The island of Sifnos (73 square kilometres, 2,500 inhabitants) is part of the Cyclades and is located in the central-western part of the archipelago, southeast of the island of Serifos and west of Paros and Antiparos. The island, too green for the canons of the Cyclades, is cultivated with vines and olive trees and is largely mountainous. The highest peak is Mount Profitis Ilias (680 meters). Pottery production is still a typical activity of the island. Especially in recent years, tourism has begun to play an increasingly important role.
The remains of ancient settlements from the Bronze Age have been found on the island. Sifnos was famous in ancient times for its gold and silver mines and as a centre of Aegean pottery production. These mines were exhausted in classical times relegating the island to a secondary importance in the history of ancient Greece.
However, pottery is still produced by hand and is one of the typical works of the islanders.
The Best Food in the Cyclades
Sifnos is famous for its food and cuisine, one of the best in the Cyclades. Excellent cheese is produced there, there are delicious honey cakes, nougats and amaretti, as well as local products such as almonds, capers, etc.
But the specialty of Sifnos is the baked chickpea cake (revithada). Other specialties are: mastelo, kapparosalata and revithokeftedes. Every year, in September, an important gastronomic festival is organized in Sifnos.
Things To Do in Sifnos
Typical architecture of the cyclades
Sifnos is famous for the architecture of its settlements among the most typical of the Cyclades. The capital of the island is the city of Apollonia, which is located in the interior of the island. While the main port, the city of Kamares, is located along the northwest coast.
There is a beautiful beach in Kamares Bay. Apollonia is a beautiful city with a typical Cyclades look, situated on two hills and in a valley. Here there is a small Folklore Museum with typical ceramics and fabrics. Next to Apollonia is the village of Artemonas, another extension of white houses and narrow streets, the village is very beautiful and must be visited on foot.
Historical villages and monasteries
On the east coast, not far from the centre of Apollonia, is the ancient capital, Kastro, located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The site was originally founded by the Byzantines who built a fortified settlement there. Kastro is a beautiful medieval village surrounded by Venetian walls (14th century). In the village there is also a small archaeological museum. Below the village of Kastro is the beach of Seralia.
In the centre of the island, on the slopes of the highest mountain, is the monastery of Moni Profiti Ilia, the most important on the island. Founded in the Middle Ages, the structure of the monastery is formed by a wall through which the monastery appears as a fortress. On the island there seems to be almost a church for every day of the year.
In the southern part of Sifnos there are some beautiful beaches like Platys Gyalos, Hrysopigis, Fasolou and in the west Vathy. While in Hrysopigis there is the beautiful church of Panagia Hrysopigis which dates back to the 17th century. Finally at the northern end of Sifnos is the village of Heronisos with a beautiful beach.
How to get to sifnos
The port of Kamares where the ferries arrive is located on the northern part of the west coast. The island of Sifnos is well connected by ferries (5 hours) and fast boats (2 hours and 40 minutes) to Piraeus and many islands in the Cyclades, among them fast boats to Folegandros (1 hour), Milos (1 hour) and Serifos (25 minutes), while the ferries connect Sifnos to Ios (6 hours), Paros (2 hours), Serifos (1 hour), Santorini (7 hours), etc.