Sifnos is one of the islands which, once you visit, it stays in your heart forever. It combines the picturesque scenery with gastronomy, popular art and tradition, all under the bright sunlight and the enchanting aura of the Aegean. Full of hidden beauty, it calls you to discover it.
The Chapels of Sifnos
Two hundred and thirty five chapels and monasteries can be found on Sifnos, indicating the importance of religious tradition for the people of the island. At most of those chapels and monasteries , traditional festivals are held at least once a year, with common dining, reminiscent of ancient “banquets” and “adorations”. The most renowned monastery is that of “Chrysopigi (Golden Fountain) built in honour of the island’s patron saint, looming proudly on top of the rock and being the most photographed landmark of the island.
Traditional hand-made pottery
Sifnos has a long tradition in ceramic art which is still practiced. The high quality of clay, coupled with the craftsmanship of local potters helped in the development of the particular art. Presently, there are nineteen pottery workshops which you can visit and watch the potters create both functional and decorative items, which you can buy.
The coastline of Sifnos forms beaches for all tastes. Secluded sandy beaches, rocky coasts, pebbles, organized resorts, all have one thing in common: They are clean and spotless. Some of them are: Kamares, Spilia, Vroulidia, Cherronisos, Poulati, Seralia, Fassolou, Faros, Glyfo, Apokofto, Saoures, Platis Gialos, Lazarou, Vathi, Tsopos.
Cuisine of Sifnos and Gastronomy Festival of Cyclades
Sifnos, home of several prominent chefs such as Tselementes, is renowned for its wonderful cuisine. One of its secrets is roasting in clay pots in a wood oven. Try traditional dishes such as roast in “mastelo” clay vessel, chickpea soup and caper salad. An integral part of local cuisine of course is cheeses (gilomeni manoura, xinomizithra, chloromanoura). There is also great demand for home-made sweets and cookies. Every year in Artemon there is a three day festival of Cycladian gastronomy.
The villages of Sifnos are linked by an absolute harmony. Apollonia, Artemon, Saint Loukas, Exambelos, Katavati, Pano Petali and Kato Petali all stand around the center of Sifnos. Apollonia is a traditional village of Sifnos and also its capital. It was named after god Apollo. It is the ideal spot for your evening outing, as the famous mews of Apollonia, with bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, chapels and island residences with dooryards will give your holiday a unique air.
The picturesque settlement of Kastro (the castle) is the ancient capital of Sifnos. It is situated on the east part of the island, on a steep rock with an exquisite panoramic view of the sea. In its present form, the settlement is a typical example of a citadel of the Venetian era. It has been inhabited from the ancient years until today and it is practically an open museum. It is worth taking a stroll on the peripheral pedestrian road to admire the scenic chapel of “Eptamartyron” (seven martyrs) with a limitless view of the Aegean and also visit the Archaeological Museum and the 21 chapels of the island.
Archaeological sites and museums
The Mycenaean acropolis of saint Andrew is an awarded and visitable archaeological site, which stretches on the plateau of Saint Andrew and covers an approximate area of 10,000 square meters. The excavations conducted in the area revealed the powerful and magnificent bailey of the acropolis (13th century B.C.) and the dense housing network which includes the great sanctum, the buildings, the roads, the sewage system for rain-water and also a wealth of various mobile artifacts. The full recovery of this spectacular acropolis after thousands of years gave a most vivid account of the importance, the magnificence and the robustness of the island. This is also where the archaeological museum of Sifnos is located. Two more museum worth visiting are the museum of folkloric and popular art and the museum of religious art of Sifnos (at the monastery of Vrisi at Exambela).