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Even if by looking at the maps Sifnos may seem one of the smallest islands there are actually many smaller islands in the Cyclades. Surrounded by Serifos on the northern side, Kimolos on the south-western side and Antiparos on the east it isn’t an island that is visited a lot (probably not enough) even if it has an interesting history and many fings to explore. A truly traditional Greek island where you will find lots of churches, mining sites and beautiful ceramics (the best souvenirs you can get!).
The island can be easily explored with a scooter or with public busses. The best beaches are all in the southern and south-eastern part of the island as the northern side tends to be indented and narrow like most of the island.
The inhabited centers are spread throughout the coast including the central part of the island. There are daily tickets for Piraeus (Athens’ port) and there are many ways to reach the nearby islands. Sifnos’ position makes it a great adding for an organized tour that may include Folegandros as there are daily ferries as well as for other islands of the Cyclades.
Why choose Sifnos?
Sifnos usually isn’t the first choice for who wants to visit a Greek island but it can be a good alternative island to visit on a tour of many islands. Even if it isn’t very famous it is still a lovely island to visit, especially if you are looking for the hellenic atmosphere that now can’t be found in many islands.
Here you will find small churches, traditional ceramics, magic landscapes and the traditional Greek cuisine with it’s tasty dishes. Sifnos isn’t the best place if you are looking for nightlife as there are only a few bars in the villages of Kamares and Pollonia where you will be able to choose between a glass of fresh Ouzo, Mythos or Fix.
Pollonia and Kamares are the two places where you will find some nightlife and they are well connected to each other by the many busses that run on the island. The beaches on Sifnos change a lot from one part of the island to another going from stones and pebbles to golden beach, from equipped beaches and wild ones. There are many options to choose from if you visit this small yet wonderful island!
If you decide to spend your holidays in Sifnos you are better off exploring and discovering the many churches or historical manufactures rather than the landscapes or beaches. Even if there aren’t many beaches on this island there are still a few paradise corners that you can explore (especially on the southern and western coast). Here are some of the beaches in Sifnos that you may want to consider.
Agia Marina beach
At a few meters from Kamares port you will find Agia Marina, the longest and most crowded beach of the island. Here you will be able to practice many different water sports, have a cold drink in one of the nearby bars. This beach isn’t suggested if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful beach where to spend your holidays. It can be easily reached by bus and it is well equipped with many services for tourists.
On the western part of the island near the monastery of Chrysopigi there is Apokoftos. A little sandy beach that is covered by trees and offers a few taverns near the beach where you will be able to find some food. The ideal place if you are looking for a nice place to go swimming .
The first beach you will meet if you are coming from the south eastern coast is Faros, an isolated beach that has some services for the tourists that decide to spend a day here. Luckily it is connected to the local bus line that serves the island and it can be easily reached.
Herronissos is the ideal beach for someone looking for a peaceful and quiet spot on this island. The small sandy beach is located between some cliffs and there are a few taverns around the beach. There are also some tall trees that offer some cover during the warmest months of the year and divide the beach from the small village nearby.
Plati Gialos beach
Plati Gialos is the most famous and best equipped beach of the island. There are minimarkets, hotels and many water sports to choose from. Even the busses get incredibly close to this sandy beach and for this reason it is very easy to reach. From this beach you can also get a boat to go and visit the nearby island of Kitriani that faces the south.
Last but not least in the western coast there is also Vathy beach. This is far more covered from the wind than the other beaches. Unfortunately it isn't equipped with any service for tourists so you will have to bring something to eat and drink besides a beach umbrella. it can be easily reached by bus.
Sifnos is an island with a wonderful climate where to spend some relaxing and peaceful time. Unfortunately Sifnos doesn’t offer as many activities to choose from compared to some of the other islands but there are still some interesting things to do.
Tour of the churches
There are many Greek-orthodox churches of all sizes to visit in Sifnos and for this reason we suggest you take a tour to visit them. It may be best to do it during the cooler hours of the day as the heat can be very intense. Out of all the churches the most important one is called Efta Martyres (the 7 martyrs). This is the most important of the churches in the Cyclades and it is also one of the nicest one thanks to the landscape and seaview that you can admire from here.
A boat trip around Sifnos is what you need to spend your day in a different way. Besides taking a tour of the island’s coast you can also reach the nearby island of Kimolos where you will have the chance to visit the fishermen’s village and the marvellous beaches.
Renting a boat in Sifnos
If you want to explore the coast independently you can rent a boat from one of the many shores of the island, a great way to explore and discover the Aegean sea.
