With a balance of nice beaches, diverse nightlife, white Cycladic villages, low-impact tourism and the best food in the Cyclades, Sifnos definitely ranks as one of the best destination in the Aegean.
According to “National Geographic’s Journeys of a lifetime – 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips”, Sifnos ranks as one of the ten most charming and exotic islands in the world, “it’s just a spot on the ocean that someone could hardly notice on a map. Yet if you find yourselves there, you’ll know there’s no other place of equal beauty in the whole world”
One of the most traditional islands in the Cyclades, it is home to ancient forts, long beaches, picturesque churches, unique local festivities, great stoned pathways for walks, a long-standing pottery tradition and excellent cuisine.
Our tour begins from the capital Apolonia, or Stavri, watching over three hills. We will walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful Cycladic houses, the gardens full of flowers, and the small shops with local ceramic products, elegant silverware and handicrafts.
In the square “Platia Iroon” we visit the Folklore Museum and learn about the traditional life of the islanders, as well as the church of “Panagia Uranophora” with its rare icons and gold-plated chancel screen.
Just 1.5 km to the north is classy Artemonas village, a true jewel, with neoclassical mansion-houses buried in flowers and an air that smells of the rosewater used by the family pastry shops to make the mouthwatering almond desserts (amigdalota). We also visit a pottery workshop where local tradition is continued in creating pottery plates and the famous “flaros” that are placed on house-rooftops.
Three kilometers from the Apolonia we visit to the ancient capital of Sifnos, medieval Kastro. Majestically built on the tip of a rock and washed by the waves, Kastro has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The fortress construction reveals the fear of pirate raids. We enter through the openings called “stoes lotzies” and find ourselves inside the narrow, cobbled lanes with high, brilliant, white walls, terraces, and blue doors and windows. The view from the edge of the settlement is breathtaking, with the tiny church of Epta Martyres ‘floating’ on a rock in the Aegean. It is well worth visiting the Catholic church of Agios Antonios, which houses the very interesting Archeological Museum. The museum showcases archaic and Hellenistic sculptures as well as ceramics dating from the 8th – 2nd century BC. At the root of the Kastro hill, lies the beach of Seralia, where we can swim & eat fresh fish among the ruins of medieval dock constructions.
Finally, we visit the church of Panagia Chrysopygi, the island’s poster-child, which stands, isolated and cut off from the shore, on her very own stone skerry, “petrogoleta”. We can bathe here or if we want to, or venture to neighbouring Plati Gialos, one of the most appealing beaches of the Cyclades.
Where to stay:
Five star luxury is offered at “Elies Resort” in Vathy on the southwestern side of the island, also offers a luxurious stay, natural beauty, minimalist Cycladic simplicity and excellent Mediterranean cuisine.
For a family stay in Platys Gialos, a cool enviroment surrounded by olive groves, 50 meters from the beach choose “Verina suites “
The latest addition to boutique hotels in Sifnos is “Kamarotí Suites“, an architectural gem nestled on a natural olive grove overlooking the antique village of Kastro with the blue backdrop of the magnificent Aegean Sea.
In Artemonas, the condominium of traditional apartments “Anemomylos”, built around a traditional wind-mill; in traditional Cycladic architectural style, it offers amazing views over the Aegean and the surrounding islands.
Where and what to eat:
A paradise for gourmets, Sifnos offers a culinary bliss. See our article The Best restaurants in Sifnos.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Local Code : 22840
Municipality : www.sifnos.gr/
Police : 31210