Sifnos

The silent power of the Cyclades
Port on Sifnos from above Vathu Sky
Scroll
Today
17°
SAT
14°
SUN
13°
MON
12°
TUE
13°
Thrace region-id="pin-13";Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
Evocative landscapes, lively traditions and a relaxed atmosphere: high-quality holidays on the island of balance and harmony

Among the Cycladic islands, Sifnos stands out for both its architecture and natural beauty. Once a thriving gold and silver mining location, it has, since ancient times, cultivated a reputation for the finer things in life. Today the island combines the picturesque with a rich tradition in cuisine and crafts, along with a high-level infrastructure in tourism. Despite its refined culture and “Cycladic chic” ambience, Sifnos retains a low profile that instills peacefulness in the visitor.

The island offers a wide array of beaches, from Panagia Chryssopigi, where you can dive from rocky ledges, to more organized swimming at Kamares, Platys Gialos and Vathy. For those who prefer to avoid crowds there is Fykiada, accessible on foot, while if you rent a yacht or have your own the island has multiple small, secluded natural bays to enjoy.

The town of Artemon is defined by its beautiful neoclassical homes and well-tended  narrow streets, while its surrounding villages stand out for their whitewashed courtyards, the deep colors of the bougainvillea  and the finely crafted terracotta chimney tops on the roofs. Traditional cuisine on Sifnos includes chickpea soup made in ceramic bowls, mastelo (lamb or kid baked on vine branches) and salad with capers. A swim at the quaint little  ancient port of Seralia can be followed by a seafood hors d’oeuvre, and later on by a walk up to the medieval settlement of Kastro (Castle) with the Venetian loggias to see the sunset and finally you can wrap up an eventful  day with Sifnos’ rich nightlife.

Apollonia also offers plenty of choices for entertainment, as well as more traditional pursuits, especially the island’s church festivals (panigyri), which are accompanied by food for all and music – the island even has a name for locals who organize the festivals (panigyrades). If you go  to the island in September, you will catch the annual Cycladic Gastronomy Festival, named after its native Nikolaos Tselementes, a renowned chef in Greece forever synonymous with the Greek cookbook.

Like a gracious cosmopolitan hostess who also follows local tradition, Sifnos is an island of opposites that work together and provides a mix of people and lifestyles without losing its balance.

Things to do on Sifnos

Trek the trail from Kastro to Eptamartyros

One visit to this conical hill, where you will find the walled mediaeval village of Kastro (Castle), will capture your imagination. Vaulted arches, mystical little chapels, stone cottages nestled behind ancient foundations. Take in the breathtaking view from the trail around the settlement towards the sea to the chapel of Eptamartyrou. Mariners love this point, as well as the port of Seralia that flourished under Frankish rule. There you can savour local delicacies in the quaint little ouzeries.

Cycladic architecture harmonising with nature

The villages of Sifnos are built in perfect harmony with each other and with the landscape. Apollonia, Artemonas, Ag Loukas, Exambelos, Katavati, Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Petali, all dotted around the centre of the island like electrons around a nucleus. Here students come to learn the essentials of Cycladic architecture first hand. During your holidays here, you’ll never tire of walking around them with their cobblestone lanes and whitewashed stairways.

One for the road

Sifnos by night is a one-way road. Whatever you end up doing, you will pass through the famous street of Apollonia, teeming with restaurants, cafes, chapels, boutiques and stone dwellings with beautiful patios; an ideal setting, in fact, for sipping cocktails!

The potter’s art

The island’s soil is famously fortified by clay, water and sun. Potters set up their workshops here centuries ago and their ceramics became famous throughout Greece. Visit the workshops, where traditional artisans still use the potter’s wheel, and Apollonia’s Folklore Museum to find out all about this unique art.

The irresistible beauty of Vathi

From the hill above Vathi, the view is like an aerial photograph. The bay with its calm, deep blue water almost forms  a complete circle. St Taxiarchis, a church built in the 16th century, sits on the dock, a landmark at the edge of the beach. This picturesque port, with its sandy beach and seafood restaurants, is guaranteed to charm you.

A site of pilgrimage

At dawn, the sun rises behind the belltower of Chrysopigi Monastery, painting everything in resplendent shades of pink and orange. The 17th century monastery, built on a craggy rock, is the most important pilgrimage site on the island.

Hidden gems of Sifnos

Local chickpea soup

In every Sifnian household, every Sunday morning, chickpea soup steams in a ceramic pot. The cooking begins the previous night, when the chickpeas are boiled with oil and rainwater and then left to simmer slowly all night in a wood-burning oven.

Locals enjoy their soup after coming home from the morning church service, accompanied by olives, bread and wine. It is featured in the restaurants here, along with mastelo (lamb or goat slow-cooked in a clay pot). Sifnian recipes prove that true happiness lies in simplicity.

The island’s acropolis

At the top of Agios Andreas Hill, you will discover the ruins of the fortified acropolis built in the Mycenaean era and the church of Agios Andreas. The view is extraordinary.

Virgin Mary of the mountain

Looking out from the courtyard of the beautiful church, the panoramic view stretches from Platis Yialos to Kimolos. You can have a similarly dazzling experience at the church of St Simeon, the white church overlooking the port of Kamares.

Church of the Seven Martyrs

Experience the best of Sifnos

Kamares village, the main port of Sifnos island

Cycladic village hopping in Sifnos

Whitewashed splendour, masterpieces in clay, delicious food and all the wonder of the Cyclades islands await you in Sifnos’ postcard-perfect villages.
Day or night, the Steno puts on quite a show

A walking tour of Sifnos’ main town

Apollonia takes everything most authentic and classy about Sifnos and presents it with classic Cycladic grace.
  • Cycladic architecture harmonising with nature
  • One for the road
  • The potter’s art
  • A site of pilgrimage
  • The island’s acropolis
Highlights

Plan your trip

 

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
Incredible Sarakiniko beach, a trip to the moon in Milos island

Popular sailing destinations in the Aegean

What better way to see the Aegean than by boat? All you have to do is decide which islands to hop to and which unexplored bays to anchor in
Milos, Greece - September 10, 2015: Top view of canoes at Tsigrado Beach in Milos island, Cyclades,

Island hopping to the Cyclades from Milos

You’ll immediately understand why your island-hopping adventure in the Cyclades starts on Milos. It’s not just because there’s an airport and it’s an easy ferry ride from Piraeus, but because the unique landscape makes you want to spread your wings… first
Klima Village, Milos

Greek island hopping

From the Cyclades to the Dodecanese and the island of Crete, discover the wonders of the Aegean Sea and experience the Greek island hopping.