Not too far from the Greek Island Milos is Sifnos, Greece. It is one of the six Western Cycladic islands located approximately 2 hours from Piraeus port in Athens. Although the Greek Island of Sifnos is gaining popularity among tourists, it is still considered a hidden gem. If you are looking for an island-hopping itinerary, you have come to the right place. I hope you enjoy the best guide to Sifnos, Greece!
Best Guide to Sifnos Grecce
What makes Sifnos unique from other islands is the landscape. Picturesque villages with the backdrop of the Aegean Sea are typically what you can expect on a Greek Island. But Sifnos is unique with its dramatic rolling hillsides. This island is also known as the “foodie island.” It could be safe to assume that since famous chef and cookbook author Nikolaos Tselementes was born here, other fabulous chefs are drawn here.
Sifnos island is a place you can go and relax without feeling too secluded. There is stuff to do, and it has a low-key nightlife scene. But it’s not too crowded or pretentious. If you are looking for a party, this isn’t going to be your island. You will love its simplicity, class, and incredible restaurants.
The best time to visit Sifnos is early September. You will have dry, hot weather and the least amount of people. I also find the best deals as the season is nearing an end. I hope you are ready to explore Sifnos! This travel guide will give you all the information you need to plan the perfect stay!
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Top Things To Do In Sifnos
I visited Sifnos solo, so my perspective will be things you can easily do alone. But the best guide to Sifnos Greece isn’t exclusively about traveling here on your own.
Explore Platis Gialos
Platis Gialos is a seaside village on the south side of the Island of Sifnos. Enjoy an incredible beach, some of the BEST RESTAURANTS on the island, and the iconic church perched on the top of a hillside.
The church on the hillside is The Monastery of Panagia tou Vounou (Virgin Mary of the Mountain). It is an incredible spot to get a panoramic view of Platis Gialos.
I recommend staying in Platis Gialos if you rent a car in Sifnos. Otherwise, it could feel a little secluded. You can visit this area by bus with a limited timetable, or take a taxi. The taxis to Apollonia are not too expensive, but they could add up.
Free Google Map of Sifnos
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Visit The Town of Kastro
The ancient capital of Sifnos was Kastro until 1836. Located only 5 kilometers from the current capital, Apollonia. Without a car, you can easily reach this town by bus from the center of Apollonia. It is a unique place to visit, but not suitable for anyone with physical limitations.
Kastro is built into the side of a rock and is made up of stairs and inclines. No vehicles are allowed in Kastro, so you must enter by foot. It is worth the climb for the most incredible views of the hillsides and the Aegean Sea.
In Kastro, you can visit little local shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can even stay here in little guest houses and Airbnbs. This picturesque village is a very special place in Sifnos.
There is something so magical about Kastro. It can be hard to explain with words or pictures. You need to see to believe! The highlight for me, as many others, is the Church of the Seven Martyrs.
Walk the Path to The Church of Seven Martyrs
With traditional Cycladic design, this church draws a crowd simply for its placement overlooking the Aegean Sea. The path leading to the blue-domed church consists of descending many steps until you reach the base. From there, it is an easy climb to the church itself. There is a terrace wrapping all the way around the church with breathtaking views.
Shop and Eat in the Town of Apollonia
The main town of Apollonia has adorable Greek shops and traditional Greek restaurants. You can spend an afternoon exploring the town and soaking in the culture. I purchased some unique gifts and fine jewelry in the boutique shops. My favorite shop here was Biba.
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Explore the Town of Artemonas
Just perched above Apollonia is the picturesque village of Artemonas. You will find the most idyllic homes, shops, and restaurants on the narrow streets. Artemonas is often referred to as the gem of Sifnos. Named after the goddess Artemis, which is the god of animals and hunting.
I spent a lot of time here taking pictures of the blue dome churches and stone cottages. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes and sunblock. Artemonas is high on the hill and can get quite hot.
One of the most authentic islands of the Cyclades is Serifos. Located just 15 minutes by ferry from Sifnos, it is the perfect day trip! On the island of Serifos, you can explore the shops around the port and the town of Chora.
Climb to the highest point on Chora for an incredible view of the sea and surrounding towns. Another main attraction is the windmills atop Chora. A bus from the main port in Serifos runs every 30 mins in the high season.
Best Beaches In Sifnos
Typically renting a car or renting a score is advisable on the Greek Islands. Personally, I don’t like to rent a car, but you can see a lot more of the island this way.
When you visit smaller islands with little public transit, to reach these sandy beaches, you may need a car. The most popular beaches in Sifnos are:
Kamares is a beautiful sandy beach with family-friendly vibes and crystal blue waters. It is located next to the port and is very well maintained. The pictures below aren’t of the actual beach, but it’s just minutes away.
Vathi beach is one of the best beaches in Sifnos. Enjoy that turquoise blue water and golden sand that goes on for more than 1 kilometer. Located on the southwestern side of Sifnos, reachable by bus or taxi.
There is a small beach in Kastro west of the Village. This is a pebbled beach that is great for swimming. The water is usually very calm, even when a bit rougher in nearby Kamares. I enjoyed this swimming spot as it was very peaceful.
The sandy beach at Platis Gialos has a lot to offer to anyone looking to spend a day soaking up the sun. You will find lounge chairs to rent and restaurants to dine at. Most importantly, there is a public toilet.
Here is a very small beach with lovely shops and restaurants. Depending on the kind of beach day you are looking for, Fassolou beach could be a great spot. Some other nearby beautiful beaches are Fasolou and Vlychos.
This golden sand beach is very photogenic and located at the island’s tip. It offers nice views and a few cafes and fish taverns. Definitely one of the more popular and beautiful beaches in Sifnos.
