All you need to know about Serifos island!
Serifos is one of the Cycladic islands found in the Aegean Sea. It is not overdeveloped and therefore offers natural landscapes and a relaxing atmosphere. The island’s capital Chora, is considered to be one of the most picturesque capitals of the Cyclades and the island’s 81km coastline provides some of the most amazing beaches in the Aegean Sea.
Welcome to Serifos!
With the island’s lengthy coastline, Serifos boasts an abundance of unspoiled beaches possessing wild beauty and serenity.
Agios Sostis: 7km East of Chora lies the stunning bay of Agios Sostis. The beach possesses soft blonde sands and bright turquoise waters. It’s beach is dotted with rich green trees and is surrounded by mountainous terrain. This beach is perfect for leisurely swimming and snorkeling along it’s rocky coastline.
Psili Ammos: 8km northeast of Chora is the secluded beach of Psili Ammos. It’s white sandy bay is lined with lush green trees and deep azure waters.
Ganema: This long sandy bay has a pebbled shoreline and crystalline waters. It offers no facilities but some delightful tavernas are within walking distance of the beach. The beach is found 11km from Chora.
Livadakia: This beach is 5km from Chora and is very popular due to it’s close proximity to the island’s port. The bay has soft golden sands and bright blue waters on a backdrop of dense vegetation. Due to the port’s operations, the beach’s waters can become quite choppy which make this a great spot for watersports. There is a fantastic campsite and beach bar just beyond the trees.
Vagia: 13km southwest of Chora is the secluded beach of Vagia. This impressive beach is completely unspoiled and consists of flat white sands and glassy waters. The bay is engulfed by barren mountains and it’s rugged coastline provides the perfect conditions for snorkeling and diving.
Livadi: The beach of Livadi is one of the few bays on the island that offer beach facilities and seafront eateries. Behind it’s beautiful blonde sands and turquoise waters is a verdant wood of rich green trees. The beach offers parasols and sun loungers aswell as water sports.
Kalo Ampeli: This 45km long coastline boasts four different bays with a mix of flat sands, fine pebbles and rocky terrain. The bay offers panoramic sea views and it’s secluded location; a tranquil atmosphere. This is the perfect spot for leisurely swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling.
Piazza Square (Chora): Chora, the capital of the island, clings onto a mountaintop overlooking the island’s harbour and consists of cobbled streets, enchanting local shops, Cycladic architecture and cultural charm. It’s hub, Piazza Square, is where the heart of Serifos’s nightlife beats. Filled with taverna tables, ouzeries, live bouzouki and a vibrant ambience, this central hotspot is a great location for an evening drink under the moonlight. The 17th century church of Agios Athanasios lingures in the backdrop of the square and boasts a stunning blue domed roof and the traditional whitewashed walls.
Old Mines: The Old Mines are located in the village of Megalo Livadi and have existed since the ancient times. The mines have endured a turbulent history and have been the location of historical strikes ending in bloodshed.
Monastery of Taxiarches: 10km north of Chora stands the grand Monastery of Taxiarches. It was built in 1527 and is dedicated to the two patron saints of Serifos island; Archangel Gabriel and Michael. It is the most important religious center on the island and boasts a grand fortress design.
Throne of Cyclops: The rectangular schist construction located in the village of Megalo Livadi offers panoramic views of the southwest side of the island. Legend says that the one eyed giant, Cyclops, lived in the caves a little further down from the structure.
The Windmills: The three perfectly maintained windmills that stand in the island’s capital used to be operated by Serifos’s renowned gusty winds. Although no longer in operation, they remain a charming symbol of the island’s heritage.
Lighthouse: On the south side of the island in Cape Spathi stands an enchanting lighthouse built in the 1900s. It’s cobblestoned courtyard overlooks the dazzling Aegean Sea.
Church of Agios Konstantinos: The idyllic chapel of Agios Konstantinos is located at the top of Kastro at the highest point of Chora. The beautiful chapel has the traditional Greek colours of blue and white and a charming bell tower. It’s location offers spectacular panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and surrounding islands.
Local products of the island include: almonds, bread, sun dried tomatoes, Fava (yellow split peas), Xinomizithra cheese (sour skimmed milk cheese), local wines that are renowned for their distinctive colour and aroma, and the island’s raki, Souma. The most popular local product is arguably honey.
Specialities of the island include: Marathotiganites– fried fennel balls served with Tzatziki or Greek yoghurt and Revithada– a chickpea and rosemary stew.
Events and festivals
The island, like most of the Greek islands, celebrates many religious feasts that entail litanies, lots of food, local wine, traditional music and dancing. The biggest feasts celebrated on the island are:
July 20th: The Feast of Prophet Ilias
July 26th: The Feast of Agia Paraskevi
August 15th: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary
As well as it’s religious celebrations, every summer the Festival of Serifos takes place. It began as an experiment in 2012 and has now become the biggest and most popular event on the island. During the two week festival; musicians, bands, DJs and performing arts companies from across the world flood the island and it’s theaters. Performances, concerts, art exhibitions, presentations and workshops take place daily throughout the island. This festival really captures the island’s cultural vibrancy and is a great example of Greek festivities.