13 BEST Things To Do In Sifnos (Greece)

Sifnos is a beautiful Greek island in the Cyclades with stunning beaches, charming villages, and a rich cultural heritage. Its picturesque beaches with crystal-clear waters and golden sands (not always common in Greece) offer a perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxation.

The island’s traditional villages, like Kastro and Artemonas, feature narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and local shops to explore.

Sifnos is also renowned for its excellent cuisine, where you can indulge in delicious Greek dishes and try local specialties like chickpea soup and almond pastries and every year one of the best festivals in Greece happens in Sifnos, the Cycladic Gastronomy Festival Nikolaos Tselemedes. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy well-marked trails that provide breathtaking views of the coastline and countryside. Overall, Sifnos offers an authentic Greek island experience with a laid-back vibe and a genuine sense of community that you can’t find on every Greek island – let’s dig into the best things to do in Sifnos.


Where is Sifnos?

things to do in sifnos

Sifnos is a small Greek island located in the Aegean Sea that is part of the Cyclades group of islands. Specifically, Sifnos is located in the western part of the Cyclades, between the islands of Serifos and Kimolos. Sifnos is known for its picturesque villages, beautiful beaches, and traditional Cycladic architecture.


How to Get to Sifnos

Sifnos does not have its own airport as the island does not have a large enough population or tourist demand to support regular flights. To reach Sifnos, visitors travel by ferry from other nearby Greek islands or from the mainland.

The closest airports to Sifnos are the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” (ATH) and the Paros National Airport (PAS). From these airports, you can take a ferry to Sifnos from the respective ports.

We traveled to Sifnos from Serifos via ferry, and then after our time on Sifnos we continued onto Milos. Sifnos is well connected to other Cycladic islands, which makes it a great stop when island hopping. We recommend checking Ferry Hopper for ferry schedules and times.


Best Things to Do in Sifnos


1. Follow the Footpaths

Agios Elissaios
Hiking to Agios Elissaios at sunset

It’s not hard to find a place to hike in Sifnos as the island is full of long and short footpaths for various skill levels. These paths cross inland areas and line scenic coastal areas and setting out to explore them is the best way to really see the island’s scenery and find places that you otherwise wouldn’t know existed. A popular, easy option is the one that starts at Glyfos Beach and takes you to Apokofto Beach in only 20 minutes. 

If you want something a little more challenging, try the path to Fikiada Beach which is so remote that the only way to reach its beauty is on foot or by boat. You won’t have to worry about getting lost as the paths are well-marked. 


2. Ecclesiastical Museum

Near the town of Exabela is the Ecclesiastical Museum which houses religious artifacts and items of interest from the past and present. Clothing worn by priests, books, historic gospels and manuscripts are just some of the items on display in the on-site exhibits. 


3. Explore Ancient Kastro

Ancient Kastro

Kastro is a settlement perched on a huge rock overlooking the Aegean Sea that goes back many centuries.  It is said that the village is the most scenic on the island and with those incredible coastal views and almost fortress-like architecture, I’m sure you would agree!

Stroll the narrow streets, explore exterior corridors, courtyards and arcades, admire the historic mansions and stately churches and browse the little shops. Be sure to stay in Kastro until sundown to catch a beautiful sunset. 


4. Learn about the History of Pottery-making in Sifnos

Pottery-making is a long-standing tradition in Sifnos that goes back thousands of years, and this tradition is still very much alive and thriving on the island. Best of all, the local people are only happy to share it with visitors.

All of the island’s main hubs, including Hora, Artemonas, Platis and Gialos, have shops that sell beautiful, locally-made pottery and workshops where you can see pottery being made. Lembesis, Atsonios and Diskoli are a few of the families who create renowned pottery said to be among the best in the world. 


5. Dine at Maiolica Sifnos

Maiolica Sifnos

If you can only choose one place to enjoy a top-quality, sit-down meal of delicious Mediterranean cuisine, make it Maiolica Sifnos in the town of Platis Gialos.

Not only does this amazing restaurant serve both traditional and modern dishes made with fresh, local ingredients, but it’s also situated on one of the prettiest beaches on the island. 


6. Hang out in Vathi

Vathi is a tiny fishing village known for its scenic harbor lined with eateries serving delicious food at lunch and dinner. The village is also known for its long beach that features incredibly clear, shallow water.


7. Visit Archaeological sites

 Acropolis of Agios Andreas

By far the most well-known archaeological site in Sifnos is the Acropolis of Agios Andreas. This former Mycenaean settlement was built in the 13th century and the well-preserved site features homes, roads, temples and even an irrigation system!