Where to Stay in Sifnos
I always stay in the more populated and centralized areas when I travel solo. The reason being is I don’t rent a car. If you are planning to rent a car or rent a scooter in Sifnos, then you have many options.
I must stay near public transit and have restaurants and shops within a 10-minute walk. If you are going to explore Sifnos Island on foot, like me, stay in Apollonia. This is the main town, very close to Artemonas and Kastro, and just a 10-minute drive from the port of Kamares.
Since this is the best guide to Sifnos Greece, I will include options all over the idea. Staying in Apollonia is just my personal recommendation.
Must-Have Travel Guides for Sifnos
Nival Boutique Hotel – Apollonia – Get Directions
The best guide to Sifnos, Greece, would not be complete without highly recommending Nival Boutique Hotel! The hotel is one of the only with an outdoor pool within walking distance of Apollonia. The rooms are impeccably decorated, the breakfast was delicious, and the views are incredible.
The staff here was the most friendly and helpful of my whole trip. I would rebook here when I revisit Sifnos. It is very popular, so be sure to book your reservation now!
Melissou Place– Apollonia – Get Directions
This adorable little guest house is located in Apollonia and offers a mini kitchen, balcony with sea view, AC, and free WIFI. Perfect for couples or solo travelers.
Peristeronas House Sifnos– Apollonia – Get Directions
Enjoy your own holiday home located in Apollonia! It sleeps a total of 3 people and is complete with a kitchen, terrace, and balcony, free WIFI, washing machine, and free parking.
The Grape Press – Kastro – Get Directions
This pet-friendly Sifnos hotel is spectacular! You will have your own 1-bed villa with a terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea, kitchen, washing machine, and a 7-minute walk to Seralia Beach.
Agnanti Traditional – Kastro – Get Directions
This adorable property has a few room-size options located in Kastro. All are air-conditioned, with private bathrooms. This hotel offers some of the best views in Kastro village.
Villa Glaros– Platis Gialos – Get Directions
Stay just a few feet from the ocean in Platis Gialos at this lovely little home. Comes fully equipped with a kitchen, washing machine, free WIFI, and balcony. Just minutes away from all the shops and places to eat!
Agrilia Apartments & Studios – Vathi – Get Directions
This hotel offers sunloungers, direct access to the beach, and free WIFI. Located near public parking and the bus stop, the Agrilia Apartments & Studios is an excellent choice in Vathi.
The Best Restaurants in Sifnos
The Sifnos travel guide includes my favorite and highly-rated restaurants on the island. Eating at a nice seaside tavern is always my trip highlight. Here is Sifnos; the foodie in me was very happy!
Cantina $$$ – Kastro – Get Directions
The concept of this restaurant is zero waste and sustainability from Chef / Co-owner Giorgos Samolis. This restaurant has a location that rivals the gods! With sea views, soft lighting, and creative cuisine, you can’t help but fall in love with Cantina.
With a seasonal menu, I look forward to what delicious food they will serve up next year! Make Reservations Here.
Maiòlica Sifnos $$$ – Platis Gialos – Get Directions
Maiòlica is one of the best seaside taverns in all of Sifnos. Reservations are highly encouraged. I found my table on the covered deck to be most enjoyable. As a pescatarian, I ordered a few delicious and memorable fish dishes. This restaurant pairs well with a day at the beach; come casual if you please. Make Reservations Here.
Omega3 $$$ – Platis Gialos – Get Directions
Excellent restaurants here all require reservations. Omega3 is highly recommended by almost every article you find about dining on the island. Located just a door down from Maiòlica, you may need to spend the whole day in Platis Gialos to eat. I couldn’t fit in a reservation, but with the rave reviews from friends, I am confident to include it in my list.
Bostini $$$ – Poulatis – Get Directions
One of the most magical dining experiences with a breathtaking view was at Bostini. The restaurant is located in the Verina Astra Hotel. Reservations are needed and should be a high priority to book in advance.
Chef Nikos Thomas cooks up a variety of dishes with a Mediterranean flair. If you don’t have time to enjoy a meal, come for a cocktail and the luxurious view.
Kafeneio Drakakis $$ – Apollonia – Get Directions
For the best traditional Greek food in Apollonia, visit Kareneio Drakakis! Located in the main town of Apollonia. I tried a couple of dishes and would go back to try more. Soft chickpeas in a clay pot soup is a traditional Greek dish to try.
This is a no-fuss, great food, and friendly service kind of place!
Solo Travel Necessities
Best Guide to Customs & Etiquette
You will read that tipping in Greece is not required, but it is very much appreciated. I always tip between 10-15% is customary for taxis, restaurants, and hotel staff.
Sifnos is very laid back, so wear what you want! It’s common to eat lunch in nothing more than your bathing suit. The weather in summer is very warm, so the more comfortable, the better.
Transportation on the island
Although renting a car is ideal, you can get around on the bus. The schedule is limited, but if you plan your day right, you won’t have any issues. The bus schedule in Sifnos can be found here.
Sifnos Travel Guide Tips
The best travel guide tip I have for Sifnos is to book your accommodations and restaurant reservations early! The good places here book up quickly, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
This was the 5th time I visited Greece and my 8th Greek Island! Solo trips to Greece are quickly becoming my specialty. Below are just a couple of must-have items when visiting!
Depending on the ferry you book, it will take between 3 – 5 hours. Always book your ferry tickets in advance.
If you arrive early and rent a car, you can see the whole island in one day. I would recommend you stay a minimum of three nights in Sifnos.
The best beaches in Sifnos are Kamares beach and Platis Gialos. Both are golden sandy beaches with seaside taverns and facilities.
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