Sifnos

Cyclades

Sifnos is one of the six islands making up the Western Cyclades. It's roughly the same size as Serifos or Santorini, and with a year-round population of less than 3,000 people. It's made up of three main villages, the capital being Apollonia, where about one-third of the island's population lives.

Kamares on SifnosKamares on Sifnos
Church on SifnosChurch on Sifnos

Getting to Sifnos

Sifnos has no airport but is well-served by ferry connections. Its nearest large neighbours are Serifos to the northwest, less than a half-hour by ferry; Milos to the southwest (30-60 minutes on the high-speed ferries, around two hours on regular ferries); and Paros to the east, which is a little bit further and slower, taking about 5 hours 25 minutes.

Other ferry connections include Piraeus (2-4 hours high-speed, otherwise about 5 hours); Santorini (2.5-3 hours high-speed, 5-7 hours regular ferries); and Mykonos (6-7 hours).

Many of these ferries operate on a daily basis in summer, though some are only a few times a week so always check.

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

The Chrisopigi Monastery on SifnosThe Chrisopigi Monastery on Sifnos

What to Do on Sifnos

Sifnos is mainly good for hiking, sunbathing and swimming. There are a number of excellent tracks all over the island, with maps available locally. Many of these tracks lead to isolated churches and monasteries, which are visually striking in their remote settings.

Beaches tend to be quiet, apart from a few small resorts. You won't find watersports, and probably no place to buy snacks or water, so go well-prepared.

Sifnos, GreeceSifnos

In Apollonia there is a small Folklore Museum, and the island's Archaeological Museum is in Kastro. Probably only of interest to specialists is an Ecclesiastical Museum at the Monastery of Panagia Vrysiani near Exabela.

Sifnos has several small archaeological sites and ancient ruins around the island too, which also add to the pleasure of hiking here.

Kastro on SifnosKastro

Where to Stay on Sifnos

Apollonia is probably the best bet if you want to be somewhere lively (by Sifnos standards). You can set off on several hiking trails from here, and explore further on the local bus that runs through the town. In the evening there's a good choice of eating options. It's also very photogenic, with lots of narrow and winding traffic-free streets. 

Kamares is the port of Sifnos, and can also make a good base as it has more of a beach resort than a typical Greek port atmosphere. It's also where you'll find the local tourist information office.

The hilltop village of Kastro used to be the island capital. It's one of the most picturesque spots on the island, with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, blue-domed churches and an ancient wall running around it. There's less choice of accommodation and eating places but you'll have a truly wonderful island experience if you base yourself here. 

Where to Stay on Sifnos

Church on SifnosColourful Church on Sifnos

More Information
Check out the excellent official island tourism website, a model other islands should follow:
http://www.sifnos.gr

Some other Cyclades pages

  • How to Get from Mykonos to Santorini

    You can get from Mykonos to Santorini, and of course from Santorini to Mykonos, by ferry, by plane (sort-of) or even by helicopter.

  • Tinos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Tinos in the Cyclades has several daily ferry connections from Rafina on the Greek mainland and is most famous for the Feast of the Assumption.

  • Things to Do on Mykonos

    There are plenty of things to do on Mykonos, one of the most popular Greek islands, such as nightlife, beaches, churches and visiting the ancient site of Delos.

  • Syros

    Syros is in the Cyclades islands, with Ermoupoli as its main town and some good beaches, described here on the Greece Travel Secrets website.

  • Sikinos

    Surrounded by bigger and better-known Cyclades islands such as Ios, Naxos and Santorini, Sikinos is a delightfully untouristy island.

  • Serifos

    Serifos is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, a rugged and mountainous island with a small population.

  • Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide

    This is the first travel guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia, two tiny islands in the Cyclades, published by Real Greek Experiences.

  • Paros in the Cyclades Islands in Greece

    The island of Paros in the Cyclades is famous for its marble, and on this page you can also see information about flights and ferries to Paros.

  • Naxos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and on this page you can see information about flights and ferries to Naxos.

  • Mykonos

    Mykonos in the Cyclades islands in Greece has cheap and luxury hotel accommodation, car rental, ferries from Athens, Santorini, Crete and other Greek islands.

  • Milos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Milos in the Cyclades in Greece is noted for its museums and beaches, and read about flights and ferries to Milos.

  • Kythnos

    Kythnos is a small island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, with easy access from Athens and popular with Athenians on summer weekends.

  • Kimolos

    Kimolos is in the Cyclades islands of Greece, close to Milos.

  • Kea

    Kea is in the Cyclades group of Greek islands and this page from Greece Travel Secrets shows how to get there by ferry and what to do when you've arrived.

  • Ios in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Ios in the Cyclades group of islands in Greece is noted for its nightlife in summer, as well as its beaches, churches and the grave of Homer.

  • Folegandros

    Travel information from Greece Travel Secrets about Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, close to Sikinos, with flight and ferry information.

  • Delos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Delos in the Cyclades islands is a unique archaeological site, taking up the whole island, and a popular day trip from nearby Mykonos.

  • Cyclades

    Travel information about the Cyclades group of Greek islands including Mykonos, Santorini (Thira), Naxos, Paros, Delos, Tinos, Siros, Milos, Amorgos.

  • Best Time to Visit Mykonos

    The best time to visit Mykonos depends on if you want crowds or quiet, heat or cooler temperatures, all of which affect when is the best time to visit Mykonos.

  • Antiparos

    Travel information about Antiparos near Paros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece from the Greece Travel Secrets website.

  • Andros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Andros in the Cyclades has fast ferries from Rafina. There are some good beaches and the main town has two interesting museums.

  • Anafi in the Cyclades islands of Greece

    Travel advice and information on Anafi in the Greek Cyclades islands with good beaches, walking, accommodation, tavernas.

  • Amorgos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    Travel advice and information on Amorgos in the Cyclades, a dramatic and growing holiday destination with ferries from Athens and other Greek islands

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