Greek Guide


Serifos Island Greece Greek Holiday Destinations

Serifos is one of the Greek Cyclades Islands located in the Aegean Sea 73 nautical miles south east of the mainland port of Piraeus. The island is popular with Greek visitors but has the beautiful unspoilt beaches and a taste of the "real Greece " to escape the ravages of mass tourism. Come here to where isolated homesteads can only be reached via a donkey track. Bring a good book because the tourist facilities on Serifos don't extend much beyond a few hotels, rooms to let and waterfront tavernas offering traditional Greek fare.

The island's lack of commercialisation means it doesn't have its own airport. The nearest airport is on Milos, to the south west of Serifos (two hours by ferry). Daily ferry services connect the island with Piraeus (four and a half hours), Milos and Kimolos. Less frequent ferries run to and from the islands of Kythnos, Paros, Syros and Folegandros. Ferries run once a week to Santorini, Ios and Sikinos. If you've got more cash than time, catch a fast boat from Piraeus (two and a quarter hours), Milos (one and a quarter hours) or neighbouring Sifnos (20 minutes).

You'll arrive at the ferry port of Livadi, in an elongated bay in the south east corner of the island where the majority of holiday accommodation is centred. The port has its fair share of waterfront cafes, tavernas and music bars and is a good base for accessing the island's main beaches and the lovely hilltop capital of Hora.

You'll need to be a keen walker or hire a set of wheels to explore the rest of the island which is peppered with traditional villages, pretty white chapels and farms where tomatoes, vines and olives are cultivated in fertile valleys nestling amid the barren hills.

Serifos is known as "the barren one" and, according to legend, its one time king Polydeukes was turned to stone along with everything that was beautiful on the island. The island's fate was sealed by Perseus who was reputedly washed up on these rocky shores as a boy along with his mother Danae. The pair were locked in a box and tossed into the sea by Danae's vengeful husband after she gave birth to Perseus by the all powerful god Zeus. Danae's great beauty brought the unwanted attentions of the island's king so Perseus punished the lascivious Polydeukes by slaying the snake haired Gorgon Medusa and brandishing her head before the king who was duly petrified.

Myths, legends and miraculous religious icons abound here as they do on most of the Greek islands. If you're looking for more concrete evidence of the island's rich history visit the ruins of the 15th century Venetian fortress overlooking Hora, the archaeological museum and the 16th century fortified Monastery of Taxiarchon in the north of Serifos.