Greek Guide

 

Sikinos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

Don't come to Sikinos expecting daytime beach parties, water parks and non stop tourist activity. This is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt islands of the Cycladic archipelago a place where you come to escape the summer crowds and mayhem which characterise the main resort towns of islands such Mykonos, Ios and Santorini.

Your stay here will consist of lazy days on the beach, leisurely meals in uncrowded tavernas and perhaps a hike or donkey ride to explore the island's rocky, terraced countryside which is peppered with vineyards, olive and fig trees.

You'll arrive at Alopronia on the east side of the island and if your accommodation is in the port area, be sure to visit the twin villages of Hora and Kastro which together form the capital of Ios perched high on a ridge overlooking the Aegean. You can make the journey on foot (about an hour) or take the bus which runs regularly to and from Alopronia to the Hora and Kastro on the west side of the island.

Kastro is the larger of the two villages a lovely place with a maze of lanes, some beautiful old stone built mansions and a pretty square in the centre, created by Italian soldiers during the occupation of WW2. While a way some time in one of the kafeneia (coffee shops) or buy some of the locally produced fragrant honey. Local crafts make ideal gifts to take home folk art, ceramics, wood carved objects and beautiful embroidery are all on sale in the town's small selection of gift shops.

Medieval Hora is the older quarter where you can visit the Folk Museum, housed in the private home of a Greek American collector. An old olive press is the main item of interest among the various local domestic and agricultural curiosities on display here.

The crumbling fortified monastery of Moni Zoodohou Pigis dominates the town from its hilltop position and houses some religious icons by the 18th century Cycladic master Skordilis. The villagers used to take refuge from pirate raids here until the monastery was abandoned in the 19th century.

The main place of interest outside the town is Episkopis, about an hour's walk or mule ride through the olive groves to the south west of Hora (or there's a new road which will get you there in a few minutes). Archaeologists who originally excavated the site in the 19th century believed it to be the remains of a temple dedicated to Apollo but it's now thought to have been a mausoleum dating back to the 3rd century AD. It was converted into a Byzantine church in the 7th century and turned into a monastery in the 17th century. Climb to the precipice just to the south of the monastery for spectacular views of the island and sea.

In the north east corner of the island lies Paleokastro, the remains of an ancient fortress.