Sifnos Greece - Holiday, Beaches, Walks and Photos Guide.
Sifnos is quite easy to get too as this excellent Greek Island is situated amongst several adjacent Greek Islands and easily visited by ferry.
Where is the Island of Sifnos and about how to get there.
The Greek island of Sifnos is located within Greece's Western Cyclades Island Group and is around 80 miles from Pireaus on the mainland. The island is a major ferry hub with frequent ferry services arriving from Pireaus with
Sifnos's neighbouring islands of Serifos
as part of this route. Speedrunners operate a service from Sifnos connecting up with
, Ios and Santorini
(Thira) and they also have a route which goes to Syros
, Tinos and Mykonos
and there is yet another
ferry route which goes to Milos, Kimolos and Folegrandes. Greek Ferry services do depend on the time of year and do not necessarily connect every island mentioned on every day of the week. A note about Speedrunners - these
Greek ferries are very heavily used during July and August and particularly on Fridays and Saturdays from
Pireaus and on Sundays returning back
to Pireaus - these ferries are pre seat-allocated and should where possible be pre-booked as soon as the schedules are published.
Kamares is quite a small town but is also the main ferry port for Sifnos therefore it does get very busy for short bursts when the
ferries arrive. There are several ticket offices at the port plus an informaton centre which is operated by freindly and helpful staff - you can get bus time-tables, ferry information and some help with finding accommodation particularly any located outside of Kamares. This is also where the bus stop is located. As far as taxis are concerned you may find one hovering around at boat time but most of them seem to be located up in Apollonia. It is easy enough to ring for one though.
Sifnos Hotels and Rooms.
There is plenty of accommodation and rooms available around Kamares - the owners do not meet the ferries so it's a case of wandering around and asking. You will find as you go off hunting for somewhere to stay
with suitcases in tow that owners will appear and ask you if you are looking for rooms - it's quite nice and easy. Much of the accommodation on Sifnos is located a little way from the Port - perfectly placed alongside Sifnos's nice rugged Kamares Beach.
Prices do vary depending mostly on the time of year, how many people come off the ferry looking for rooms and of course your negotiating skills. In June before the holiday season kicks off you should get a fairly small but pleasant room probably with a balcony for not too much at all.
Kamares more or less only has one main road which is lined with plenty of tavernas, cafes, drinking bars and shops - there are also a couple of bakeries and several supermarkets. Eating out was enjoyable in Kamares - food prices from a fairly wide menu were very reasonable - as was the price of the house red wine.
Kamares beach is quite long, mostly sandy and sort of unspoilt - there are some bits which have sun-shades and beach-chairs but lots of the area is just a nice tree-lined sandy beach.
Getting around Sifnos. (The information below was obviously at the time of our holiday on Sifnos so may well have changed a little). The bus service on
Sifnos is frequent and reliable and gets you to most parts of the island. During the peak holiday season buses from Kamares leave nearly every hour for Apollonia and then continue along the ridge to Artemonas where there is a sort of bus terminal. From Artemonas you can then get buses to Kastro (7 a day), Faros (7 a day), Plati Ghialos (almost hourly),
Vathi (6 a day) and to Cheronisos (4 a day). The bus fare is around a coule of Euros for most places but bear in mind that if you go from say Kamares to Kastro you "may" have to pay two fares if you need to change buses at Artemonas or perhaps not - seemed to vary. Also note that
on a Sifnos bus children over 7 count as adults i.e. pay full fare.
Artemonas is pretty well joined with Apollonia and is where the main bus stop is located. It is possible to walk via lots of steps and alleys between the two locations - passing yet more often blue-domed churches on the way. Artemonas's Square has quite a few cafes and tavernas and is quite an open area - there are also some quite large houses built up on the hill here.
The small fishing harbour of Cheronisos is located at the far north of Sifnos and has a small beach, quite a few fish tavernas and a supermarket.
Cheronisos harbour is reachable by bus from Artemonas - there are buses at 08h, 1030h 14h and 16h - the buses return around 20 to 30 minutes after arrival time. It is possible to spend a couple of hours there perhaps languishing on the tree-lined beach but it's also worth finding time to wander up to Aghios Georgios Monastery.
Plati Ghialos (Platis Gialos).
Platis Ghialos is quite built up with many holiday homes, hotels and aparments either side of the main road and also lining the beach to some extent. The long
mostly sandy beach is extremely popular with family groups - unsurprisingly there are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas to hire and quite a few places for getting fast food. There are only a couple of small supermarkets around. The bus service from Artemonas (Apollonia) to Plati Ghialos is almost hourly and reliable.
Vathi is located on the south west of Sifnos and reached by a fairly infrequent bus service out of Artemonas - typically buses run each way 5 or 6 times a day although maybe a few more are run in peak season. The sandy/shingle beach is fairly long but quite
narrow. At one end there are tavernas right on the beach and also Taxiarchis Monastery is situated there. The other part of the beach is wider with sun umbrellas and beach chairs for hire or there are quite a few trees available for some free shade.
Monasteries on Sifnos.
There are several really nice old monasteries worth visiting whilst wandering around on Sifnos. The photograph on the right is of Profitis Ilias Monastery
which is located at the highest point on Sifnos at 682 metres. This monastery can only be reach by walking to it from Apollonia - this meas walking often on lovely walled paved paths - but it's well worth the effort.
On the other hand you can reach Panaghia Vrisis Moni easily enough by car or taxi as it's located on the main road between Apollonia and Faros.
Moni Panaghia Vrisis
Moni Aghios Simeon
Moni Taxiarchis Skafis
Moni Aghios Nikolaos
In the north of Sifnos island you will find Aghios Simeon Moni (which is best reached by walking out from Artemonas although it can be reached via a dirt road out of Kamares or from Troulaka). Two other monasteries which you have to walk too are the derelict Moni Taxiarchis Skafis and Moni Aghios Nikolaos. As mentioned these are
really best appreciated if you actually walk to them all - the map for the island is Anavasi Topo Sifnos map 10.26 and this map clearly shows relevant paths and tracks.
A short Sifnos coastal walk from Kamares to the end of Cape Kokalas via Moni Aghia Ekaterini 8km total. In the evening you can see the beacon at the end of Cape Kokalas blinking away and therefore it's quite necessary to wander along and actually see it and since the monastery is along
the route what more can you do but visit both. From the end of Kamares Beach furthest away from the Port go left to continue round the Bay - soon reaching Aghia Marina Church which is reached by climbing around 2000 steps (feels like it...). The road continues and then becomes a track to soon reach Ekaterini Moni.
The path continues by going right in front of the Monastery Gate - this is a narrow but quite clear path to follow. The beacon may appear to be quite close but in fact getting there involves quite a few ascents and descents as the path twists around the coastline. Although generally the path is quite clear there are a few possible hazards - in places the undergrowth is quite dense and there
are a couple of short stretches where the cliff has collapsed a little and the path has all but disappeared. One of these collapses is along a 20 foot stretch of small scree therefore lots of care is needed since it's a long way down to the sea at this point. The Sifnos coastline is really good and scenic right along this walk and once at the end by the beacon there are lovely sea views etc.
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