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A Perfect Destination

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Discover Sikinos

Sikinos, one of the smallest of the Cyclades, was known in ancient times as Oinoe, because of its vineyards and fine wine (oinos). The poet Odysseas Elytis, who admired its austere terrain, praised it as a symbol of authentic Greek beauty.

Far from the cosmopolitan way of life of the rest of the Cyclades, Sikinos promises a unique experience for anyone seeking a carefree holiday and genuine relaxation. It is the perfect destination for those who enjoy simplicity, tradition, and idyllic beaches, as well as being one of the Aegean’s best-kept secrets for lovers of good food and wine.

3 memorable experiences on Sikinos
  1. If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Sikinos, don’t forget to explore the countryside by following the island’s wonderful trails. You will discover the remains of ancient settlements, lovely Byzantine chapels, intricately constructed dry-stone walls, heavenly beaches, and unique locations from which to gaze out over the Aegean.
  2. The sunset from the Virgin Mary Pantohara, also known as “Elytis’ church”. The elegant little chapel was built in 2011 using money left for the purpose by the Nobel Laureate, Odysseas Elytis.
  3. Learning the secrets of viticulture with a visit to the island’s exemplary vineyard and winery. Following modern ecological principles, its operation is based entirely on renewable sources of energy. The winery restaurant has a marvellous view of nearby islands.
Beaches of Sikinos

Sikinos is blessed with tiny idyllic beaches that are true havens of unspoiled beauty. The majority can be reached by hiking trails or by sea. It is worth discovering:

  • Alopronia, the island’s most popular beach, which also has the most amenities. Located next to the port, its wide expanse of golden sand has umbrellas, benches, and café-restaurants, while natural shade is provided by some tamarisk trees. The shallow crystal-clear sea is suitable for families with children.
  • The delightful Saint George, situated in a pleasant cove lapped by serene blue-green waters, which combines sand, pebbles, and tamarisk trees. There are a few umbrellas here, and a taverna. The coast is surrounded by imposing rocks, ideal for exploring the seabed, and overlooks the islet of Avolada. It is accessible by car.
  • Dialiskari, a miniature paradise of small pebbles and a few tamarisk trees in a charming cove with emerald waters. It has some umbrellas and can be reached by car via a dirt road.
  • Saint Panteleimon, an enticing pebble beach in the bay of the same name. The rocky seabed and the little cave next to the beach are particularly impressive. You can get here by hiking along a path from Sikinos Town or by boat from the port.
  • A path from Saint Panteleimon Bay leads to the enchanting Santorineika, spread over two gorgeous coves with turquoise waters, sand and pebbles, and a backdrop of rocks. It takes its name from the boats from Santorini that used to moor here to load up with produce from Sikinos. Access is possible by boat from Alopronia.
  • Malta, the remotest beach on the island, with its fabulous scenery of rocks, pebbles, and limpid blue waters. It can only be approached by boat from Alopronia or by a demanding hike.
  • Inaccessible and deserted Ai Giannis, with its rocky splendour, pebbles and fantastic crystalline sea. It is only for experienced hikers, as it is a 4-km walk on a difficult path from Episkopi.
Postcards from Sikinos: 5 things not to miss

Sikinos Town
Built on the edge of a cliff 280 metres above sea level, the island’s capital is as pretty as a picture. It consists of two districts, the 15th-century Kastro and the newer Horio, which together form an enchanting whole, with narrow whitewashed streets running between attractive stone mansions, quaint churches, and windmills.

Pantanassa Church
This striking, blue-domed church in Kastro, which dates from 1787, houses some remarkable post-Byzantine religious icons by artists of the Cretan School. It is a great place to come and watch the sunset.

The Episkopi Monastery
This enigmatic and monumental monastic complex, originally a Roman mausoleum, was converted into a Christian church in the 17th century. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin and comprises Byzantine chapels, crypts, monastic cells, and the remains of marble statues.

The Monastery of the Lifegiving Spring
Among the island’s most arresting sights is this excellent example of 17th-century fortress architecture, with its towering walls, crypts, and secret passages. Standing on the edge of a cliff, the monastery offers stunning sea views from its ramparts.

The Black Cave
One of the largest and most magnificent sea caves in the Cyclades, this extraordinary natural monument situated below the Monastery of the Lifegiving Spring is only accessible by sea.

Tastes of Sikinos

The island’s cuisine is typified by traditional recipes made with fine local produce. If you choose one of the itineraries to Sikinos, be sure to try favokeftedes (split-pea fritters), kaparosalata (caper dip), string beans, pourazenes (dolmades wrapped in leaves of wild greens), and filo parcels (filled with cream cheese or onion).

Meat eaters will enjoy delicious kokoras krasatos (Greek-style coq au vin) with spaghetti, as well as stuffed goat, or rabbit cooked in the oven. The island also produces excellent wine from various grape varieties.

For sweet treats, try the famous diangourenia (a pudding of watermelon juice and flour with added honey and sesame seeds), watermelon preserve, or loukoumades (doughnuts) with thyme honey.

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