Where to Stay in Sifnos: 6 Best Areas

Where to stay in Sifnos

Wondering where to stay in Sifnos? This guide will do a deep dive into the six best areas to stay in Sifnos, and discuss accommodation and things to do in each.

Greece has nine traditional geographic regions, including the Dodecanese and Cyclades island groups that make up the Aegean Islands. Sifnos is one such small island located in the Cyclades range, but the area packs a powerful punch. 

Offering some of the best food, culture and fun, Sifnos is a rather unassuming gem of a vacation spot. But, this island is steeped with Medieval history, lush greenery and a welcoming attitude that will carry throughout a stay here. 

Made up of several smaller, unique villages, Sifnos is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot, specifically in the summer when Athenians jet out to the island for some rest and relaxation. Once you dive into the crystal-clear waters and try the fresh seafood, you may decide you never want to leave.

Sifnos is fairly small, so don’t expect high-flying adventure or grand tours. But, this island is perfect for newlyweds ready to get away, girl’s trips, family vacations or solo backpacking excursions, as it is incredibly peaceful, romantic and fun. 

Where to stay in Sifnos: 6 Best Areas

1. Apollonia, where to stay in Sifnos for first time

Originally settled in the 6th century BC by Greek colonists from Corfu, Apollonia has an enduring legacy that lives on in the area’s historic relics today. As the capital of modern Sifnos, Apollonia translates to “a city devoted to Apollo,” or the Greek god of archery and music. 

Laid upon three sloping hills, Apollonia is made up of several smaller villages that really know how to have a great time, giving this area a similar quality to party-town Mykonos. 

While there are plenty of opportunities to go out here, Apollonia also has incredible sight-seeing and tourist activities, as well as extensive options for accommodation. 

Walk through the paved streets here and be amazed by Apollonia’s traditional architecture and white-washed walls. 

Because all of the main services of Sifnos are located here (the Post Office, banks, pharmacies, bus stops, etc.), this area is perfect for a vacationer planning an extended stay in Sifnos.

Apollonia is home to several old churches, which blend seamlessly into newer homes and buildings. These include the Panagia of Barou, Agios Athanassios, Agios Sostis and the Metamorphosis of Sotiras, just to name a few. DonĀ“t miss the Monastery of Profiti Ilias located very close to the city.

There is also a Folklore Museum here, where you can learn more about the mythology and history surrounding Sifnos, as well as the Prokos Institution, which puts on art and photography exhibitions during the summer. 

If sight-seeing isn’t your thing, just wander through the alleys of Apollonia. You’ll find many local and international flavors to try, welcoming residents ready to chat and traditional shops selling baked goods and products.

For fist-pumping nightlife, you’re in the right place. Two clubs, Cozi and Argo, get especially crazy during the summer, specifically in August when Greeks celebrate the day of the Virgin Mary. 

Outside of the warm months, Apollonia does stay pretty quiet, so this area is still worth visiting even if your party days are passed. A central, narrow street has most of Apollonia’s shops, bars and restaurants, and you’ll also find several options for accommodation centered around here. 

Many hotels offer spacious rooms with balconies or verandas so you can wake up and look out over the Aegean Sea. Be aware that there is no beach here, but many around the island are within walking or driving distance. 

Apollonia is perfect if you’re looking for that traditional Greek experience, but want something less crowded than Santorini or Mykonos. You will love getting lost as you explore the narrow streets of Apollonia, with brightly-colored flowers and excitement around every corner.

2. Kamares, where to stay in Sifnos on a budget

As the main port of Sifnos, Kamares is a charming seaside town that rests on a fertile valley. If you’re reaching the island of Sifnos by ferry, Kamares is where you’ll dock first. 

As a fishing village, Kamares is home to some of the freshest seafood on all of Sifnos, as well as quaint cafes, friendly locals and lots to see and do. You may think Kamares is just another sleepy island village. 

But once the ferries depart for the night, you’ll find this town come alive in the winding streets, tavernas and restaurants. This area is extremely family-friendly, clean and welcoming, and makes for both a great day trip or a place to stay in Sifnos.

Start a day here by walking along the main harbor road with hotels, shops and restaurants overlooking the bay. Blink and you may miss the small village of Agia Marina nestled on the beach. 

Speaking of, a trip to Kamares isn’t complete without visiting the sheltered cove, with gentle waves and shallow waters perfect for young children to play in as you watch from the cafes above. 

Kamares Beach is a golden large sandy beach, one of the biggest in Sifnos, awarded the blue flag. You can rent out umbrellas and beach chairs here for a little shade and relaxation. 

The closer you get to Agia Marina, the better the rocks are for sunbathing and jumping into the sea. You’ll also find several smaller churches, the Folie Snack Bar and the Argiris Taverna for a quick bite to eat. 

For a little sightseeing, check out the two monasteries soaring in the mountains above the main village, called Agios Symeon and Profitti Ilias. To get here, you can drive or make the hour-long trek up the mountain to get a stunning view of the entire village. 

At certain times during the year, the entire village parades up the mountain for an all-night panargiri, or religious celebration followed by music, wine, food and merriment. 

