Hiking Cyclades Islands: Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos

Are you thinking of hiking the Cyclades islands on your next trip to Greece? Maybe you are wondering what is the best Greek Island for hiking and if you can combine it with some sightseeing. If yes, then you will find this post very useful especially if you are thinking about walking the Cyclades Islands.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Tinos single hiker.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Hiking Tinos Donkey Trail

The Cyclades is the most popular island group and hiking the Cyclades islands is one of the best things to do besides enjoying the beaches or the bustling nightlife like Mykonos and Ios. One unique characteristic of hiking Cyclades islands is the ancient donkey trails that invite you to explore them.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, A hiker on Tinos island trails in Greece.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Tinos trails

In this post, you will find information on hiking Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, and Tinos islands and why hiking is one of the best ways to explore the Greek Islands.

*Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

My Latest Hiking Video

Parnitha is the largest mountain in Athens with hundreds of trails for all levels and landscapes. From rugged terrain to deeply fir and pine forests, caves, and streams, with amazing views of Athens, the Aegean Sea, and Marathon Lake, depending on which area of the mountain you are hiking!

Hiking Cyclades islands

Serifos: The Mining Island

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Overview of Serifos island chora.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
View from Agios Konstantinos

Serifos island has retained its original charm and laid-back rhythm of life, ideal for hiking Cyclades island, relaxation, and a more authentic Greek lifestyle.

Serifos’ history is linked to its old ore mines since ancient times. Today, the mines are closed as the ore was gradually exhausted but objects from the glorious mining past of Serifos are visible between the southeast villages of Megalo Livadi and Koutalas, fantastic areas for hiking and exploring.

What is hiking in Serifos like?

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Serifos hiking signs.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Serifos hiking signs. Photo by Paths of Greece

Serifos is a typical mountainous, dry Cycladic island, defined by old stone paths crisscrossing villages and bare hillsides, with the highest peak being Troulos at 585m. Other mountains are Petrias, Trachilos, and Varda with an altitude of 553m, 519m, and 432m respectively.

The island has 80 km of both signed and non-signed trails, mostly easy hikes that end up at an inviting beach. Serifos, besides the amazing mining sites, has also abandoned mountain villages that can be hiked through and that offer wonderful sea views.

Open-air Mining Museum

As expected, a very popular and unmarked hike on Serifos is the mining trails. Starting from Megalo Livadi, the magnificent seaside trail passes through crumbling bridges, neoclassic ruins, and caves (don’t go inside the caves without a local guide, the caves have no exit marks and you can easily get lost).

If you love hiking in mining areas you may also enjoy Lavrion Port Hiking in Athens.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, hiker on Serifos Trail.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Throne of Cyclops Serifos credit – Think of Serifos

If you are hiking in the area, you should visit the Throne of Cyclops or Psaropyrgos, a rectangular slate building offering endless Serifos sea views.

Where Best to Stay in Serifos

Alexandros Resort Serifos: An exceptional, beachfront hotel!

Sifnos Island: The Authentic

Hiking Cyclades Islands, remote beautiful chapel by the sea in Sifnos island.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Sifnos remote chapel

If you are hiking Cyclades islands but you are not including Sifnos with its whitewashed houses and some of the oldest donkey trails in the Cyclades, is a shame. Sifnos is on the quiet side of the lifestyle with many beautiful villages and sites to visit.

What is hiking in Sifnos like?

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Sifnos island overview.  Hiking Cyclades islands.

Sifnos has 4 mountains, with the peak being Prophitis Elias at 682 m. Sifnos’ terrain is mainly granite rock formations, sandstone, limestone, and mineral deposits, including iron ore, copper, lead, manganese, galena, and magnesium.

The island has more than 100km of professionally designed and signposted trails, one of the largest trail networks of the Aegean. Generally speaking, they are easy trails, with few exceptions, perfect to enjoy the beautiful nature of Sifnos.

Where Best to Stay in Sifnos: Margado

Sikinos: The Little Gem of an Island

Evgenia smiling in Sikinos island.  Hiking Cyclades islands.
Sikinos Island

I first visited Sikinos island in the summer of 2009 and I was immediately fascinated by the small port and the nearby sandy beach of Alopronia, where people were swimming blissfully in the apparently crystal clear waters.

As soon as we had settled in the nearby rooms with a sea view, we went for a meal in one of the Alorponia taverns where I had probably the best and most tasteful Greek salad of my life.

Besides, the best Greek Salad ever, Sikinos is beautiful, low-key, very quiet, authentic, and far from mass tourism small Cycladic island.

Where best to stay in Sikinos: Sikinos Elegant Studio 

What is hiking in Sikinos like?

Sikinos Chora

Sikinos island has 3 main low mountains: Troulos (553m.), Agios Mamas (549m.), and Agia Marina (450 m) offer generous views of the Aegean Sea.

The island has a great ancient network of trails which is very well preserved and offers the opportunity to get to all of the far-off places and remote valleys of the island.

