Planning your Greek Island hopping adventure? Do not miss a visit to Antiparos with kids. It may be small but it has plenty to see and do. Most people will only visit Antiparos for a day on a trip from Paros, but we stayed for 3 nights in Antiparos with kids and loved it. I would say it is one of the best Greek islands for families – I definitely recommend staying on this laid back Greek island if you have the time.
Visiting Antiparos with kids
Parts of Antiparos feel like they haven’t changed since my mum sailed the Greek islands 40 years ago. Rubbly, unmade roads with the odd white square Cycladic building sitting in the hill side. The main road to the settlement we stayed in St Georgio, was built in 1980 and it hasn’t been updated since. Although a few newer tavernas have popped up, not much else has changed.
Saint George, Antiparos has sea front tavernas on wild beaches with greying, tanned smokers drinking thick syrupy Greek coffee very slowly, listening to psytrance. As a mum I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of their lazy mornings while I tried to keep my three from burning, running into the road or sea or generally causing mayhem.
Of course I wouldn’t change it for the world, and I’ll have my day being a greying, tanned, coffee drinker once they’ve grown.
And thankfully, no one seemed bothered by my kids taking over the hammock and generally spreading all their toys out across the bean bag chairs. In fact, as with almost everywhere in Greece, kids are so welcome. Especially the baby. Everyone loves a chubby, smiling baby in Greece. Especially one who likes to dance and clap like Max does.
There are signs of Antiparos becoming more trendy though, more commercialised. The newer cafes and bars have a distinct Ibiza vibe, decorated in bright whites with cleansing juices and smoothies on the menu. Antiparos village and port is an entirely different place to the remote beach of St George and many of the locals I spoke to complained about Antiparos trying to become the next Mykonos! The stunning white buildings, white paved streets and bright pink bougainvillea are just incredible.
Be warned, some of the sun bed prices and boutique clothing stores are already charging sky high Mykonos prices!
I love the vibe of both these types of locations in Antiparos, I just really hope the new doesn’t push out the old. Having so much diversity of experience on one tiny island is brilliant.
Antiparos isn’t just trendy bars and sleepy beaches, There’s tonnes to see and do in Antiparos with kids so let’s get started … Here’s the full lowdown on visiting Antiparos with the family.
Where is Antiparos?
Antiparos is a small island in the Greek Cyclades. Only accessible from the island of Paros, Antiparos feels suitably off-the-beaten path without straying too far. Just my kind of family travelling style.
How to get to Antiparos
It’s really easy to get to Antiparos. Two ports from Paros run ferries over there. The cheapest and easiest option is the small Pounda Port. Just turn up and walk or drive onto the ferry that will be waiting for you. They run every 20 minutes so there is always one waiting, being loaded up. And they only travel to Antiparos, no risk of getting on the wrong boat. Once you’re on, see the ticket vendor to pay your fare. It’s only 2-3euros. By the time you’ve boarded, admired the turquoise water and the kite surfers nearby you’ll be on your way. The journey is 7 minutes and then you’ll be disembarking in the village of Antiparos.
The alternative is the ferry from the main port in Paros, Parikia Port. This is slightly more expensive and takes longer as it’s further from the island. Parikia Port is also much more busy and slightly more difficult to navigate as there are lots of other ferries departing from here.
Is it worth visiting Antiparos with kids?
Loads of people make the day trip over from Paros. It’s a easy journey and doesn’t cost much to get there.
Honestly, the ferry ride alone makes it worth the trip. It’s all about the journey right? My kids LOVED the ferry ride! The sea is so beautiful it’s breathtaking. And at just a couple of euros per adult (kids go free) it’s a cheap adventure.
Is it worth staying in Antiparos?
Absolutely yes! If you have time to do a multi stop trip to the Cyclades then definitely plan in a few days in Antiparos. As you’ll see from my list of things to do in Antiparos with kids below, there’s plenty to do here and you can’t cram it all into a day trip.
