Antiparos (Modern Greek: Αντίπαρος; Ancient Greek: Ὠλίαρος Oliaros) 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 it occupies an area of 45.182 square km, including the island of Antiparos and Despotiko. It is known for its distinctive Cycladic beauty with white houses, cobbled streets and beautiful flowers that thrive in the yards of the houses. The historical town center is located in the Venetian castle of Antiparos, which is connected through the shopping streets in the picturesque coastal street.
The ancient name of the island was “Oliaros”, a word probably of Phoenician origin meaning “wooded mountain.” Later the island was named “Antiparos” Situated within walking distance from Paros.
In Antiparos also you can find the oldest Dry Cave in Europe, where you can see the biggest stalagmite in Europe. The Cave of Antiparos is among the most beautiful and most significant in the world; this because, in addition to being an enchanting natural site worth seeing, it is inextricably linked to the history of the area and generates great archaeological interest, owing to the findings from the Stone Age discovered in its interior. The engraved inscriptions that ‘adorn’ it are also an inexhaustible source of stories, legends and information concerning famous—and more anonymous—visitors, like a kind of guest book, whose first page was written hundreds of year before the birth of Christ.
Stalactites and stalagmites, which change form according to the inspiration and imagination of the individual visitor, adorn the ‘Katafygi’ [shelter], as locals used to call the Cave. It is located some 171 metres above sea level, is precipitous, and its interior temperature in wintertime is at about 15 degrees Celsius. It has an area of approximately 5,600 square metres. Its maximum depth reaches some 85 metres and the descent takes place easily and securely, by way of a cement staircase made up of 411 steps. The exceptional visibility makes possible the observation of details created by ‘Nature, the artist’, and also permits the search for human presence from the times of the Parian poet Archilochus (c. 680 – c. 645 BC) up to the 20th century.