Sikinos

Cyclades

Surrounded by bigger and better-known Cyclades islands such as NaxosIos, and Santorini, little Sikinos is a delightfully untouristy island - yes, you can still find them in Greece.

Map of SikinosMap of Sikinos

Home to only a few hundred people who live in a couple of villages, Sikinos is not the kind of island to choose if you like nightlife, busy beaches with watersports, and lots of other activities. It's the kind of island for people who want to escape, relax and live life at the rural Greek pace. 

In typical Greek island fashion, Sikinos has a port and an upper town, although here the upper town is divided into two separate little communities. One of the few paved roads on the island connects the port of Alopronia with the two inland villages, Kastro and Chorio.

Sikinos, GreeceSikinos

Getting to Sikinos

Ferries to Sikinos

Sikinos isn't too hard to get to, though you'll need to do some advance planning. It's the kind of island which has ferries a few times a week from some places rather than once a day. For example, there are four ferries a week from Piraeus, which can take anything from 7-10 hours depending on the ship and the route.

There are also four ferries a week from the nearest busy island, Ios, which is just 25 minutes away. There's only one weekly ferry to Naxos (2.5 hours), Paros (4 hours) and Syros (6 hours). There are more frequent connections to Santorini (2 hours) and Milos (3.5 hours).

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.

Sikinos, GreeceSikinos

What to Do on Sikinos

There are a few things to do on Sikinos, other than hiking and swimming and generally taking it easy. The island used to be known as Oinoe, or the island of wine, as it was once covered in vineyards. These have now largely disappeared, leaving behind a lot of terracing which can sometimes make hiking challenging.

Sikinos, Cyclades, GreeceSikinos

One winery remaining is the Manalis Winery, which still uses the traditional method of making Sikinos wine and which offers an enjoyable tour and tasting. It also has a restaurant with a lovely terrace, open every evening during the summer. It's along the road from Chora to the ruined monastery of Episkopi.

Episkopi on Sikinos in the Cyclades islands of GreeceEpiskopi on Sikinos

Episkopi is about an hour's walk from Chora and is probably the island's biggest attraction. The buildings date back to the 3rd century AD and were originally a Roman temple. They then became a Greek temple to Apollo, and after that a Christian church and monastery. 

SikinosSikinos

In Chora there's a Folklore Museum, typical of what you might expect on a small Greek island but run with great enthusiasm by a local man. Also in Chora, the church of Panagia Pantanassa was built in 1787 and has a collection of Byzantine icons. 

The other main attraction, standing above Kastro, is the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. This was built in 1690 and used as a place of shelter by islanders when Sikinos was under attack. These days it offers wonderful views and is a great place from which to watch the sunset.

Sikinos, GreeceSikinos

On the way from Chora to the monastery you pass the Church of Panagia Pantohara. This was built in 2011 by the widow of the famous Greek poet Odysseus Elytis. It was one of the poet's last wishes, to have a church built here, as he loved Sikinos, which features in his poetry. There are occasional readings of the poet's work here. 

Boy jumping into the sea on SikinosSikinos

Sikinos Beaches

Sikinos has only a handful of beaches, and only one of these has anything by way of organised facilities. This is known as the Port Beach, and is a short walk from Alopronia and about a 2.5 mile (4 km) walk from Chora. This long and sandy beach has bars, beach umbrellas and sun beds for rent in the summer. 

There's also a sandy beach at Dialiskari, which is only accessible by boat or on foot. There are a few rooms to rent if you want a real escape. Otherwise the beaches are a mix of sandy and pebble beaches, and in out-of-the-way places. 

Sikinos fishermanSikinos Fisherman

Where to Stay on Sikinos

Unless you can find rooms to rent at one of the small beach communities around the coast, your two choices are at the port of Alopronia or in the upper towns of Kastro or Chorio.

The little port of Alopronia is pleasanter than ports on bigger Greek islands, but unless you want to be right by the beach staying in Kastro or Chorio is a much more pleasing prospect. They're pretty towns with whitewashed buildings and narrow streets. If you want the basic facilities on your doorstep - a post office, grocery, ATM, tavernas - then stay in Kastro, although Chorio and Kastro run into each other so nowhere is very far. There are some steep streets, though!

If planning to travel during the summer season then we'd recommend you book ahead as the number of rooms on the island is limited.

More Information
See the island's own official website:
http://www.sikinos.gr

Sunset over SikinosSikinos Sunset

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.

  • Sifnos

    Sifnos is one of the smaller islands in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea.

  • 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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