Sifnos belongs to the island complex known as the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, and its southwest section in particular. Its surrounding islands include Serifos, Kimolos and Antiparos with its islets. Its traditional Cycladic towns include Apollonia – the capital – along with Vathy, Kastro, Kato Petali and Faros.
The island has a surface area of 77.3 square kilometres; its beaches, bays and promontories total nearly 75 kilometres of coastline, with great variations among them: rocky ledges to dive off from, pebble beaches or long sandy ones. The island’s west coast is considered particularly beautiful, and along with Profitis Elias (Prophet Elijah) – the island’s highest elevation, at 682 metres – is under the Europe-wide environmental protection programme Natura 2000.
Sifnos is ideal for serious walkers, as it offers a multitude of traditional paths to choose from. It is a fertile island with underground riches that include several rock formations and fine clay.
When to go
The best time to visit the island is from May to September, but it’s worth going during traditional holidays as well, such as at Greek Orthodox Easter.
A good excuse to visit the island early in September is the Nikolaos Tselementes Festival of Cycladic Gastronomy – named after a famous Greek chef whose name became a synonym of “cookbook” in Greek – where you get samplings of local dishes and cuisine.
How to get there
Getting to Sifnos is easy and fairly fast. Its main port, Kamares, is 79 nautical miles off the mainland Greek port of Piraeus, from where it takes 5 hours and 30 minutes by regular boat to get to the island. In the summer, the island is also accessible by high-speed boats, which shorten the journey to 3 hours.
The port of Kamares is also linked to other islands – Folegandros, Ios, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Paros, Santorini (Thera), Serifos, Sikinos, Syros, Mykonos and Naxos, among them.
In terms of airports, the closest ones are on the islands of Milos and Paros, while a heliport is used for emergencies.
Useful Telephone Numbers
SIFNOS MUNICIPALITY: 2284360300
SIFNOS POLICE STATION: 2284031210
SIFNOS PORT: 2284033617
SIFNOS REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE: 2284031315