The Cave of Antiparos
If you’re looking for a cool break in the heat of the summer sun wandering around the beaches, the renowned Cave of Antiparos is the ideal choice.
Worlds of silence and darkness, mysterious and imposing, caves have a special charm: a strange mixture of fear, excitement, mystery and an urge for exploration, together with a sense of a world far and away, still inexplicably familiar and protective. A taste of this mixture can be sampled at the Cave of Antiparos.
Known since antiquity, the Cave is located in the southeastern part of the island on the hill of Ai Giannis, about 8 kilometres from Hora. In older times it was a whole adventure to reach the place: you had to take a boat up to a nearby bay, go uphill to the cave on foot or on a donkey under the hot sun and you had to descend tied up by a rope and holding a torch in your hand. Today, of course, things are different: a wide road and frequent transport together with ample parking space enable traveling to and from Hora, and the 100-metre descent to the cave can be made by means of well-built concrete steps with steel railings for security. Now the visitor can enjoy the magical shapes of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave. For those still reluctant to descend, there’s a nicely laid out court with the little chapel of Ai Giannis Spiliotis (St. John of the Cave) and an impressive stalagmite 8 metres tall guarding the entrance of the cave. It must be the oldest in Europe, dating back to 45 millions years ago.
Exiting the dump and cool cave out to the burning Cycladic landscape blinded by the blare, is in itself a unique experience, although the shaded entrance helps to adjust. Before leaving, don’t miss the exquisite panoramic view from the parking area. Paros, Iraklia, Ios, Sikinos and Folegandros line up in the horizon, along the endless blue, closing this unusual for an Aegean island experience.