How to reach it
Unfortunately there is no airport in Sifnos, the closest airports are located in Milos and Athens. Milos is the closest destination to Sifnos, only an hour by ferry, Athens airport is international and receives both domestic and external flights, but the ferry trip to Sifnos takes from 4 to 8 hours, depending if you do the journey by ferry or by highspeed. Sifnos is a very popular island for its beaches and its quite atmosphere. Especially island hopping lovers used to include this destination in all their itineraries.
Coordinates: 36°59′N 24°40′E
Region: Milos Cyclades
Area: 73 km2
Peak: Profitis Ilias 682 m
Main Port: Sifnos Port
Airport: not airport
The name of the island comes from Sifnus, son of the Attican hero Sounius, there’s also a different version, that links the name to the word “sifnos”, which means void, or hollow, referred to the existence of many tunnels, which are the result of intensive mining activity all around the island. The archaeologist Christos Tountas discovered many tombs and foundations of villages long the coastline of the island, proving that the first inhabitants settled the island during the second half of the third millennium B.C. they were the Pelasgians, followed by the Carians, the Leleges, and then the Phoenicians. According to mythology, these people were under the king of Crete, who gave to his sons the Cyclades, giving each one a different island and making them kings.
From the findings at the settlement of Agios Andreas, it can be seen that the island had a centre with a civilization antecedent the Cycladic, dating the third millennium BCE, while according to tradition, after the Trojan War, Ionians colonized Sifnos, led by Alkenor. The new inhabitants signed a new era, during which, according to Herodotus, the main city was founded on the eastern side of the island, where today’s Kastro lies.
Sifnos has been one of the richest islands of the Cyclades, thanks to its mines of gold & silver as well as the development of the ceramic arts. The prove of such wealth can be verified by the excavations as well as by the minting of coinage around 600 B.C. and the rebuilt in 525 B.C. of the well known “Treasury of the Sifnians” in Delphi that was an Ionian building with a rich architectural decoration. During the same period there were three sities on the island, Sifnos that was the main one, built an “agora“ and a marble prytaneum of Parian.
During the Persian wars, Sifnos took part in the battle of Salamis and later became a member of the 1st and 2nd Athenian League.
Sifnos gradually lost the wealth of Ancient period during the Hellenistic period and in the years that followed the Roman conquest the island population has been dramatically reduced by pirate raids, as happened for most of the Cyclades.
After the 1204 Crusade, Sifnos was integrated into the Duchy of Naxos, that conquered most of the Cyclades during the Venetian domination, the Duke in 1207 was Markos Sanoudos the same one that built Kastelia also in Santorini Island. In 1269 the Byzantines took the island again, while in 1307 Giannoulis Da Corogna claimed Sifnos, declaring himself an independent ruler. Da Corogna fortified the island and the town with a stronghold, to stand up to the dukes of Naxos who would claim the island. Later the Turks conquered the Cyclades and gave command over the island to Joseph Nasi.
With the favourable conditions under the rule of the Sultans over the next years, the island reached again a great economy wealth and spiritual development. The economy of Sifnos was mostly based on agriculture and animal farming.
In the modern years the island has developed a good tourist season, tourists from all over world love the relaxing atmosphere the island offers as the great beaches.
Where to Sleep
Sifnos is a very small island, so don’t expec extreme adventure or many tours.Sifnos it the perfect island for newlyweds ready to get away, girl’s trips, family vacations or solo backpacking excursions, as it is incredibly peaceful, romantic and fun.
The southern part of the island it is the most developed for tourism, with more hotels, bars, bus connections and other services. So for the accommodation for comfort and something to do in the evening better to stay at the south, as in Platys Gialos, but also the capital of the island Apollonnia offers many opportunities for bars, local taverns and hotels or b&b managed by local families. The northern part is more remote and wild, with less choice of hotels, and is therefore recommended for those seeking tranquillity and nature.
Properties Travellers Love
Pende Villas Serifos
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Nice Complex in Chora
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Loukia Apartments Serifos
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Family Apartments in budget
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Pende Suites Serifos
Modern Comfort Apartments
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Things to see/do
Beaches: One of the most beautiful and busiest beaches in Sifnos is Kamares, a wide sandy beach on a narrow bay between two mountains. It is an equipped beach, equipped with all services and with numerous bars and shops nearby; for families it is perfect because its depths are very shallow and the waters calm despite the boats entering and leaving the port, so even small children can stay in the water in complete safety. Another beach recommended for those who want the convenience of bars and shops nearby is Platys Gialos, the most fashionable on the island. If you prefer rocks and rocks, the recommended beach for you is Chrisopigí, the ideal place for those who love diving, snorkelling and diving, or for those who want to sunbathe without having sand in their swimsuits. Poulati: small secluded cove, much loved by naturists. Faros: a series of beaches along the south-east coast of the island near a fishing village. Perfect if you want to combine a day at the beach with a dinner in a typical fish restaurant. Vathy: a semicircular bay washed by an incredibly blue sea. At the far end of the bay there is a characteristic monastery. Vlychada: a solitary, uncrowded beach recommended for those seeking tranquillity. Heronissos: a small sandy beach once reachable only by sea, it can appear bleak at times, at times very romantic.
Villages: Apollonia is a typically Cycladic capital, with a Folklore Museum and the church of Aghios Sotir with ancient frescoes and a beautiful carved iconostasis. It is very panoramic and spread over three hills in a curious ups and downs of beautiful white houses, with attention to detail such as the terracotta fireplaces. Kastro is a medieval fortified village of white cubic houses with the ruins of a Venetian castle, ancient churches and windmills, all overlooking the sea. Artemonas a Picturesque village with splendid and pure Cycladic architecture, built on top of a hill planted with orchards. It is full of churches, shops, ovens and windmills.
Activities: Very popular day trips from Sifnos are an excursion on a sailing boat or a visit to the island of Serifos, reachable in just 40 minutes by hydrofoil. Most visitors love spending time at the beachesn enjoying swimming, snorkelling and diving.