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

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Hiking Cyclades Islands, Evgenia hiking Sifnos
Me hiking Sifnos Island

Are you thinking of hiking 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 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
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.

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Hiking Cyclades islands

Serifos: the Mining Island

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Overview of Serifos island chora
Serifos 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
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 small 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 to an inviting beach. Serifos, besides the amazing mining sites, has also abandoned mountain villages that can be hiked through and which offer wonderful sea views.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, open-air museum on Serifos
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).

Hiking Cyclades Islands, hiker on Serifos Trail
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 budget hotel! Check availability and prices on Booking.

Sifnos Island: the Authentic

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

Hiking Cyclades islands and not including Sifnos with its whitewashed houses and some of the oldest donkey trails in the Cyclades is really a pity. Sifnos is on the quiet side of lifestyle with many beautiful villages and sites to visit.

What is hiking in Sifnos like?

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Sifnos island overview
Sifnos seaside village

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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, rugged mountains hiking trails in Sifnos island
Sifnos landscape

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
Me in 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.

Greek Island hiking , Best Things to Do on Sikinos Island, hotel
Alopronia beach

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 a beautiful, low-key, very quiet, authentic, far from mass tourism small Cycladic island.

Where best to stay in Sikinos: Sikinos Elegant Studio 

What is hiking in Sikinos like?

Sikinos Chora with old windmill
Sikinos Chora

Sikinos island has 3 main low mountains: Troulos (553m.), Agios Mamas (549m.), and Agia Marina (450 m) offering 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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Best Things to Do on Sikinos Island, Agriolothies
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

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros remote seaside chapel
Agios Stefanos chapel in Syros island

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

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros Ermoupolis main town
Ermoupolis in Syros

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?

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros gurgged terrain
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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Beach Varvarousa Syros
Varvarousa area in Syros

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 goats!

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

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros hiking group
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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros landscape
Syros landscapes

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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Syros ano meria hiking
Remote beaches in Ano Syros

The two archaeological sites Halandriani & Kastri are linked with a long and rough path that is definitely 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

Hiking Cyclades Islands, hiker pproaching a lighthouse on tinos island Greece
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

Hiking Cyclades Islands, 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?

Hiking Cyclades Islands, 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 in Tinos island to walk a good number of the extensive and incredible network of the 300 km trails, 150 of which are signposted and cleared.

Hiking Cyclades Islands , 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.

Hiking Cyclades Islands, Boulders in Volakas village in Tinos island Greece
Boulders in Volakas village

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 definitely not miss on Tinos island.

Related article: Greek Orthodox Easter 2022 on Tinos Island

How Best to Hike Greece

evgenia hiking in a stream
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, barren Cycladic landscapes and can suffer from that.

That’s why I have created this post that addresses hiking/traveling 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. The post about hiking safety in Greece can be found here.

Sailing and Hiking Kea, Kythnos, Syros, Serifos Islands

Greek Island hiking, yachting around islands
Sailing the Greek 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.

COVID-19 Info for Traveling to Greece

If you are wondering what the rules are about COVID-19 before you enter Greece please visit the following official links:

1. Ministry of Tourism: https://greecehealthfirst.gr/ – This one probably has all the questions and replies you may need.

2. Acropolis Museum Regulations (typical sample of regulations for entering closed facilities): https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/health-protection-measures-acropolis-museum

3. You may be interested in purchasing a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card Holder (Specifically designed for CDC Vaccination Record Cards) – Not required to travel to Greece. It is just handy to show to authorities.

You are still not sure? Send me a message on my Facebook group.

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If you need local help with organizing your visit, please leave a comment below or join my informative and entertaining group on Facebook. Thanks!
Evgenia
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