Lighthouse Hotel recommends:
About Sifnos, Cyclades
Cyclades is a complex of islands in the Aegean Sea, about 60 in total, part of which is also Sifnos. The islands of Cyclades are very well known for the simplicity and the beauty of their landscapes, the whiteness of their villages and the blue of the Aegean Sea, much promising to the visitors. The beaches that surround them are literally charming.
The white villages along with the somewhere around 350 picturesque churches are the best feature of Sifnos. Although most of the Cycladic islands are not famous for their vegetation, Sifnos is an exception. Footpaths for aspiring excursionists in every corner, not only all around the island but also inside the coves, make Sifnos absolutely unique.
Despite its small size, being roughly 74 square kilometers, the island of Sifnos has so many things to offer that it definitely amazes the visitors. All around it you will see rocky coastlines bound by the Aegean as well as peaceful sea coasts with clear white pebble or sand.
Sifnos’ Hot Spots
The closest beaches:
The south coasts is where you will definitely go, starting from the fishing village of Faros. Go for swimming and sunbathing at the sandy beach of Glyfou, ideal for families with small children. At the central beach of Faros, you can enjoy your swim, sunbathing, food or drink while your children, even the ones of 3 years old, are playing safely.
The beach of Fasoloy, located at about 5 min away from the village of Faros, has deeper waters from the last two beaches that we mentioned above, but is also well known for the shadowy trees and the crystal blue waters.
The biggest advantage of these south coasts is the very small distance from the center of Sifnos, Apollonia and from Artmonas; less than 5 minutes by car, an actual distance of only 3km that many excursionists dare to walk through.
You will also be able to go to the coast of Chrisopigi on foot directly from the beach of Glyfou, very easily and quickly.
At 200m away from the Lighthouse Hotel there is the bus station, for the ones that wish to explore the island without renting a car. You can ask our reception for the timetables or, if you are at Apollonia, the tourist agency will let you know about the schedules.
We should note that the beaches at Vathy, Kamares, Platis Gialos as well as Heronisso’s cove, are equally beautiful spots of Sifnos, at a larger distance of the center of Apollonia, that we recommend you to visit.
In what concerns the villages, do not forget to visit Kastro, the old port of Seralia, as well as the picturesque center of Apollonia and Artemonas with their traditional churches.
More about Faros
Faros was the old port of Sifnos until 1833. As we already saw, today it is a lovely fishing village with three splendid beaches; Fasolou, Faros and Glyfou.
The coast of Glyfou, since it is geographically protected, it is ideal for the days with strong wind. From Glyfo, in about 20min on foot, you can be at Chrisopigi. Make a small stop at Agios Charalabos and look out over the Aegean. For the excursionists we recommend the footpaths from Faros to Kastro and Exabela.
The beach of Fasolou, opposite from Glyfou, is a very attractive and interesting beach for families, as stated above, with a small restaurant on its coast for simple food choices. At the end of the beach, on the cliff we can see the monastery of Stavros that celebrates on the 13th of September. It is worth visiting the celebration and enjoying the traditional wine and food while listening to old songs of Sifnos.
On the west side of Faros’ creek, the old installations of ores, echo of another era, contribute as well to the picturesque appearance of the cove.
At the end of the sandy beach of Faros, you can see the foundations of an ancient tower. Above these foundations you can see the scenic little church of Agios Nikolaos.
Try to imagine Faros, with the vividness of the old settlement of the traditional potters, which does unfortunately not function anymore. On the left side of Faros, a little theater made of stone has been shaped, which occasionally hosts some events during the summer period.
They might not be organized, however, in the southern coasts of Faros, you’ll find great shadow trees if you take the precaution of arriving there early. Do not forget that Faros is the ideal choice for food, especially fish, drink and coffee during the afternoon hours. You can also shop from the local mini market for whatever you may need.
Cape of Chrisopigi
In our minds, we have all associated Chrisopigi with its small cape, where is found the monasrtery of Chrisopigi since 1650. Panagia Chrisopigi (Madonna Chrisopigi) is the patron saint of the island and not visiting this scenic cliff is just out of discussion!
On the left side of the abbey, the cove of Apokoftos, with its crystal clear waters, is spread out. There, you can choose between two restaurants with traditional plates and flavors. The view to the monastery of Stavros and the vast blue of the sea will relax you.
