Welcome to Sikinos island, the hidden gem of the Cyclades! Nestled between the popular islands of Ios and Folegandros, Sikinos remains one of the least known and least visited islands in the archipelago. With its untouched beauty and traditional charm, this secluded island offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for travelers seeking a peaceful escape from the bustling tourist crowds.
In this comprehensive travel guide to Sikinos, we will delve into the island’s rich history, picturesque villages, pristine beaches, and must-visit attractions. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Sikinos has something to offer everyone.
A Brief History of Sikinos island
Sikinos, known as Oenea in ancient times, has a fascinating history that dates back to the Mycenaean period. The island gained its name from Sicinus, the son of King Thoas of Lemnos. Throughout its history, Sikinos has been influenced by various civilizations, including the Mycenaeans, Ionians, Venetians, and Turks. It played a significant role in the Greek Revolution of 1821, ultimately gaining its independence.
Exploring Chora: The Enchanting Capital
The main town of Sikinos, Chora, is a charming Cycladic village perched on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. Composed of two interconnected villages, Chora and Kastro, this picturesque town boasts traditional whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches, and narrow winding alleys. Take a stroll through its cobblestone streets and immerse yourself in the authentic island ambiance.
Within Chora, you’ll find several historical churches, each with its own unique story and exquisite religious icons. The Church of Pantanassa, located in the main square, is the island’s cathedral and a must-visit for its remarkable artistry. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the old school building, a testament to the island’s rich cultural heritage.
Where is Sikinos island
Sikinos island, Small, unspoilt and close to Ios and Folegandros in the southern part of the Cycladic chain, offers visitors what they want from a holiday.
Exploring Sikinos Island
Discovering Ancient Treasures: Episkopi Monastery and More
A visit to Sikinos wouldn’t be complete without exploring its ancient treasures. One of the most notable sites is the Episkopi Monastery, a 17th-century marvel situated on the eastern edge of Chora. This monastery, built on the ruins of a Roman mausoleum and a Temple to Pythian Apollo, offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Wander through the monastery and marvel at the remnants of ancient columns and religious artifacts.
For panoramic views and a touch of poetic inspiration, make your way to the chapel of Panagia Pantohara, dedicated to the renowned Greek poet Odysseus Elytis. Although Elytis never had the chance to visit, the chapel stands as a tribute to his literary legacy. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere and soak in the beauty of the island’s natural surroundings.
Unwind at Pristine Beaches
Sikinos is blessed with pristine beaches, perfect for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. While the island’s northern side is dominated by cliffs, the southern side boasts gentle slopes that lead to beautiful sandy shores. One of the most popular beaches is Alopronia, conveniently located near the port. This family-friendly beach offers shallow, crystal-clear waters and a relaxing atmosphere.
For those willing to venture a bit further, Dialiskari Beach awaits. Accessible via a scenic dirt road, this secluded sandy beach offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature. Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea as you unwind in this untouched paradise.
Another beach worth visiting is Agios Giorgos Beach, known for its windsurfing opportunities. Whether you’re an experienced windsurfer or a spectator, the beach offers entertainment and stunning views. Relax under the shade of tamarisk trees or indulge in water activities amidst the gentle waves.
Indulge in Local Delights: Sikinos Cuisine
No trip to Sikinos would be complete without savoring the island’s delectable cuisine. Sikinos boasts a variety of traditional tavernas and restaurants, where you can sample authentic Greek dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From mouthwatering seafood delicacies to hearty meat dishes, Sikinos cuisine will tantalize your taste buds.
Be sure to try the island’s renowned olive oil, produced from their unique variety of olives. Known for its exceptional quality, Sikinos olive oil adds a distinctive flavor to any dish. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine, as Sikinos is home to the Manalis Winery. This environmentally friendly winery produces a range of exquisite wines, including white, red, and rose varieties.
How to go Sikinos island
To reach Sikinos, there is no airport on the island. The nearest airport is located in Santorini. The most convenient way to reach Sikinos is by ferry from Athens, departing from either Piraeus or Lavrio ports. Ferry connections are available from various other Yunan Adaları, including Santorini, Milos, Naxos, Mikonos, Ios, and Sifnos.
