Cyclades Islands hold a special position in the tourist’s mind and heart. It is no coincidence that they are something more than a beloved destination. Cyclades are very attractive and for many a journey there, is the ultimate summer vacation. Sifnos is one of those very popular islands and thats something i witnessed on my own, when i travelled there this summer. For those who haven’t visited it yet, here are 10 reasons that will convince you.
1. The short distance from Athens
The distance between Sifnos and Athens is so short that you can get there with a speedboat in about 2,5 hours when it takes 5 hour to travels with a ferrie boat. The boat routes are often, offering an easy access even for a weekend. It’s no coincedence that many people travel there just to skip the routine. It offers connections with the rest of Cyclades, with islands such as Paros, Milos and Serifos.
2. Relaxed vacations
Sifnos is not like Mykonos, where nightlife is the primary option. Its clearly a more peaceful island, ideal for couples and families. It is offered for serene vacations away of the city’s noise and stress. In Sifnos you will find a paradise on earth to rest and relax during your summer break.
3. Panagia Chrysopigi
The church of Panagia Chrysopigi is probably one of the most photographed sights on the island. Couples from around the world choose this picturesque church to get married. Build on a rocky peninsula impresses the tourists with its beauty and simplicity. Next to it is the beach of Apokofto, one of the best in the island.
4. The beaches
In general don’t wait to see extremely beautiful beaches in Sifnos. The island is not famous for that. However the sea is clean and colourful and definitely you will find a beach that fits your desires. If you want a crowded one, go to Platys Gialos, Vathi or the one in Kamares that has a blue flag. On the other hand if you want a quiet one, go to Apokofto, Glyfo or Xerronisos where you will meet your needs. Most of the beaches are unorganized but the small trees ( Tamarix ) will offer you the necessary shadow.
5. The village Faros
On your way to Panagia Chrysopigi, you will find the crossroad to Faros village. That’s a small fishermen’s village, where you can eat good food and swim in the shore. The two beaches are connected together through the small alleys of the settlement. Choose the one which is called Glyfo to swim. It has many small trees and clean waters. Not crowded at all, with sandy shore, Glyfo creates an unforgetable scenery.
6. The delicious cuisine
Sifnos is the homeland of Nikolaos Tselemedes, the famous Greek cook, that was known from the cookbooks he published. The local cuisine is based on pure raw materials of the island and its dishes are very tasteful!!. They use clay pottery to cook, which adds taste to the food. Try the mastelo ( lamp with herbs and wine ), the traditional soup made from chickpeas, the chickpeas balls and you will agree. Furthermore don’t forget to obtain some of the local products like Caper and Mizithra cheese
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7. The Castle
Maybe it is one of the most picturesque places on the island. The Castle was once the former capital of Sifnos and it’s have been inhabited since the prehistoric years. It is characterised by its construction. The houses are all connected forming the defensive wall of the village that follows the shape of the earth. Ruins of the ancient citadel can be found at the top of the hill, while various exhibits can be seen in the archaeological museum. Norrow alleys, white houses and blue windows form a worderful scenery of a medieval castle-city. The nearby picturesque chapel of “Eptamartyres” can be seen from above, as it stands alone on the rocks, with the deep blue in the background.
8. The capital ( Chora )
Apollonia is the capital ( Chora ) of the island and the epicentre of nightlife. Build amphitheatrically on the top of 3 hills, is not the most scenic capital you are going to find in Cyclades, although it has the same Aegean architecture. Apart fro mrooms to let, hotels and restaurant in Apollonia you will find banks, civil services ( Greek post office), supermarkets, pharmacies and a regional hospital. A must see is the ” alley of Appolonia” the scenic pedestrian’s way that runs over a big part of the town and is full of markets with touristic products, cafe’s and bars. Its not difficult to say that there is the epicentre of the nightlife in Sifnos.
Not far away from Apollonia is the picturesque village of Artemonas. A central square welcomes the traveller, who then gets lost in the small stone alleys, between white painted houses and Bougainvilleas. What a unique scenery! Old neoclassical mansions with their big yards will impress the tourist, while the white churches will guide him to the top of the hill. From there, by the two widmills, the view of Sifnos is breathtaking.
10. Trekking routes
If you enjoy trekking then Sifnos is the wright place for you. There are many hiking routes that you can follow, others that are easy and some that are difficult. Through those paths someone can go anywhere in the island. There are marks along the trails and you can also get helpful maps. Two of the most known route are the one that goes from Panagia Chrysopigi to Faros ( 20 minutes ) and the other that leads from Apollonia to the Castle.
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Sifnos is an island that worths a visit. It is not as beautiful as Santorini is and it’s nightlife isn’t as intensive as in Mykonos. However it offers to the traveller relaxed vacations, beautiful scenery and picturesque places. What else could anyone, who wants to travel to Cyclades, ask for?Thats was exactly what i wanted. Sifnos is definitely one of those islands that if someone visits once will visit again.