SEARCH SITE BY TYPING (ESC TO CLOSE)

Skip to Content

MEET SIFNOS ISLAND

The island of Sifnos

I

n the Aegean Sea, part of the island complex naturally embracing the island of Delos and in proximity with Serifos and Kimolos, the traveler comes across the island of Sifnos – a place of unique natural beauty having left its footprint in popular art and crafts and cycladic architecture thus harmoniously binding tradition with contemporary cultural trends.

In 2016 the island of Sifnos, ranked in the ninth position internationally in a grouping of “Islands under the Sun” with the following comment ‘They are dots in the ocean, hard to identify in the map. Yet, once you get there you shall feel that there is no other similar place on earth’. They overall surface of the island amounts to about 74 square Klms and has a population of about 3.000 permanent inhabitants. In the early antiquity already, art, literature and poetry are reports to have been flourishing on the island of Sifnos matched with the craft of pottery, along with gastronomic expertise – all in a deeply religious setting.

W

ith reference to historic monuments it should be mentioned that Mycenean acropolis of St. Andreas and the settlement of the Castle, ancient capital city of the island, are of major importance.

Excavations brought to daylight a major part of the Mycenean wall dating back to the 12th B.C., century. On your way to “Vathy”, situated on St. Andreas hill, you shall come across the church of the above-mentioned saint, built in 1701. As regards protected sites, it should be mentioned that the settlement in the Castle has been placed under a special protection scheme by UNESCO as it is considered as a monument of international cultural heritage.

Arts and crafts have flourished in Sifnos since the early antiquity and the island is renowned for works of poetry, literature, ceramics and visual arts, all within a deeply religious environment where culinary tradition has never neglected.

Sifnos Beaches

N

atural bays in Sifnos are most likely to captivate you in their natural cycladic beauty, emerald shaped waters and a very attractive variation in landscapes.

Sandy beaches

The “Vathy” beach, located in the south part of the island is considered the biggest and most beautiful sandy beach of the island.

Just as fascinating but different are the beaches of “Glyfo” and “Fassolu” on the island’s east side, at the Faros location; they are both small and sandy and offer natural shading under the trees.

Moreover, make plans to swim once at Kamares, at the western part of the island, near the port. Waters are velvety and serene and the sunset is unique.

DJI_0249
DJI_0149

L

et the rocks host and warm you. Don’t hold back the temptation of being overwhelmed by the dynamic but also serene influence of rocky and wind landscapes.

The Pulati beach, is the norther part of the island, is a typical rocky beach that can be reached if walking along a path that starts at the Panaghia Pulati church.

The definitely most fabulous beach in Sifnos that of Chryssopigi, provides a threebord beach option – sandy, rocky or pebbly. The small bays, named respectively “Saures and Apokofto” located on both sides of the divinity sculpted Chryssopigi and both within walking distance from it, respond to all the above descriptions.

Moreover, a dive into the deep blue waters surrounding the monastery of Stavru would only revivify you. If, on the other hand, you wish to take a distance from people and opt for calm and serenity, you could swim at Vrulidia a beautiful lake-shaped beach.

Make sure you wear sun protection!

Religious Presence

D

espite its small size, 235 churches and monasteries can be found in the island of Sifnos. Island inhabitants, from all over the cycladic islands, are said to have sought assistance from divine forces when in danger or threat, if one asks elderly inhabitants of the island, he will find out that “Panghia Chryssopigi” has provided special protection and support. “Panaghia Chryssopigi” is nowadays a place totally embodied in the island’s religious and historical tradition, it stands on a peninsula surrounded by enormous shiny rocks precipitated down to ice white and blue water. According to oral tradition, when all the inhabitants of the island were on the peninsula, persecuted by the enemy, Chryssopigi rocks were cut off from the main land thus forming a small island. Later on, a bridge was built over the gap and this is how today one has access to the church of “Panaghia Chryssopigi”.

