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Sifnos

There’s a distinct harmony that lies between the whitewashed settlements and the Venetian castle or kastro with its historical towers. Tranquil sandy beaches with little wind, old monasteries and a venerable castle greet visitors to this island, replete with delicious local produce and rich cultural traditions.

The capital, Apollonia, forms a semi-circle around three hills in the middle of the island. Its little white houses, fascinating churches with blue domes and immaculate streets are a delight to the senses. Famous poets have hailed from this island and local feasts have coloured it immeasurably.

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A shimmering white church on a stark gray rock welcomes visitors who approach by ferry, before setting eyes on a plateau of villages that mingle eloquently with each other. In antiquity, Sifnos was known for its mining wealth – particularly silver and gold. Today is rich heritage is reflected by its people, cuisine and customs.

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Environmentally, the western part of the island around Profitis Ilias and further, with its many sources of water and greenery have been incorporated into the Natura 2000 network. There are at least 19 important species of animals and plants, many of them rare and endemic to the area. Some 40 species of birds have been documented, with 16 of these considered as protected species. Rare for an island in the Cyclades, there are whole forests with a rare species of cedar, carob trees, wild olive trees, aromatic plants and more. Rare plants also grow off the coasts in the water, in addition to some coastal forests. It is worth mentioning that the island is full of underground water that help keep it fertile and green in certain areas.

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With such a variety of nature and a lovely town, Sifnos is a walker’s and hiker’s paradise that will reveal its wonders to curious travellers.

 

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Location - Sifnos

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You can almost get pleasantly lost along the hiking paths of Sifnos. There are so many nature-filled routes that hikers will never get enough. One of the most enchanting hikes is from Apollonia right across Sifnos to Agios Andreas or Vathy. Amateurs may also chose shorter hikes that go only to Chyrsopigi, the monastery of Agios Simeon or Kastro. Hiking maps are available on the island itself.

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There are over 30 hiking routes on the island, both long and short. For shorter hikes, good bus connections ensure that you can start or end the hike anywhere. Here are a couple of suggested hikes:

  • From Apollonia to Vathy via Agios Nikolaos and Profitis Ilias
  • From Apollonia to Kastro through Kato Petali and the Erkies valley
  • From Vathy to Apollonia with amazing beaches and the fort of Agios Andreas
  • A more secluded hike from Platy Gialos to Profitis Ilias, on to Fikiada and back to Platy Gialos
  • From Apollonia to Platy Gialos through artemonas, Kastro and Faros

 

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