We have been on holiday Mykonos for the past nine year. I managed to end up on the windy island even on those years when I had not planned it...and I always loved it. Even that year when we decided to split our time between Mykonos and Paros, and we headed back to Mykonos after only one day in Paros as it was deemed 'too boring' for us! Althought this is probably one of the best holiday destinations today in the Mediterranean, lately I have felt the island has changed in a way I do not like. Much more has been built, the touristic infrastructure has grown, the prices have gone up, as the number of visitors. Somehow it feels a bit too much!
That is why this year we opted for a much quieter destination: still Greece and still an island. We picked Antiparos.
Antiparos is slowing acquiring the reputation of an understanded fashionable island, attracting celebrities like Tom Hanks, Madonna, Woopie Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Willis, and Pierce Brosnan, most of which have villas here. No see-and-be-seen Mykonos' social whirl: Antiparos is a place for those who seek and require no society but their own.
It is relatively easy to reach as you can fly to Mykonos (tons of direct flights now from the major European cities) and then hop on a ferry to Paros. From there you catch a smaller ferry that lands you on the island. Alternatively you can fly to Paros from Athens.
Antiparos gets its name from sitting just in front of the bigger island. As you arrive to the port, you have most of the main atttractions in front of you. The hotel we stayed at, Artermis, sits very pretty, overlooking the bay. It is a 3 stars but its location is so good, we decide to stay there. Just 100 meters in, you have the main street with shops and restaurants.
To move around people rent scooters, quad-bikes and cars, ideally 4x4, if you want to explore the remote beaches. There is only one car rental shop on the island!
What to do
Antiparos is popular with lovers of wind sports: mainly kite-surfing and windsurfing. Most of the kite surfers to go Paros to rent the equipment or take lessons and most of the activities take place in the channel between the two islands. If you love kitesurfing, this is one of the best destinations in Europe. On Antiparos there is a beach called Psaralyki, where you can rent windsurfs, paddle boards (SUP) and kites. The beach is quite and just 5 minutes walk from the port so it is perfect if you just want to walk to a beach and enjoy the sun. There is also a nice beach restaurant called Fanari.
Just opposite Artemis Hotel, there is very cute diving center, called Blue Island Divers. I took my PADI (scuba diving open water certificate) there. I went down to 18 meters and although it was a bit scary at first, once underwater, everything became very calm.
Where to eat
There are so many good restaurants on this island! we tried quite a bit of them
Pavlos' was probably my favorite one. Super traditional and basic tavern, the owner Pavlos shows you the catch of the day and lets you pick your fish. Dinner and wine is about 30 euros. On certain night you will find traditional Greek music as well.
For a more elaborated cuisine, there is Kalokery on the main street. Everything on the menu is amazing, especially the seam bream tartare.
Beaches and beach bars
There is only a couple of beach clubs on Antiparos but they are both very good.
Soros Beach is a stylish complex of a beach bar/restaurant and suites, located in the 800m long beach of Soros with the deep, azure waters and only 9km away from the town center. , Soros beach is one the top destination in the island. Great music plays is played by a DJ all afternoon. I loved the restaurant all white decor, the beach bean-bags and their shop.
Beach House is the second beach club we visited. Hidden inside the sandy cove of Apantima, this is an all-day hangout home of one of the best restaurants and beach club. the vibe is even more relaxed than at Soros (also due to the lower music). They have a wellness centre with massages and yoga and suites.
The other beaches are quite remote and do not have bars or restaurants on them. There are many so take time to explore and pick your favorite.
I loved Faneromeni and Monastiria. You have to take your own beach unmbrella, food and drinks as there is absolutely nothing on these beaches, a part from the odd Greek church to provide a bit of share. Get a good car to reach these beaches. With a 50cc scooter, you will have to walk up the steep hills!
Overall, a great holiday! And as I continued to love Greece for my holiday, I have already picked the island I will visit next year!
What I wore
From our collection, I picked two Solid and Striped bikinis (the Harley in Leopard print and the Ruched in Pearl White) and the Nina ribbed one piece. I also wote Alasia Lifestyle Nissi sandals and a mini St Tropez cover up from 9seed in lavender. Finally I had two clutches from kayu, the Tista (in black) and the Grae (in neutral).
Captain Pipinos is a fish tavern by the sea in St. Giorgio. Affordable prices and friendly service will make you feel like you are in a unique and authentic small tavern, with the traditional octopus hanging to dry above your head!
If you are missing London healthy-trendy food, you will feel at home at Yam. Yam is a cafe that serves avocado and eggs, chia seed pudding, cow milk alternatives and smoothies: not very Greek but very good and in a beautiful setting. Have brunch in their super relaxed yard.
If you are partial to bougainvillea flowers hanging above your head, you have to go to Taverna Klimataria. The whole roof is fuchsia flowers....it's just an instagram perfect restaurant!
For a good spinach pie, go directly to one of the bakeries on the main street and for the best ice-cream, go to the super cute Vicky's, again on the main street.
Bonos Taverna and Sinoris have also beautiful setting but we didn't have time to try them.
Where to go for drinks
By far the best place to watch sunset and drink aperitif is Sunset Deseo. The girls waiting the tables are amazingly nice and the drinks are super good. I had the Hugo pretty much everyday. Sunset Deseo caters for all ages and that is what gives it such a happy vibe. Very bohemian, they have also an outdoor restaurant.
In town, we liked the Smiling Frog, with its owner Angelo, who is also a great dancer.
If you have seen the buzzy Mykonos and are longing for a more relaxed vibe, Antiparos is for you!