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Sifnos

 

The Cycladic islands are well-known for their everlasting beaches and their traditional little white houses that sparkle under the magnificent Greek sun and have a view of the deep blue Aegean Sea. The southern island of Cyclades, Sifnos, is located southeast from Serifos, west from Antiparos and northeast from Kimolos. For many people Sifnos with its unique and special characteristics is the ideal destination for holidays in Greece. Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and it is situated in the centre of the island. Apollonia presents the distinctive Cycladic architecture and has numerous churches. Artemonas is situated a bit northern from Apollonia. Some touristic villages with beautiful beaches such as Kamares and Vathy are situated in the west side of the island, while some more villages such as Platis Yalos, Chrysopigi and Faros are situated in the southeast side of the island. Finally the most beautiful area of the island of Sifnos, Kastro, which is a symbol of the Venetian architecture and has many churches, an archaeological museum and a wonderful view is situated in the east coast.

History


In ancient times the island was called Meropia and Akis, while the name that has nowadays was taken from Sifnos who was the son of the Attic hero Sounios. Herodotus mentions that Sifnos was one of the richest islands of Cyclades since the production of gold and silver, the quarries and the pottery that supported the local economy flourished and brought prosperity to the island. Proof to this thrive was the assignment to the island from Delphi, around 525 a.d., to build a statue ornament which was unbelievably magnificent and still survives.

During the Persian Wars, Sifnos made an alliance with Athens and later on it became a member of the First Athenian Confederacy.
Unfortunately the signs of deterioration made their appearance during the archaic period and the island lost completely its glamour and glory. During the Roman Empire it had a recovery, judging from the rich findings in the ancient cemeteries of the island (glass and clay artifacts, sarcophaguses, e.t.c.)

This period did not last for long since the early Byzantine period found Cyclades in a stillness phase. Sifnos was part of the Acae precinct of Eastern Illyria and took part in the forming of a small fleet for the Cyclades. The financial growth and the commercial activity of the southern Greek counties during the late Byzantine years reinforced the commercial importance of the island.

The leaders of the island showed a great zeal in providing a high level of education. A first sample of this enthusiasm is the establishment of the Holy Grave School (Panagios Tafos School), which was founded in 1687 and many significant teachers such as Emmanuel Trohanis, Nikolaos Trohanis and Nikolaos Chrysogelos taught there. During the Greek revolution Chrysogelos raised the revolutionary flag and organized an army of islanders that fought in Peloponnese and other areas. After the liberation Sifnos flourished again in all section including education.         

Pottery


Pottery is the art that the island of Sifnos is famous until today. It is historically proven that the blossoming of the arts is a tradition in Sifnos, since excavations have discovered many small statues and various ornaments from the early Cycladic period. The natural elements of the island, the mineral deposit of argil, water and sun, played a very important role in the development of pottery that was used to produce clay products for domestic use and other useful items.
All the above helped the island grow financially and the locals wanting to help protect the richness of their island built their houses in the mainland near Artemonas and Ano Petali so that pirates could not reach them. By building their houses there they also protect them from the strong north winds. Today the visitors of the island can see the handmade masterpieces and the historical collections that accompany the island’s history.

Beaches and Capes


Sifnos has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and cool summers that are defined by the etesian winds. The island’s coastline shows extraordinary alternations and attracts many tourists every summer. Sifnos has many coves with beautiful sandy beaches and many small capes. In the northern end of the island you can find the Philipp cape (Kofto), while in the west end of Sifnos you can find the Vronta, Kokkala, Kokkinomytis, Hondropo and Maistros capes as well as the coves of Saint George, Vourlida, Kamares and Vathy. Their amazing sandy beaches with the crystal blue water are the ideal location for visitors. The port of the island is located in the heart of the cove Kamares near the settlement with the exact same name. The tourists visiting Sifnos can taste the island’s delicacies at the taverns by the sea side and under the Greek sun, where the waves create a special ambiance and music.
Kontos Cape is in the south end of Sifnos, from where the small islet Kitriani is located to its east. The capes Amoni and Napos and the coves Platis Yalos and Faros are situated in the southeast coasts of the island, whereas the capes Agios Sostis and Misetouli are situated in the northeast coasts and are the perfect places for moments of relaxation and tranquility with a breathtaking Cycladic view.

Sifnos Travel Guide

 Tourist Guide & Useful Information for Sifnos Island

  Sifnos Hotels        Aktoploika.gr        Sifnos Ferry Timetables

Entertainment


Many people combine food with entertainment and Sifnos is familiar with the culinary art that was elevated by the man- symbol of cookery in Greece, Nikolaos Tselementes. All the areas in Sifnos are filled with restaurants and taverns serving local dishes. Some famous specialties are revithokeftedes (chick pea meat balls), ambelofasoula and skordalia (fresh beans with garlic sauce), the traditional Sunday dish revithada (chick pea soup) that is usually cooked from the previous night in an oven with wood, caper salad, roast meat in the bailer and cheese balls. All dishes are served with excellent local wine.
Furthermore Sifnos has an intense and versatile nightlife. There are numerous places for all tastes in Kamares and Apollonia. The centre of good time is the famous “Steno tis Diaskedasis” where dancing and fun last until the morning hours.
It is important to know that in the early hours the temperature drops, even during the summer months and it can be a bit chilly outside.

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