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The Hidden Gem of the Cyclades: Sifnos Island

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The Greek Islands, particularly the Cyclades, are one of the most famous Greece holiday destinations. But beyond popular destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini, there are many hidden treasures to discover in this legendary archipelago. Today, Marie-Christine takes you to a lesser-known island which is well worth a visit: Sifnos.

Sifnos is not only known as the gastronomic destination of the Cyclades. It is also a charming island with traditional villages and unspoiled beaches. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Greek experience, to dine out, or to hike, you’ve come to the right place.

Sifnos island, Greece: the basics

Where is Sifnos island, Greece?

Sifnos is a picturesque Greek island located in the southwestern part of the Cyclades group in Greece. This beautiful destination is situated in the Aegean Sea, approximately 130 kilometers southeast of Athens. The island is easily accessible from nearby famous islands like Milos, Paros, and Syros. Sifnos has a land area of 77 km² and is home to about 2,500 people, with its main town, Apollonia, located inland. The main port, Kamarès, is found on the western coast.

Can you fly into Sifnos or it is ferry only?

Direct flights to Sifnos are not available as the island does not have an airport. However, there are easy alternatives to reach this gem. The most common route is to take a ferry from Athens to Sifnos; the ferry journey usually takes between 2 to 5 hours, depending on the service chosen. Another option would be to take a flight to the nearby island of Milos, and then a short ferry ride to Sifnos. These options provide flexibility and allow you to experience the beautiful Aegean sea.

How many days do you need on Sifnos?

Determining the number of days to spend on Sifnos really depends on your personal interests and travel preferences. If your goal is to fully immerse yourself in the local culture, enjoy the gastronomical delights, and explore all the picturesque villages, you might need around 4-6 days. This timeframe allows you to explore the island at a leisurely pace, visit the unique spots like Kastro and Cheronissos, and indulge in the local cuisine.

However, if you’re looking for a quick, relaxing getaway, even 2-3 days on this charming island can be sufficient. This short stay can offer you a chance to enjoy the beautiful beaches, try delicious Greek food, and take in the quintessential Cycladic scenery. 

Explore the village of Kastro

On the eastern side of the island, perched on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, lies one of the most picturesque areas of Sifnos: the ancient village of Kastro. Here are some suggestions of things to do in Kastro after you’ve taken a long walk around the fortified town.

Swim at the foot of the Church of the Seven Martyrs

Just below the iconic Seven Martyrs chapel, a true symbol of Sifnos, lies a well-kept secret: a magnificent cluster of flat rocks where you can spend many hours to read, sunbathe and dive into the crystal clear water. It takes a little bit of courage to venture up the steep path to this corner of paradise, but the reward is well worth the effort.

Watch the sun set at the Loggia Wine Bar

Perched high above the village, this wine bar boasts an all-natural wine list that’s sure to lead you to some fine discoveries. Take a seat at one of the tables along the walls of the village. Order a plate of local cured meats and cheese. Have a glass of delicious Greek wine. This is one of the nicest places to have a drink in Sifnos for views of the sunset.

End the evening at the Kavos Sunrise Mojitobar

You don’t necessarily think of a mojito when you think of a trip to Greece. Yet this little bar has made a name for itself with its €5 cocktails, which are not for the faint of heart, its very festive atmosphere and its extravagant owner, who has a boundless obsession with Cuban culture.

Spend an afternoon at Cheronissos

Are you in the mood for a bit of time travel in the Greek islands? Discover the charming fishing village of Cheronissos, tucked away in a sleepy bay at the northern tip of the island. Here are two options to explore Cheronissos.

Sit down and relax at one of the two emblematic taverns

Cheronissos Fish Tavern offers traditional cuisine with freshly caught fish and seafood right on the water’s edge. Order the grilled catch of the day. You can thank us later.

After a hearty meal, make your way to the church of Agios Georgios

With a full belly, head to the church of Agios Georgios. It’s a 10-minute hike up. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Cheronissos Bay and the surrounding islands. Bonus: You’ll mingle with the many goats that call this hilltop home.

Discover the flavors of Sifnos

Sifnos is a foodie’s paradise. It is also the birthplace of Nikos Tselementes, who is largely considered to be a master of modern Greek cuisine. The island is home to a plethora of great places for a taste of the famous local culinary heritage. Here are just a few.

Farm-to-table cuisine at Bostani Bar & Restaurant

In addition to its breathtaking views, the restaurant also offers a creative menu that showcases local artisans and producers. Bostani is the epitome of Sifniote food excellence.

Classy spots at Platis Gialos

A favorite haunt of yachts and celebrities is the bay of Platis Gialos, not far from the monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi. And for good reason: the beach is lined with exquisite seafood restaurants. Omega3 is one of the most well-known. But we have a soft spot for its neighbor, Maiolica Sifnos, which serves up just as decadent dishes at a more affordable price. Be sure to make a reservation in advance to get a table on Platis Gialos beach.

Visit Sifnos Farm Narlis and learn how to cook like locals

Down in Apollonia, George is a chef and farmer in love with his land. He will gladly take you on a tour of his farm. He grows his fruits and vegetables without any water (yes, you read that right) and without any pesticides! Afterwards, he’ll have you join him for a cooking lesson of traditional Sifniote food. This is a unique opportunity to have a chat with a local and to learn more about the history and customs of this fascinating island. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy some beautiful handmade pottery from his son’s workshop.

Stretch your legs with a hike with views of the Cyclades

Don’t forget to pack hiking boots! Sifnos has an extensive network of hiking trails that stretch for over 100 kilometers. One of our favorites is the trail between Platys Gialos and Fikiada bay. Here you’ll find two beautiful, often deserted beaches, accessible only by walking or boating. This hike is a must on any trip to Greece!

where to stay in Sifnos - Andromeda Sifnos - hôtels Sifnos

Where to stay in Sifnos?

Andromeda Sifnos B&B is a haven of peace in the heart of the Cyclades. In the village of Exabela, each morning you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast shaded by olive trees, including homemade jams that you’ll want to take home with you. Don’t hesitate to ask the staff about their favorite local spots and secrets – they’re more than happy to share.

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