Serifos island is a typical Cyclades island, ideal for relaxed vacations, featuring tranquil little harbours, snow-white villages and golden sandy beaches, as well as steep masses of rock, hills with no vegetation and extraordinary scenery. The island is between Kythnos and Sifnos, and its traditional island features have remained unaltered thanks to a moderate tourism growth.
1. Chora Serifou
The capital town of Serifos resembles a fortress and has been built in an amphitheatrical formation on a hillside overlooking the bay and Livadi, in order to be able to repel the pirates who raided the area up to the 17th century. It is the most beautiful and picturesque village of the island. Little white houses, with very small rooms, dotting the top of the hill, create a very charming picture.
The port of Serifos island is an important commercial and financial centre. The town extends by the beach, next to small cultivated fields. The snow-white houses and the green of the fields surrounding them create a unique landscape. It is the island’s most popular resort area with a great variety of night clubs. Panagia church and Spathi lighthouse are located at Livadakia, 500 m. away from Livadi. In the greater Kefalokastro area you can see the ruins of Oria Castle, in a spectacular natural setting. Distance from Chora: 5.5 km.
Its white houses have been built on mountainous terrain affording a spectacular view of the inland. The village covers the area around the historic Byzantine church of Panagia dating to 950- 1000. There are excellent murals and sculptures in it that date back to 1300. It is worth visiting the nearby church of Agios Stefanos where traces of Byzantine murals can be seen. Distance from Chora: 6 km NW.
4. Moni Taxiarchon
Moni Taxiarchon is propably Serifos’ most important monument. The monastery was built in a fortress style in 1449. It suffered many pirate raids in the past because of its accumulated wealth. Notice the iconostasis, the wood-carved bishop’s throne as well as the Alexandrian Epitaphios (an embroidered cloth icon of Christ prepared for burial). A visit to the Monastery is possible upon consultation with the Abbot. Distance from Chora: 9.5 km N.
5. Megalo Livadi
Megalo Livadi is a picturesque harbour with a beautiful beach. Although today there are few residents, it was once the island’s major port for mineral exports (19th century). There is a mining tradition having its roots in the antiquity, as there are references of the island’s rich deposits of gold and iron. Distance from Chora: 10.5 km SW.
The coastal village of Koutalas is built in an area with a wonderful natural environment and beaches. Distance from Chora: 11.5 km SW.
Quick must see – The memorial to the four miners who were executed during the 1916 strike claiming an 8-hour workday and better conditions at work.
Activities in Serifos
1. Pedalo riding.
2. 4×4 vehicle riding. For any extreme sport lovers it is a must. There are a lot of mountain paths in Serifos that serve the purpose.
3. Hiking from Chora to Elikodromio (Helipad) (30 min. walk) and towards Livadi (50 min walk), and also from Koutalas to Aspros Pyrgos (White Tower) (55 min. walk).
4. Swimming at Lia, Kalo Ampeli, Agios Sostis, Agios Ioannis and at Psili Ammos. One can also swim at Karavi, Malliadiko, Koutalas, at the long sandy beach of Livadi, at the beaches of Megalo Livadi and Livadakia, in the area of Ladi, at Avlomonas, Platys Gialos and Sykamia.
5. Swimming at Lia, Kalo Ampeli, Agios Sostis, Agios Ioannis and at Psili Ammos. One can also swim at Karavi, Malliadiko, Koutalas, at the long walk, and also from Koutalas to Aspros Pyrgos (White Tower) (55 min. walk).
6. Camping at Livadakia
Useful phone numbers in Serifos
Serifos Municipal office: 22810-51.210, Police station: 22810-51.300, Rural Medical Clinic: 22810-51.202, Port Authority: 22810-51.470, Moni Taxiarchon: 22810-51.027, Archaeological Collection: 22810-52.611, Folk Art Museum: 22810- 51.138
Country code: +30
What to visit in Serifos island
1. The remarkable post-Byzantine churches of the area, such as Agios Nikolaos and Agios Ioannis Prodromos, with notable 17th c. murals.
2. The abandoned mines of gold, iron and copper, next to deserted mansions and workers housing units. Remains of rusty rails, transport wagons and storage silos can be seen in the old mine.
3. Kastro tis Grias (Castle of the Old Lady), on a small hill, looking down over Koutalas.
4. Spilaio Koutala (Koutalas Cave), with stalagmites and stalactites in strange shapes.
5. Aspros Pyrgos (White Tower), a circular marble building of the Late Classical period.