Sikinos is a hiker’s paradise. Remnants of ancient hamlets, Byzantine churches, gorges, remote beaches and glades with breathtaking views are some of the highlights of this island.
Try the local wines at Manalis winery located just south of Chora. Enjoy their food and drinks at sunset with spectacular views and experience a truly unique dinner.
1. Visit Kastro
Smaller than neighboring islands like Santorini and Mykonos, Sikinos promises a collage of natural scenery, tranquillity, and a taste of the island’s proud traditions. The island’s villages showcase traditional Cycladic architecture and offer breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Spend a day hiking and exploring ancient ruins or indulging in local Greek cuisine. Sikinos is also known for its vibrant island festivals that showcase music, dance, and delicious Greek delicacies.
One of the main attractions on Sikinos is the capital and main village of Chora, which is built on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. Its narrow alleys, white sugar houses, and blue-domed churches are a beautiful example of the island’s traditional architecture. While in Chora, don’t miss the Church of Panagia Pantanassa, which was constructed in the 17th century.
Aside from the capital, there are other picturesque villages on Sikinos, such as Kastro and Vouni, both of which feature beautiful mazes of whitewashed houses. Another must-visit village is Episkopi, which features a ruined temple and other ancient structures that can be explored on foot. The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi is located in this village, and it’s a great place to explore its beautiful courtyard and admire its Byzantine architecture.
There are no airports on Sikinos, but you can easily get to the island from other nearby destinations in Greece. You can fly into Santorini (Thira) Airport or Mykonos Island National Airport and take a ferry to Sikinos from there. Ferry schedules can vary depending on the season, so it’s best to check online or ask your accommodation provider about available options.
The best time to visit Sikinos is in September or May-June. The weather is still warm and the beaches are uncrowded. However, you may need to bring a windbreaker in case of meltemi, the strong Northerly wind that blows across the Aegean Sea during these months.
2. Visit the Monastery of Chryssopigi
Sikinos’ small but vibrant arts and crafts scene allows visitors to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs while supporting the local economy. Artists produce handmade ceramics, pottery, and handwoven textiles that reflect the island’s cultural traditions. These items are also sold in local shops and galleries for visitors to enjoy during their stay.
The island’s landscape is characterized by rocky cliffs and small beaches with clear waters. It’s a great choice for those looking to get away from the crowds and indulge in a tranquil holiday experience.
During your visit, you should not miss visiting the picturesque village of Kastro. It is a sample of traditional Cycladic architecture and offers amazing vistas of the Aegean Sea. The village’s narrow streets and whitewashed houses will take you back in time. The Church of Panagia Pantanassa, which was built in the 17th century, is worth a visit as it is known for its intricate religious iconography.
A stroll up to the Monastery of Chryssopigi, also known as Zoodochos Pigi, is another top destination on Sikinos. The nunnery was built in the 1690s and served as a refuge for islanders during pirate attacks. Its distinctive blue dome is a striking feature of the landscape and is an important part of the village’s heritage.
Getting around Sikinos is easy and affordable, as there are bus services that connect the main villages on the island. However, the schedule may be limited during low season, so it’s a good idea to check with your accommodation provider for more information. Taxis are also available on the island, and they can be a convenient way to get around if you are traveling with luggage or have limited mobility.
Indulge in traditional Greek cuisine at local taverns and restaurants. Try revithada (chickpea stew) and other dishes that showcase the island’s rich culinary tradition. Pair your meal with a glass of locally produced wine to enhance your experience. Attending a local festival is also a fun way to immerse yourself in the island’s culture and experience a true taste of Greece. The festival will usually include folk dances and music, as well as tasty local delicacies.
3. Visit Ai Giannis Beach
While Sikinos may not be as well-known as other islands in the Cyclades, it offers visitors a chance to experience an authentic Greek holiday. The island is dotted with picturesque villages that showcase traditional Cycladic architecture and offer stunning views of the surrounding Aegean Sea. There are also numerous hiking trails that offer a unique way to explore the island. You can also try some of the local food, including favokeftedes (split-pea fritters), kaparosalata (caper dip), and pourazenes (dolmades wrapped in large leaves of wild greens).
There is a long-standing tradition of winemaking on the island. You can visit a local vineyard to learn about the process and sample some of the island’s wines. There are several different types of wines available, including dry white wines and sweet red wines. Religious festivals are also an important part of the culture on Sikinos. Many of the local churches have patron saints and celebrate their feast days with processions, music, and dancing.
The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi is one of the most interesting sights on the island. The monastery is perched on a rock in the northern part of the island and was built around 1690. It was once a nunnery, but has since been transformed into a museum. The monastery has a beautiful courtyard and is decorated with Byzantine chapels, vaulted crypts, and fragments of marble statues.
You can also explore the secluded beaches of Sikinos by taking a boat tour. You can swim in the pristine waters and admire the cliffs of the island from the water. The beaches are a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. Many of the boat tours also include stops at neighboring islands, allowing you to see more of the island’s landscape.
Another popular thing to do on Sikinos is to visit the island’s folk museum. The museum contains items that depict the daily life of the people on the island during the past centuries. It is a great way to learn about the island’s culture and history.
4. Visit the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi
Sikinos is a hiking paradise, offering paths through gorges, remote beaches and a variety of landscapes. Those who love nature and history will enjoy the remnants of ancient hamlets, Byzantine churches and unique panoramic views. A highlight of the island is the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, a monastery built between Kastro and the beach. It was pledged to the island by poet Odysseas Elitis and is dedicated to the Joybringer.
The monastery houses a church of Byzantine architecture and a 5-meter-high iconostasis made of wood. Also, the monastery has a rich library and a museum with sacred vestments and utensils. The monastery is open for worship on Easter Friday.
For wine-lovers, a visit to Sikinos is also a chance to sample some of its local wines. There is a winery in the main village of Chora, called Manalis. They produce four types of wine and two kinds of tsipouro. They are open for tastings from noon to 7:00 PM every day.
While visiting the monastery, you can also try one of the restaurants or taverns in the village to enjoy traditional Greek cuisine and a glass of locally produced wine. The restaurants serve a variety of fresh seafood dishes, Greek mezes and local delicacies, as well as local wine.
Embrace the culture of Sikinos by attending some of its festivals and celebrations. These events are full of music, dance and local delicacies, all accompanied by a wonderful atmosphere. Whether it’s the Feast of Panagia Pantanassa in August or the feasts of Saints, you are sure to have a memorable experience. Moreover, by participating in the local customs and traditions, you will get a deeper understanding of the island’s heritage.