Sifnos island is totally worth visiting. Traditional whitewashed village houses, countless churches, picturesque dovecotes, windmills and beaches with crystalline seawaters make up the image of Sifnos. The island flourished in ancient times, thanks to the gold and silver mines and quarries of «Sifnios lithos” (a local stone). From 1687 until 1854 it was an important cultural centre and provided the location for the renowned School of Agios Tafos (Holy Sepulchre), known as Paideftirion tou Archipelagous (The Archipelago Educational Establishment). The island has a long tradition in pottery and there are many ceramics and pottery workshops open today. Sifnos is located between Serifos and Milos. The island’s area is 74 sq. km, its coastline is 71 km long and there are 2,450 residents
Apollonia has been the island’s capital town since 1936. The name Apollonia denotes a town dedicated to the worship of Apollo. This is the geographical centre of the island and the houses are arranged on three low hills – as if in an amphitheatre – following the charming Cyclades architectural style
In Katavati, visit the three-aisled conical domed church of Panagia Angelochtisti, built – according to tradition – by angels who celebrate mass there. Fyrogeion monastery (16th c.) is situated south of the village. Distance from Apollonia: about 1 km SW.
Exampela is a village in central Sifnos. Rows of about ten windmills called «Arades» are situated at its entrance. This is the native village of the poet and academic Aristomenis Provelengios (1850-1936) and Nikolaos Tselementes (1878-1958), the great Greek teacher of culinary and confectionery art. On your way to Faros (the Lighthouse), do visit the monastery of Panagia Vrysiani (1642), which houses a Museum of Ecclesiastical Art. Distance from Apollonia: about 1 km S
Artemonas is the second largest village of Sifnos, having neoclassical mansions, gardens and yards with flower beds. Two windmills still stand on the hilltop offering a panoramic view of the island. Distance from Apollonia: 1.5 km N.
Kastro is an astonishingly beautiful fortified village that maintains its mediaeval structure intact and its old mansions. It used to be the island’s old capital from classical antiquity until 1836. The dense structure of buildings highlights the village’s defensive nature. Distance from Apollonia: 3 km E.
Kamares is the largest coastal village and port of the island since the late 19th century. Do visit the church of Agios Georgios (1785) and Agia Varvara, Fanari (1896) and remains of the furnaces and the lifting device for loading mineral ore (1883). Enjoy the lovely sunset view from the church of Agia Marina. Distance from Apollonia: 5.5 km NW.
Faros is located in the southeastern part of Sifnos and is considered to be the safest harbour on the island (it used to be its main port until 1883). At the port’s entrance you will see petrogoleta, a rocky islet broken away from the land, where the monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi (1650) stands, the patron saint of Sifnos. Distance from Apollonia: 7 km SE.
8. Platys Gialos
Platys Gialos is the island’s most popular beach and one of the largest in Cyclades. In the village’s ceramics workshops you will find wonderful local pottery products. It is worth visiting the monastery of Panagia tou Vounou (1813). To the northeast, ancient ruins of a tower were discovered in Aspros Pyrgos [White Tower] location. To the southeast, at the bay’s entrance, lies Kitriani, a private, uninhabited small island where Panagia Kypriani church stands dating back to 1732. Distance from Apollonia: 9 km S.
A picturesque coastal village built on a virtually enclosed sheltered bay. It is the native village of many ceramicists. Visit Agios Andreas church (1701) and the prehistoric citadel located nearby. Distance from Apollonia: 10.5 km SW.
Cherronisos is a traditional fishing village with a small beach within a picturesque cove. Distance from Apollonia: 15 km NW.
Quick must see – The churches of Agios Stefanos and Agios Ioannis (1629), at the village’s entrance. This was the location of the once famous School of the Holy Sepulchre which ran from 1687 to 1835, and became known as «Paideftirion tou Archipelagous” (the Archipelago’s Educational Establishment).
Activities in Sifnos
1. Water sports. You can find a lot of water sports in Sifnos island. It makes sense in an island.
2. Spear fishing
3. Visiting Monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi (on the seafront).
4. Dirt bike riding. For any extreme sport lovers it is a must. There are a lot of mountain paths in Kea that serve the purpose
5. Camping sites at Kamares and Platys Gialos.
6. Hiking along the routes and paths of Artemonas – Kastro, Katavati – Apollonia, Katavati – Agios Andreas, Katavati – Monastery of Profitis Ilias, Apollonia – Exampela and Faros.
7. Swimming at the beaches of Panagia Poulati, Seralia, Kamares, Fasolou, Faros, Glyfo, Vathy, Tsopos, and Cherronisos.
Useful phone numbers in Sifnos
Sifnos Municipal office: 22843-60.300, Kamares Municipal office: 22840-31.977, Police station: 22840-31.210, Rural Medical Clinic: 22840-31.315, Port Authority: 22840-33.617, Municipal campsite: 22840-71.286, Vrysi Monastery: 22840-31.937, Folk Art Museum: 22840-31.341, 33.730, Archaeological Museum (in Kastro): 22840-31.028
Country code: +30
What to visit in Sifnos island
1. Lozies, the Castle’s old entrances – galleries.
2. The Archaeological Museum, where a collection of sculptures and ceramics are displayed ranging from the Geometric up to the Byzantine period.
3. The churches of Panagia Eleousa (1653), Panagia “I Koimisi”(Dormition) (1593),
having floors with folk art decorations and the Sacred Altar situated in the exact location of an ancient altar, Agios Nikolaos (1566) and Agios Ioannis Theologos (1617).
4. The house of the poet Ioannis Gryparis (1870-1942).
5. The confectionery and pottery workshop.
6. The interesting architecture in the church of Panagia Kogchi and the church of Panagia tis Ammou or Samou (renovated in 1788), where there is a rare depiction of Panagia Monachi (the Nun) without the divine infant.