Instead of people, the tiny island of Despotiko is populated by...goats. In fact, there are about a thousand of them. There are also ancient ruins, and archaeologists come here to churn up centuries-old offerings to Apollo and Artemis—vases, agricultural tools, and figurines. Maybe there’s no one living here today, but Despotiko has plenty of past: It played host to the Venetians, Ottomans, and many, many pirates. Aside from millennia of ruins, the views of Folegandros, Syros, and Sifnos are spectacular. Getting to Despotiko is a breeze, especially from Antiparos, where the ferry only takes a couple of minutes.
This teeny cove (it wouldn’t fit more than twenty people at once) is idyllic. It’s about a twenty-minute drive from the main town and charmingly rustic. No parasols, cushioned sun beds, or bar service here. But it’s worth a visit if for nothing else than the glassy, crystalline water and ineffably peaceful feeling of being in a place so desolate. Our advice: Fill a roomy beach bag with towels, snacks, drinks, and snorkel gear—even the smallest swimmers will spot fish and shells in the bathtub-clear water. And the tiny church on the beach’s edge adds to this picturesque scene. Image courtesy of Antiparos.com
Antiparos Town, Antiparos
If you do one activity on Antiparos (that’s not food- or beach-related), do this: Descend hundreds of steps into the cave while listening to an audio tour that explains the history of this natural wonder. Part of the attraction is the endless stalactites and stalagmites, one of which is rumored to be the most ancient in Europe, at about 45 million years old. As you descend, notice the various inscriptions on the cave walls, reminders of the figures who have also come down these steps, Alexander the Great and Lord Byron to name just two. There’s plenty of parking by the entrance, and a bus also runs from the port to the cave throughout the summer. Just be prepared with appropriate footwear and a bottle of water—there is no store nearby.
Agios Georgios Beach
Agios Georgios, Antiparos
Officially called Agios Giorgios but colloquially referred to as “the Captain Pipinos beach,” this stony stretch is adjacent to the best seafood in the Cyclades (or at least one place that claims that title, Pipinos). This beach itself doesn’t have the luxuries you’ll find at others—no umbrellas or beds for hire—but the clear views of Despotiko (a nearby island) the proximity to Pipinos, the calm waters, and the absence of a strong wind make Agios Giorgios foolproof.
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