Embark on an unforgettable charter cruise and discover the colorful beaches, dreamy towns, and lush nature of the beguilingly beautiful Sifnos. Whether you want to kick back and relax simply enjoying the soothing environment and sublime cuisine or learn about Greek history and hunt your next art piece, this Cycladic island has you covered.
The enchanting Sifnos is often referred to as the most delicious Greek island - as you walk through the maze of old streets in Apollonia or Artemonos, you’ll be seduced by the fragrance of anis, oregano, and basil spreading from local eateries. Thanks to a pleasing year-round climate, the fertile valleys and countryside are covered in orchards and wild blossoms. Home to the cleanest beaches and ports in Greece, the sea is brimming with life, making it a joy to explore while diving and snorkeling, but also for indulging in superb seafood.
Inhabited since at least 4000 BC, Sifnos was a powerhouse in ancient times and part of the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization. Due to abundant silver and gold reserves, the island was very wealthy and had a blooming culture, remnants of which are scattered across towns and exhibited in multiple museums you’ll get a chance to visit during your luxury charter cruise.
Throughout the centuries, the island was ruled by Byzantines, Ottoman, and most notably, the Knight Hospitaliers who preserved their influence for over 1000 years. Thanks to various influences, Sifnos has a rich cultural heritage that is mirrored in the eclectic architecture and enchanting towns.
Because of the sunny climate and abundant clay veins, the island is famous for its pottery, so much so that “Sifnious” is used as a word for a potter - as you roam the historic streets of this Aegean ille, you’ll find a myriad of vibrant galleries selling local vases, sculptures, pots, and masteles.
If you’re looking for the blue-domed churches of Santorini, you’ll find one for each day of the year. Sifnos has over 360 religious monuments and a profuse spiritual life. It has the beaches of Naxos and an entertaining nightlife, not as wild as in Mykonos, but still fun enough to color each evening with excitement.
Luff up and start exploring - with so much to offer, this Cycladic island will soon have you planning another visit next year!
Best towns to visit in Sifnos
This island in the Aegean is famous for its vibrant towns, many of whom stem from Ancient towns. Although it has just over 2600 residents, you’ll find several villages and towns for some in-land adventure.
The main town of the island actually consists of several villages, one of which is Apollonia - the others are the affluent Artemona, Ano Petali, Kato Petali, and fun-loving Exambela. Named after the temple of Apollo that was found on the Panayia Yeraniofora church locality, the town is a gorgeous yet eclectic collection of whitewashed streets with bougainvillea flowers that you’ll have a chance to discover during balmy summer afternoons.
Apollonia is the place to let your hair down and enjoy festive evenings - you’ll find several alleys here that are the headquarters of the bustling nightlife scene, often referred to as Mykonos streets, full of consecutive bars with upbeat music. The atmosphere is just as lively, albeit far less pretentious.
The Exambela area was named after the old vineyard that is now a simple flower field by the Turks, who were often overwhelmed by the rebellious and debaucherous nature of its inhabitants, famous for their flair for singing, drinking, and dancing late into the night. Today, the village is adored for its old windmills called Arades and ancient remains, most notably the Black Tower, once used to protect the island from pirate attacks.
To learn about the customs and traditions of this Cycladic island, walk by the central square to visit the Folklore Museum. Located in a traditional cubic house, the museum has an interesting collection of costumes, shotguns, pottery, farming tools, and household objects.
The town is well worth the visit, especially when you need to stretch your feet and do some shopping and clubbing - the best beaches are found further ahead.
If you want to moor somewhere for a few days and find a good balance of inland activities and beach days, look no further than the turquoise village of Kamares. The main part of the island has an equal mix of quirky restaurants and historic sights to visit on a rainy day.
Sifnos was the first island to connect to a waste and water system - for this reason, the Kamares port is the cleanest one in Greece. A great choice for families looking for a safe place where kids can make sandcastles while they cheer with a glass of fine rose, Kamares oozes that authentic Greek appeal yet offers a great infrastructure for a simple and organized holiday.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during one of the religious “panagiri” festivities, you’ll be able to climb the mountains with the locals and visit the monasteries - but make sure to pop by the church of St. Symeon, where you’ll be awarded the best views of the sea from and town from high above.
