Top Things to See and Do in Serifos, Greece

The distinctive white cubed homes of Serifos are a symbol of Cycladic identity for many
The distinctive white cubed homes of Serifos are a symbol of Cycladic identity for many | © Rudi Sebastian / robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Rebecca Speare-Cole

The western Cyclades island of Serifos, in Greece, has an intensely raw beauty. Rugged mountains plunge into cerulean bays and flat-roofed houses cascade down a rocky hill in the capital of Hora, where visitors can explore boutiques on narrow cobbled streets. Outside town, the remnants of old mines, deserted beaches, ancient ruins and winding trekking trails are among the best things to see and do in Serifos.

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Visit the Monastery of Taxiarches

The Monastery of Taxiarches, close to Galani village in the north of Serifos, is a marbled treasure trove of historical artefacts, murals and ancient manuscripts. Spend an afternoon drifting through this whitewashed complex, built in 1572, where you’ll discover precious works of art, rare books and gilded objects. From its hilltop location, you’ll have a great vantage point of the Aegean, best admired from the shaded, quiet courtyard.

Lounge about at Platis Gialos Beach

Platis Gialos beach, Serifos Island, Cyclades, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe

Platis Gialos is made up of two small sandy bays on the northern coast of Serifos. This wild, remote strand of shoreline is empty of cluttered sunbeds, umbrellas and crowds of tourists. Instead, expect to bask all day in the shade of tamarisk trees listening to the quiet lapping of waves. As the sun sets, wash down some sizzling octopus and fresh feta cheese with a cold beer at the nearby rustic taverna, Nikoúlias.

Buy local produce at Bakalliston

On the hunt for souvenirs? This tiny store, down a narrow alley in Hora, sources a variety of products from all over Greece. Think wicker baskets full of herbs, traditional sweets, nuts and organic produce; you’ll be met by spicy aromas and shelves packed with jars of honey and Greek wines. Spend time talking to the hospitable owners about the different delicacies – leave plenty of space in your suitcase to bring a bit of Greece home.

See ancient ruins in Hora

Greece, Cyclades Islands, Serifos island, Hora the capital city, Agios Constantinos church

Serifos’ main town Hora winds up to the summit of a rocky mountain on the southeastern coast. Impressive ancient ruins are scattered among the shops, museums and restaurants, offering visitors a glimpse into the town’s long history. Spend an afternoon exploring the remnants of the Castle of the Old Woman – a 15th-century Venetian fortress, which stands on the site of an ancient acropolis. Here, you can climb onto the old walls and foundations to enjoy sweeping views of the sea and Sifnos.

Dive from Kalogeros Beach

Always wanted to explore an underwater shipwreck? If you’re an advanced diver, plunge into the depths of the Aegean Sea from Kalogeros Beach and discover a Spanish cargo steamship on the seabed. You’ll drift around the barnacled metal hull that’s been there since 1943, watching fish flit in and out of hatches. Elsewhere, Serifos Scuba Divers, based on the Livadi seafront, offers excursions to the colourful reefs just outside the harbour.

Visit the island’s first winery (Chrysoloras)

After visiting the nearby Monastery of Taxiarches, toast to your trip at this small hilltop winery built above a vineyard owned by local Chrisos Chrysoloras. This contemporary winery, which opened in 2015, is the island’s first and only winery. Settle into the tasting bar and listen closely to the experts so you can impress your friends back home; you’ll find out how the organic white and rose wines are made with local grape varieties called Serifiotiko, Mandilaria, Monemvasia and Assyrtiko as you sample your fair share.

Explore the Old Mines

Old bridge in the area of Megalo Livadi. Serifos island, Greece

The remains of an old mining rig, wayward wagons and rusted railway lines can be seen across the bay from the southwestern Serifos village of Megalo Livadi. Besides the Wild West allure of the area, the deserted mines have a long and fascinating history that dates back to antiquity. Spend an afternoon exploring the old site, before visiting the Metal Workers Monument in the village, which honours the miners who died fighting to secure better conditions in the early 20th-century.

Stroll around the Piazza Square

The main square (“Piazza”) in the Hora (the “capital”) of Serifos island . Cyclades, Greece

As the searing Greek sun begins to fall towards the horizon, stroll through the charming Piazza Square in the heart of Hora. This cosy cobbled square is full of diners chatting, eating and drinking on the outdoor tables of several small ouzeries and tavernas. Pick a place to tuck into some taramasalata and local wine, as you admire views of the 17th-century church of Agios Athanasios across from the picturesque town hall.

Learn about myth at the Folklore Museum

Housed in a classic white-washed mansion, opposite the Agios Antonios church in Hora, this museum takes visitors on a journey through the island’s history. Exploring the rooms feels like walking through a traditional Serifian home filled with ceramics, antique furniture, farmer’s tools, costumes, embroideries and everyday objects. One room even showcases a collection of gemstones and rocks that have been mined on the island throughout the ages. Admission is free, but hours are restricted to the evenings on weekdays.

Make pottery at the Kerameio Ceramic Studio

Spend a wholesome afternoon at the Kerameio Ceramic Studio in the centre of Hora. Potter Natasa Kalogeropoulou, who works in the studio, uses raw materials and draws inspiration from the island’s natural environment. She also runs workshops in the summer, so visitors can play around with clay and master the basics of pottery. Before getting your hands dirty, buy some souvenirs from the shop and admire the beautiful masterpieces on display.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Serifos? Book one of the best hotels on the island now through Culture Trip. Discover more of the Cyclades by taking a trip to one of the other nearby islands. Stay in one of the best hotels in Sifnos, and check out the top things to see and do whilst you’re there. After stopping off in Sifnos, go further and explore what nearby Folegandros has to offer before treating yourself to a well-deserved dinner at one of its top local restaurants.

This article is an update of one originally by Ethel Dilouambaka.

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