After last summer’s Greek adventure, I was looking forward to heading back to the Greek Islands all year! This year we headed to three islands in the Cyclades: Folegandros, Sifnos, and Serifos. Luckily, I had Anastasios (a Greek!) who more than knows his way around the Greek Isles! I was so excited to explore some other islands in the Aegean with him – sides of the Greek Islands I had never seen before! We got to experience the quaintness of Folegandros, the beauty of Sifnos, and the sunsets in Serifos!
Believe it or not, Mykonos and Santorini are not the only two Greek island destinations in the Aegean! The cluster of islands we visited was located in the Cyclades – probably the most popular and iconic of the Greek islands! I found a pretty helpful map that lays out all the Greek Islands and their groupings – I inserted it below!
The food was incredible throughout this trip, it was top-notch! While Greek food can have its decadent offerings (fried feta with honey – my Achilles heel) most of the cuisine is simple and fresh ingredients. After nearly two and a half weeks in Greece, I still didn’t get tired of the fresh Greek Salads and amazing mezze dips! To get to all of these islands in the Cyclades, you can book a ferry from Athens, then from island to Island! We took a total of 6 ferries on our trip and it was definitely the easiest way to travel — for sure. They are all quite punctual and have snacks or drinks on board! Transportation, once you get to each of the islands, differs. I’d recommend renting a car in Folegandros, Sifnos & Serifos. While these are smaller islands, it’s still helpful to reach most of the beaches and navigate the islands by car! You can look into renting a car in Athens and taking it via ferry to the islands, but we found it was most cost-effective to just rent a car on each island!
About a 3-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from Athens, and a 4-hour ferry ride to/from Serifos or Sifnos.
This island might of been my favorite of the trip! Folegandros is a quaint and quiet island that’s littered with hidden gems, wonderful food, and beautiful beaches! Its dramatic cliffs meet the Aegean Sea, providing a stunning backdrop. Chora, the island’s main town, is a charming labyrinth of white-washed buildings and narrow streets, giving you an authentic Greek island experience! Folegandros is perfect if you’re seeking a slower pace, with opportunities to enjoy local cuisine at tavernas and discover secluded coves accessible by foot or boat. Most of the beaches do require a 5-10 minute hike or a boat ride to reach. We rented our car from EVO Car Rental Folegandros!
If you’re only in Folegandros for a few days, I’d definitely grab lunch a Papagali Folegandros and dinner at Ktima Paliomilos Winery, Eva’s Garden, or To Barbounaki! And for late-night, be sure to grab a drink at BaRaki!
- *Papalagi Folegandros – This was our favorite lunch on the island! With Greek staples, fresh seafood, and an incredible view of Nikolaos Beach below, you’ll love this gem of a spot! To reach it, you can take a water taxi to/from Agkali Beach (every 30 minutes) for 5€/ or take a scenic hike that’s about a 15-minute walk!
- Sinadisi – This small taverna has been family-owned and operating since 1920!
- *Ktima Paliomilos Winery – This was by far my favorite dinner on the island! The ambiance of the winery & restaurant was so laid-back and charming and transports you to a small winery in Tuscany! The food, wine, and the service were all incredible. We went one night for dinner, then came back the next night for a glass of wine at sunset. I ended up leaving with a bottle as well! It’s a 3-minute walk away from the main Chora parking lot.
- Irini – This taverna was temporarily closed while we were on the island, but came highly recommended!
- Spitiko – Classic Greek comfort food at this spot tucked beneath the trees!
- *Eva’s Garden – This quaint restaurant is tucked away from the main square in the Chora and has a beautiful garden patio. Be sure to get the chicken roll – it was one of my favorite things we ate on the island!
- Pounta – Great for a quick & casual coffee/breakfast in the Chora!
- Mimi’s – A cute and welcoming Greek taverna located outside of the Chora!
- Tuk Tuk Thai Spirit House – If you want a break from Greek & Mediterranean fare, this festive Thai restaurant hits the spot!
- *To Barbounaki– This cute, chic seafood spot is a great dinner destination!
- Souvlaki Club – A very solid souvlaki shop, great for a quick lunch!
- *Taverna Agios Nikolaos – With tables and chairs in the sand, the tavern at Nikolaos Beach is perfectly casual. They had great sardines, taramasalata, and dakos salad! You can take a water taxi to/from Agkali Beach (every 30 minutes) for 5€/ or take a scenic hike that’s about a 15-minute walk!
- Griglia – Very casual late-night souvlaki spot — the best-rated on the island!
