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Sikinos in Greece
Sikinos is a laid-back island with great charm and a rich Greek everyday life. The island lies in the Cyclades between Ios and Folegandros, and has about 260 inhabitants spread over 41 km2. It is an island for those who want to get away from stress, commerce and tourism, and for those who want to live for the moment and take each day as it comes. Most people come here to relax, and to enjoy the meditative atmosphere. The locals are good-natured and extremely friendly, you feel welcome from the moment you get off the ferry.
Wel Come to Sikinos was written before on a large sign in the port. No one on the island paid any attention to the misspelling, and that is a kind of distinctive mark of Sikinos, we are who we are and it's not so important if a sign is spelled correctly or not.
Unfortunately, not many people saw the misspelled sign. It was not because it is was not visible, because it surely was, but there was, and are, so few, too few if you ask me, who travel to Sikinos.
The beach in Alopronia.
When I first came to Sikinos, I had studied the island's contours from the neighbouring island of Ios for many years. There is a place on Ios from where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in all of the Cyclades. I sat there on numerous of occasions and watched the sun go down behind Sikinos. When the sun went down and the silhouette of Sikinos became increasingly dark, I thought of Mordor in Lord of the Rings.
Do not ask me why I thought of an evil place when I saw Sikinos from a distance. What I was faced with when I first went ashore at the port of Sikinos was so far from Mordor as one could get. There was no welcoming sign at that time, instead I was greeted by the islanders' warm welcoming smiles. And so it still is today, Sikinos is an incredibly welcoming island, and it is thanks to the hospitable unsophisticated people who lives on the island.
More people ought to discover this unspoiled little gem, considered not only by me, naturally the islanders like to see more tourists, there is not so much else to earn a living on. There is a little envy of Ios, not because the inhabitants of Sikinos wants to see their island turn into a large party tent a la Ios, but for sure there are some ogling at the closest neighbouring island. The inhabitants of Ios became rich already in the 1980s, and are now awash with money.
The development on Sikinos has been slow, and it is only in recent years things started to happen. The first time I was here there was neither gas station nor bank. Today there is an ATM, and you can even rent scooter - and refuel it. Despite some development, Sikinos is still the same charming rural island that I met the first time I took the courage to get off the ferry in the port.
Agios Georgios is one of few beaches in Sikinos.
A strong memory from then is when we late one night walked to the port from Kastro. We had eaten a good homemade Greek dinner and had some good local wine at a taverna, it was a warm evening and the tavernas in the alleys were full with happy guests. Around ten o'clock in the evening some men started to sing and play instruments we had never seen before, among others, it was one man that played on a goat stomach.
Some started to dance in the narrow alleys and the atmosphere was almost magical. Around midnight most people began to leave and it was also time for us to leave. The last bus to the port had already left so we had to walk down to the port. On the way down we thought of Ios, and what an incredible difference it is between the two islands: on Sikinos had almost everything closed for the evening, while the bars and discos on Ios had not even opened. What different worlds, and yet it is only a stone's throw between them.
The cozy village Kastro on Sikinos.
Why do so few people come here? Is it not the real Greece most of us are looking for? Well, at least I think so, but the majority of the tourists travel to islands that are well known and that are comfortable to travel to, like to Crete or Rhodes. On Sikinos there are no shops to shop in, no pools to swim in and no big hotels. Can you live without that, you will love Sikinos. If you also like to take it easy, take each day as it comes, to read books without being disturbed by humming cars and making simple hikes, then you have come to the right island.
Islands like Sikinos do not grow on trees, in the Cyclades there is only Kimolos that can be compared to Sikinos. And neither do so many people go to Kimolos. There is one more thing why not so many tourists visit the island, the beaches do not belong to the best. But the water is as lovely as, for example, around the beach paradise island of Naxos.
You can read more about Sikinos via the links at the end of this page. A short summary of the information comes here:
Getting here is easy. The easiest way is to go by air to Santorini and continue by ferry. You can also fly to Athens and continue by ferry from Piraeus. The bus runs between the port and Kastro. There are scooters for rent and there are boats to the beaches.
Sikinos can pride itself upon three small villages: Alopronia, Chorio and Kastro (see picture at the top of the page). Alopronia is the port of Sikinos. From Alopronia a small road winds its way up to Chorio and Kastro, two villages that are so close together that you barely notice any difference.
The few beaches are mediocre. The island's best beach is practically enough the one in the port. In the port, there are also a couple of bathing-places where you can swim off the rocks. Northeast of the port there are three beaches which is best reached by boat: Daliskari, Agios Georgios and Malta.
There are no spectacular sights to talk about. But what does it matter, then one have more time to do nothing, and perhaps that is the biggest attraction of the island. The main attractions of Sikinos are the temple of Episkopi and the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi.
The selection of hotels and pensions are not large, but usually there are no problem to find a place to stay. Most of the times, letter of rooms are waiting when the ferries dock at the port. Most of the tourists stays in the port because there are more accommodation there.