The Island of Poets and Civilization…. A place filled with tasty memories…..
Sifnos, the island of flavours, is the birthplace of famous poets, like Ioannis Gryparis, Kleanthis Triantafyllou (or Rampagas) and Aristomenis Provelegios, as well as award winning chefs, like Tselementes.
The traveller who visits for the first time will find himself in an unusual landscape when arriving at Kamares – the main port.
Whitewashed houses, taverns and cafes built on the foothills of tall mountains that embrace the shallow crystal clear blue waters of the sea.
Unique traditional villages, organized or secluded beaches, and 227 churches spread around the island are waiting to be discovered……
Sifnos is an island with almost virgin natural beauties, snowy white traditional villages, countless churches and hospitable people. Its rich history is depicted in every alley and the alternations of its landscapes keep the visitors’ interest intact. The tour around Sifnos is full of pleasant surprises and it covers all interests. Archaeological sites, churches and monasteries, verdurous landscapes and mountains, immense sandy beaches and small protected bays that play with the waves of the Aegean Sea.
To enjoy the rare beauties of the Sifnian landscape, you have to walk around the picturesque paths of the island.
The villages of Sifnos are the following: Apollonia (capital), Ano Petali, Exambela, Kastro, Kato Petali, Katavati and Artemonas. The island’s beaches are Kamares (port), Vathy, Faros, Fassolou, Seralia, Apokofto, Platys Gyalos, Vroulidia, Fykiada and Herronissos.
Kamares is the port of Sifnos and perhaps the nerve centre of the island.
Every summer it is full with travelers who come to this hospitable island from around the world. If you want to travel around Sifnos your journey will be full of surprises and will satisfy all interests. Archaeological sites, churches (360 churches!), monasteries, lush landscapes and wild mountains, endless beaches and small sheltered coves playing with the waves.
Travel to the picturesque Apollonia, to the serene Artemón, do your sunbathing on the rocks of Chrysopigi, swim on quiet beaches in Poulati and Faro, or in Platis Gialos where is more sandy and long beach on the island.
The beauty of nature will fallow you during all your trip, even in the evening walk to the beautiful castle, “lost” between labyrinthine alleys and arches that remain pure charm of this medieval town.
The tiny chapel of 7 Martyrs, is the most photographed part of the island, people who live here say that you will enjoy the most beautiful sunrise in the world!
On island Sifnos you will find hotels and apartments with high standard facilities, taverns, tourist shops and a bar for relaxed clubbing.
Sifnos is also famous for its materials.
The physical elements of the island, such as clay deposits, abundant water, and strong sun helped in the production of pottery, household, cooking utensils and other useful items.
See the ceramic chimneys of the island that you can find nowhere in the world!
Sifnos is also known as “Poets island”, being the birth place of poets such as Ioannis Gryparis, Aristomenis Provelengios and many others.
There are three museums on the island, all worth spending some time visiting:
– Folklore and Pop Art Museum is located in Apollonia and houses exhibits representing the traditional life on the island, including swords, old traditional costumes and pottery tools.
– The Archeological Museum in located in Kastro and houses collections of Archaic and Hellenistic sculptures dating from the 6th century BC to 2nd century BC.
– The Ecclesiastic Museum is located in Exambella and houses old publications, icons and sacred ware.
Don’t leave island without baying caper for your salad, clay pot and macaroons!
Sifnos is one of the easier Greek islands to get around with or without a car. Roads are generally good. The conveniently frequent and reliable bus system goes most places the visitor would want, and taxis are easily available with affordable fixed rates between towns. Sifnos is small enough so that walking will often get you where you want to go, provided you can handle the hills, though in summer you should take water and avoid the heat of the day, since as in most Cycladic islands there is little shade.
Nikolaos Tselementes (1878-1958). The first Greek Master Chef!
Of course, on Sinfos you must taste the traditional Greek food. Nikos Tselementes, is the famous chef and was born in this island.
In Greece it’s a common conception that the word “tselementes” is synonymous with cookbooks.Sifnos/Tselementes
However, only few of us really know that Nikolaos Tselementes was actually an inspired cook who influenced significantly the Greek urban cuisine. The legendary chef from the island of Sífnos studied the art of cooking in Vienna.
When he returned to Greece he started working for many foreign embassies.
Systematic, talented and a man of vision Tselementes initiated the Greeks into the secrets of international cuisine.
Tselementes became widely known through the launch of the monthly magazine “Cooking Guide” (first published in 1910) that included, apart from recipes, nutritional advice, cooking news and ideas on how to serve and present food.
His restless spirit led him to America, where his talent established him as a chef at the finest restaurants.
At the same time he continued his studies on cooking, confectionary and dietetics.
Upon returning to Greece in 1932, he published his famous cooking book entitled “Odigos Mageirikis” (Cooking Guide), the first complete cooking guide in Greek that had over fifteen official reprints during the following decades.
In 1956 he published his only book in English “Greek Cookery”.
It is no exaggeration to say that Tselementes taught the Greeks how to cook.
His cooking books were every housewife’s cooking bible and a valuable wedding gift for the newlyweds!
Tselementes combined harmonically the Greek and the French cuisine, and showed the Greek housewives how to prepare the favourite béchamel sauce, tasty pirozhkies, bouillabaisse (seafood soup), jelly recipes, whipped cream, canapés as well as the art of decoration and the magic of buffets!
Without doubt, Tselementes bequeathed us a lasting legacy.
After all, he was the founder of the contemporary Greek gastronomic culture.
How to get to Sifnos
– Daily or almost daily fast boats and steamship ferries connect Sifnos with Piraeus
during high season (the ride takes about five hours by steamship, about half that by fast catamaran).
– On summer weekends and holidays some of the fast boats can sell out, so if you’re going at these times you may want to buy a ticket in advance.
– In summer there are buses every hour or two from Kamares to most other points on the island.
– There are usually also taxis waiting when ferries arrive, but sometimes these can fill up.
– There are also offices where you can rent a car.
– Some hotels offer transfers from the port at rates that can be anything from free to more than a taxi;
If interested, ask your hotel when you reserve.
Sifnos does not have an airport of its own.
If you want to travel by plane, go to nearby Milos and take the ferry to Sifnos from there.