Sifnos isn’t the most famous Greek island. It’s not the biggest or smallest either and doesn’t come with a whole lot of UNESCO sites and world-class bars. But this is perhaps its appeal. Peaceful Sifnos is the island to visit if you want to get away from it all while being surrounded by typical rural landscapes and charming villages. The island has plenty to offer the discerning traveller too. If you’re looking for an authentic foodie experience or a relaxing massage Sifnos is the place to come.
You’ll find Sifnos in the heart of the Cyclades Islands, not far from favourites like Santorini and Paros. It feels a million miles from lively Mykonos yet is just a short distance away, making for a great island-hopping experience if you want to bag a few destinations in a single trip.
So, why is Sifnos perfect for your next Greek island adventure?
It’s easy to reach Sifnos
Sifnos is easy to get to with regular ferries from Piraeus on the Greek mainland. Check the ferry schedule well in advance to be sure of booking a ticket for the time and date of your choice. You can travel to Sifnos from Piraeus all year round, and in summer an additional route is laid on from Rafina too.
An alternative way to reach Sifnos is by air. You can fly to the neighbouring island of Milos, then take a ferry for the final leg over to Sifnos. Spending a few nights in Milos on the way is highly recommended if you have the time.
There are heaps of things to do in Sifnos
Despite its laid-back vibe and off-the-beaten-track location, Sifnos has a lot to offer culturally curious and adventurous travellers. Whether you’re into history or hiking, there’s something here for everyone.
Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and is a great place to start your explorations. More of a village than a town, it just oozes charm, especially at sunset. You can explore the narrow streets, admire the Cyclades architecture and buy souvenirs at the quaint boutiques and ceramic workshops that line the streets. This is also where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars if you’re looking for a bit of entertainment.
Another popular place to visit is the village of Artemonas, which enjoys a pretty spot with some of the best panoramas on the island. There are some majestic residences here and several bakeries selling traditional pastries – delicious!
Don’t miss the Church of the Seven Martyrs, which perches precariously up on the cliffs overlooking the settlement of Kastro. You can walk up from the village to enjoy the views. There are lots of hiking paths across Sifnos, many of which are suitable for all fitness levels. This is a fun way to discover remote coves, ancient ruins and hidden churches like the beautifully situated Panaghia Chrisopigi Monastery.
There are hotels for every budget on Sifnos
Many first-time visitors to Sifnos stay in the capital, Apollonia, as it makes a great base for exploring the island. This is also where you’ll find a range of different accommodation options. Sifnos isn’t an island for big beach resorts, which makes for a tranquil and authentic experience.
For a beachside stay, book a hotel around the village of Platis Gialos – it’s home to one of the longest beaches in the archipelago. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for luxury, places like Verina Boutique Hotels in Sifnos offer an upscale stay with dreamy views and top-notch restaurants.
You’ll also discover family-run guest houses which are perfect if you’re travelling on a budget. Kamares village is ideal for affordable accommodation – it’s the main port area so is easy to access too.
Sifnos has some great beaches
For a day relaxing in the sun, Sifnos has a multitude of beaches to choose from. If you prefer your beaches to come with facilities and water activities, head to the golden sands of Platis Gialos on the southeastern coast. Here, you’ll find everything from restaurants and bars to sunbeds and paddle boards.
For a bit more tranquillity, make your way to the tiny pebble beach of Vroulidia which boasts gorgeous emerald waters that are perfect for swimming.
It’s one of the most peaceful islands in Greece
The island of Sifnos receives mainly domestic tourists with few international visitors venturing to these idyllic shores. Most people who come to the Cyclades head straight to Santorini, Mykonos or Milos, not realising what a hidden gem Sifnos is, just across the water.
This is good news, as it means you can enjoy a quintessential Greek island experience without the tourist crowds and inflated summer prices. Sifnos offers you a slice of the real Greece and is a bit of an insider secret amongst those in the know.