Experience the Hiking Trails of Sifnos
During a recent trip to Greece, I decided to re-visit the Cycladic island of Sifnos.
I treasured memories associated with my last visit to Sifnos over a decade ago, such as:
delicious food (Sifnos is the birthplace of the alleged founder of modern Greek gastronomy, Nikolaos Tselementes), car rides on winding mountain roads to visit remote churches (especially the Monastery of Chryssopygi and the Church of the Seven Martyrs in Kastro), shopping for ceramics for which the island is well-known and experiencing the buzzing nightlife in Apollonia after spending the day at the beach. This time I wanted to explore more of the island’s natural beauty through its trails.
A dear expat friend of mine who lives there part of the year, mentioned that there are hiking trails and footpaths around the island. After discovering the site Sifnos Trails* which lists numerous organized trails, my partner and I were very eager to explore Sifnos by foot!
After an exquisite breakfast of bougatsa (a flaky buttery pastry with a creamy custard filling) and a refreshing iced coffee, we would go for a run in the blazing sun and then embark on a trail hike in proximity to our accommodations on the way back. This was our routine for several days there.
Running from the port of Kamares toward the monastery Profitis Elias, we came upon low-ceilinged shepherd homes. They intrigued us because despite being old, they were solid and served as reminders of Sifnos's agricultural past. Another highlight was seeing the endless stretch of low stone walls that serve as land barriers throughout the island. The stones on these walls appear to have been hand placed in perfect formations without cement. On any given hike, the aromas of chamomile, rosemary, oregano and sage fill the air. Upon reaching the apex of a hill, we would look down and be rewarded by the view of the cerulean blue sea, below us.
Our hikes and runs were memorable. We will keep exploring on our next visit to Sifnos - and continue to experience its delicious food, remote churches, ceramics, beaches and the nightlife in Apollonia!
*Sifnos Trails, the organized series of trails commissioned entirely by the Municipality of Sifnos, covers over 100 km of footpaths and hiking trails that traverse the entire island. On the trails, which vary in distance, there are colored markers painted on rocks or on signs, which guide the travellers on their route.