If you only have time to stay on one island then Antiparos could be the one. The island is tiny and it’s easy to explore the full island over a few days. Seeing such diversity in one small place is excellent. You’ll get a taste of the swanky, upmarket boutiques and shopping streets in Antiparos village, and you’ll experience the wild, remote beaches in the other settlements in the same trip. And yes, I use the word ‘settlements’ because only Antiparos village is big enough to be considered a village.
Things to do in Antiparos with kids
Beach House Beach Club
There are two beach clubs on the island of Antiparos; Soros Beach Club and Beach House Beach Club. We chose Beach House because it seemed to be the more child-friendly beach club in Antiparos. Beach House is on a sheltered, pretty little bay, on the East coast of Antiparos.
You’ll pay upwards of 70Euros for sunbeds for a family. In return, you’ll get fabulous bar service and access to massages, a kids club and yoga classes (all at an extra cost). It was wonderful to be waited on and to sneak off for a relaxing massage. We hadn’t had much opportunity for relaxation on this trip.
You’ll also find a small play area for children.
I advise pre-booking your sun beds if you want to spend the day here.
The cave in Antiparos is very impressive. With over 400 steps down into the cave you’ll need to be relatively mobile to manage this. I am not that fit. I carry a very heavy baby around all day but otherwise I don’t workout regularly. I found the steps going down hard on the calves. I actually didn’t have much trouble getting back up the steps. Pregnant women and people with heart conditions are not allowed to enter. I would extend this to anyone with little people who will need a carry if you’re not able to carry them up and down stairs easily. There are some tight corners on the steps and you regularly have to pass people going in the opposite direction.
Ok, so that’s the accessibility bit covered.
The cave itself is stunning. There are huge stalactites and stalagmites filling the cavernous space. It’s lit very atmospherically and every kid and adult we saw seemed to find it a cool experience. Even Max quite enjoyed being carried down (I recommend a baby carrier or sling) and he did his best to walk back up. I think he managed about 100 steps before tiring bless him.
This site is just off the coast of St George, Antiparos. You’ll need to catch a boat over to the island of Despotiko. You don’t need to pre-book. You can just turn up at the beach and find the company (Sargos) running the boat over. When we visited a boat was running hourly from 11:30am. You won’t have much trouble finding the boat. St George is a tiny settlement with very little else there.
The temple ruins and the excavation site only opened in 2021 and work to reconstruct the temple is still underway. The marble columns are beautiful to see and it is a really easy way to see some of Ancient Greece without the kids complaining. Being by the sea means you’re not getting too hot and sweaty exploring dusty ruins. A brand new path has been laid to the temple so it’s very buggy friendly, once you get the buggy off the boat that is! The boat journey is around 10 minutes, if that and you’ll be given around 20 minutes to half an hour to walk to the excavation site and back.
Despotiko Day Cruise – temple, water caves and beach!
This 4 hour cruise is brilliant for families. You combine the temple ruins, a trip to a gorgeous sandy beach in a protected bay on the uninhabited island of Despotiko and exploring the water caves in the area. You also have a option of swimming around some of the safer caves, obviously depending on the swim strength of your kids. My girls went in to explore the cave, but I stayed on the boat with the baby and took photos from afar.
We all had a really enjoyable time on the boat. Max slept in his buggy for quite some time once we left the temple.
When we arrived at the beach there was a big day cruise boat already there. Captain Ben’s day cruise is more like a party boat and is packed with lively cruisers. There’s a BBQ on board which Rich was a little jealous of but they don’t recommend their cruises for under 7’s or ‘sensitive people’. We were pleased that the Captain Ben’s gang were called back to the boat for lunch shortly after we arrived and we pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves. Our boat left us at the beach for around an hour before coming back to collect us and take us to explore the water caves. There was the option of staying at the beach until the following pick up time giving us an extra 2 hours at the beach however, we didn’t bring enough food to sustain the hungry kiddos and husband to stay out that long.
Being on a smallish boat allowed us to get up closes to the incredible rock formations on the island and see the water caves. The captain pointed out a snakes nest before finding a safe place for everyone to jump in and have a swim. As everyone got back on the boat the adults were all poured a strong, sweet local wine and the kids given a juice carton. We nibbled on watermelon and listened to Greek music as we zoomed back to Saint George.