- Chrisospilia Honey Coffee & Shop – This is a great little spot for coffee and baked goods outside of Chora! If you’re heading to any beaches to the north, it’s worth a stop at!
- Prickly Pear – If you’re craving something sweet after dinner, head to this local sweet shop for some late-night crepes!
- Under the Palm Tree – Delicious breakfast/brunch option if you’re going to the beaches past Chora!
- Parasagas – Café featuring coffee, smoothies, and cocktails!
- *Beez Cocktail Bar – Lively cocktail bar!
- Kafe Kastro – Serving up coffee by day, and drinks at night!
- *BaRaki – Meaning “little bar,” this was my favorite bar on the island! We stopped by here nearly every night! They have a really great DJ playing chill house music and the vibe is fantastic!
- Walk up the hill to the Church of Panagia (‘Virgin Mary’) – It’s about a 20-minute walk up to the church. The views at sunset are incredible, breathtaking, and quite romantic! It’s so worth doing one night while you’re there!
- Take an evening stroll through Chora
- Go snorkeling at Katergo Beach
- Take a Scuba Diving lesson
- *Anemi (Karavostasi) – One of the nicer properties on the island, located in the port. They have a great pool!
- *Vrahos Boutique Hotel (Karavostasi) – This is where we stayed and loved it so much! The hotel was so cute, clean and picturesque! We really loved the staff – they were so sweet and helpful! It’s located in the port, so was just a quick 5 minutes drive to the Chora.
- Blue Sand Boutique (Agali) – Built on a rocky hillside, Blue Sand Hotel in Folegandros is just 50 feet from Agali Beach. Featuring the traditional Cycladic architecture, it offers units with Aegean Sea view
- Onar Suites (Karavostasi) – A seaside complex consisting of three idyllic suites and one private villa perched on the rocks, with elegant Cycladic architectural style and a unique view of the sea.
A ferry ride from Athens to Serifos is about 3 hours. It’s a 30-minute ferry to/from Sifnos and about 4 hours from Folegandros.
Serifos is a remote destination, yet to be discovered by mass visitors, so it is perfect for laid-back vacations in Greece, away from the hustle and bustle! Both Chora, the capital town, and the island’s villages have been built according to the traditional Cycladic architecture, so expect to see whitewashed houses, painted streets, and traditional windmills galore! Chora, in particular, is considered one of the most picturesque capitals in the Cyclades! Perched on the slopes of a hill, the beautiful town has a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea, which makes it a wonderful spot for sunset gazing!
If you’re only in Serifos for a few days, you’ve got to have dinner at Seriani, Rizes, Kalis, and Aloni! And be sure to party at Yacht Club Serifos for late-night! Most everything is situated in the island’s Chora, but I’ve noted if it’s located in Port Livadia or elsewhere! Also, we rented our car from RentMe Serifos!
- *Rizes – The restaurant at this boutique hotel is situated by the pool with incredible views! The food features Greek staples with a modern twist and is a bit more elevated!
- Marathoriza – Serving up local dishes and Greek staples, this is a solid spot for dinner.
- *Seriani – This was one of my favorite meals on the island, and possibly the trip! It’s the cutest spot in Serifos’ Chora! The octopus and Greek salad were fabulous and the Spanikopita salad was mind-blowing – I was talking about it days after we ate there!
- Nikolas Beach Tavern – Great casual tavern for lunch at Nikolas Beach
- *Aloni – Perched right below the Chora, this restaurant boasts some of the best views on the island! A great spot for sunset!
- *Kalis Seafood Restaurant (Port Livadia) – This was one of the better seafood restaurants we at at during the trip! It was casual and cute and we ate right along the water in the part! We got the calamari and an incredible seafood pasta! Great for dinner or lunch!
- Plakes – This casual Greek spot has a great view, situated up in the Chora!
- Porto Vecchio (Port Livadia) – If you’re looking for something other than Greek, this Italian spot is serving-up some pastas and Mediterranean seafood classics!
- Chill & Co. (Port Livadia) – The cafe at this hotel is a modern restaurant and cocktail bar, too! Serving up brunch items like avocado toast and smoothie bowls as well as festive cocktails!
- Stou Stratou – An iconic Greek cafe serving up traditional coffee + and breakfast by day and raki by night!
- Tootsie (Port Livadia) – This classic souvlaki spot is great for a casual lunch or picking up souvlaki on the go!
- Yacht Club Serifos (Port Lividi) – This seemingly chill bar in the port turns into a fun after party after 2 a.m. with dancing until 4 a.m.!
- Barbarosa – This Greek staple is always a fun time! This restaurant turns up after midnight!