Towards the area of Spilia, you can watch the ferry come in and out and even snorkel down to the hollowed sea caves, where large fish swim.

Because Kamares is the main dock site for Sifnos, the area gets pretty crazy when the ferries first arrive during the day. But after all the tourists fan out to their chosen destinations, the village retains its quiet charm again. 

Be aware that the weekends do get particularly fun. Two ferries hit the village on Friday nights and tourists quickly crowd the tavernas and restaurants. 

Sunday is also the Rivithia day, where all the eateries in town serve chickpea stew, a local island delicacy, and special braised lamb and goat. 

If you enjoy walking, Kamares has tons of hidden paths and valley trails that will take you past rustic farms, animals and bushy fruit trees. You may also come across several playgrounds and basketball courts for kids. 

There are several authentic Greek hotels overlooking the water to choose from, but can book up fast during tourist season. 

Kamares is really the perfect place for families, as several apartments and houses for rent make suitable size accommodations for larger groups. There is also a good offer of cheap accommodations.

3. Platis Gialos, where to stay in Sifnos for families

As you move towards the south end of the island, you’ll find the charming seaside village of Platis Gialos, a tucked-away gem just waiting to be discovered. 

Derived from the Greek words for “wide seashore,” Platis Gialos unsurprisingly has one of the best (and longest) beaches on all of Sifnos, and many visitors come to see its sparkling scenery and wide cove. 

With over a thousand meters of golden sand to explore, you can lay out and relax on a rented sunbed with an umbrella, have a drink at a waterfront bar or snooze under a shady tree. 

Families will love Platis Gialos for its safe, calm waters and watersports. You may also see dazzling yachts gleaming in the distance and remember why you arrived on Sifnos in the first place.

Several restaurants serve fresh seafood and light bites around the village. 

Towards the north, you’ll spot the Monastery of Panagia tou Vounou. Hiking up here at dusk will give you panoramic views of all of Platis Gialos and a stunning sunset over the Aegean Sea. 

The Aspros Pyrgos, or White Tower, is one of 55 ancient towers of Sifnos that date back to the 4th century BC, and can be found on the northeastern end of the village. 

Towards the south lies the island of Kitriani, where the only building standing is the Church of Panagia Kipriani. You are free to boat up to the island and explore, but you won’t find anyone actually living on this secluded place. 

If you need to rent a boat, Platis Gialos offers several boat rental shops and its own marina.

The nightlife of Platis Gialos is centered around the bars and tavernas lining the beach. While these places don’t get too crazy, they are often open late into the night and are the perfect spot to chat with locals and drink to your heart’s content. 

Platis Gialos is a great place to stay in Sifnos, but the stunning beach is worth stopping by, even if it’s just for a day.

There are a few small, family-run inns near the water that are fairly inexpensive, as well as more luxury hotels with beautiful scenery and Greek finishes. 

Read also: Where to stay in Santorini, where to stay in Mykonos, where to stay in Naxos, where to stay in Milos, where to stay in Paros

4. Faros, a quaint fishing village with three sparkling beaches

If you can imagine a sparkling Greek fishing village straight out of a fairytale romance, Faros would match that image closely. Quaint and quiet, Faros is small but packs an impactful punch, with authentic, white houses and narrow streets to explore.

The Greek name for lighthouse is Faros, and a lighthouse still stands on the right side of the port from decades ago, as the village used to be the main port of Sifnos until 1883. 

Faros was also home to several potteries and was a settling point for potters to work their craft. On any given day, you’ll now see fisherman angling for their daily catch and sunbathers enjoying the consistent sunny weather. 

You’ll also find several great eateries, family-owned shops and hotels near the neighboring beaches of Fasolou, Faros and Glyfo. 

If you want a quiet rest and relaxation way from the hectic crowds of Apollonia, Faros is the perfect place to unwind while still getting that authentic Greek experience.

Faros Beach is directly next to the harbor and is a good place to start your adventure in Faros. At the entrance of the port you’ll see the rock of Chrissopigi, a detached outcrop home to the Panagia of Chrissopigi, the protector of Sifnos. 

Made up of pebbles, sand and shallow waters, Faros Beach is great for little kids looking to take a dip. The water is known for being crystal-clear and warm, consistently protected by winds throughout the year. 

Look into the distance and you’ll spy the Monastery of Chrissopigi standing on the rocky peninsula. Directly on the beach is the small Agios Giorgis, a small country church. From Faros Beach, you’ll find a small walking trail that’ll lead you straight to Glyfo Beach. 

A bit more crowded, Glyfo is lined with shady trees and a single taverna overlooking the water. Lastly, as you look to the left side of Faros, you’ll see a small stone theatre, aptly named the “Little Theatre of Faros.” 

During the summer, you may catch several events, including small concerts, plays and performances for all of the village to enjoy.

While the village is small, Faros still offers tourists who plan to stay great accommodation and amenities. You’ll find a mini-mart, rooms to rent, and welcoming tavernas and restaurants for all your traveling needs. 

In terms of nightlife, there isn’t a ton here and be aware that the closest village with shopping is Apollonia, about 7km away. But if you want subtle luxury, picturesque views and a quiet getaway from the craziness of modern life, Faros is an amazing place to stay in Sifnos.