A green cliff beside the sea.
Sikinos terrain

The Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage has signposted and mapped 7 great trails, the longer one is a circular one from Chora at 14,7 km. Sikinos is one of the best Cyclades Islands for hiking.

Syros: The Classy Island

A seaside chapel called Agios Stefanos in the rocks in Syros Island.
Agios Stefanos chapel in Syros island

Syros is the regional capital of the Cyclades and the most aristocratic island of the Cyclades.

Its capital town, Ermoupolis, is a lively town full of impressive neoclassic buildings with a cosmopolitan ambiance. Syros Island used to be the biggest Greek port in the 19th century and had a significant industrial bloom in the same period. The island presents a typical Cycladic barren and rugged landscape and that makes it ideal for hiking Cyclades Islands.

What is hiking in Syros like?

Rugged mountain in Syros Island taken from a drone.
Syros’ rugged mountain terrain

Syros has low mountains and low vegetation in general with its highest peak being Pyrgos, at 442 meters. From the hillsides of Ano Syros, the neighboring islands of Tinos, Mykonos, and Delos can be seen.

The mountain Syringa belongs to the NATURA 2000 Network of Protected Areas with migratory birds and many other species like hares and reptiles. However, the most common animal you will see everywhere is the happy roaming goat!

The geography of the island also features a great number of capes and bays of unspoiled beauty with rocky islets all around Syros.

Many hikers in the north of Syros.
Hiking in the north of Syros – Syrostoday.gr

The best part of Syros island for hiking can be the northern side of it, as it is less developed, thus more wild and sparsely populated. The ground consists of rare metamorphic rocks among which are the eclogites, rounded dark rocks. Syros features 10 signposted trails marked by the local authorities as trails of high cultural interest and several more unmarked and equally beautiful to explore.

A beach in Ano Syros.
Remote beaches in Ano Syros

There are also alternative routes passing by rural landscapes with vineyards and low stone walls, the most demanding to be the trail to the gorge of Schizomenes.

The routes leading out of Kampos in the north take you to the remote mountainside and secluded beaches (Lia, Marmari, Amerikanou). Another great hiking trail takes you from the village of Richopo, past the Cave of Ferekidis, and on to Plati Vouni village.

The two archaeological sites Halandriani & Kastri are linked with a long and rough path that is worth the while as it leads into the depths of history.

Related Post: 14 Best Things to Do on Syros Island

Tinos Island: The Blessed

A hiker on a cliff beside the sea.
Tinos Trails

After the discovery of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary on January 30th, 1823 at the site of an ancient Byzantine Church and the temple of Dionysos, Tinos has grown into one of the most important religious pilgrimage places for the Orthodox Greeks.

Where Best to Stay in Tinos: White Tinos Luxury Suites.

Tinos island village main square with a tavern and a planetree.
Tinos village

Tinos Island is famous for its authentic, picturesque, and mostly mountainous preserved villages, forgotten by time, beautiful to stroll or drive through them, or even better hike through them!

What is Hiking in Tinos like?

A woman hiking a trail with sea view on Tinos island.
Hiking Tinos Island

Being a mountainous, barren, highly artistic, and traditional island, Tinos is an amazing Greek island for hiking. The highest peak can be found on Tsiknias Mt(726m) and the second-highest is the rock of Exomvourgo (641m) where the capital of the island once laid.

You need to stay at least a week on Tinos Island to walk a good number of the extensive and incredible network of 300 km trails, 150 of which are signposted and cleared.

Exomvourgo Castle in Tinos rocky mountain.
Exomvourgo Castle

The wonderful trails, like most Greek island trails, are circular or follow the coast, taking you past dams, remote beaches, archaeological sites, monasteries, caves, and towers.

On the more challenging M2 and M2A trails, you will pass by the quaint village of Volakas, where there is a strange geological formation, the Boulders of Volakas, a hike that you should not miss on Tinos Island.

Related article: Greek Orthodox Easter on Tinos Island

How Best to Hike Greece

Evgenia hiking in a stream and some other hikers.
Me in a hike somewhere nice and cool

During the summer, I hear about hiking accidents, sometimes fatal, that happen to hikers from all over the world. The usual cause is extreme heatstroke as people from colder climates are not familiar with Greek summer temperatures, and barren Cycladic landscapes and can suffer from that.

That’s why I have created this post that addresses potential hiking dangers in Greece, potential dangers, and how best to deal with them. The majority of them are from my own experience as I love hiking and I hike at least once a week.

Sailing and Hiking Kea, Kythnos, Syros, Serifos Islands

Sail to the most unknown corners of the stunning Cyclades Islands such as Kea, Kythnos, Syros, and Serifos. Walk in the footsteps of the ancients along beautiful trails and visit integral sites from the canon of Greek Mythology.

Check out availability and prices on the GetYourGuide website.

How to Get to Athens Port (Piraeus) from Athens Airport

Bus X96 Peiraias Port to Athens Airport
Airport Bus
  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars for reliable, new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Are you looking for domestic flights in Greece? Check out the official Aegean Airlines Website.

Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece

About the author
Evgenia Mataragka
Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

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