Sikinos

Sikinos, a little pearl is slowly getting more visitors year after year, but it is still one of the most untouched island of the Cyclades. You come here for the peacefulness and to experience the laid-back lifestyle of the locals.

Because tourism hasn't reached Sikinos in any true sense yet, you'll find that the islanders speak only a few words of English, if any, but that they are very friendly and do their best to make you feel welcome.

The locals make their own wine, but because of the harsh nature and infertile ground, it has often suffered hunger and poverty.

History

:In ancient years, Sikinos was called Inos, meaning the island of wine. Archaeologists seem to have been able to identify a temple dedicated to Apollo from ancient times in Episkopi, but not much is known about it.

Mythology has it that the island changed name when king Thoas of Limnos was chased away by the women of Limnos, who had killed all the men. On Inos, he married a nymph, and their son was called Sikinos.

The Ionians settled on the island in the 10th century BC, and soon the Dorians arrived from the mainland.

Venetians ruled the Cyclades in the 13th to 16th century, and the Turks conquered Sikinos in 1566. The islanders fought bravely in the war of independence, and was liberated in the 19th century.

What to see

:The capital, Chora, is situated high up in the mountains. It really consists of two villages, an old and a new one. The old part is also called Chorio ("Village") and the new Kastro. Here, you'll find a small folklore museum and a quite impressive church from the 18th century.

When the island was invaded by Turks or pirates, the islanders, who all lived in Kastro, used to pour boiling oil on the enemy. You can still see where the oil came out just outside the wall.

Another sight is the nunnery Zoodochos Pigi (Life-giving Source) built in the 15th century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Make sure you are appropriately dressed though before you enter: long skirt and covered shoulders for women, long trousers for men.

Episkopi is also well worth a visit. No one knows for certain what the ancient ruins under the 7th century church were. The most common theory is that it was a temple dedicated to Apollo, and there is also an amphi-theatre here (I wonder why Dionysus hasn't been mentioned yet: he was the patron god of both wine and the theatre!).

What to do

:The island is excellent for snorkelling and fishing. You can also go for long walks; bring your camera, the scenery is fantastic.

Beaches

:There are no sandy beaches here: you'll find very good cliffs to jump in from though - AND get out. There is a boat that will take you to the Ag Georgios beach.

Nightlife

:This is not a party island, but you can enjoy late nights in the taverns of Chora or in the harbour. If you are lucky, the locals will start singing and playing traditional songs. There are a few bars on the island as well.

Food

The food on the island consists of very good, traditional Greek dishes. You'll find some taverns in Chora, and some in the harbour Aloprina.

Shopping

:Chora has a couple of shops, but they are small and the choice is limited.

Getting Around

: There is a local bus connecting Chora with the harbour. You can not rent a vehicle, but a boat can take you to the Ag Georgios beach.

Getting there

The best way to get here is to fly to Santorini and then take the ferryboat. Sikinos is also connected with Athens Piraeus, Naxos and Mykonos. It is a good idea to leave the island at least a day before departure since the boats are cancelled if it gets too windy, leaving you stranded here.

Facts about Sikinos

Size: 40 sq. km
Population: about 300
Airport:: No
Cashmachine: No
Internet cafe: No
Highest Mountain:
Price rate: Average
International code: 0030
Local code: 22860
Doctor:
Police:
Port Police: 51222
Tourist Police:
Bus company:
Coast guard:
Post office

sikinos map