Several other smaller sites around the island are also worth visiting including an ancient fort and temple in Agios Nikita that was built in the 6th century, the temple in Troulaki and the tomb in Soroudi. 


8. Check out the Folklore and Pop Art Museum 

The Folklore and Pop Art Museum in Apollonia is a fascinating place to visit especially on rainy days when you can’t go to the beach!

The exhibits feature a wide range of articles related to traditional life in Sifnos including clothing, rifles, trunks, pottery, agricultural tools, artworks and photos. 


9. Enjoy a Beach Day

Enjoying the sunshine in Sifnos

Whether your idea of paradise is a remote, untouched beach or a lively hang-out with facilities, there’s a beach for every type of traveler in Sifnos. At Platis Gialos, which is the most crowded beach on nice days, you’ll find sunbeds, umbrellas and water sport facilities and Vathi and Kamaris also offer sunbeds. 

Faros Beach is close to quaint tavernas and a little café and if you’d prefer pebbles over sand, Vroulida is a popular choice. Glyfo Beach is more natural with clear waters and shelter from the wind and Fikiada is said to be the most beautiful beach on the whole island. 


10. Learn About Local History at the Archaeological Museum 

At the Archaeological Museum of Sifnos, you’ll see many items that were uncovered around the island, some of which date back to the 6th century BC! Sculptures, statues, ceramics and coins are just some of the items you’ll see as you browse the exhibits.


11. Search for the Old Watchtowers

There are 76 watchtowers situated in various places around Sifnos and some of them, despite dating back to the 6th century BC, are very well-preserved.

The Black Tower in Exambela and the Tower of Katavati Village are examples of some of these towers.  Make it an adventure in itself to set out and find them!


12. Explore Apollonia

As the capital of Sifnos, Apollonia, or Hora as it’s commonly referred to, is where you’ll find many of the island’s services and attractions.

It’s also lively, chic and fun to explore on foot. The Steno is where many of the shops, bars, restaurants and local hangouts are, but you can capture the ambiance of this amazing place just about anywhere!


13. Visit Sifnos Churches

Walking down to the Seven Martyrs Church in Kastro

If visiting churches doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, the island of Sifnos just might change that! This small island is home to many churches and each one is different in its own way. You can almost make a scavenger hunt out of finding them around the island! 

The Monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi was constructed in the 1500s and is said to have mythical powers. Another notable church in Sifnos is The Seven Martyrs Church in Kastro, a small church in one of the most beautiful places on the island, a rugged islet overlooking the sea. Visiting The Seven Martyrs Church in Kastro is one of the best things to do in Sifnos!


how Many Days Do You Need on Sifnos?

Hiking in Sifnos

We spent three days on Sifnos and felt that it was the ideal amount of time to spend on the island, though we certainly could have benefitted from a few more days.

Three days will give any visitor enough time to explore beaches, go for a hike, and enjoy a few main Sifnos attractions. In general we recommend spending between 3-5 days on Sifnos.


When is the Best Time to Visit Sifnos?

While we typically recommend traveling Greece during the off-season, opting for that on Sifnos might not be the best idea. The island truly comes alive from June to late September. However, once October arrives, Sifnos becomes noticeably quieter, and numerous tourist-oriented establishments close their doors for the season. While this does offer a tranquil and more local experience, it also means a significant change in atmosphere and fewer activities available on the island.

During the off-season on Sifnos, hotels shut down, restaurants follow suit, and even ferry schedules become more restricted. To fully enjoy the island, it is advisable to plan your visit between June and September. Rest assured, Sifnos offers a distinct experience compared to the bustling crowds of Santorini and Mykonos, with fewer tourists flocking to its shores.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Greece?


READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed this guide on things to do in Sifnos! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Greece!


Greek Travel Planning Resources

  • ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Yasou” and “Efharisto”
  • Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
  • Visa: Schengen visa. Which is 90 days in the European Union out of 180. Many nationalities are granted this on arrival for free. Check with your embassy to see if that is you.
  • Weather: The weather in Greece is a Mediterranean climate. This means winters are mild and rainy, while summers are warm and dry with plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
  • What to Pack: Warm weather clothes and a swimsuit, don’t forget a good pair of clothes to go and a jacket for cool nights. Read about what to wear in Greece.
  • Budget: If you’re in the initial stages of planning, check out our awesome post that breaks down how much a trip to Greece costs.
  • Rent a Car: We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Cars to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check Price Here!
  • Protect Your Trip: Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect us from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. We use HeyMondo for our insurance needs.
  • Tours in Greece: Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Greece!
  • Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.