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An Enigmatic Paradise

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Discover Serifos

Serifos is one of the most distinctive of the Cyclades, an island of contrasts, with natural landscapes of wild rugged beauty, idyllic beaches, traditional Aegean villages, and attractive countryside.

Otherworldly and romantic, it radiates a mysterious energy attributed to its rich mining history, which began in ancient times and continued up to the twentieth century. Legend has it that the swords used during Alexander the Great’s Anatolian campaign were forged from metal mined on the island.

This imposing rocky destination has long resisted the lure of mass tourism, remaining an enigmatic paradise for lovers of alternative holidays, walking tours, and every kind of authenticity.

4 memorable experiences on Serifos
  1. If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Serifos, take the opportunity to see the Byzantine Church of the Virgin Mary, dating from the 10th century, with its remarkable 14th- and 17th-century frescoes.
  2. Climbing up to the striking White Tower, a round Hellenistic observatory made of white marble. The location has stunning views of the Church of the Holy Trinity and the south-east of the island.
  3. Exploring the countryside of Serifos through its well-maintained network of paved footpaths, and discovering exceptional examples of folk architecture, such as the famous wine cellars. The trails from the village of Kendarhos (also known as Kallitsos) to Serifos Town and from Pirgos to Sikamia Bay should not be missed.
  4. The atmospheric Serifos Festival, held in August, when Greek music is performed live in the open-air amphitheatre in Kato Chora, with its wonderful views of the Aegean.
Beaches of Serifos

Serifos has more than 70 beaches to suit every taste. Golden stretches of seashore offering every amenity alternate with deserted rocky coasts, large bays, small coves, and quiet pebbly strands, all with crystal-clear emerald waters. Don’t miss:

  • Busy Psili Ammos, with its soft sand and tamarisk trees providing plenty of shade. It resembles an exotic paradise, while its shallow blue-green sea is especially popular with children. There are a number of café-restaurants here, and a good range of food. It is not by chance that in 2003, it was named “Europe’s Best Beach” by the Sunday Times.
  • Ganema, a large beach in Koutalas Bay, on the south side of the island. One side is sandy and the other is covered in white pebbles. It is favoured by families but has no facilities apart from a taverna.
  • The dazzling Lia, which is surrounded by breathtaking rock formations and has good views of the islet of Vou. The shore is covered in small, coloured pebbles and the sea is deep and bright blue. It is ideal for lovers of seclusion and has none of the amenities of an official beach. It can be reached by road and then a 10-minute hike along a trail.
  • Vayia, with its impressive, rugged beauty, golden sand, and clear emerald waters. The colourful pebbles on the seabed are a unique spectacle for snorkellers. There is no natural shade, although there are a few straw umbrellas and sunbeds. If you stay until evening, you will be able to enjoy perhaps the loveliest sunset on the island.
  • The picturesque Agios Sostis with a view of the islet of Vou. Its name, which means Holy Saviour, comes from the church on the rocks above, which is well worth a visit. There are no facilities, so make sure you bring any food you might need. It is accessible by car and a 5-minute walk.
Postcards from Serifos: 6 things not to miss

Serifos Town
Standing on a rocky hill overlooking Livadi Bay, the island’s medieval capital is a fine example of fortified architecture. Its main sights are the marble square of Pano Piatsa, with its exquisite view of the Aegean, the neoclassical Town Hall (1904), and the picturesque Myla Square. At the top of the hill are the remains of the Venetian castle (1434) and Saint Constantine’s Church, with a view of the western Cyclades.

The historic mines
South-west Serifos is like a living museum of industrial archaeology, as it is where the island’s abandoned mines are located. Visitors can come to Megalo Livadi to see the wharf and the rusted rails and wagons, or walk through the tunnels of the mines. The neoclassical building (1890) that was the mining company’s headquarters is here, along with a memorial to those killed in the bloody suppression of a workers’ uprising.

The Church of Saint John the Theologian
Clinging to a rock and built on the ruins of the ancient temple of Athena, this church in Serifos Town is among the most important cultural monuments in Greece. According to legend, its catacombs contain the head of the terrible Medusa, brought to the island by Perseus.

The Monastery of the Taxiarchs
Dedicated to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, the island’s protectors, this evocative 16th-century fortress-monastery with austere fortified architecture is an impressive sight. The marble floor of the church bears a relief carving of a double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Byzantine Empire.

The Archaeological Museum
The island’s archaeological collection, on Mylon Square in the capital, boasts remarkable finds from local excavations. They include vases, headless marble statues, and grave markers from Classical and Roman times.

The Cyclops’ Throne
This gigantic square structure made of slabs of schist at ​​Megalo Horio has fired the imagination of locals and foreigners for centuries. There is a legend that this monumental “seat” belongs to the mythological Cyclops, who lived in the nearby cave. It attracts numerous visitors, not least for its incredible sea view.

Tastes of Serifos

The island offers a wide range of traditional local recipes, as well as classic dishes of the Cyclades. If you choose one of the itineraries to Serifos, be sure to try the famous chickpea soup, fennel fritters served with yogurt, pork with string beans, and broad beans in tomato sauce.

Enjoy an ouzo with favourite local mezes such as fava (split-pea mash), louza or syglino (pieces of air-dried or cured pork), string beans, sun-dried tomatoes, deep-fried cod, and sun-dried octopus.

Excellent wine and souma (raki) are produced on the island, while you can satisfy your sweet tooth with the renowned Serifos pastaki (a small cake with vanilla and chocolate cream on a biscuit base).

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