The mysterious town where time stood still and one of the most magical spots in Greece, Kastro was the capital of the island from ancient times up until the 19th century. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the village still oozes an old-world grace and provides an insight into the oldest customs and traditions of the area. Situated on the top of a high valley, it’s reached by a 3,5 kilometers climb from Apollonia. The residential installation of the village stems from 4000 years ago, while the fortress was built during the renaissance by the Da Corogna dynasty. The narrow labyrinthica streets are soaked in history, so visiting any museums is not necessary, but if you’d like to, head to the Archaeological Museum of Sifnos to see the dazzling permanent exhibition of Hellenistic and Archaic sculptures.
One of the most romantic places in Sifnos, Kastro will take your breath away with ethereal beauty. Thanks to the high elevation of the village, panoramic vistas are everywhere you look - this is certainly one of the most romantic places in Greece, and quite frankly, on Earth.
Best Beaches in Sifnos
After you visit the scenic towns of Apollonia, Kamares, and Kastro - and maybe Artemonas, Platis Gialos, and Faros, it’s time to take a dip into the glittery seas and test out your charter yacht’s water toys. Where to?
Named after a monastery jutted on a rock above the sea, Chissopigi Beach is an Eden-like oasis of fine sand, viridescent trees, and electric-blue water ideal for a laid-back day of swimming and snorkeling. Many visitors come in the summer for the gorgeous 16th Century monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi, but the beach itself never gets overcrowded.
Located on the south coast of Sifnos, just 10 kilometers from the main town, the mesmerizing Vathi is an ideal place for a family beach day. With glittery, pristine waters, golden sand that stretches over one kilometer, chic tavernas serving drinks and refreshments, and a long tuft of trees, Vathy is a wonderful spot for swimming and bronzing in the sizzling Greek sun.
Platys Gialos Beach
Arguably the most popular Sifnos beach, Platys Gialos attracts numerous visitors with a long stretch of golden sand and translucent seas. If you’re looking for a lively spot that offers plenty of entertainment, including water sports for both children and adults, this is the ideal place for you.
More tranquil than Platys Gialos, but just as beautiful, Kamares Beach is a sandy oasis located on the west side of Sifnos. One of the longest and cleanest beaches on the island is connected to an even more secluded and private Agia Marina beach, where you can enjoy a serene time while splashing in the sparkly Aegean sea.
While there are many more sandy beaches on the island - like Apokoftos and Faros, this pebbly cove will leave you spellbound with the intense shade of the sea. The mountainous surroundings add to the beauty of the beach and as a bonus, Vroulidia is often overlooked by tourists, so you’ll be able to enjoy it without crowds and noise.
Best restaurants in Sifnos
Thanks to fertile valleys and a warm climate, Sifnos is covered in orchards and is the perfect place to explore Greek cuisine with local, fresh ingredients. Even if you randomly choose a tavern, you won’t go wrong, yet there are some places that take the Sifnos food game to the next level.
Yalos Seaside Obsession
If you’re one of those people who care just as much about the presentation of the meal as they do about the place, book a table at this stunning Platys Gialos restaurant to admire the creative dishes decorated with edible flowers. Haute cuisine right next to the sea - this restaurant is a great choice for both a romantic dinner and a beach day lunch.
Greek cuisine is intertwined with the Exambela village, the birthplace of cookery and pastry master Nikolaos Tselemendes who wrote a cookbook still widely used in Greece today. This tavern in the village presents the best of Sifnos cuisine in a non-pretentious, laid-back way and is a great option for a casual lunch with family and friends.
An iconic restaurant in Kastro, Kelari offers artfully prepared traditional meals in a stunning garden with awe-inspiring views. Do try and book ahead, as this family-owned place is quite popular and only has a handful of tables.
Fine dining and sunsets come together in this classic Kamari restaurant, ideal for a romantic early dinner or a lunch to recharge you before swimming.