Serifos

Untamed beauty that changes with the light
View of the Serifos island from the top of the castle
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A quintessentially Cycladic island of brilliant light, clear water and steadfast traditions

Some islands remain essentially unchanged. Serifos is one of them, a holiday destination for those looking for something above and beyond  a glittery facade. The landscape here changes with the light. If you like rugged countryside, you’ll be impressed by the wonderful shapes nature has sculpted into the hillsides. In the port of Livadi, memories of older, more innocent times will come flooding back. You’ll fall in love with beaches with blue-green waters. And then there’s Hora, the island’s town, a vision in brilliant white cascading down a conical hill. 

What to do on Serifos

Award-winning beaches

Take your pick: blue or green, shallow or deep waters, sand or pebbles, shaded or sun-drenched, blessed by a chapel or garnished with its very own taverna. Lia, Koutalas, Vagia, Ganema, Kalo Ambeli, Psili Ammos, Sykamia. You’ll need several summers to explore all 40 of Serifos’ officially recognised beaches – though the locals claim the number is actually 72 – unless you come by yacht.

Stairway to the castle

Whitewashed houses cling to each other as they perch on the rim of vertical rocks. Facing east, they seem to tumble down the slope, solid and fluid all at once. They rest on the scattered ruins of the ancient town, referred to by Xenophon. A stairway leads higher and higher to the Venetian castle that encloses the chapels of Agia Varvara, the Saviour, Agios Konstandinos and Agios Ioannis. The view from here is breathtaking.

Upstairs-downstairs… in Hora

Greeks and foreigners have bought and renovated many of the abandoned houses in the upper town (Ano Hora) and brought them back to life. The main square, Pano Piatsa, is dominated by the church of Agios Athanasios and the neoclassical Town Hall. At night, it becomes one big party as the tables fill with appetisers, ouzo, coffees and other drinks. To avoid the heat, walk down to the lower town (Kato Hora) in the early morning. It’s a Cycladic maze of whitewashed alleys and small courtyards and cascading bougainvillea, a startling contrast with the bare expanse of mountains beyond.

The mining museum

The open-air mining museum (and illuminating chats with former iron miners) will give you insights into the island’s main source of income in years past. At sunset, wander over to the impressive loading rig that juts out over Megalo Livadi bay. The hillside above it is rust-coloured, decorated with old rail tracks, wagons and tunnel mouths.

 

Hidden gems of Serifos

The Monastery of the Taxiarchs

Crenellations, battlements and high walls make it look more like a medieval castle. The most important monastery on the island, it was built in the 16th century and the view from the abbey alone is worth the visit.

Cyclops’ throne

This geological formation really does look like a giant armchair and you can’t help wonder just how those seven huge carved boulders got up there. The Throne of Cyclops is at Cape Kyklopas, a spectacular location with a panoramic view of the southwestern side of the island. 

Town from above

At sunset, take the stone path the old miners used between the heliport and Hora and you’ll see a magical side to the island. This is the only spot where you can witness the town from above.

At sunset, wander over to the impressive loading rig that juts out over Megalo Livadi bay

Experience the best of Serifos

From the beautiful chapel of Agios Konstantinos nearby, you can look out beyond Livadi onto a who’s who of Cycladic islands

Exploring the Cycladic charm of Serifos’ Hora

There’s a picture-perfect beauty to Serifos’ main town, all the way from the castle-top views of the Aegean to the Cycladic architecture and bougainvillea-filled courtyards.
  • Award-winning beaches
  • Upstairs-downstairs… in Hora
  • The mining museum
  • The Monastery of the Taxiarchs
  • Cyclops’ throne
  • Town from above
Highlights

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