Choose to swim near the sandy parts of the beach for a better access to the sea. If you do not have small children, try diving from the rocky coasts of Apokoftos and find the perfect spot for sunbathing on the rocks.
We remind you that the festival at the monastery of Chrisopigi takes place on the eve of the Ascension Day, a movable feast usually during May or June.
Apollonia, or as well “Stavri”, is the capital of Sifnos since 1836. Its name means that the city is dedicated to the ancient God Apollon. Amphitheatrically built, with traditional architecture of unique aesthetic, the city of Apollonia challenges us to wander around the trackways, enjoy the view of the old churches and the white element of Cyclades.
Visit the folklore museum of Sifnos, situated at Iroou square, right opposite the post office.
If you have planned a night out for walk and dinner, two things that are fully offered at Apollonia, you can choose a part from the traditional food of Sifnos, many gourmet delicacies, variety of ouzo or Italian cuisine. You will be also amazed by the sweats that are offered. For the closure of your night, pick one of the bars for ideal cocktails in the narrow streets of the settlement, or at the comfortable multi-purpose facility “Rabagas”.
If you’ve got time for a walk, before or after dinner, the institution Prokou often hosts art exhibitions of paintings or photography.
On your wandering you will find many souvenirs of Sifnos at the charming little stores of Apollonia. Here beats the heart of Sifnos, have fun!
The word “Kastro” means fortress. On the East of the island, is located the steep cliff with the magnificent panoramic view to the sea, where is built the historical village Kastro. It is considered to be the most picturesque area of the island.
Kastro was the old capital of Sifnos until 1836. On the southern side of Kastro’s cliff, is located the ancient port of Sifnos, Seralia, where you can find today many fish delicacies. Useful tip: the steps that connect the two areas are quite many, so you’ll have to be prepared!
Wander at the little streets, with the old houses and the wooden balconies. Admire the crests at the entrances, the ancient pillars and the unique architectural characteristics of the buildings. Observe also the marble carved roman details in the streets.
The scenic little church of Eftamartyros that is connected with the area of Kastro through a small line of land is a unique sight for you not to miss. You definitely have to see it, even more during the sunset hours.
In addition, do not forget to visit the archeological museum of Sifnos that is located inside Kastro.
A part from the lovely walks in the little alleys, Kastro also offers many possibilities for food at its traditional restaurants, shopping at its small gift-shops, afternoon coffees or sweets, and evening cocktails. For the closure of your night out, ask if there is any art exhibition, of paintings, photography or other kinds, in Kastro’s old primary school.
Note that the distance between Kastro-Apollonia is small. If you are an excursionist, the path that links the two areas will be your new challenge. Alternatively, through the main road from Apollonia you’ll be at Kastro within 3min by car!
Kato Petali is a beautiful traditional settlement located on the East side of Apollonia and it sure matches the traditional standards. It starts from a central paved square near the church of Zoodochos Pigi (meaning the source of life) and it expands.
Ask if there will be any festival on the square for you to visit. Here, you will find traditional restaurants but also a mini market for the very necessary stuff if needed.
Right next to Apollonia, you can take a walk to the settlement of Katavati. (“Katavati” comes from “κατεβαίνω-kateveno” which means descend). That name was given to it since Katavati is an upper village compared to Apollonia, and therefore, if someone needed to head towards the center he had to walk all the way down. This area is not accessible by car.
In its center, there is the church of Agios Georgios as well as the church of Panagia Ageloktisti, which literally means Madonna’s church built by angels.
When exiting the village, do not forget to visit, if you head towards Vathy, the monastery of Firogion next to the regional road of Apollonia. Historically, it is a highly important monastery since the 16th century.
We are talking about a traditional settlement with its name referring to dry vineyards. It is the grapevines that we have left, that we have abandoned and they turned into farm fields.
At the beginning of the village, there is the area Arades, marked by many windmills. In Exabela, you will find the churches of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Athanasios and Panagias, which are open to visits, for those that would like to explore the religious side of this settlement.
For the ones that would be interested in the archeological history, we propose to look for the ruins of the black tower at the edge of the village. The towers are part of the Venetian history of Sifnos.
In case that you will be heading towards Faros, when leaving Kastro, do not fail to visit the monastery of Panagias Vrisianis that dates from 1642 and whose museum is worth seeing.
According to history, Artemonas was a region of cult of a goddess that was known to help the effectiveness in people’s actions. The settlement is situated at a location from where there is a spectacular panoramic view.
