Sifnos map Greece - Detailed map of Sifnos island - Sifnos travel information
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The next pearl in the crown of the Greek islands we would like to present is Sifnos. Part of the Cyclades complex and close to Serifos and Milos, this picturesque island is also famous by its other name - Kamares. Sifnos is one of those "off-the-beaten track" places, where you can relish tranquility and calmness and avoid the crowds of tourists. You can reach it easily by the most common means of transport in the Greek archipelago - the ferry. At about 130 km from Athens, and with a territory of 74 km, Sifnos island has a relatively middle density of population - 2000 people. Every of the bigger Cyclades has some mineral or ore deposits - Sifnos is one of the "lucky" ones with silver and gold deposits and respectively mines. The existence of these precious metals was known since ancient times and Sifnos owes its wealth and economic stability mainly to that fact. However at certain time in the past the extraction came to an end, for yet undiscovered reason. In the last 2 hundred years the main output and way of living is culture and all types of recreation holiday activities.

Sifnos map

Like most of the Greek islands, Sifnos suffered a Venetian invasion and dominance followed by Ottoman one. It was annexed to Greece and became part of the new republic in 1832. Sifnos offers a variety of things and locals proudly claim that even the most demanding visitors will find whatever the wish at the island. The scenery is described best by one simple word: "fantastic". The perimeter of the island is about 70 km, and the bigger part of these kilometers are beaches, so you can choose from a busy and vivid ones to secluded places where you can feel as if you're alone in the island. If you are a naturist, you'll also find your lot at Sifnos. The small villages like Apollonia, Kamares and Artemonias with their narrow coble streets and cozy taverns will make you feel welcome and relaxed. The Medieval settlement Kastro invites you to feel that traditional Greek spirit - with the fragrance of the fig trees and the beauty of the typical white-washed houses. There is the old monastery called St. Chrysopigi.
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Probably the most amazing things about Sifnos is that it has 365 churches! So if you are a devout, you can go to church every day and never visit the same church in a year. The most famous and the one that is considered the most worth seeing is the church of the monastery Chrysopigi. Every place has special souvenirs, things that are usually handmade there and will always remind you of there. This on Sifnos is the famous Sifnos pottery. The most famous beach on Sifnos island (also the longest in the Cyclades complex) is called Platis Gialos. In the north-east part of the island you can hike to the remains to an ancient tower, known as "The White Tower", which probably dates back to Roman times.

The site of the tower also gives you the opportunity to see a wonderful uninhabited island - Kipriani, where the only building is a deserted old church. At the north-western part of the island you can find a good camping area with all facilities for a pleasant stay. Don't miss the archaeological museum of Sifnos - it features collections of sculptures as old as 6th c. BC - funerary sculptures, statues, parts of architectural complexes like arcs. The other two types of exhibits are pottery and coins.

The other cultural "must" is the Sifnos Folklore Museum - which is located right next to the war memorial (Iroon) on the main square in the village of Apollonia. There you can see traditional clothing, cauldrons, tools. You will learn a lot about the history and culture of the Greek nation. More and more asphalt roads are appearing on Sifnos, but you'll still be able to do most of your walking on the island's distinctive flagstone and marble paths. You'll probably see village women whitewashing the edges of the paving stones, transforming the monochrome paths into elaborate abstract patterns. Throughout Sifnos island, you'll see dovecotes, windmills, and small white chapels in amazingly remote spots. Sadly, the continuity of these fine paths has been interrupted-even destroyed-in many places by the construction of new roads and houses. Our favorite walk on the island leads from Apollonia to Profitis Elias, passing through a valley of extraordinary beauty to the summit of the island's highest mountain, with a short detour to the church and ruined monastery at Skafis. Pick up a walking map at one of the local travel agencies.

The 12th-century walled monastery of Profitis Elias is a formidable citadel, its interior courtyard lined with the monks' cells. The lovely chapel has a fine marble iconostasis. If you continue straight where the summit path branches right, walk through the next intersection. You'll soon reach the church of Skais, situated within the ruins of an old monastery and overlooking a small valley shaded by olive trees. Look for the remains of paintings on the walls of the ruined monastery, in what must have been a tiny chapel. Allow about 4 hours for the round-trip to Profitis Elias, with an additional half-hour for the detour to Skafis.

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