The serene island of Sikinos enchants travelers with amazing natural sites, traditional simplicity and relaxed holidays. There are idyllic beaches, old hiking trails and a quaint capital with a mystical aura!
Wine tasting at the only winery on the island is a must. One of the best places to eat in Sikinos is Kapari taverna on the main road.
1. To Steki Tou Garbi
Sikinos is a small island, with a limited number of hotels and restaurants. It is also quite hilly and not suitable for all travelers but is the perfect place for nature lovers who enjoy a relaxing vacation away from the crowds. It has a small port in Alopronia and the main village of Chora on the top of the island.
The best time to visit Sikinos is in summer, from May until the end of September, when temperatures are warm but not stifling. The weather is ideal for walking and hiking, as there is a network of paths that connect almost every church, monastery and beach on the island.
One of the highlights of Sikinos is its wines. The island is famous for its wine varieties and in ancient times, it was known as Oenoe (wine of the Gods). Today, George Manalis’ visionary vineyard is open to the public where you can taste the many wine varieties, learn about traditional winemaking and see how the grapes are harvested from the vine.
Another highlight is the fortress-like Moni Zoodohou Pigis, a monastery that resembles a castle and dominates the landscape of the island. It was built as a protection from pirate raids and served as a shelter for many residents during this period.
In Kastro, the old town of the island, there are beautiful old houses that glow in the sun and winding alleyways. The church of Pantanassa is worth a visit for its beautiful paintings and mosaics.
Another popular destination is the church of Timiou Stavrou, which was constructed to fulfill a promise made by one of Greece’s most famous poets, Odysseus Elytis. The church is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin and it has some of the most impressive views on the whole island. It is also an annual celebration site for many locals, who believe that it is the spot from which the Virgin Mary flew to heaven.
There are a handful of good restaurants in Sikinos, but there is one standout that is the best place to eat on the island, and that’s Klimataria. This restaurant is located in the center of Kastro and is a small island taverna serving traditional dishes. They serve a variety of Greek dishes, including kouneli stifado (rabbit stew) and katsiki lemonato (goat in lemon sauce).
Another great dish that you should try on the island is pasteli. This is a sweet that is made with sesame seeds and baked in honey. It is very popular on the island and has a unique flavor that you’ll enjoy. You can find it at many of the local shops on the island.
Most of the islanders make their living through agriculture, which means that you’ll find a lot of delicious produce on the menus at the restaurants. Some of the best products that you can try on the island include figs and olives. You can also try the famous Sikinos honey, which is known for its intense aroma and sweet taste.
As is the case with most of the other Cyclades islands, Sikinos has some amazing churches that you should visit. In particular, you should check out the Church of Panagia Pantohara. It’s located in the middle of the route from Hora to the Zoodohos Pigi Monastery, and it was built as a personal solemn promise of Odysseus Elytis.
All ferries that arrive in Sikinos dock in the small port of Alopronia. This is one of the quietest villages on the island, and it has a few restaurants and a few cafes to choose from.
One of the main attractions in Alopronia is the beach. The sand is fine and has been fitted by the city with fixed umbrellas and wooden benches, so it’s a very peaceful beach. There is also a bus that runs from the center of town to the beach and other places on the island throughout the day.
The island of Sikinos is a serene destination that charms visitors with its unspoilt natural sites, amazing hiking trails and Cycladic simplicity. In addition, it offers idyllic beaches and a relaxing daily rhythm far away from the crowds of its bigger Cycladic sister islands.
Sikinos is one of the least populated Greek islands and this makes it a great choice for those who seek a true escape from hectic daily routine. This translates into a laid-back rhythm of life, great hospitality and tasty local products. You can try artisan goat cheese, fava patties and thyme honey while on the island. You can also taste the local wines which have a unique flavor thanks to the volcanic soil.
There are only three villages on the island of Sikinos. The main town is Alopronia with a small port and few restaurants. All ferries arrive in Alopronia so it is easy to visit all around the island. Besides, there is a small ferry that runs all summer to a few beaches that are difficult to reach on foot.
In the center of town is the tavern Kapari where you can find delicious souvlaki dishes and many local delicacies like koukia (fried calamari). Also, the restaurant has a nice view over the Aegean Sea.
You can walk up from Alopronia and reach the old part of town where the main square is located. There is a small chapel called Pantochara, which was built in honor of the famous Greek poet Odysseas Elytis. You can also see the monastery of Chryssopigi, which was closed in 1834 but was used as a shelter during pirate attacks.
Another must-visit is the winery of Manalis. This small vineyard is located in the north of the island and produces a variety of wines such as Mavrotragano, Limnio, Assyrtiko and Aidani. It is a must-try for every wine lover!
Sikinos is not a beach island, but you can go swimming at the main port Alopronia and at a few beaches such as Agios Nikolaos, Katergo and Dialiskari. The beach of Agios Georgios is much wilder than the other two and can be reached by walking. Another fun thing to do is a visit of the island’s museum that is devoted to olives and wine.
4. Manalis Winery
Sikinos is one of the least populated Greek islands and it is a wonderful place to enjoy relaxing holidays far away from the busyness of other touristy destinations. Sikinos offers picturesque beaches, breathtaking natural scenery, old hiking trails and authentic local dishes. Taste the delicious wine varieties at Manalis Winery, visit Zoodohos Pigi monastery, admire the views from Panagia Pantohara church and indulge in a religious celebration feast during August 15!
The most popular beach in Sikinos is Alopronia, a sandy beach next to the port with all the tourist amenities nearby. If you’re after a more wild experience, you can take a bus to Agios Georgios and walk north from there. You will find another lovely beach called Ai Giannis that is very secluded with a few trees for shade and a taverna serving nice food. Those who want to see a bit of history can also have a day trip to the ancient Byzantine Monastery of Episkopi, located 4 km southwest of Chora.
On the island, you will also find a few bars and restaurants serving good traditional meals. Kapari is one of the most famous ones, as it is on the main road in Chora and serves some very tasty grilled meats. Another restaurant in the same location is To Steki Tou Garbi, a souvlaki place that seems to be very popular among locals.
As the island is so quiet, you won’t be able to find many night clubs here. However, if you’re in the mood for a drink, you can head to a bar or a café close to the port or the town center. Alternatively, you can have drinks at the main square of Chora where there are a few places to choose from.
The best time to visit Sikinos is during summer when the weather is hot and dry. It is possible to swim at most beaches throughout the season but you’ll have more options if you go during early or late summer. In the off-season, it can be windy which can cool the temperatures and make it uncomfortable to swim.