There weren’t many others on our boat cruise and we got chatting to most of the other passengers. The Greek ladies loved Max and clapped and danced with him to the music. The American backpackers were impressed with the girls being adventurous enough to jump in the water and explore the caves and the Aussie gang gave us their to tips on visiting the Acropolis when we head to Athens.
Once again, while we met plenty of people who spoke English, we didn’t meet another English group.
Saint Georgio beach
A sandy beach on the South of the island served by 3 excellent tavernas (with a couple more within walking distance) It’s also the jumping off point for the boat over Despotiko Island. Sun beds are available for a fee.
Window shopping in Antiparos
The village of Antiparos is possibly the most ‘instagrammable” place on the island, the whitewashed paths and buildings are wonderful to walk around.
Brimming with fabulous tavernas and high end boutiques you’ll enjoy window shopping in their clothing and homewares stores. There are also boats to look at in the port, which Max loved!
Where to stay in Antiparos
If you like to be near to all amenities such as shops, bars and cash points the best choice is to stay in the village of Antiparos.
If you like to feel ‘off the beaten path’ one of the more remote settlements would be a good choice for you. Saint George is an excellent choice for a quiet spot. You’ll get the peace and quiet of being in a remote space on the island while still being well served by eateries! There are 5 very good cafes and tavernas to choose from proving breakfast, lunch and dinner!
The best family-friendly accommodation in Antiparos
Kouros Village Hotel
If you want to stay near the main port of Antiparos – Kouros Village Hotel is renowned as the best family-friendly hotel on the island.
Kouros Village is 550, from the port and within walking distance of so many shops, bars and restaurants. You also get an incredible view over the port of Antiparos. Kouros Village has large family rooms so you’ll fit everyone in without having to have separate room which is brilliant when you have little people in tow. With a pool, beach within 50 meters and excellent reviews it’s a good choice for your stay.
Gio St Gio Apartments
If you would like somewhere out of the main tourist run consider staying in a self catering villa or apartment in one of the settlements such as St George. We stayed in the Gio St Gio Apartments in Saint George and we absolutely loved it there.
We had two rooms, a living area and kitchenette. There are five good tavernas within easy walking distance and a stunning garden to sit in with a glass of wine or a tea after the children have gone to bed.
For more of a beach club vibe consider booking Beach House beach club – mentioned above as an brilliant day out in Antiparos with kids as well. There are only 8 rooms, and it books up fast! You’re on a tiny, protected bay and you have access to their kids playground and beautiful restaurant. There is also access to a spa area with massage therapist and yoga classes.
Do you need to hire a car for Antiparos?
You will want to travel around the island when you are on Antiparos. You don’t have to have your own car. We didn’t. Once I added up the taxi costs for each of our trips out and the transfer to and from the port we still didn’t quite spend as much as the cost of car hire for the duration of our trip. But it was a close call and perhaps we didn’t go out and about as much as we might have done if we did have a car. It’s also worth noting Antiparos only has two taxis on the island. Not just two companies, but just two cars. Luckily we never had a problem getting a cab when we needed one but there is a shortage of taxis.
There is a tourist bus that circles the island and stops at the key destinations including the port and caves.
If budget is no concern then hire a car before you head to Antiparos and take it with you on the ferry over. If you do not hire a car, be sure to choose accommodation near some amenities and plan your trips out to minimise journeys.
Things you NEED to know before you visit Antiparos with kids
- The only ATMs on the island are in Antiparos village, right by the port. Take cash with you or get it as soon as you arrive. Not everyone can take cards (especially taxis)
- There are only two taxis on the island. Yes, TWO TAXIS. Not two taxi companies. Just two actual cars. With a couple of drivers taking turns driving them.
- Most journeys you take in a cab with cost you the same (circa 25Euros) because regardless of where you’re going to and from the cabbie will be driving from the port and returning to the port.
- Many of the setttlements don’t even have a mini market. Be sure to stock up on water and snacks when you see an opportunity to nip into a shop.
- Be ready to pay for beach sun beds. Prices vary hugely. Sometimes the price drops after 5pm but otherwise you pay the day rate regardless of how long you’re staying.