Snorkeling and diving in Sifnos
Fitted for both professionals and amateurs the diving centers on the island will give you the chance to rent all the equipment to go snorkeling or diving in these beautiful and crystal clear waters. There are also instructors if you want to try this activity for the first time.
Kastro and sunset
Exploring what used to be the island’s capital is priceless. There are old roads and the time here seems to have stopped. The most attractive part of the city is the old Kastro from where you can admire some beautiful sunsets while having a delicious and romantic dinner.
Artisans and vase production in Sifnos
Sifnos has always been famous for the production of vases, to the point that it is also known as “vase island” from the Greeks. For this reason we recommend you visit the artisans that still practice this antique art creating wonderful vases that seem to have come directly from a Greek museum.
How to move around Sifnos island? As a start you should look for the timetables spread throughout the island where you will see the hours in which the busses are running and the bus-stop locations. Otherwise you can decide to rent a car that can be hired directly at the airport or from the Hotel where you are staying. Last but not least you can move around the island thanks to the many taxis that offer competitive prices.
Renting cars or scooters in Sifnos
The main car rentals in Sifnos are located in Kamares and Pollonia but you can also find some near the towns of Plati Gialos and Vathi. Renting a car is a great idea if you are planning to visit parts of the island that would otherwise be difficult to reach. You can even choose to rent a car just for a few days for exploring these areas before switching to a more relaxing taxi or choosing the bus route that connects all the main areas of the island. Since there aren’t great distances to cover and the roads are usually in good conditions you can also decide to rent a scooter, a cheaper alternative to a car.
Moving around Sifnos by bus
The cheapest and most efficient solution is certainly taking the bus. The bus route reaches all the most important points on the island. The timetables can be found throughout the island and despite the fact that a bus won’t give you complete freedom to visit anyplace you want like a rented vehicle will it is still a valid alternative to explore the island (especially if combined with taxis). The timetables are very well planned and you will find many busses as soon as you arrive in the island’s port.
Reaching Sifnos isn’t very hard even if it doesn’t have an airport. After having landed in Athens’ airport you will only have to take one of the many ferries that reach this island from the port of Piraeus. Otherwise you can also fly to Santorini or mykonos before finally reaching Sifnos by ferry.
Reaching Sifnos from Athens
After having landed in Athens’ airport you will have to reach the port of Piraeus and catch a ferry from there. There are many ferries to choose from, some of these will get you there in 5h and 30m for 36,00 € while the fastest ones will get you there in 3h and 10m for 65,00 €.
Reaching Sifnos from Santorini
Santorini is another point from where to reach the island of Sifnos as it has an international airport. There are flights that connect Santorini to Sifnos on a daily basis, all you will have to check in advance is the timetables of your arrivals and departures besides how to move from the airport to the port. From Santorini the journey will last 6h and 50m for 14,00 €.
Reaching Sifnos from Mykonos
Sifnos can be easily reached from Mykonos and the connection is guaranteed from the company SeaJet. The ferries leave from a nearby port that is only 10-15 minutes away by taxi. Don’t try to catch a bus as they aren’t very reliable and run very rarely. The ferries run twice a week and the journey lasts 5h and 30m as Sifnos is the last island to be reached from the ferry. It is also important that you check the days when the ferries run before you book your ticket.
Reaching Sifnos from Milos and Naxos
These islands are very easy to reach as they both have a national airport. All you have to do is fly to Athens before taking a second plane for either Milos or Naxos before reaching the port where you will take a ferry to Sifnos. In Milos you can take a hydrofoil that will get you there in 30 minutes or a slower ferry that will get you there in 1h and 15m.
Accommodation and hotels in Sifnos are located in every inhabited center of the island and offer many different services for the tourists that visit it. The best places where to spend the night in Sifnos are extremely relaxing and quiet. On this island you will find very important structures that are very common between the rich Athenians.
Where to stay in Sifnos
In Kamares you will mainly find a hotel and camping site located nearby the beach. Apollonia is quite quiet as it is located in the island’s center and here you will find many studios and hotels. Around the inhabited centers of Ano Petali and Artemonas there are some small hotels and apartments with a wonderful view. In Kastro you will have the chance to spend the night in the old island’s capital with a typical Greek atmosphere.
Hotels in Sifnos
The hotels in Sifnos are mostly located in the main inhabited centers of the island and almost all of them offer a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape.
Studios in Sifnos
The studios in Sifnos give you the chance to breathe the real greek atmosphere, especially in the areas around Kastro. These also offer some wonderful views besides being cheaper.
Apartments in Sifnos
If you are looking for very spacious accommodations Sifnos offers many apartments with different sizes that can be rented in almost all the island’s villages. There are many options to choose from and they all have different prices and give the chance to choose how much you want to spend for renting one.