Sifnos is a small island located at the west Cyclades. It is relatively quiet for most of the year, but it becomes crowded during August when it becomes a favorite destination for Athenians on vacation.
Sifnos is served by daily ferries from Piraeus. The new “fast” ferries
make the trip in a couple of hours, while the traditional ferries take
about 5 ½ hours to reach the main port of Kamares.
It is advised to make reservations before arrival, although the friendly travel agents and the municipal travel office at the port can help visitors locate accommodations.
A great deal of apartments and hotels have been built in Kamares, and probably it is easier to find a room there or in Platis Gialos, than in the smaller towns.
Kamares is a relatively quiet port dominated by tourists who wander around the one main street that curls around the port and the long sandy beach. Besides the numerous restaurants and shops at the promenade, and the hotels further up the hill, one would be hard pressed to find any other places of interest at Kamares. The scenery is certainly pretty with the steep mountains that hug the bay, but not spectacular. Thus a bit of exploration further inland, and at the other side of the coast is necessary. One can get to other parts of the islands by bus, or better yet by car or moped.
Apollonia is the capital of the island and it spreads along several hill plateaus at the center of it. It is a pretty little town with whitewashed low houses and a busy center that becomes very popular as night falls. Most shops, restaurants, and trendy bars are located in the center of the town along a narrow pedestrian street that bustles with life once the sun goes down. Driving inside Apollonia can be a real pain, so most everyone finds (if they are lucky) a parking spot on the outskirts of the town.
While it is the busiest, and most popular destination of the island, it is a surprisingly dull town. The beach that is the main attraction is lined with soft brown sand and the water is very clear. The town however is a conglomerate of vacation homes of Athenians, generic rooms for rent, and hotels of every kind and size. All this architecture is scattered over a wide area around the hills unable to establish any kind of appealing character.
A surprisingly attractive fishing village that has been transformed into a tourist town for those who seek a quiet place to spend a week or two. It has the benefit of the proximity to three very nice beaches. The one is right at the end of the asphalt where one is forced to park, while the second is located at the other side of the village. The third one, Fasolou, is a beautiful little beach over the headland to the east of Faros.
A small village that has doubled in size n recent years thanks to a large hotel that was built in front of the best part of the beach. The hotel’s architecture has tastefully conformed to the local architecture and it is spread over a wide area with small units that blend in with the village.
A nice little town built atop a hill on the eastern part of the island. It was built by the Venetians and its church was built on the ruins of an ancient temple.
By far our favorite town of the island. Very picturesque with narrow streets that wind around white washed medieval arhitecture, and with a great view to the east. The nearby fishing cove named Seralia is a nice, quiet place to spend the days swimming, snorkeling or fishing.
While in Sifnos we had breakfast at Pipis caffe in Kamares almost every day. Frape and the coiled cheese pies by the water is an excellent way to start the day!
For lunch some of the delicacies of Sifnos that we tried and liked included:
And for dinner we enjoyed
Best time to visit Sifnos is late May, June, or July. The island gets very crowded in August, and it might be hard to find accommodations if you have not booked in advance.
Sifnos does not have an airport; therefore boarding a ferry from Piraeus is the only way to get there (unless you have your own yactch).
Both “fast” ferries, and traditional ones serve the island with daily calls to the port of Kamares. Most of these ferries make several stops on the way to Sifnos or back. Other ports of call on the same route usually include the nearby islands of Kythnos, Serifos, and Milos.
Sifnos is a good place for a quiet holiday. Swimming and hiking would be at the height of any outdoor activities you might enjoy on the island. Sifnos does not have much in the way of attractions designed to keep visitors busy. It is genuinely a laid-back place where one can enjoy good conversation with one’s company, a good dinner or drink, and a stroll around a small town.
The main reason that Sifnos is very popular with Greek visitors is because it offers no distractions beyond what Greeks really enjoy: Good company (bring your own or find some on site), a good beach, and good conversation over a long dinner.
Sifnos is also a good place to spend two or three relaxing days for island hoppers. In fact, unless you really want to get away from it all in a small fishing cove like Seralia or Faros, any stay longer than four days might seem like an eternity on Sifnos.
Given the island’s reputation for fine pottery, ceramic shops where potters allow visitors to watch them practice their craft are an attraction of their own. It would be regretful to leave the island without purchasing one of the authentic ceramic objects from Sifnos.
Sifnos can easily fit in an island hopping tour of the west Cyclades. The islands of Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Kimolos, and Milos are nearby, and they are usually served by the same ferries that leave Piraeus and call each port in succession.
Port Police: 2284-03-1617 (get updated and accurate ferry schedules)
Municipal tourist office in Kamares: 2284-031-977