Off-season Greek Islands: Kythnos and Sifnos!
Article by CYA Spring ’22 student and MediaLab Intern Andrea Covey
One of the many things I’ve enjoyed about Greece is the ability to travel within the country to beautiful places! I’ve been to a few places outside of Athens so far (Syros and Nafplio being some of my favorite places to name a few!) Recently, we had four days off thanks to Clean Monday (a Greek national holiday) in which I island-hopped between Kythnos and Sifnos!
During the off-season, there isn’t much going on on the islands. While it means fewer restaurants and transportation availability, it also means getting a lot of space for yourself when you travel! I went with a friend and we spent one day port-side in Kythnos and three days on the opposite end of the island from the port in Sifnos in a place called Platis Gialos.
Kythnos was beautiful! Though there wasn’t much to see or do in the port town, it was a much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of Athens. I took a walk to the top of one of the hills and spent a lot of time cat-watching at a small church while my friend went off on a mountain hike. It was a very serene experience!
In the beginning in Sifnos we couldn’t get ahold of any of the ten taxi drivers on the island and the buses weren’t running on weekends! Things changed until my friend managed to rent a car, which proved a great idea. We were able to see so many things, and went on frequent drives just to take in the gorgeous scenery along the roads!
Two of the things I’d have to say are must-sees on Sifnos are the Church of The Seven Martyrs and the sunset! The Church of the Seven Martyrs is reachable by a winding pathway from the ancient town of Kastro (which also has an archaeological museum, but we couldn’t enter it). It’s a pretty, Cycladic style church, that sits on an islet at the very edge of Sifnos. It was once the entrance to Kastro!
I watched the sunset during our stay from the town of Apollonia, which is the main central town of Sifnos. We spent a lot of time there as during the off-season it’s the only place that has open grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants. The town itself is gorgeous though, so I wasn’t complaining! The sky was beautiful, and the clouds reminded me of cotton candy.
While there isn’t much to do on the islands during winter, I would say that it’s a great time to visit when you need alone time. Plus, if it was slightly warmer–or if you’re not afraid to dip your toes in cold water, you get the beaches and roads to yourself! I would highly recommend visiting Sifnos at least once when looking for a place to go when in Greece!
[Article written by CYA Spring ’22 student and MediaLab Intern, Andrea Covey]