Even before getting off the ferry boat or little vessel taking you to Antiparos, its picturesque little harbour comes into view. Ayia Marina, the windmill and the whitewashed houses of the village welcome you. From the very first moment you feel its enchanting aura. Along the length of the Port, the slate-paved sidewalk with its benches is ideal for saunters and for enjoyment: At daybreak, one can see the colours of the east painting the horizon and the channel; in the early morning hours, fishermen removing their catch from their nets, while local producers sell their extremely fresh garden produce; and, in the evening a romantic stroll within this picturesque landscape composed of caiques, little boats, children with their fish nets and the moon casting its light upon Revmatonisi and the hills of Paros.
After passing the picturesque little seaside tavernas and cafes found along the coastal road, you come to discover the central pedestrian precinct. Slab-paved, tidy, island-style and only for pedestrians, it leads to the Square of Ayios Nikolaos, a meeting point for locals and holidaymakers, both old and young. This distance takes about seven minutes to cover, walking at an average pace.
However, there is no chance of making it in that time! You’ll check out the people, browse the shops, run into children selling painted rocks from the sea, you’ll stop in front of a bar and softly sing a tune, pause to spy on the delicious dishes served in tavernas, covet local grapes in a crate, glue your eyes to a display case with ice cream, and catch a ball belonging to kids playing in the schoolyard.
From the Square, one road leads to the gate of the Kastro. Passing through it, you’ll immediately find yourself in other times, centuries ago, on a narrow little street with the remnants of the tower before you. Within this enclosed space with its inhabited dwellings, your glance will locate Venetian Loredano coat of arms embedded on walls.
The western road from the Square leads to the bay of the Sifneikos Yialos, where one’s gaze extends as far as Sifnos and the sunset reddens the horizon.
The village of Antiparos, however, is not only the central road. Whatever lane you may happen to turn into, the whitewashed little houses with the bougainvilleas, the low sitting walls, the cobbled roads, the pots with basil waiting for you to caress them so that they can fill the air with fragrance, and the hospitality of the residents, will all make you love this pretty-as-a-postcard place.
Pirate raids are ‘responsible’ for one of the most beautiful villages of the Cyclades, the Hora of Antiparos; this because the settlement was built with the Kastro [Castle] as its guide, which had been constructed earlier as a shield against pirate raids. And though pirates may have moved to other seas, and despite the fact that the settlement may have expanded, and even though only the gate may survive from Loredano’s Kastro, this remains the heart of the island, the place where everything happens.