Although some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Cyclades are Santorini and Mykonos, you will be surprised once you step foot on this island. Sifnos will surely leave you awestruck once you see it. It features stunning beaches, picturesque villages, chic hotels, and mouth-watering local delicacies to explore. You will be surprised that this paradise has stayed hidden for a long time.
Sifnos covers 28 square miles, and it is surrounded by a wide range of activities that you can try out. You will surely fall in love with its rocky landscape and clear blue water. Some of the best things to know about Sifnos are listed below.
The only harbor in Sifnos is Ormos Kamares, and it provides good shelter from the Meltemi. The harbor experiences constant swell, which is very uncomfortable and can be dangerous at times. You should take down your sails before you enter the bay because the Meltemi is strong from all directions at the entrance and inside the bay. You can then stern or bow to the quay inside the mole. You will also find yacht berths marked out on the quay. Ferries berth on the outside of the mole.
You will find Ayios Yeoryios, a narrow inlet on the NW tip of the island. You will find a quay on the SW side where your yachts can go stern or bows to while taking care of the underwater rubble off the quay. You will discover another quay on the NE side of the inlet, but it is filled with local tripper boats.
Yacht charter Greece can also head N of Kamares, where you will find the North Bay. Some cliffs surround the bay, and you can anchor your boat in 4-5m between the gullies.
Sifnos is an island in the Cyclades filled with exciting and fun destinations to explore. The island is also popularly known for its thrilling nightlife as the bars will stay open till the early hours. The island is a perfect destination to go for all types of tourists, from solo travelers to families. You will surely have the time of your life on this island.
Places of Interest
Kastro village got its name from the castle located in the village. The castle was constructed between 15h and 16th century, the period of the Frankish domination of the island. The village offers tourists a mind-blowing view of the Aegean Sea. The highlight of the village is the castle, and you are also going to discover ancient churches, old mansions, and small courtyards to explore.
Archaeological Museum of Sifnos
You will find this museum in a traditional building in Kastro. The museum houses collections of sculptures like statues, headstones, and architectural pieces that date from the Archaic to the Roman era. The museum is a perfect destination for art lovers while in Sifnos.
Greece will change your mind when it comes to visiting churches. A wide range of churches surround Sifnos, and you will find churches all over the island. The highlight of the churches in the monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi. You will find the monastery on a top rock, and it is believed to possess mythical miracle powers. The monastery was constructed in the ancient 16th century and a great destination not to miss while in Sifnos.
Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and is founded on three neighboring hills. You can wander around its narrow streets that are surrounded by small squares and traditional Cycladic houses. Apollonia has a laid-back vibe, which makes it a great destination to experience the local culture by talking with the locals.
Platis Gialos Beach
This beach is well-planned, and it offers visitors mind-blowing sunset views. You are going to find varieties of hotels and tavernas around the beach, which adds to the fun.
Faros Beach is a serene exotic beach suitable for couples that want privacy. The beach also offers numerous sports to enjoy, and the cuisines are delicious.
Sifnos Atsonios pottery workshop
This workshop is located in Vathi, close to the Tsopos beach. It is among the oldest pottery workshops on the island. The workshop was opened in 1870, and it is filled with unique art forms to discover and learn about.
History of Sifnos
According to myth, Sifnos was named after the son of Herod’s hero Sounion. In another version, the name of Sifnos came from the adjective Sifnos which means empty, and it is talking about the number of underground mines on the island. Sifnos is also called Sifana, Akis, Merope, Sifanos, or Sifanto.
From most historical writings, the Pelasgus first inhabited the island and then the Phoenicians, Kares, and Leleges. The Cretan King Minos then evicted these tribes from the island. The oldest trace that people lived on the island was found in the Neolithic times. From the archaeological finds, there was a small settlement in Kastro and also vestiges at the site of Agios Andreas.
The island fell under the cultural and commercial domination of the Minoans of Crete during the late Bronze Age. There was an explosion of Santorini in 1400BC, which demolished the main centers of the Minoan civilization. This then gave the Mycenaeans to take control of the island and other islands in the area. You will not find numerous Mycenaean findings all over the island.
The Ionians between 1130 and 1120BC colonized Sifnos and the rest of the Cycladic complex. During the period, Kastro was established as the new capital of Sifnos. There was artistic, cultural, and commercial development during this period, and you will find proof in the numerous marble buildings, water supplies, and diverse sanctuaries on the island.
The local economy of the island prospered during the 6th century BC because of the gold and silver mines on the island. You will find proof of the boom in its economy at the Treasury of the Siphnians located in Delphi, where valuable items were kept. Years later, the local economy declined because of the lack of deposits.
The island was used as an exiled land during the Roman and Byzantine years. The island was ruled by the Venetians, Spaniards, French, etc. You will find some traces remain on the island, such as the Anyse sausage, which can be found exclusively on Sifnos. Sifnos also joined to fight against Turkish rule during the Greek Revolution of 1821 and was led by Nikolas Chrysogelas.