Essential Sikinos: A Comprehensive Travel Guide

Discover Sikinos, a hidden gem in Greece: tranquil beaches, ancient ruins, and exquisite cuisine. Uncover your next adventure!

Essential Sikinos: A Comprehensive Travel Guide

Sikinos, A Hidden Gem

While it is true that Sikinos does not have the popularity of Santorini or Mykonos, the island brims with its authentic charm and tranquil beauty, making it an ideal destination for those seeking serenity and simplicity. Situated among the southernmost islets of the Cyclades, Sikinos is perfect for a relaxing, low-key holiday.

Historical Context

Historically known as Oinoe "the wine island," the island has a history that dates back to prehistoric times. Artefacts recovered suggest that the island was inhabited during the Cycladic civilization period. The Venetians dominated Sikinos during the Middle Ages and left their imprint through numerous Byzantine churches and castles.

Cultural Practices and Festivals

Cultural practices and traditions on Sikinos are held with high regard. The locals often throw a party after the harvest of grapes, a practice known as "Panigiri," which dates back to ancient times. Two key religious festivals on the island are - Epiphany (January 6th) and Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15th). These festivals often feature traditional music, dancing, wine, and food.

Interesting Facts

  1. Unlike its bigger and more popular neighbors, Sikinos does not have an airport. The island is reached by ferry from Athens or nearby islands, like Santorini.
  2. The population of Sikinos is quite small, almost unchanged for centuries. The census of 2011 records only 238 inhabitants.
  3. Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi built in the 17th century, offers one of the best panoramic island views.
  4. Sikinos is immensely popular among campers due to its unspoiled nature and free camping spots.

Local Anecdotes

The monk’s cell inside the church of Pantanassa is a must-visit. It was home to an 18th-century monk who lived there in complete isolation.

The old winery at the northern side of the island still operates in traditional methods, providing visitors with an insight into the island's old wine-making tradition.

Top Attractions

  • Folklore Museum: Housed in an old olive press in Alopronia, Sikinos Folklore Museum is home to traditional tools and other artefacts associated with pre-industrial Sikinos.
  • Episkopi: Episkopi is an ancient monument wrongly thought to be a Roman mausoleum, which later findings suggest it was actually an Early Christian temple.
  • Beaches: Aside from history, Sikinos also impresses with its relaxed and quiet beaches. Katergo, Dialiskari, and Malta are worth visiting.

The tranquil island of Sikinos comes along with an unhurried charm and a generous dose of traditional Greek hospitality. It is an escape to the slower and quieter version of the Cyclades.