According to legend, ’Sifnos’ was called the son of the Attica hero ‘Sounios’, whose name was given to the island. In another version, the name ‘Sifnos’ derived from the adjective ’Sifnos’ meaning void, which refers to the numerous underground galleries of the mines that existed on the island in the ancient times. Also mentioned with the names ‘Akis’, ‘Merope’, ‘Sifanos’, ‘Sifana’ or ‘Sifanto’.

Sifnos, the island with endless natural beauties, white traditional settlements, numerous churches and hospitable people. Sifnos combines the authentic charming of Cyclades islands with its own personal identity. The island’s rich history is revealed in every path and the alternation of sceneries keep the visitors interest. Touring around Sifnos can be full of surprises and satisfies all tastes. Archaeological sites, churches, monasteries, and wild hilly bulks, endless beaches and small protected coves play their own game with waves.

This special island belongs to the complex of west Cyclades islands. It is located between the islands of Serifos, Kimolos and Antiparos. It has an extend of 74 sq.km and a coastline of 70 km. The highest mountain of the island, Prophet Elia, has a 680m height.

Among others, in Sifnos you will enjoy good food. The homeland of Nikos Tselementes is famous for its traditional recipes. The most famous dishes are revithokeftedes, revithada, ampelofasoula with skordalia and capersalad. The local cheeses distinguish for their quality. Try mizithra and manoura. As for dessert prefer the local sweets. Amigdalota, voutimata, pasteli, bourekia and kourabiedes are some of those.

At night Sifnos shows her other identity. In the paths of Apollonia you can find bars with greek and foreign music. While in the clubs with live music, the feast lasts till next morning.

During the summer Sifnos is connected with Piraeus daily with fast and conventional ferries. The journey with conventional ferries lasts five hours and with the high speed ferries about three hours. It is also connected by ferry to the Cyclades islands (Paros, Syros, Santorini, Andros, Folegandros and other islands), and to Crete via Milos.

Useful phone numbers:

• Municipality of Sifnos : 22840 31345 - 22840 33880

• Police Station : 22840 31210

• Port : 22840 33617

• Regional health station : 22840 31315

• Post Office : 22840 31329

• Telecomunication Center (OTE): 22840 33499 - 22840 33699

• Pharmacies:
   - Vavritsas Konstantinos: 22840 33541
   - Fotiadis Ioakeim: 22840 33033

• Dentists:
   - Makaronas : 22840 32350
   - Papangeletou : 22840 32004
   - Foutoulaki : 22840 32222

• Banks:
   - Alpha Bank: 22840 33913 - 22840 33200
   - National Bank of Greece : 22840 31317
   - Piraeus Bank : 22840 33799

• Museums :
   - Archaeological Museum : 22840 31022
   - Folklore Museum : 22840 31341
   - Ecclesiastical Museum Monastery ‘Vrisi’ : 22840 31335
   - Port shelter of Platis Gialos: 2284071365

Festivals/Feasts of Sifnos

Sifnos upholds the traditions and tries to preserve its customs, such as: ‘panigiras’ (organizer of the festival/feast), local carols, the wedding of ‘lolopanigiras’, the dance of ‘kyr Vorias’ (the north wind), carnivalesque dances with the ‘kamilosies’ (masqueradings), carnival, ‘pastos’ etc. In Sifnos, as well as in any other Greek island, the local events are connected with the local religious rituals.

In most of the country churches and monasteries traditional festivals/feasts take place at least once a year with common dinners that remind us of the ancient "estiasi" and the New Year’s "loves". The festivals of Sifnos take place the eve of the fast-day of the Saint. Every month, in winter or in summer, there is at least one of the 360 country churches or monasteries of the island which celebrates. The festivals sometimes take place in the regular dates of celebration of the Saint-protector of the city and sometimes in special dates that are always strictly set. The festivals are rich and well organized neither by cafes and taverns nor by monasteries and priests but by simple citizens, the "panigiras" as we call them in Sifnos.

So far, many churches and country churches of Sifnos were private properties. Some of them have been built or inherited and maintained in an excellent condition by private individuals and others have been adopted by the faithful, who were once saved by the miraculous intervention of the Saint - protector of the city. Therefore, in order to repay the Saint for his help in the best possible way, the faithful used to take home the Saint’s icon in order to take better care of it. The faithful who takes the icon at his house meets his obligations which include looking after the icon and maintaining it. Having fulfilled all his obligations ‘panigiras’ reaches the zenith of the expression of his gratitude to the Saint by organizing his festival/feast. First of all, he must whitewash the church, clean it and decorate it with flags. He also must order the consecrated bread for the holy bread that shall be distributed to the faithful, the obleys and the pasteli for the treats.

On the day of the feast, ‘panigiras’ must return the icon to its temple, on foot, the icon is carried by ‘panigiras’ himself and the rest of the faithful shall follow him. When they arrive to the church, the vespers shall take place and afterwards food shall be offered on the special ‘tables of love’. ‘Panigiras’ is responsible for that part too. The main dishes are the traditional chick pea soup, olives, and braized meat with potatoes or spaghetti and during fasting, codfish. The wine must be abundant! During dinner the attendants hit their spoons against the table (this is called: ‘koutaloktipimata’) toasting: ‘here’s to the ‘panigiras’’!

Thus, the festival (feast) goes on till the morning with dances and singings and the attendants articulating honorary ‘poems’ or ‘rhymes’ for the ‘panigiras’, which are often improvised that same moment! During the night, supplications continue to take place before the Saint’s icon inside the church. The faithful go from the festival to the church and vice versa. They all must greet "Her grace" or "His grace" before the morning comes, when it is going to leave the church again to be taken at a new ‘panigiras’ house for a year, up to the same day of the following year that it is going to return to the church for a few hours. The only icon that never leaves the island but which is placed in the bishopric of the village of ‘panigiras’ for the whole year, is the icon of ‘Panagia Chrissopigi’ the protector of Sifnos!

Some of the festivals (feasts) that are celebrated during the tourist period are:

May or June (movable feast): The feast of the Assumption, when the protector of Sifnos is celebrated. ‘Panagia Chrissopigi’!

June 19: The feast of Profitis Helias (many synonymous monasteries in Sifnos celebrate). It is worth going to the feast of Prophitis Helias Apsilos.

July 26: The feast of Agios Panteleimonas in Cheronissos

August 14: The feast of Panagia (Virgin Mary) (many synonymous monasteries of Sifnos celebrate). It is worth going to the feast of Panagia ‘o Toso Ner’ (which means: So Much Water)

August 28: The feast of Agios Ioannis Nisteftis in Faros

August 31: The feast of Agios Simeon in Kamares

September 5: The feast of Taxiarhis in Vathi

September 6: The feast of Agios Sozon

September 8: The birthday of the Virgin Mary at the Iera Moni of Vryssi in Exambella

September 13: The feast of Stavros in Faros and in Choni

September 14: The feast of Agios Nikitas in Seladi

In Sifnos there are more than 360 churches and monasteries! Most of the days of the year festivals are taking place! Do not miss the opportunity to attend them! Ask if any festival is taking place during your staying. You shall live a unique experience!

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Contact Details

Platys Gialos, Sifnos, 84003, Kyklades

 0030 2284071239   2284028944

 0030 69826156616978541640

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