chora can be an adventure. Our kids loved to wander the Kastro, the old fortress in the center of the village. Exploring every single abandoned angle, playing hide and seek or stopping to look (and caress) every single lonely cat that came across their path.
Pedestrian streets allowed them to go around in total safety, discovering signs (they are learning Greek and every sign to read is a challenge!), colorful trees and flowers, and places where to eat the best gyros… which is always a feast for kids.
A beach for every purpose
One of the things kids love the most while in Greece are the fantastic beaches of the islands. Well, at least my kids are hard to get out of the sea..! Many beaches in Antiparos are really great for kids, most of them are safe and shallow, with turquoise water and very fine sand.
Near our hotel they enjoyed two of the most peaceful places. The beach is known as the “Camping Beach”, because it’s near the only camping site you’ll find in Antiparos, and the other one is Theologos, so shallow and calm to look almost as a lagoon. One of the best ones for toddlers and small kids. I would definitely recommend this beach for families with children. Several trees offer enough shadow and there are no winds blowing in the area. What’s more, the center of town is barely 10 minutes away, so you do not need to bring supplies to spend your day there.
The beach of Sifneikos (thus called as you can see Sifnos in the distance) is a bit more rough for kids. Great for adults and irreplaceable for sunsets!
Other beaches relatively close to the chora are Psarailyki A and Psaralyki B, together with Panagia and Glyfa. They are more traditional places. There, just lying in the sun or a good, long swim in such crystal waters are nothing but the natural thing to do. Their closeness to the village makes them most popular in high peak months. The best moments to enjoy these beaches are, obviously, the months of may and September, when the island is at its best.
Going down the road bit further Soros will come to your sight and capture your senses. This beach has become the most exclusive place to be, to be seen and to see on the island. We were lucky enough to visit in May and find the beach empty, with a paradise touch to it. The colors of the water here change during the day provoking amazing combinations of blues and greens. There is a nice bar where to have cold drinks.
A lazy day in Soros is one of those little pleasures Antiparos rewards its visitors with. If you are an active type, pack your beach bag at about seven PM to reach Faneromeni. This solitary beach on the Southern tip of the island offers one the most attractive sunset settings.
My favorite beach of all, however, was Agios Giorgios, on the Despotiko Bay. The magnificent scenery you get from the road that leads there is stunning. Despite its beauty, people seem to prefer the comfort of the beaches closer to the village, giving this spot a solitary magic. In this area, you can get on a boat and venture yourself to discover the magic colors of Antiparos caves. Where impressive volcanic formations mix with the emerald color the sun produces when touching the surface of the sea.
For the best swim ever, cross the little bay to reach the island of Despotiko. Apart from the wonders of the archaeological site, there’s a secluded beach with a little church behind it. Spend there some peaceful hours, until it’s time to get back to Antiparos. Agios Giorgos can be reached by car but also with the local bus.
On the opposite side of Antiparos, the beaches of Monastiria and Livadia are more solitary and less easy to reach. Either you need a car or very good legs for cycling. These coast of the island is often affected on windy days. However, being more distant, it’s not rare to find a lonely spot to spend a day in full privacy.
If you visit Antiparos there’s no way you miss a day trip to Despotiko island. Captain Sargos took us to Despotiko his trip is perfectly planned to enjoy a bit of everything. We departed at around eleven with our captain and his friendly sailor retriever. The first stop was an exploration of the caves of Antiparos.
A palette of blues, greens, and turquoises cleverly mix with the gray shades of the rock formations around you. Curious shapes that allow the boat to venture under natural rock bridges and mysterious angles difficult to forget.
Then, there’s the actual crossing of the sea to reach the archaeological site. Despotiko is almost in the center of the Cyclades. In clear days it offers spectacular views of Antiparos, Syros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos and Ios. On the tiny island, the flora is rich and wild. In Spring you will enjoy the colors and perfumes of herbs and daisies.
The archaeological site
Significant archaeological findings give Despotiko similar characteristics to the sacred island of Delos. Due to its central position, the area played an important role in sea navigation. Archaeological excavations brought to light an important late Archaic sanctuary. Objects still visible on the different layers of the ground prove the link the island maintained to mainland Greece and part of the Mediterranean during several eras.
Our guide also explained that the still visible sanctuary was probably in honor of Apollo. If you are interested in seeing some of the objects found there, you will find them exhibited in the archaeological museum of Parikia (Paros), but trust me, my kids had extreme fun discovering pieces of pottery on the ground everywhere.
After the visit to the archaeological site, the boat departs from the close-by dock to take you to the beach of Despotiko. It’s possible to agree with your captain how much time you’d like to spend there.
Captain Sargos will return to take you back when you are ready to leave. This is one of the most beautiful places on Despotiko, with a fantastic view of Antiparos . For certain, the day trip to Despotiko was among our kids’ favorites while in Antiparos.
Kids Love Antiparos (The Cave)
The Cave of Antiparos is located in the center of the island, on the hill of Agios Ioannis. And take your camera with you because the landscapes you will admire going up there are pretty unique. Without any doubt, this was the kids best day in Antiparos. Who could blame them? I think that, so far, the Cave is the most magical place we have ever visited on any Greek island. Despite the 411 steps down (and, of course, up) you need to endure, the cave rewards you with priceless bizarre views.
In 1673 the French ambassador of Constantinople made it to the cave and explored its interiors. Together with his crew, they dow the caves with ropes and candles. There, they were amazed (as you will too!) to discover the impressive natural formations still visible inside. This expedition took place around Christmas time, so the ambassador performed a mass at the top of a stalagmite very similar to an altar. Inscriptions in Latin are still visible. Many famous people paid a visit to the site, leaving their signatures as a memory of their adventures.
In the entrance, the first thing you see is a white church in contrast with the color of the rock. It’s the church of Agios loannis Spiliotis (St John of the Cave). Right there, there’s a huge stalagmite, probably the oldest in Europe, about 45 million years old.
Descending the safe stairs to the heart of the cave, it’s difficult to decide where to look at. Which angle looks more weird, where nature has left a breathtaking trace. Unfortunately, some of the most spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites were mutilated by earlier visitors. Yet, the panorama remains one of a kind. One curious fact: it takes 80 to 120 years to create one cm of stalagmite.
Pin for Later: Kids Love Antiparos, the perfect island for families
Don’t you think there are enough reasons why Kids Love Antiparos? It is, indeed the perfect island for families!
About the Cave of Antiparos:
Located 8km from the Chora. Open every day from 10.00 to 15.00
In Summer there is a difference in temperature from outside to inside. Take a light coat.
Photos allowed inside, without flash only.
Entrance is restricted to people with heart diseases, breathing problems, special needs, and pregnant women.
Entrance fee: € 5,00 – kids € 2,50.