Touring in the Cyclades islands: Sifnos

Seven Martyrs Church, Kastro, Sifnos
This photo of Seven Martyrs Church by Kastro village on Sifnos is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 

17th stop: Sifnos island

Sifnos lies in the Cyclades between Serifos and Milos, west of Delos and Paros, about 130 km  from Piraeus. It is 15 km long and 7.5 km wide with a coastline of 70 km and a permanent population of nearly 2450. You can reach the island by ferry on the Piraeus- Kythnos- Serifos- Sifnos- Milos- Kimolos line. You will as well find infrequent sailings to other islands in the Cyclades.

Church built on the ancient acropolis of Sifnos, Greece
Saint Andreas church at the Acropolis of Sifnos- Photo by Panos Lapostol, Athens
 
Panoramic view of Kamares bay on Sifnos island
This panoramic view of Kamares bay on Sifnos island is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 
Sifnos - Photo by S. LambadaridisLeft: Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis
 

The main town, near the center of the island, known as Apollonia, is home to the island’s folklore museum. The town’s name is thought to come from an ancient temple of Apollo on the site of the church of Panayia Yeraniofora. The second-largest town, Artemonas with almost a third of the islands population, is thought to be named after an ancient temple of Apollo’s sister-goddess Artemis, located at the site of the church of Panayia Kokhi. The village of Kastro, built on top of a high cliff on the island’s northwestern shore on the site of the ancient city of Siphnos, has even today extensive medieval remains and is the location of the island’s archeological museum. The port settlement, on the west coast of the island is known as Kamares.

Frieze from the Siphnian Treasury, Delphi, GreeceFrieze from the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi (Archaeological Musem of Delphi)
 

Sifnos was inhabited by human beings from at least 4000 BCE. Archeological evidence indicates the island was within the mainstream of Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization. The island was very wealthy in ancient times, thanks to its gold, silver, and lead, which were being mined there as early as the 3rd millennium BCE. Proof of this is the treasury which the Siphnians built at Delphi in the 6th century BCE to house their offerings.

Things to do

Hiking: The footpaths of Sifnos form a network of about 200 km. Some are paved with stones, and others are dirt tracks. As part of a local tradition the paths serve farming and animal farming life – even in places where alternate access routes exist – since they are used on a daily basis so that people and animals can reach pastures and thimonies (simple one-roomed constructions covering the basic needs of the farmers).

Hill of Agios Andreas, Sifnos

Hiking during spring: This photo of the Hill of Agios Andreas on Sifnos is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 

Hikers and wanderers, too, use the paths, enjoying the beautiful views of the “other” Sifnos, the green and fragrant one, during the autumn and especially spring seasons, where herbs, greens and flowers growing wild everywhere, cover the whole island. The paths are as well used to reach secluded beaches with clear, blue sea. During walking you will meet small, white churches, or more imposing monasteries, that are still completely harmonious with the natural environment.

Accommodation

Kamaroti Suites Hotel
Agioi Thodoroi, Poulati, Sifnos 84003, Greece
Tel: (+30) 22840 32069
Hotel website  Email: info@kamaroti.com

Hotel Afroditi
Agia Maria, Kamares, Sifnos 84003, Greece
Tel: (+30) 22840 31704, (+30) 22840 31283
Hotel website  Email: hotel_afroditi@hotmail.com

Niriedes Hotel
Platis Gialos – Sifnos, Platis Yialos 84003, Greece
Tel: +(30) 22840 71530 (+30) 22840 71531
Hotel website  Email: info@niriedeshotel.gr

External links

Sifnos official website

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