Şunlar var ferries to Sikinos from Piraeus, the largest port of Athens, 3 times per week. As the distance is long and the ferry stops in many islands, the trip takes about 9 hours. Sikinos is also connected by ferry to many other islands of Cyclades, including Santorini, Folegandros and Ios, therefore it can easily be an intermediary stop for island hopping in the Aegean Sea.
Sikinos has its own special way of offering visitors what they want from a holiday. It promises a stunning collage of natural scenery, spiritual exultation, tranquility, a very human touch and intimate contact with past tradition. These are the elements that comprise the rugged and attractive charm, encouraging alternative tourism by remaining true to its origins.
Time to forget the frenzied city pace as the boat approaches the harbor of Alopronia. For a while you will tune only to the pulse of the island and live dreamlike moments in landscapes masterfully crafted by wind and wave.
Things to do and see in Sikinos island
The Hora is a delicate vignette with two different backgrounds, the mountainsides of Kastro and Horio. Kastro, built on the edge of a cliff, is a fortified hamlet dating back to the 15th century. When you enter through the authentic side gate, you are welcomed by white houses over 100 years old, alleyways scented by jasmines, yards with bougainvillea, geraniums and vine trees. Three windmills stand proud at the clifftop, facing out to sea. In the square, visit the collection of post-byzantine era icons. Horio, to the south, has all the beloved features of a Cycladic island. A labyrinth of narrow alleys connects houses, flower beds and tranquil hidden corners. Once here, a look around the folk museum is a must.
The church of Pantanassa
Located in the square of Kastro and built in 1787, it houses a gilded wooden screen.
The Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi (Hrisopigi)
Built on the highest point of Kastro in 1690, it served as a refuge for residents against pirate raids tormenting the island. Take an early evening climb and enjoy the seamless blue of sea and sky.
It is a special monument and testimony to long history of overlapping cultures and religions. It is inland and consists of the main temple, the chapel of Agia Anna and abandoned cells. It was initially built as a Roman mausoleum in the 3rd century AD and converted into a Christian temple in the 17th century, with a dome, bell tower and chancel.
Come during the days of a religious celebration and you will have the opportunity to experience the “Panigirades” custom. After the procession, members of the faith assume the responsibility of keeping a holy icon in their home for a year. On the next holy day depicted on the icon, they are responsible for the organization.
Beaches of Sikinos island
The beaches of Sikinos are virginal with clear blue waters. The sandy stretches of Alopronia, Agios Georgios, with a pebbly consistency, and Dialiskari, with a natural sunshade of tamaris trees, are all accessible by car. If you decide to go by caique or take a footpath, your choice widens to an array of beaches with blue-green waters, such as Agios Panteleimonas, Santorineika, Agios Ioannis, Karras and Maltas.
Where to stay in Sikinos
Sikinos offers a range of accommodation options, from small traditional hotels to cozy apartments and studios. Many of these establishments showcase the traditional Cycladic architecture, providing guests with an authentic island experience. Most accommodations can be found in Alopronia, the main area near the port, where you’ll also find shops, tavernas, and other essential services.
To make your trip to Sikinos seamless and stress-free, various travel services are available. From ferry tickets to tailor-made itineraries, you can rely on reliable providers to assist you in planning your dream vacation. Group travel options are also available for those who prefer to explore the island with a knowledgeable guide.
Sikinos Hotels, Sikinos is a secluded island in Cyclades Greece, considered an alternative destination of the Aegean Sea. Bak ve ara Sikinos accommodation, rooms, hotels apartments, studios and pensions.
- Camares House, Booking.com
- Sea Diver Villa, Booking.com
- Maistrali, Booking.com
- Lucas B Panorama, Booking.com
- Molos Ostria Studios, Booking.com
- Ostria Studios – Spilia, Booking.com
- Lucas A Gialos, Booking.com
- Ostria Studios-Agnanti, Booking.com
Sikinos Island is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. With its unspoiled beauty, rich history, and tranquil atmosphere, it offers a unique and authentic Greek island experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a glimpse into the past, Sikinos has something for everyone. Explore its charming villages, unwind on pristine beaches, savor local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the island’s captivating culture. Plan your visit to Sikinos and create unforgettable memories in this Cycladic paradise.