When I first heard the name “Antiparos” in August 2021, it was while I was looking for a location for my hotel. My first thought was that it may be bad karma to name a new business “anti–something”.
Ten more seconds spent on Google, and my Antiparian opinion was completely overruled. Before I knew it, I was booking my first trip to this island. Two flights from TLV (Tel Aviv-Athens-Paros) plus a ferry? Was I nuts? This was way too much. Never again!
Well, as they say—never say never.
Two weeks later, I traveled to Antiparos. With some free time to kill after looking at locations in Paros and Naxos, my Cretan real estate broker, Giannis, suggested we take a quick look around “since we are in the neighborhood”.
As the ferry approached the port, I called my husband and told him this was it. I found it! A short twenty-minute drive later, and I was shaking hands with the seller. At that point, my journey began. I fell in love with Antiparos—head over heels.
Being a freak for history, I immediately tried to learn everything about the island. The more I learned, I discovered that it has always been overshadowed by the neighbouring island of Paros. Some historians even believe these two islands were connected at one point.
Even its name came from Paros since it is situated directly opposite of the island. Hence, the name αντί-paros was born.
But Antiparos was originally called Oliaros, meaning “wooden mountain”. It got its present name, Antiparos, sometime in the 13th century A.D. when it fell under Venetian rule.
Its history dates back to the Neolithic Age, which is proven by remains of an ancient settlement from 4000 B.C. on Saliangos (a small island between Antiparos and Paros) that were discovered by the British School of Archaeology in 1964. The first inhabitants of this land are believed to be Phoenicians who traveled from Sidon, a city in Lebanon.
By the 13th century, the island experienced frequent attacks by pirates from Algeria, Crete, Kefalonia and other places nearby. The Venetians made Antiparos a part of the Naxos Duchy and built the Kastro to protect the island from enemies. Three hundred years later, in 1537, Antiparos, along with the rest of the Cyclades, fell under the Ottoman rule.
Between 1770 and 1774, Antiparos was also under Russian power. However, this was also the time when Antiparos became well known and a popular attraction for foreign travelers who published their opinions and experiences about the island’s archaeological sites. In 1821, the people of Antiparos were some of the first in the Cyclades to fight in the Greek War of Independence.
Many years of hardship and uprising led to Antiparos finally becoming incorporated in the Greek state in 1832. Antiparos also actively participated in the resistance against the Germans during World War II, but this has a blog of its own (Oxi day). Enough history for now.
I feel obligated to clarify one more thing about the name Antiparos. I felt so strongly against the name in the beginning because I was pronouncing it ANTI-paros as if it was “anti-something”, which was wrong. Since learning the correct pronunciation, the name is now music to my ears. The correct way to say it is “an-TI-paros”. So much better, don’t you think?
The name Antiparos also has ancient mythological roots. Antiparos was one of Aegyptos’ fifty sons.
He was murdered along with forty of his brothers by his wife Gritomethea, one of the fifty Danaites.
That’s it for now. See you soon!
P.S.—In addition to my initials, OK is also a Greek expression: Όλα Καλά (OLA KALA), meaning all