- Gaidaros – This very fun cocktail bar is situated in the walkway of the Chora- with everyone sitting out enjoying their drinks for a great vibe!
- Thidira – Chill bar located in the Chora square
- Vatraxos – Situated at the base of Chora, this cocktail bar is a great place to enjoy a chill drink and people-watch at night!
- Sunset wine tasting at Chrysoloras Winery
- Rent a boat for a day!
- Hike the mining trails “Bridge to Nowhere”
- Take a ferry to visit Sifnos for the day – visit the island churches (120!)
- Catching the sunset at Kastro must!
- Psili Ammos – Rated the best beach in Europe! With fine sand, accessible by road, with gradual sea depth increase, and has a really good beachside taverna!
- Agios Sostis – Named after the church of Agios Sostis, which sits alongside, this sandy beach is accessible by road and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Serifos.
- Vagia – Accessible by road, soft sand and fairly popular
- Ganema – One of the larger beaches, accessible by road, white pebbles and sand, gradual sea depth increase
- Koutalas – Right next to Ganemas
- Lia – The island’s nudist beach!
- Kalo Livadi – about a 20-minute hike to the beach
- Maliadiko beach
- 100% Greek (Chora)
- Kerameio Studio – Beautiful ceramics shop
- Pende Suites – These boutique suits are luxurious and laid-back. Tucked right behind the Port Lividi, the 5-bedroom hotel is quaint and contemporary!
- Chill & Co. Serifos – A stylish, new hotel concept in the heart of Serifos’ Port Lividi. With panoramic sea views and a great location! They’ve got a modern cafe, restaurant, and cocktail bar at the base of this hotel!
- Rizes – One of the most beautiful hotels on the island! It overlooks the port and offers amazing views of the Chora and surrounding beaches. The design is minimalistic and respectful of the surroundings and the architecture of the Cycladic islands.
- Coco-Mat Eco Residences – Located in the lovely Vagia beach, Coco-Mat is comprised of 13 miner’s houses. Boasting views of the sea, this quiet
About a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Athens or a 30-minute ferry to/from Serifos.
Sifnos is one of the quieter, and yet somehow most enchanting islands in the Cyclades. Whitewashed villages sit atop the island’s spine, connected by rustic foot trails between them. Below the string of villages are olive terraces, almond trees, and ridges rich with herbs and wildflowers. And lying below that bays, harbors, and sparkly blue water!
- Cafe Mosaic – Located next to the Panagia Kochi church! Cute place with a variety of delicious tapas/mezzes. This is the place to go to share a meal with friends in a great atmosphere.
- To Chrysso
- Manoli – The food hasn’t changed much since the place opened decades ago. Herbs and vegetables still come directly from the owner’s garden and the day’s catch is pulled up by a fisherman a few feet from the tavern door.
- Omega 3 – Omega 3 is the best fish restaurant on Sifnos. They excel at small plates you can’t find everywhere else: like a citrusy sea bream ceviche, and the most decadent seafood risotto. Great for lunch – just make sure to make a reservation!
- Cheronissos Fish Tavern
- Rabagas – The place is lovely, with a large garden right in the center of Apollonia. Nice bar and the food choice is large + original and what we had was excellent!
- Theodorou’s Sweet Shop – This is the spot to pick up the most delectable Greek sweets like amygdalota, ground-almond treats in cookie form, supposedly shaped to mimic a Roman nose.
- See Artemonas, the pretty village known as the ‘Jewel of Sifnos’
- Explore Exambela village
- Visit Kostas Depastas – Traditional potters carry on the ancient traditions of Grecian pottery!
- Verina Astra/Suites/Villa – An exclusive complex of luxurious and stylish apartments and suites a few steps from the beach! They offer a few different villas and stay situations!
- Kamaroti – Kamarotí Suites Hotel is nestled on a natural olive grove overlooking the antique village of Kastro with the blue backdrop of the magnificent Aegean Sea.
- NOS hotel & Villa – Bright and spacious interiors open up to secluded courtyards, terraces & balconies for seamless indoor/outdoor living. Natural materials, earthy textures and hand-crafted details comprise a pared-toned aesthetic of refined simplicity!
Have you ventured to any Greek Islands yet? If you want to see more than Mykonos & Santorini, I’d highly recommend these beautiful smaller islands in the Cyclades like Folegandrso, Serifos and Sifnos! They each offer something totally different yet you’ll get the full Greet experience at each island in their own little way. I definitely can’t wait to return to Greece and explore a few more islands – if you have any favorites, let me know!