Sifnos is an entirely different kind of island than neighbor Milos and even our home island of Paros. It may even be Karin's favorite! It is beautiful, green, and mountainous, but we were most impressed with the cleanliness! No litter anywhere, the houses kept up, even the farms were tidy! Not overdone, just well kept. Sifnos is relatively small so the tourism volume is low...and I think that keeps this island more pure and more Greek.
This web site is not a guide to the best places to stay, restaurants, or beaches. It is presented as a personalized account that you can use bits and pieces of to enhance your own journey. With that in mind I have included only a few highlights of a trip that Karin and I took in June 2009. The photos here are just some of the villages of Sifnos. There are more in the photo journals that Karin created on Picasa. If you would like to follow that report, click on the photo below. The link to the next episode is in the description and the caption of the last photo in each album. Sifnos starts on Day Four
|Trip to Milos and Sifnos - DAY 1|
Perhaps it is better to stay near Apollonia the central town for easy access to the whole island, but we selected a small pension in Platys Yialos near the south end. The whole island is only about 5 km wide and 15 long. So it is quite quick to get from one village to another.
Platys Yialos has one street and a beach which serves as a street.
Our first morning we took a short ride to Vathy for breakfast. It was both beautiful and relaxing.
It is difficult to convey the sense of Kastro the cliff top village on the opposite side of the island. It is ancient and shows it with antiquities sitting everywhere. There are no vehicles because it is all stairs. Even the locals must carry their groceries from a parking lot on the edge of town.
By the way we first directed to Sifnos by some friends who are great walkers. While we are not, we did see some scenic trails that look like fun. Buy a quality map and you will find them. Off by itself at the north end of the island is Heronissos. Looking at the map we were a little concerned about all the twists and turns. Our concern was all for naught. If we would have read Matt Barrett's site on the internet we would have realized: "A visit to Heronissos used to be something that only a select few could undertake. Namely those with yachts or motorboats. But with the new road to the remote village finished, it's days as a getaway for the rich or knowledgeable is coming to an end and anyone with a car, motorbike or even a bicycle can make the journey"! Again beautiful and relaxing; what more can I say.
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Sifnos is a potters island...and has been forever. Also in ancient times they had gold mines so their gifts to the Delphi Treasury were solid gold eggs! It is not known when pottery began on the island though it is mentioned in the third century B.C. and Pliny makes mention of Sifnos ceramics in the first century B.C.. By the eighteenth century potters from Sifnos were traveling all over Greece selling their ceramics and in many cases moved away from the island to become potters in other towns and islands such as Lesvos. There is even a colony of Sifnos potters in Athens. Today there are still many who practice the art of ceramics, just as their fathers and grandfathers have. This is a pottery factory...and yes, I did buy a piece!
A very whimsical Sifnos Chimney! I put it over a candle and it is really pretty at night with all the cutouts!
Click to enlarge
Sifnos is on the same ferry route from Athens/Piraeus as Milos, Serifos, and Kimilos. Of course, it can also be reached from Paros and Mykonos and perhaps other islands depending upon the year's ferry routes. So we recommend it for an island hopper's itinerary. It is the perfect size for scootering around to new discoveries and did I mention that it is beautiful and relaxing.
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