5. Kastro, the coolest place to stay in Sifnos

Historic and culturally-dynamic, Kastro was once the capital of ancient Sifnos and has been inhabited for over 3,000 years. Sitting on the east side of the island on a mountainous rock, Kastro offers stunning panoramic views of the Aegean sea. 

The area’s picturesque qualities and charming authenticity draw in many tourists. Stepping foot here may feel like traveling to a romantic, bygone era, where old Greek nobles used to walk. 

In fact, Kastro is the Greek word for castle, giving the area an atmosphere of old glamour dating back to prehistoric times. 

To get here, take the sloping 3.5km road from Apollonia and be entranced by the old ruins and vibrant wildflowers as you drive by. Just be aware that no motorcycles or cars are allowed within the narrow, winding alleys of Kastro itself.

Kastro gives off a distinct air of mystery as soon as you step foot in the village. The area itself is surrounded by large boundary walls, which at one point protected Kastro from looting pirates. 

You’ll also see the features of an excavated Venetian fortress, which contributes to Kastro’s unique medieval character. 

To access the main village, you’ll need to enter through a “lozie,” or old entrance seal on the boundary wall. Then, wind your way through a maze of tiny passageways and tunnels, after which you’ll be welcomed by even more narrow streets.

Your first site will be the old elementary school of Kastro. Though the school is no longer operational, various art exhibitions are held in the space during the summer. 

Below Kastro’s hill you’ll see Seralia, Sifnos’ ancient port. You can play around on a small stretch of beach here and eat fresh seafood at a handful of restaurants scattered around the water. 

As you move into the village, you’ll see the old cemetery of Kastro, and the temples of Agios Stefanos and Agios Ioannis, of which the latter was once a renown educational institute on the island. 

For a bit more history, check out the Archaeological Museum of Sifnos, which includes marvelous collections of Archaic and Hellenistic sculptures. 

But, to really get a feel for Kastro, merely just set aside some time to walk down its streets. You’ll see low stone benches, old homes with wooden balconies, 16th and 17th-century churches, large mansions and venetian coats of arms decorating the walls.

The beautiful and widely-photographed Church of the Seven Martyrs is here and sits on the top of a rocky outcrop seemingly emerging from the sea. Built according to traditional Cycladic architecture, the church sparkles with white-washed walls and a stunning blue dome.

There is not a ton in Kastro in the way of shops, markets or nightlife, but there are several places where you can rent a room for a week or two. As the village is so small, you can get the full Kastro experience even if you only plan to make a day trip. 

Still, if you want quiet, clean and relaxing swimming and secluded luxury in a stunning Greek village, Kastro is a great place to stay in Sifnos.

6. Vathy, a residential village with a rich history

Nestled on the southwest side of Sifnos, charming and quaint harbor village Vathy is a hidden gem. With no cars or motorcycles, Vathy maintains a consistently quiet atmosphere, appreciated by locals who have lived there for decades. 

Best of all, Vathy is rather inexpensive, and you can get a meal and a room to rent for a fairly decent price, due to the village’s secluded nature. 

In the past, you could only reach the village by boat, but now you can take the main road from Apollonia and be in Vathy within 15 minutes. While on the road, you’ll catch the neighboring Taxiarhis of Mersini and the Church of Taxiarches, situated on the beach.

Through multiple excavations, Vathy is now considered to have had great historical significance in old Greece. Archeologists have theorized that people lived in Vathy dating back to Mycenean times, after the uncovering of a 12th B.C. Mycenean wall and the ruins of five buildings. 

But the real attraction here is the watersports, performed on deep, crystal-clear blue waters that are consistently calm and inviting. Sailboats will often circle around the protected harbor. 

You may also see sponge fisherman scaling the depths below, picking up octopuses and other fish to sell to the tavernas later. You’ll also find traditional potteries and workshops, where you can pick up ceramic goods from local artisans and watch as they make them.

Nightlife here is very much based on community. Because the village is so small, you’ll get to know Vathy’s people in no time at all, sharing food and drink with them over a stunning sunset. 

Some of the best restaurants include Manolis, with a large clay-stone oven. Vathy has several family-run inns, hotels and tavernas with rooms for rent that have incredible bay views. 

These are great for vacationing families, honeymooners or just those needing peace and quiet. The Elies Resort is the biggest on the island and is a popular option for luxury accommodation. 

Vathy has truly grown from a tiny fishing village to a beautiful resort-like mini-city that many come from all over to see. Still, the area retains its distinct, authentic Greek originality and works hard to keep its heritage alive. It’s a great place to visit, and an even better place to stay in Sifnos

Sifnos is one island in the Cyclades you just can’t miss. If you don’t come for the incredible views of the crystal-clear Aegean Sea, historic ruins that have lasted the test of time or welcoming locals that will accept you as one of their own, at least stay for a drink or two and soak in all this magical place has to offer.

It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll enjoy it. And, you can’t go wrong with staying in an  area on this list, no matter what your budget or accommodation style entails. Sifnos is waiting for you!

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