The mythic island of Perseus
Serifos, is the ideal destination to give free rein to your imagination. Being one of the best islands to visit in Cyclades, with a rich mining history, Serifos is ideal for explorers and romantics: you will find endless beaches for every taste, a picturesque Chora standing beautiful at the top of a conical hill and striking landscapes of unusual rocky formations. Being a Greek island with great natural beauty without a high touristic development, Serifos offers the perfect setting for relaxing holidays in traditional villas. If you are a Greek mythology aficionado, a look at the unusual rocky formations in the whole island, will make you think of the myth of Perseus: He and his fellows turned into stone in the sight of Medusa’s head, giving Serifos its’ rocky appearance.
What to see
– Explore the Ano and Kato Chora: When you set your foot on Serifos, a simple look at the Chora standing at the top of a rocky hill, will take your breath way. The Chora, the mainland of Serifos is divided into two parts: the Ano (means upper in Greek) Chora and the Kato (lower) Chora. You will realize that wandering around the narrow streets with the glittering traditional houses under the Aegean sun, it’s pure magic.
When you reach the top of Ano Chora, you will find the ruins of a Venetian castle built in 1434. In a short distance from the castle you will find the church of Agios Konstantinos, which will grant you with a magnificent view to the Aegean sea and to the nearby islands Sifnos, Kythnos, Milos and Kimolos.
For those who love the ancient Greek mythology, near the church of Agios Konstantinos, you will find the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos: there lies the head of Medusa, according to the myth of Perseus. In a short distance from the Castle, you will find many beautiful churches: one of them is the historic church of Agios Elefhterios, where the flag of the Greek revolution was raised on the 22nd of May, in 1821.
You can also see the square of Windmills, where you can find two beautiful restored mills standing in the centre of the square, while in the central square of Ano Chora, there is the Town Hall, a beautiful neoclassic building, and besides that, the imposing church of Agios Athanasios, the island’s cathedral.
In Kato Chora, don’t miss to visit the beautiful church of Evangelistria, built in 1907, where the old center of the Serifos mainland used to be.
– Visit the Folklore Museum of Serifos and the Archeological museum: If you want to find out about the traditional life of the island and admire some archaeological findings from the Classic, the Hellenistic and the Roman era, you should definitely visit those museums.
– Visit the old mine facilities: Like most places in Greece, Serifos has a rich history. So, if you decide to spend your holidays in one of the best islands of Cyclades, make sure you visit the old mine facilities in Koutalas and Megalo Livadi. At the end of the 19th century, Serifos had a rapid development thanks to mining in those villages. You will admire the rust coloured hillside above Megalo Livadi bay. Tunnels, ruins of bridges, wagons and an old mining ladder create some unique surroundings, also found at the exit of Koutalas village.
– See the Grias Castle in Serifos: The old and ruined Castle of Grias (meaning the Castle of the Old Woman in Greek) is situated above Koutalas. You can see the ruins of an ancient defense wall.
– The White Tower (Aspros Pyrgos): This monument, dating back to the 5th century was being used as a watch tower. From here, you will enjoy the spectacular view to the southeastern coast of Serifos.
– The Cyclops throne: Only one…Cyclop could carry so huge carved boulders and build such an imposing construction (approximately 7m of width and 9m of height). According to the Greek mythology, Serifos was the land of Cyclops, terrifying one -eyed creatures. As soon as you arrive to the Cyclops throne in the southwest side of Serifos, make sure you stay long enough to admire the beautiful sunset.
– The monastery of the Taxiarches: It was built in 1572 and is considered to be the most important monastery in the island of Serifos. It looks more like a medieval castle with its’ high walls, the imposing crenellations and a moving ladder. The view from the abbey is definitely worth the visit. You will find it in the village of Galani in the north side of Serifos.
– The church in the Panagia village: It’s the older byzantine church in Serifos, built between 950-1000 A.D.
– The festival of Serifos: During summer, many cultural events take place in the “iron island” of the Cyclades. If you decide to spend your summer holidays in Serifos, make sure you don’t miss the popular music festival which takes place in a little theater in Kato Chora, bringing together talented artists, musicians and singers from all over Greece.
Serifos, has such a big variety of exquisite beaches to choose from, that even the most demanding visitor/tourist will be satisfied. If you ask the locals, they will tell you that in the island there are more than 70 beaches!
– Psili Ammos: One of the best beaches in Europe, according to Sunday times in 2003: Psili ammos in Serifos is an amazing sandy beach with crystal clear and turquoise waters.
– The Livadi, Avlomonos and Livadakia beaches in Serifos are among the popular ones in the island and are definitely worth the visit.
– The Karavi beach: It will grant you with an amazing view of the whole Serifos island. It’s a beautiful sandy beach with turquoise waters.
– If you’re looking for calmness, then you should try the beaches of Malliadikou, the Lia beach and Kalo Ampeli.
– The beaches of Kentarhos and Sikamia have beautiful turquoise waters, trees and white pebbles.
. – The sandy beach of Avessalou for the romantic ones who want to spend their time watching the beautiful sunset. You can also enjoy the sunset from the beaches of Koutalas, Ganema and Vagia. In the latter, if you dig through the hot sand, you will even find freshwater springs.
– The beach of Agios Sostis: Don’t miss to swim in the crystal clear waters of one of the most beautiful beaches in Serifos. The church of Agios Sostis at the edge of the cliff make the place unique to relax. You can find this beach between Avlomona and Psili Ammo,7 km away from Chora.
– The sandy beach of Megalo Livadi: Here you can find the famous tamarisk trees of Serifos that offer shade from the hot sun. Nearby, there are the facilities of the old mines.
If you come to Serifos, apart from choosing a villa for your accommodation and exploring the whole island, you should “dive” into the local Serifos cuisine.
Serifos cuisine is famous for its’ special aromas and flavours. During your holidays, don’t miss to taste the traditional louzes (salted meat), the traditional pasteli (that’s the name of the Greek honey sesame bar) with an almond in the middle of it and placed upon a lemon leaf. You should also give a try to local sausages, syglina (smoked pork with spices), traditional marathopites and marathotiganites, sun – dried octupus, local cheeses such as myzithres and xinomyzithres and revythada (traditional cooked chickepeas).
If you have an appetite for fresh fish, don’t miss to taste the delicious dishes of the fish restaurant “Kali” located in the port of Serifos. If you find yourselves in Chora and you want to taste the traditional dishes of Serifos you can eat at the restaurant Matharoriza.
For dinner, a very good choice is Metalleio, a popular restaurant in Serifos since 1980. At the restaurant terrace, you can taste delicious Mediterranean dishes. During midnight, Metalleio, which also serves as a venue, turns into a club, with a rich playlist of rock and mainstream songs. Other choices are the restaurant Cyclop in Megalo Livadi for homemade food in front of the sea and Aloni, for those that want to have a romantic dinner with a great view in Livadi.
Sports and activities
Serifos with its’ rocky surroundings, the variety of beaches and the diverse seabed is suitable for a number of activities and sports like: walking – following the special paths for climbing and marked with signals, bicycling, diving, windsurf and kitesurf. You can try the Serifos Surf Club and the X-Dream Water Action in Livadakia if you want to learn diving and do water sports.
You can simple take the ferry from the Piraeus port in Athens and you will arrive in Serifos after 4 hours and 45 minutes. If you take the faster ferry to Serifos, the duration of the travel is only 2 hours and 35 minutes.