Sifnos Island is located in the Greek Cyclades Islands, in the Aegean Sea. It’s renowned for its serene atmosphere yet lively nightlife. Although a more tranquil island when compared to Santorini and Mykonos, Sifnos’ tourism has grown over the last several years, making it a favorite destination when Greek Island hopping. Some would say it’s a place to recharge one’s batteries, largely because of its beautiful and relaxing beaches, but there are also lots of Sifnos Island attractions and things to do.
Sifnos Island Attractions
For one thing, it is highly recommended to stroll through the many villages of the island, as they are a pleasure to take in and photograph. This is especially true of Apollonia (the capital) and Kastro, a castle town. But there’s so much more…
Kastro Village is host to to The Archaeological Museum of Sifnos. As mentioned above, Kastro is a castle village which houses the museum in a medieval, two-story building on the eastern side of the island. The museum opened in 1986 and displays incredible island exhibits from numerous excavation sites. These findings demonstrate life on Sifnos during the various eras, including a marble sculptured head of Kouros from the 6th century B.C.
The Church of the Seven Martyrs is another popular attraction in Sifnos, also located in Kastro Village. It rests atop the rock formation, true to Cycladic architecture, that literally sits on the sea, and it is and incredibly picturesque scene, which is why it is likely the most photographed place of the island. Stairs along the rock link it to the main island. This church is generally opened to the pilgrims on religious holidays and so, it would likely be closed to the majority of tourists. However, it’s worth a visit to enjoy the view and take memorable pictures.
The Folklore and Pop Art Museum of Sifnos is located in Apollonia‘s town square and is a museum dedicated to life as it was on the island. You’ll find old arts and crafts from needlework to wood carvings and, of course, pottery and pottery tools, among many others, that show the daily life of the past locals. The museum is open for tourist season, from April to October.
The Monastery of Prophet Elias Ipsilos is another important site that won’t disappoint. This monastery is located in the center of the island and sits high on its tallest peak at 690 meters! There are tourist accommodations and underground galleries, too.
Another one of the must-see Sifnos Island attractions is the Monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi. Built directly atop an older church in the 16th century, this church is extra special to its people, who believe it is the island’s protector saint. The site is a beautiful one, as it rests on the waters, and it is home to a very important icon that was found by local fishermen.
Chrissopigi Beach, on the island’s southern side, is just by the monastery. This is a family friendly sandy beach on which to spend a lovely day.
The Monastery of Panagia Vryssiani is also home to the Ecclesiastical Museum which exhibits various religious items such as gospels, Byzantine icons, the embroidered coat of Kassiani, and many ecclesiastical manuscripts, among other important items. Items in the iconostasis date back to the 1750’s.
In Platis Gialos is the Monastery of the Virgin Mary of the Mountains (Monastery of Panagia Vounou), which was build in 1813.
Platis Gialos is also home to the island’s most popular family friendly beaches. This is a party organized beach with soft sand that goes on and on and offers water sports. There are numerous taverns to enjoy great meals and drinks.