The island of Sifnos, which is located in the Aegean Sea, perfectly combines Greek tradition with natural beauty, yet remains a little-known secret outside of Greece.
The National Geographic once included the island of Sifnos of the Western Cyclades, as one of the ten most charming and exotic islands in the entire world.
According to the magazine, “it’s just a spot on the ocean that someone could hardly notice on a map. Yet, if you find yourselves there, you’ll know there’s no other place of equal beauty in the whole world.”
This spectacular jewel of an island, which boasts a stunning 237 churches, has served as the center of ceramics in the Cyclades for millennia and is still renowned for the artistic tradition.
The historic settlement of Kastro, or “castle,” which has been inhabited since ancient times, was built on a precipitous cliff with breathtaking views over the sea atop the ruins of ancient Sifnos.
Boasting a beautiful outdoor museum and one of the most picturesque villages in the island, Kastro stands out for its charming homes with wooden balconies, its ancient columns, and its narrow courtyards.
The Church of the Seven Martyrs, which is located just outside of Kastro, may be one of the most picturesque churches in all of Greece. The small, simple chapel, which was constructed in the iconic blue-and-white Cycladic style, dramatically juts out on a cliff surrounded by the blue sea.
The church rivals chapels on more popular Greek islands, particularly Santorini, in terms of the number of marriages that are performed there. In the past, mainly Greek couples traveled to the beautiful church to get married, but the Church of the Seven Martyrs has since become popular with couples from around the world
Sifnos is renowned for its cuisine and pottery
The earliest pottery found on the island dates back to the Early Cycladic period. During antiquity, Sifnos was extremely wealthy, as the island is rich in gold, silver, and lead, which have been mined there for millennia.
The island’s clay soil, in combination with its nearly continuous sunshine, resulted in the advanced development of the art of pottery on the island. Throughout the island, there are many pottery workshops where you can buy fine traditional ceramics to decorate your home, as well as pottery utensils and other items.
In addition to ceramics, Sifnos is also famous for its delicious and unique cuisine. The charming, traditional Greek island is known across the country for both its traditional and cutting-edge gastronomic experiences.
Some of the island’s most beloved dishes include fritters made of chickpeas (revithokeftedes), Manoura cheese, mastelo (lamb cooked in red wine and spices), amigdalota (small round cookies with ground almond, rosewater, and powdered sugar), and honey pie.
Notably, due to the island’s connection to ceramics, many of its local dishes are cooked in special clay pots. The clay pots imbue the dishes with a flavor that is unique to the island and cannot be found elsewhere.
Sifnos is also home to many beautiful beaches. The most popular beach on the island is called Platis Gialos, and it features a long stretch of golden sand and crystalline blue waters.
In addition to sunbeds and umbrellas, the beach is also home to a number of trees that provide shade to beach goers.
The beach is ideal for families and those who enjoy watersports, as there are many opportunities to take part in fun activities on the beach. There are also a number of beach bars and restaurants situated along the beach.
Just like the island itself, the boutique hotel, Sifnos House, perfectly combines tradition with modern amenities. Built in the iconic Cycladic style, Sifnos House offers guests both the comfort and ease of home as well as the unique traditional elements that make Sifnos so charming.
Featuring a variety of double rooms, junior suites, and apartments that feature stunning views of the island’s dramatic cliffs and crystalline waters, Sifnos House is the ideal home base for those looking to explore the fascinating island.
The hotel is also home to a fully functional spa, where visitors can get a massage and truly relax while on vacation.