Located in the Western Cyclades, Serifos island is filled with little white-washed houses, various churches, windmills, and cobblestone narrow streets that are in contrast with its scenic wild landscape and green valleys. Although there are numerous iron ore mines, there’s little mining activity nowadays. Serifos Chora, the island’s capital, is situated on the hill and considered one of the most beautiful towns of the Cyclades.
Dotted with picturesque beaches, stunning views, and fun activities, Serifos remains unspoiled by mass tourism, making it perfect for a relaxing, crowd, and hassle-free vacation destination.
History of Serifos
Serifos history, like many other parts of Greece, is associated with myths intertwined with historical facts. According to the latter, the island was inhabited since prehistoric times. In Greek mythology, Danaë and her infant son Perseus came ashore Serifos after her father Acrisius, king of Argos, put them in a wooden chest and set adrift at sea because of an oracle that Perseus would kill him. After returning to Serifos with the head of the Gorgon Medusa, Perseus turned the king of Serifos, Polydektes, into stone as punishment for his attempt to marry Danaë by force.
During Roman rule, the island suffered a long period of declination, was destroyed and became a place of exile for criminals. Serifos carries architectural influences from the Hellenistic period and Venetian domination. It used to grow rapidly because of the mining activities but now the island’s main economic resources come from tourism.
Reasons to Visit
Lack of mass tourism and its natural wild landscape make Serifos a great off the beaten path destination for your Greek summer vacation with a local experience. The island offers numerous activities like hiking, sunbathing and sea sports.
There are 116 churches and sanctuaries scattered around Serifos to discover for those who crave spirituality and historical facts, including the most important Taxiarchion Monastery, a 16th-century monastery, and Grias Castle, the old ruined castle located on the hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. For nature lovers, there’s a plethora of beaches, old mines, diving, and hiking options.
Things to do
Relax at the beach and explore the underwater world
Sandy beaches with crystal clear waters make for a perfectly relaxing day under the sun. Among the 72 beaches on the island, you can enjoy Livadi and Livadakia – one of the most picturesque and popular Serifos beaches or discover more secluded ones like Vagia Beach and Ganema Beach or Lia.
When you’re bored of laying on the sand with a drink in your hand, you can try scuba diving. There are many diving spots in the crystal waters of the Aegean Sea both for beginners and more advanced.
Enjoy a stroll in Chora
Chora’s white-washed houses and churches and picturesque location on a hill overlooking the Aegean sea make for an unforgettable strolling experience. Discover the ruins of a Venetian castle, archaeological museum, and churches of Agios Konstantinos, Agios Athanasios, and let the capital’s charm seduce you.
Dig into local food
After a long walk around the town or a day at the beach forget about big restaurant chains and taste local delicacies made from regional, fresh ingredients. Kalis restaurant does its best to guide guests to the Cycladic gastronomy tradition. Try the xinomizithra (a local white cheese), the louza, a local pork sausage pork with sun-dried tomatoes, marathotiganites (fennel fritters), and finish off with a drink and funk music in Aerino Bar. Despite the laid-back vibe of the island, Serifos has a rich nightlife.
Water and electricity on the quay