When my friend and fellow writer suggested I come and visit her on the Cycladic island of Sifnos, Greece, I jumped at the chance. Her home is located in a tiny village (if it can even be called that) of Eleimonas, but within walking distance of the main town of Sifnos – Apollonia (warning; many steps involved!). But as she’s also a writer, the place is a perfect retreat from the ‘action.
Sifnos Greece: facts
Sifnos is approximately 3 hours by high speed ferry from the Athenian port of Piraeus, 5 – 6 hours by normal ferry. Warning: a one way ticket on the high speed cost me €51 – and that wasn’t even high season! Alas, their timetable is more frequent so it suited me to take this option. In the summer months, there is also a connection between the nearby Cycladic islands of Milos, Serifos and Kythnos, all worth a visit.
- See here for your Greek island all round packing list to help you decide what to take for your holiday.
- For your free downloadable and printable Greek island packing guide, ensuring you don’t forget a thing, click here.
- Not sure which Greek island is right for you? Read my article An Insider’s Guide to the Greek Islands to help you choose
- Best Souvenirs from Greece will help you decide what to buy when you visit
Beaches on Sifnos, Greece
Sifnos offers a variety of beaches, mostly sandy but also some of the flat rock variety. My favourite was the port beach of Kamares. Easily reachable by public transport (a bus – think coach – runs every hour to and from the port in the summer months offering air-conditioned comfort; at time of writing, €1.80 for a one-way fare), it’s a particularly shallow beach making it a great option for the whole family. Sifnos was also the first Greek island to be connected to a purification and waste treatment plant, making Kamares beach and port one of the cleanest. Kamaras beach also offers a choice of tavernas and cafes to relax in…not playing loud music to intrude on your restful day.
Sifnos, Greece: churches
It’s reputed that Sifnos has 365 churches and monasteries, one for each day of the year and ranging from the tiny ones that can be found in the backyard of some people’s homes, to the monasteries of Agios Simion and Proffitti Elias – set atop the highest mountains of Sifnos. In the cool of the morning or evening, I’d love to take a wander around them. One day, I vow to try to see every one of them!
My favourite part of my short stay on Sifnos was wandering the back streets of the town of Apollonia. The narrow streets with tiny shops open until late at night have a very Mykonian feel to them, but without the crowds. Oh, that plus the fact the local International Bookshop is selling my novel Girl Gone Greek
The great thing about Apollonia is that many of the locals can be found here, so if you choose to stay here, you’ll be away from the tourist crowds with a more authentic Greek experience, yet easily accessible to other areas of the island – through hiring a car, moped or taking the bus. It’s also located further up into the hills, hence gets more of a breeze and is cooler in the summer months.
Sifnos island – Greece: Plastic bag initiative
Did you know that Sifnos is one of the first Greek islands to move away from using plastic bags? It’s encouraging all tourists and residents to buy and re-use their 100% re-usable cotton bags. More info can be read here.
I can’t wait to come back to Sifnos again and stay! It’s a quiet and inspiring place with friendly people and a relaxed vibe. Be sure to put Sifnos on your itinerary when you visit the Cycladic chain of Greek islands.
Brilliant post! And it’s been a pleasure having you stay. x (On behalf of Sifnos: thank you!)
Glad you liked it Daphne. Your island is very inspirational – I think I might ask to stay forever (although the winter could be hard. I guess your book ‘100 Days of Solitude’ can enlighten us as to life on Sifnos in the winter?)
Hey Bex, So glad you were enchanted by my neighbor island. I didn’t know about the plastic bag initiative. Good for them. Wish the country would do that! I particularly love Sifnos at night. Such lovely night life, nice energy.
Yes – where I stayed was particularly quiet and the only ‘night life’ was the milky way, shooting stars and the odd screech of an owl. It was wonderful!
Sifnos sounds perfect for a peaceful getaway week! I’d never heard of it before!
That’s what’s so nice about the place, Rachel. Greece has so many islands other than what people have heard of (Santorini, Mykonos) and it’s wonderful to explore the lesser known ones.
I loved Greece when I visited a decade or more ago and have long dreamed of returning for a long stay. Sifnos sounds like a great option!
Sifnos looks like a perfect place to get away from it all. And I love the idea that some people have churches in their backyards.
I think you may have discovered the perfect writer’s retreat…it certainly ticks all the right boxes: accessible, but off the beaten path, quiet, progressive (kudos to the ban on plastic bags!) and just lovely. And selling your book, to boot!
I’ve been reading about Sifnos lately to try and decide which of the smaller islands to visit. I must admit it does sound wonderful. I’m sure the local food would be wonderful as well.
It really is beautiful Michele
Yes! That intrigued me too. ‘Churches’ not in the huge cathedral sense, but the lovely Greek/Cycladic white washed/blue domed sense.
Thanks Anita. Yes, Sifnos is a magnet for ‘alternative’, cultured types. It’s a haven for artistic people so yes, a retreat is exactly right.
Oh the food is amazing – as is most of the food in Greece in general! But if you’re looking for somewhere traditional, rustic yet modern as well, cultured and away from it all, and just a 3 hour ferry ride away by Highspeed, Sifnos is the island for you.
I’ve visited a few Greek islands, but admit to never hearing of Sifnos before! It sounds like a great place to get rejuvenated.
It really is a peaceful and aesthetically beautiful place, not to mention the positive energy one feels when there.
I’m hoping to visit here next year. Have been for a few hours on the ferry from Miles but never stayed. Hopefully I will be having some time on Koufanisia as well.
I’d love to visit Koufanisia one day! Do let me know if you go and what it’s like
Sifnos is a such beautiful island and the food is amazing here!
Yes – Sifnos is, indeed, one of the stunning islands of Greece (of which there are many), and quieter too.