The small and dry island is located about 700 m southwest from the shores of Antiparos. Despotiko is situated almost exactly in the center of the Cyclades and during clear days it offers spectacular views towards the surrounding islands of Antiparos, Syros, Serifos,Sifnos, Kimolos, Folegandros, Sikinos and Ios (in anticlockwise order). Administratively, the island is part of the community of Antiparos.
Presently, the island can only be reached by boats starting from the island of Antiparos. Boats leave either from the main village of Antiparos or from Agios Georgios (southwest Antiparos), just opposite Despotiko. Usually, the final destination for them lies on the southern part of the island where a large sandy beach is located.
Although presently uninhabited, there are significant indications that in prehistoric and ancient times the island - due to its central position among the Cyclades and the large Despotiko Bay (between the island and Antiparos) providing safe anchorage - played an important role in maritime communication routes. Currently, excavations are taking place in the northwest part of the island and so far the findings are of great importance. The excavations proved the existence of an important late Archaic sanctuary with abundant objects indicating links to mainland Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and even to Northern Africa, as well as the continued use of this area in the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Frankish periods. Some of the nicest artifacts from the recent excavations are exhibited in the archaeological museum in Parikia, tha capital of the nearby island of Paros, along with other important antiquities from the region. Some glimpses of the early modern and modern history of Despotiko might be reconstructed from historic topographic maps and descriptions of travellers from that period.