Antiparos in the Cyclades

Monday, 8 February 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Castro architecture © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castro architecture © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Antiparos is a small island in the southern Aegean, at the heart of the Cyclades, which is less than one nautical mile (1.9 km) from Paros, the port to which it is connected with a local ferry. Saliagos island is the most ancient settlement in the Cyclades, and Despotiko, an uninhabited island in the southwest of Antiparos, is a place of great archaeological importance.

The Community of Antiparos was founded in 1914 and was promoted to a municipality in 2010 with the implementation of the Law “Kallikrates”, under the principle of “each island a municipality”. It occupies an area of 45.182 square km, including the island of Antiparos and Despotiko. It has, according to the 2011 census, 1,211 permanent residents and a density of 27 inhabitants per km². The island’s economy is based on tourism, fishing, farming and less on agriculture in the plains. It is known for its white houses, cobbled streets and the flowers that thrive in the yards of the houses. It is a tourist resort in the summer for Greeks and European visitors, as well as land investors from the United States.

The main settlement lies at the northeastern tip of the island, opposite Pounda on the main island of Paros, whence a ferry sails for Antiparos harbour. The historical center is located in the Venetian castle of Antiparos, which is connected through the shopping streets in the picturesque coastal street. Other settlements are the resort of St. George in the southwest edge, Soros and Kampos. Beaches in the wider area of the center are Psaralyki, the Sifneiko, Ag Spiridon and the camping beach. Other beaches include: Soros, Glyfa, Apantima, Monastiria.

Antiparos Castle © Geraki/cc-by-sa-2.5 Antiparos Cavern © Kondephy/cc-by-sa-4.0 © ArnoWinter/cc-by-3.0 Castro architecture © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0 Municipality Hall © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0 Antiparos Town © Olaf Tausch/cc-by-3.0
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Castro architecture © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0
The island of Antiparos is located 0.8 nautical mi (1.5 km) southwest of Paros, separated by the Strait of Antiparos, known as Amfigeio. It lies 8 kilometres (5.0 miles) from the port of Parikia from which the passenger ferry runs. The maximum length of the island is 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) from north to south, while the maximum width reaches 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles). The total area is estimated at 37 to 38 km (23 to 24 mi). And the highest peak, St. Elias, in the middle of the island, is at 308 m. The main town is called simply Antiparos. Antiparos is a volcanic rock and dry climate with high moisture, and morphology favors the development of strong winds. The flowers thrive in the region are mainly bougainvillea that adorn the gardens, houses and shops. The morphology of Antiparos is characterised essentially flat, with many small hilly peaks, while the vegetation of the island is low. The island of Antiparos is surrounded by many small uninhabited islands with great historical and archaeological interest, such as Tsimintiri the Round, the Double, snow, Revmatonisi, the Red and Black Tourlos. Particularly well known in the international community is Despotiko, an uninhabited island west of Antiparos, where in recent years excavations of great archaeological importance have been carried out.

The island economy is based largely on tourism: the income from visits to the Cave of Antiparos form a very big part of the budget of the municipality. Most people work in the shops, restaurants and accommodation on the island during the tourist season from Easter to October, with the remainder funded by the Employment Service, or undertaking technical and manual jobs. The island’s economy is also helped by agriculture and animal husbandry, and fisheries. Since the 1970s and 1980s, Antiparos has become a popular holiday destination, particularly for nudists, attracted by the remote and sandy beaches. The best known is the Camping, or Theologians beach, at the north of the island, opposite the uninhabited island of Diplo. The far end of the town beach is also nudist, as is the Perigiali beach. However most of the other beaches on Antiparos are textile. Since the 1990s there has been a steady development due to its proximity to Paros, and the infrastructure has been improved to accommodate the growing influx of tourists.

The architecture, like all the Cycladic islands, requires strict regulations to preserve the uniformity of the Cyclades, which is composed of the typical white houses with blue doors and windows, yard and gardens decorated with bougainvillea and other flowers. Often these characteristics are consistent with the existence of stone or alleys of the neighborhood or the fences of the churchyard. The castle was built in 1440 and seems to have a very specific and unique style of architecture. The houses form a compact complex with 24 two-story houses forming the outer zone, while at the centre there is a motte or mound, till recently occupied by a water reservoir. Among the houses there are three churches and the old aqueduct. The houses have mostly been turned round to face outwards where they act as shops.

Read more on Antiparos, Wikivoyage Antiparos and Wikipedia Antiparos (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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