I don’t have too many regrets about the time I spent living in Europe, but as I get further and further away from that magical year when I visited 25 countries, one disappointment stands out – not visiting Greece.
As a professional in the travel marketing industry, Greece is a destination that comes up time and time again in my conversations with coworkers about travel. My heart pangs every time the country’s name is mentioned as I haven’t been.
My rational for skipping Greece at the time was that I thought it was such an interesting and diverse country that would require more time than I had available for a thorough discovery. While that may be true, I still which I had managed to squeeze in a visit!
As I dream about the locations of my future travels, one such place that is calling my name these days is Sifnos, an idyllic island tucked away in the Cyclades island group of Greece. Less than a five hour boat ride from Athen’s Port Piraeus, Sifnos is a place that promises an authentic Greek experience and an explosion of all five senses; the aroma of Mediterranean cuisine floats through the streets, the sounds of bells from the 365 churches dance playfully through the air and whitewashed villages sprinkle the island with the endless blues of the Aegean Sea as the perfect backdrop. If this hasn’t convinced you to book your next trip, here are five more reasons why Sifnos, Greece should be a destination on your Greece bucket list.
1. The Food is to Die For
Sifnos is the “Most Delicious Greek Island” thanks to Nicholas Tselementes, a local chef who wrote the first Greek book of recipes in 1910. The food is curated in a Mediterranean style of simplicity and uses locally sourced produce for the freshest cuisine possible. The food is cook in clay pots, which explains the rich flavor of the food.
Sifniots are known throughout Greece as some of the finest cooks and attract some of the best chefs from around the world. Some of their popular dishes include Chickpea balls, Manoúra (cream cheese), Mastélo (lamb cooked in red wine and spices), Amigdalotá (small round sweets with pounded almond, rosewater and caster sugar) and honey pie.
2. Breathtaking Beaches
The endless white sand beaches of Sifnos are outstanding with waters varying in shades of blue from sapphire to turquoise. These beaches range from cosmopolitan to secluded, so there is something for every type of beach goer.
Platys Gailos is the most cosmopolitan beach on the island with its long sandy beaches lined with buzzing coffee shops and restaurants. Vathi, one of the islands beach with offers views of anchored sailing. The rocks in Chrisopigi are ideal for diving and the Faros, the fisherman’s village, offers a charm with its sweet ambiance.
3. Accommodations Fit for a Greek Goddess
Staying at picturesque luxury villas in Greece is certain to be found on every travelers bucket list. Well, Sifnos is home to a number of luxurious boutique hotels are found across the island and provide guests an elegant atmosphere to accommodate any type of traveler. Enjoy a suite with a private terrace that offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea by day and bright stars by night. If a cosmopolitan vibe is what you’re looking for, there’s also a number of apartments and villas in Platys Gailos, just steps from restaurants and the beach. With so many glamorous accommodation options, Sifnos is a top choice for best Greek Island for couples, making it a stellar honeymoon destination.
4. Miles of Hiking Trails
It is no secret that Sifnos is a hiker’s paradise with 19 trails leading to stoic monasteries, postcard villages, and views of the deep blue Aegean Sea. The trails are professionally designed and well marked by the IBP index to show their difficulty. This is the largest trails network in the Aegean Sea and a must-do for any hiking-enthusiast.
The suggested time to hike in Sifnos is late spring and early fall since the temperature is mild. There are also colors, smells and a vibe, which is unique to this time of year, but summer hikes allow for travelers to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the secluded bays.
5.Vivid Arts and Cultural Scene
Sifnos is known for its pottery scene, which dates back to about 3000 BC. Take a stroll around the island and you’ll be convinced that pottery in an influential part of the culture with 16 pottery shops on the island. The quality of the soil, abundant water supply and strong sun are the main ingredients to this ancient craft.
Travelers can visit a workshop and even partake in a pottery class to learn the craft on their own. Besides pottery making, other cultural activities you can partake in are visiting the local folklore museum and archeological museum, which showcases Sifnos rich history as a mining island.
Sifnos is an unspoiled destination where everyone should travel at least once in his or her lifetime. The beauty of the island mixed with the friendliness of the people and unbeatable cuisine makes it a destination that should be placed high on everyone’s bucket list. Just note — most restaurants and hotels in Sifnos are closed from October to April.
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