It is suitable for walks and wanderings in its small alleys, where you’ll have the chance to admire the unique manors of the island and the overall residential development that is exceptional. When wandering in Artemonas, you will walk by small charming neighborhoods; the island’s most authentic ones.
You should not exclude from your promenade the visit of Panagia Kohi, Panagia Bali as well as Agios Spiridonas.
Choose to go there for an afternoon walk, food or drink and if you are with small children, the central square is suitable for them to play. Here, as well as at all the other settlements of Sifnos of course, you can try the island’s traditional sweets.
Very close to this central square, there is a place where the past few years many old and interesting Greek or international films are being projected, usually one per day; we invite you to find out more details.
At the central square of Artemonas, takes as well place the festival of Cycladic cuisine from the beloved Nikolaos Tselemedes, who has international reputation. Depending on when you are planning to be at Sifnos, you might be lucky to attend the festival. Numerous kiosks are participating with local dishes from all the Cyclades, which you are welcome to try among with some wine that is as well offered.
In case that you are heading towards Heronissos when leaving Artemona, you will cross the cultural center of Sifnos, which might host some events or exhibitions during your stay.
This settlement is located between Artemonas and Apollonia, with a great view on the east. It is connected with a paved path not only with Apollonia but also with Artemonas and you can go for a nice promenade to enjoy the view at the center of the village, in Agios Ioannis’ yard.
If you have got some time, visit the church of Agios Adipas that is built from 1636. A very charming settlement that is worth visiting!
Agios Loukas – Ai Loukas
This one is a village next to Artemonas that owes its name to its church. This settlement is marked by its churches: the church of Panagia ta Gournia and of Agios Nikolaos.
If you are a hagiographic lover, do visit Agio Georgio the master. There, you will find the work of important hagiographers that date since 1645.
Traditional architecture, paved alleys and the smell of the island’s delicacies will be following you all the way!
At a distance of 12km from the center of Apollonia, is located Sifno’s port, the village Kamares. The name kamares, was given to it from the caves that used to exist on the rocky side of its cove.
It is worth taking the 100 steps that lead to the church of Agia Marina, to enjoy the gorgeous view. You will see as well the very old temple of Agios Georgios in the center of the settlement. In Kamares, there is also the church of Agia Varvara, built in 1785 and renewed at the beginning of the last century.
Heronissos is also located at a distance of 12km from the center of Apollonia, at the northest corner of the island. It was a typical pottering settlement that has kept its authenticity until nowadays.
The fishing village is protected by a natural creek and it is worth visiting its two restaurants. We recommend you to visit it when the air will not be northern.
Heronissos is a very calm choice to spend your day and find the opportunity to visit the picturesque monastery of Agios Polikarpos at the beach.
The region of Vathy is located at about 15km away from the center of the island. When heading to Vathy, through Apollonia and leaving behind the village of Katavati, do not forget to visit the monastery of Fyrogion and the hill of Agios Andreas with its church that is built since 1701.
Here you’ll find a very important archeological sight of Sifnos, and it would be best to visit it even on foot. There is a footpath starting from the main road as well as a paved route.
The archeological findings come from the Mycenaean civilization up until the Hellenistic ages, deriving from an ancient settlement.
On your route towards Vathy, you can also stop to admire the view from the monastery of Taxiarchis Myrsinis that dates from 1738 and has a unique view to Platis Gialos.
When arriving at Vathy, you’ll see a very large, compared to Sifnos, sandy coast with calm waters; there is located, right on the beach, the church of Taxiarhon and Evagelistrias that were built in the 17th century.
There are many traditional restaurants, cafeterias or bars where you can enjoy the traditional sweets of Sifnos, or buy very nice potteries as souvenirs, from the pottering shops that you’ll find. It is a visit that you could repeat!
We might be talking about the most frequented beach at a smaller distance of 10km from the center of the island and while heading towards the coast, somewhere in between the route, you will be charmed by your visit at the monastery of Panagia tou Vounou that dates since 1813. The view is panoramic and it is worth enjoying for a while!
You should also note that, Platis Gialos is the place to be if you are not in a calm and relaxing mood, since the coast is filled with restaurants, shops and pottery labs, café-bars and you may as well practice water sports. We recommend it to families with not very young children, if you wish to relax, and it is also suitable for night outs and dinners.