One of the more northerly islands in the Cyclades, a short ferry from Athens, Serifos is popular with mainland Greeks for short breaks and weekends away. They spend them in the postcard-perfect whitewashed main village of Chora, or swimming in the neon-turquoise waters off sandy beaches such as Ganema or Agios Sostis. Hikes to crumbling monasteries and along craggy coastlines add a bit of action but, in general, this is a pulse-slowing pace of life.
With scented pines in place of glam parasols, and ochre cliffs rising either side, Livadakia Beach is a real looker. And bohemian beauty Alexandros Resort is looking right at it, with terraces and communal areas leading right onto the sands. Slightly old-fashioned, rustically styled white rooms keep things cool and calm, while the more deluxe apartments up their game with large sliding windows and sea-view balconies. You’re a short walk, or even shorter drive, to Serifos port, for ferries.
This chic, simple guest house sits in the hills high above Karavi Beach, lighting up pink and peach with the sunrise. With elegant monochrome furnishings, stylish concrete bathrooms, blue-painted window frames and well-equipped kitchenettes, you can self cater with a fabulous sea view. Walk down to the wild, unspoiled beach below for a dip in jewel-bright waters; or walk the half hour to the island’s main port, with its handful of quaint tavernas and bars, for a laid-back, ouzo-laced evening.
Athens-based luxury mattress brand Coco-Mat owns a handful of high-end boutique hotels in Greece’s capital, as well as this one on Serifos’s secluded Vagia Beach. As well as its namesake cloudlike mattresses, made from natural materials including seaweed and coconut fibre, these chic eco-residences use chunks of slate, exposed rock and bamboo matting for an all-natural look. A glam breakfast is served each morning before you take to the shingly, pebble beach to top up your tan and continue your holiday reading.
This chic, youthful boutique hotel, with its cascading plants and minimalist decor, wouldn’t look out of place in Hackney or Brooklyn – but it’s right near the ferry drop-off of sleepy Serifos’s port. Clearly geared to young and solo island-hoppers, its clean-lined rooms have black-framed furniture and Japanese-inspired terracotta tea sets. One penthouse, the loft, has its own spacious terrace. A well-stocked cocktail bar serves smoothies and avocado toast, while hip, herbal toiletries and neon-handwriting art complete the hipster checklist.
This two-bedroom rental sits amid greenery, slightly back from Serifos harbour, and its balconies are your Royal Circle seats to the island’s sunsets. Stripes, prints, colour-pop furniture and ornate tiling all offset the whitewashed walls, for a simple but super-stylish effect (lounge on two mattress-style sunbeds out on the terrace). It’s a short walk to mini-markets and the local town square, but its height above the shimmering sea gives a feeling of hushed remoteness.
This apartment complex is right beside sandy, pine-speckled Livadakia Beach. Its basic-but-elegant rooms have blue and white fabrics, dark-wood furniture and relax-into balconies, looking out over gardens, Cycladic houses and the Aegean Sea beyond. Hand-painted room signs, candle lanterns and a taverna-style patio bring a quaintness to its communal areas. It’s not cutting-edge, but it does feel comfy and traditional, with smiley staff to give you tips on beaches and excursions beyond the neighbourhood.
Cushioned balcony seats overlook bougainvillea, then pretty pines, then sand and sea at this petite hotel in southeastern Livadi, with its broad, shingly, nature-wrapped beach. A snack bar and sun loungers spill out onto the sands below. While it’s not going to win any interior-design awards, proximity to the sea and beautiful nature is everything on rambling Serifos and, in that respect, Asteri delivers. Sit out on the sultry terrace after dark for nightcaps soundtracked by the waves.
On the opposite side of the port from where the ferries arrive into Serifos, Studios Niovi has a delightful terrace of deckchairs looking out over the Med. Inside are neat, if slightly old-fashioned, blue and white rooms with cooling tiled floors. It’s a relatively simple stay, but friendly staff have great recommendations that’ll make your holiday. The views here are of the harbour – idle away hours watching the boats come and go – but the glowing shallows of beautiful, sandy Psili Ammos beach are only a 10-minute drive (or a 30-minute hike) away.
If Serifos is your base, make sure to check out the top things to see and do. If island hopping is more your thing, you’ll be in paradise in the Cyclades. Stay for a couple nights on nearby Folegadros at one of the best hotels on the island, before experiencing the nightlife at the many great bars facing the sea. For some upmarket splendour, choose Santorini instead and book a room at one of the luxury hotels on the island to explore the best things to see and do in Santorini. Best of all, you can book your hotel with Culture Trip.
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