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Sifnos is the most touristed island in the Cyclades West group and lies between the islands of Serifos, Antiparos and Kimolos. Its landscape is mountainous (is. 680 m) with fertile valleys, small fertile plains near the bays and the coast, and several good beaches.

On the western side of Sifnos, a narrow gorge provides a natural harbour at Kamares, which is the island's port and a modem town with pottery workshops and a fine sandy beach. 6 km to the south-east of Kamares is the capital, Apollonia, standing on the sides of three low hills almost in the centre of the island. Its houses built in typical Cycladic style of architecture, its old mansions and its churches are particularly attractive. The architecture of Apollonia and that of its neighbouring hill villages of Jbtemonas, Exambela, Katavati, Kato Petali and Ano Petali is an odd assemblage in which walls, terraces, courtyards and alleys form large cubes in a continuous complex, in total harmony with the natural environment.

1.5 km to the north-east of Apollonia and on a higher level is the picturesque village of Artemonas with its windmills on the hilltop. Two kilometres to the east of Apollonia, on the east coast and standing on the top of a cliff, is the castle-village of Kastro which remains an example of medieval town planning. Kastro was inhabited in prehistoric times as digs reveal. Up to 1836 it was the capital of Sifnos. While ancient traces date from the 8th c. BC, the castle itself belongs to the 14th c. AD. This Kastro (castle) resembles the ones on Antiparos, Folegandros and Kimolos. At Seialia, a picturesque seaside settlement to the south-east of Kastro, which was the old harbour, the outlines of the medieval harbour installations still exist.

On the southern part of Sifnos lie the picturesque seaside settlements of Faros (7 km south-east of Apollonia), Chryssopighi (10 km south-east of Apollonia) and Vathy (16 km south-west of Apollonia) with pottery workshops. At the north end of the island, 15 km to the north-west of Apollonia, is Hersonissos, a small seaside settlement with pottery workshops.

Archaeological excavations have shown that Sifnos was inhabited from the prehistoric through the Hellenistic times without break. The island was famous in ancient times for the wealth which came from its gold, silver and copper mines and the quarries of Sifnos stone. It enjoyed great prosperity in classical times, as can be seen from its Treasury, dedicated to Apollo at Delphi.

Historic sites and monuments:

Archaeological Site of Aghios Andreas (near Katavati) with its prehistoric acropolis erected in the beginning of the Late Cycladic period (1560-1100 BC). Ruins of a Hellenistic tower "Aspropyrgos" to the north-east of Platys Gialos. The fortress-like Byzantine monastery of Profitis Ilias "tou Psilou" (8th c), near Katavati (3 km south of Apollonia) at the foot of Profitis Ilias Hill. The churches of Christ, Aghios Georgios, and Panayia (Our Lady) "Chryssopighi" (17th α, the patron saint of Sifnos) built on a small peninsula. The monastery of Vryssi (16th c.) with an interesting little Byzantine museum, near Exambela. The monastery of Aghios Ioannis Theologos "tou Moungou" (15th α), 1.5 km north-west of Apollonia. The monastery of Chryssostomos (1550), 4.5 km north-east of Apollonia. The monastery of Taxiarhes (16th c.) at Vathy. The monastery of Panayia "Toso Nero", to the south of Kamares. The monastery of Panayia "tou Vounou" (1813), near Platys Gialos. The churches of Panayia "Eleoussa" (the cathedral, 17th α), "Theoskepasti" (17th α), Aghios Nikolaos (16th α), Kirnissi tis Theotokou (16th α), Aghia Ekaterini and Aghios Stefanos at Kastro. The churches Panayia "Ouranofora" and Aghios Sozon at Apollonia

Museums: Archaeological Museum (Tel. 22840 31022) in Kastro. Folklore Museum (Tel, 22840 33730) in Apollonia.

Beaches: Apokofto, Chryssopighi, Faros, Fykiada, Hersonissos, Kamares, Panayia "Poulati", Platys Gialos, Seralia, Vathy, Vourlidia Bay.

Sports: Water Sports, Walking.

Traditional tastes: Mastelo (lamb baked with wine in an earthenware roasting pan). Chick-pea soup (with spice and lemon cooked in an earthenware casserole), Xynomyzithra (a type of cheese). Confectionery of several types.

Useful telephone numbers: Tourist Information Bureau (at Kamares) +30 22840 31977. Kamares Port Authority +30 22840 33617. Police (at Apollonia)+30 22840 31210. Apollonia Municipal Offices +30 22840-31345,31110,32388, Fax 33075/6.


Platis Gialos, 84003
tel.: +30 22840.71523
Sifnos, Greece

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