The Antiparos North Coast Hike
A circular, moderate difficulty 9km hike around the scenic northern coast of Antiparos, starting from the port and following the waterline, then going up rugged hillsides and down to secluded beaches with magnificent sea-scapes W-NW . Single-footpaths, dirt roads, sand… and sea! Also great in sunset time!
Description After a 5-minute boat crossing from Pounta, we disembark in Antiparos town and start walking along the northern coast, enjoying beautiful views of Paros island and the islets between the two islands, as far as the twin Portes rocks in the entrance of the bay of Parikia. As we move along the coast on rocky footpaths through fragrant low bush (cistus, lentisk and thyme, right by the water!) and dwarf cedars, we admire the shallow turquoise blue waters between the island and the Fyra islets. Moving further north, the beautiful sandy coves get surrounded by dunes wooded with dwarf cedars. Past Antiparos camping, the coast starts to become craggy, lace-like and wild; a prelude of the way our trip will take.
As we go past the wide sandy beach of Sifneikos Gialos, we find ourselves walking uphill, scrambling on a dirtroad as we pass by some newly-built villas to eventutally find the chapel of Stavros (“the Holy Cross”) where, beyond the open sea, one can discern the silhouettes of surrounding islands (Syros, Sifnos, Serifos and, on a clear day, Kythnos and Polyegos). A few meter further, the dirt track becomes a narrow footpath that winds downhill among the low bushes and wild flowers that grow on the edge of the cliffs that now make up the shoreline. As we carefully walk around the rugged coastline, we catch a glimpse of a string of beautiful wild beaches beckoning from below. We go down to the prettiest of them (in fact, a series of interconnected beaches), where we stop for a sea-dip (weather permitting!) and a snack break on the golden sand, at the feet of cliffs and spectacular rocks. After the break, we re-take the steep trail, uphill this time, sometimes pausing to catch our breath and enjoy the sight of the mosaic of pebbles glimmering in the emerald waters below us.
After a longish stretch of uphill dirt road, we finally reach a plateau at a height of approx. 110m above the sea, where the island’s eastern shores seem to unfold in front of our eyes, all the way down to the village, the Fyra islets off the north coast and Paros mountains across the channel to the east. We take in these beautiful views (and even more so on a late afternoon hike, as the light can be really amazing there!) and start descending. Now it is all the way down to the series of shallow sandy beaches bordered with sea pines known as Psaralikes, where we walk mostly by the water in the direction of the village, where the loop will be closed. We may decide to either finish our walk with a well-deserved coffee/refreshments break (or even a full taverna meal) at the waterfront, or go directly to the port to catch the ferry back to Pounta and Paros.
In a nutshell [Antiparos coastal magic ] hiking/hillside climbing/sea views/swimming, duration 4h (incl. stops & sea dip!), elevation ±110 m, moderate/challenging.