Sifnos Island – Sifnos is Tom Hanks’ favorite.
The restaurant “Ω3”, in Platys Gialos of Sifnos, is Tom Hanks’ favorite when he comes to the Aegean, as he rushes several times to Sifnos from Antiparos to enjoy its goodies. From the unique local flavors to the new festivals and from the secluded beaches to the alley of entertainment, Sifnos has it all in an ideal Cycladic setting.
The Island of Sifnos
Sifnos island is located between Serifos and Kimolos Islands in Greece, Cyclades. It is the birthplace of Nikos Tselementes, the top 20th-century Greek chef. Sifnos has a great tradition in pottery, cooking, renowned for the architecture of its settlements and the Sifnian festivals. The traditional villages with the dominant white, the flowered flower beds, the stone windmills, and the blue domes of the churches create the ideal setting for an atmospheric vacation.
The Island provides good tourist infrastructure and exciting attractions, focusing on Apollonia and holiday resorts such as Platis Gialos, Kamares (port), and Vathi. Apart from the picturesque Apollonia, the most cosmopolitan settlement, where you will find excellent restaurants and bars, be sure to note the Castle, the old capital of Sifnos. The Castle is one of the most picturesque settlements that retain its fortified medieval building form and resembles a living museum.
Kamares (port of Sifnos)
Kamares is the largest seaside village and the main port of Sifnos.
Apollonia is the capital of the island with its classic white Aegean houses overhanging the ocean and an unforgettable panoramic view. It owes its name to the worship of the god Apollo, the god of light.
An authentic Cycladic country with picturesque architecture. Here beats the pulse of the island’s nightlife, specifically in the “Strait of Fun,” where there are restaurants, bars for every taste, and you can have fun until the early morning hours.
Apollonia is situated on three hills in the center of Sifnos and is characterized by the traditional Cycladic architecture. In heroes Square houses the folklore museum of the island.
Artemonas is one of the featured traditional settlements of Sifnos, taking its name from the goddess Artemis. Artemonas is known for its large neoclassical style mansions with its large courtyards.
Exambela is one of the biggest and traditional villages of Sifnos island. It is situated one km from Appolonia.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful chapels in Greece. Off-white, it contrasts with the endless blue that spreads around it. It is located in a rocky cove that is not far from the sea and leaves the church in the wind. It is worth visiting and taking pictures of the landscape, ideally the sunset.
Kastro village (castle of Sifnos)
One of Sifnos island’s favorite attractions is the castle. A picturesque village with incredible views. The old Venetian city of the island takes you “time travel.” Challenges for endless explorations in the old walls and the beautiful alleys of the village. The layout of the road levels is such that many times the passage is secured with small bridges.
Your entrance to the castle is from the old entrances – “loggias,” which were once protected by war towers. The village also has a rich Byzantine history as it has 20 churches – yes, you read that right. We suggest the most beautiful of them, the church of Eftamartyros, you will find it by taking a walk on the ring road a few minutes away from the village.
Kastro was the capital of Sifnos during the ancient, medieval, and modern times until 1836. Next to the settlement is the picturesque chapel of the Seven Martyrs at the top of a rock.
SIGHTSEEING in Sifnos Island (Greece, Cyclades)
Folklore Museum (Apollonia)
You may visit the Folklore Museum; the exhibits it contains are hand-crafted handmade (lace, etc.), clay constructions, pitchers, dishes, pottery tools, local ceramics, traditional costumes, and many more.
Archaeological museum (Kastro)
Ceramics and coins from the geometric age to the Hellenistic period. Also, architectural parts dating from prehistoric to the Roman period.
Archaeological Museum of Sifnos citadel (Agios Andreas)
On the way from Apollonia to Vathy, there is the hill of Agios Andreas with the homonymous church. There is one of the most important archaeological sites of Sifnos. The archaeological findings testify to the continuous inhabitation from the Mycenaeans to the Hellenistic times. 3.300 years of history on Sifnos island.
Museum of Ecclesiastical Art
The museum of Ecclesiastical art is situated in Moni of Vrissiani in Eksabela.
One of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Sifnos island is Kamares. (The beach is awarded the EU’s Blue Flag)
Another beautiful beaches are Fassolou with crystal waters near Faros with a view of Chryssopigi; also Chryssopigi, the rocks of Chryssopigi are the favorite place of many swimmers, Heronissos.
Vathi a beautiful harbor and has one of the most beautiful beaches. Do not forget in Vathi to visit the ceramic workshops and carry a piece of Sifnos home with you. Sifnians maintain the most traditional pottery art up to this day.
Finally, do not forget to go to Platis Gialos, the most cosmopolitan and popular beach in Sifnos.
The extensive use of the pottery produced in Sifnos has made two famous recipes prepared in the respective clay utensils. The first is the “mastelo,” which was named after the homonymous pot on which it is baked, and the second one is the “revitade.” Furthermore, traditional Sifnian dishes are capers salad, chickpeas.
If you are in Sifnos, do not forget to try the local cuisine. We recommend the mastelo (goat or lamb with wine and dill in vines) and definitely caper salad—also, chickpea meatballs with marjoram, local cheeses, and sun-dried red wine. Sifnos sweets are also exceptional, such as macaroons, patties, and gingerbread.
The restaurant “Ω3”, in Platys Gialos of Sifnos, is Tom Hanks’ favorite,
Activities on Sifnos
Sifnos is the ideal island for walkers. Sifnos is famous for its walking tours. Here, hiking enthusiasts have the opportunity to follow routes from its unique network, as Sifnos crosses small and large interconnected paths. Sifnos Trails is a project of the municipality of Sifnos. The island has more than 100km of professionally designed and waymarked trails, one of the largest and richest in the Aegean culture and nature trail networks.
Furthermore, the visitor may try out a traditional Greek dancing class or a pottery class.
Food festival in the homeland of Chef Tselementes
Every August in Artemonas, a street food party is set up that is worth visiting, and every September, the Cycladic Gastronomy Festival “Nikolaos Tselementes.” Similarly, all the other islands of the Cyclades participate in the festival. Dozens of kiosks from different islands present local flavors. It is a celebration worth visiting if you are on the island. Sweet treats, fun, and music – what else do you want?
For those who love hiking, Sifnos is a small diamond. It has a network of signposted routes of about 100 km. There are ten main trails you can explore. Many of them connect settlements, and while walking, you discover the hidden beauties of the island.
We suggest you the enchanting route of “path 2”. It starts from the Castle and ends at the monastery of Chrysopigi. The route has an impressive view of the castle and in its coastal part passes by the beaches Glyfo and Apokofto, where you can make stops for swimming.
How to Get to Sifnos
You can reach Sifnos by ferry from the port of Piraeus. The journey time from Piraeus is between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the type of ship. Also, there are trips to and from the nearby islands of Milos, Serifos, Syros, Paros, and Santorini.