Over the years religious festivities and celebrations, known as “panygiria” went on, taking place on respective celebration dates for each saint, with the participation of faithful people and families offering plenty of wine and food to everyone and singing ecclesiastic hymns to God. Among the most important “panygiria” are that of “Panaghia tu Vunu on march 24th, “prophet Helias” on July 19th, “Taxiarchis” on semptember 5th and on “Ascension Day at Chryssopigi.

Gastronomy

A

s regards gastronomy, Sifnos ranks high in terms of both taste and quality of food. Sifnos is the birthplace of the famous Greek chef of the 20th century Nicolas Tselementes – a birthplace indeed to provide satisfaction to the most demanding lovers of culinary art. So if you are ready to start the traditional hors-d-oeuvre (mezze) restaurants “Ambelos”, “Drakakis”, “Mosaic” or “Mamma Mia” and “Kamaron” serving Italian specialties, “Cayenne”, “Aghianemi”, “Omega 3” serving Mediterranean food or “Argyris” fresh fish.

Some of the highly reputed local the chick-pea soup and the “mastelo” made of goat meat and potatoes stewing for long hours in a firewood heated oven. Local producers have also come up with a number of delicacies in the dairy sector like the sour-cream cheese (soft, creamy and spicy) on the glazed hard cheese, called “manura” with very pronounced taste and sealed in a film of grape must. Alongside with the above, make sure you taste the famous sifnian marzipans, the aniseed cookies as well as the traditional honey pie. Last but not least, do include in your culinary experience the widely reputed caper fruit sold s pickled caper salad.

Since September 2006, a gastronomic festivity called the ‘Nicolas Tselementes Festival of Cycladic Gastronomy” has been established in Sifnos, giving the opportunity to participants from other cycladic islands to cook renounced local dishes, set the tables and offer a variety of specialties to all the guests.

Other local festivities are those of religious character, organized in respective celebration of each of the 235 churches and monasteries of the island, according to long lived religious practices and tradition.

?????????

Pottery

A

substantial boost of trade and economy on the island of Sifnos started in the 19 century, bringing along the development of further activities, one of them being pottery. The soil of Sifnos is rich in clay, an excellent raw material for pottery that was at the base of creation of a series of utensils for home use, decoration, the famous “flares” (ceramic finishing for chimneys) water pipes to transfer rain waters either foe home use or to specially built underground reservoirs where it was kept.

At the same time, due to the abundance of minerals (as gold or silver) in Sifnian mines, inspired goldsmiths designed and created masterpieces of art. A sample of their work is found in the “treasure of the Sifnians’ an ionic style treasury building out of marble, erected in Delphi and completely founded by Sifnians, for the collection of offerings to the gods.

The art of pottery went on being transmitted from one generation to the next, in family workshops where tradition was kept alive, enriched with the knowhow and mastership of former ceramic artists.

It is believed that you will certainly like the work of Julie Tzanni, a contemporary ceramist, manufacturing organic articles of pottery – her intension being to capture the clarity of the sky, the glamour of the sea, the whiteness of village walls as well as the unique Mediterranean light of the island in her creation.

In quest of the traditional and everlasting art of pottery on the island of Sifnos, one would really find it exciting to see the handmade ceramic creations of the Atsonian family, real masterpieces exhibited in the family workshop, on the beautiful beach of Vathy.

The art of knitted handmade bags

An original tagari bag making

Get to know the folklore art of the islanders through the traditional weaving of tagari bags; feel the texture of the fabrics and have a closer look at the knitting patterns at Miss Maria’s studio. Maria Comi is a warmhearted personality and she is fantastic in making people feel at home at her studio.

You will find her at the heart of Apollonia, on the main pedestrian road, on the upper floor of Clolores, follow the stairs, where she sits by her weaving loom creating invaluable artefacts. The tagari bags that she makes have a long history on the island. The locals have always been using -and still do- beautiful fabrics either with folklore motives and patterns or with modern aesthetics.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit her studio and maybe get your Sifnian Dorvas bag that perfectly matches your personal style!

DSC00834
to-topto-top