Some Greek islands are something of a surprise already at the moment when you decide to spend your vacation on them; others are more like a well-known destination of confirmed quality. Some have a little of both, thus you are sure you are not going to be disappointed, and more, you will get an unexpected bonus. That is precisely what happens with Sifnos – peaceful harmony in a Cycladic style.
One could say that coming at Sifnos is comparable with a short visit to paradise. Walking through the tiny villages typical for this region is just as relaxing as lying on the beach. These cubic houses, colorful windows and doors, all cut with stone-paved narrow streets and traditional taverns, have an amazing spirit.
Moreover, apart from the atmosphere itself, Sifnos has such wonderful things to offer! Traditional architecture, breath-taking views, local specialties, festivals – there is anything one may ask for! As for day-to-day experiences, it is important to highlight that food is really delicious and diverse. You should not miss the opportunity to try some! It would not be enough to say, that it is advised to take the recipe and try to prepare these meals at home.
Picturesque as any of Cycladic Islands, Sifnos puts a spell on you with its low-hill landscapes, spotted with “chic” villages and dreamy beaches. Sunbathing, hiking, swimming and diving are more then perfect things to do, especially if you have just spent a night on the streets, eating, drinking and having fun – you may need some new energy to wake you up.
Aghios Andreas Acropolis
If you are an active kind of a person you may appreciate climbing to the top of Aghios Andreas Hill. Of course the view from there is truly marvelous, but the icing on the cake is the church of Agios Andreas and the ruins of the fortified acropolis – peaceful and beautiful.
Insights to the antic crafts– 16 different pottery workshops
Sifnos is a real island of artisans! Many traditional workshops can be found around it: those set centuries ago, when Sifnos’ pottery became famous in the Antic World, and the new, modern ones. Island’s clayey soil combined with continuous sunshine makes it easier for craftsmen to find material of good quality, thus many among them had set their workshops on Sifnos already in the Early Cycladic period.
If this incredible and old profession fascinates you, then your next destination should be the Apollonia’s Folklore Museum. A great exposition tells you all about the art of being a potter.
The name of the village comes directly from the Venetian castle whose ruins are still parts of Kastro. This walled mediaeval settlement was built on an abrupt rock giving you the impression that the Earth crashes under your feet and you can hear it drop into the Aegean Sea. The scenery is impressive and unforgettable. Kastro stands out for its old houses with the wooden balconies, castle remains and the wonders of architecture. In fact, numerous ancient columns make the difference of style: from the Venetian castle to the ancient columns. Vaulted arches, mystical little chapels and stone cottages nestled behind ancient foundations.
A little outside the town, towards the Aegean Sea, one may see and visit a charming chapel – Eptamartyrou. It happens to be the most photographed churched on Sifnos. White and solitary on the rock at the entrance of Kastro, this Church of Seven Martyrs seems like lost and given to the sea. The blue of its dome and the one of peaceful waters around it becomes one on a sunny day. Today it is often considered as the symbol of the island.
Local food – happiness is easy
You shouldn’t leave the island without trying Sifnian local food. Many nice local restaurants propose specialties like mastelo, manoura, amigdalota or chickpea balls. The most famous, and surely the most common, is the Chickpea Soup, cooked for every Sunday in every household. Try it the original way – with olives, bread and wine.