Serifos Greece is an unspoiled, beautiful, and authentic Greek island, relatively close to Athens. If you like the rugged mountainous terrain and shapely hills surrounded by blue-green waters, then Serifos will definitely tick all the boxes.
What makes Serifos irresistible, is that it is confined mostly to its picturesque main town, Chora, whereas the rest of the island remains wild and raw.
But with 72 pristine beaches to discover and enjoy their crystal clear waters you will never get enough of this island.
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Top Things to Do in Serifos Greece
Here I cover my favorite things to do in Serifos Greece so you can choose the best places to explore and visit. Whether you are interested more in outdoor activities or exploring its mining history or for a more local vibe by checking out Chora, the laid-back atmosphere of the island does not disappoint.
Planning Your Trip To Serifos Now?
Below are some of the top tours in Serifos. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting the Cyclades in the summer!
Top Activities and Tours in Serifos:
As Serifos Greece is close to Athens, a lot of Athenians visit the island for a weekend break. However, if this is your first time on Serifos, I suggest you stay at least 4 days to fully enjoy and discover this beautiful island.
If you are staying for a very short time, Livadi, Serifos’ port is perfect and has it all. Great taverns and cafes, shops even a fantastic sandy beach 500 meters far from the port.
1. Main Town and Castle
Chora, the capital town of Serifos Greece, is one of the most picturesque main towns of the Cyclades. Built at 200 meters high, is divided into the lower part (Kato Chora) and the upper part (Ano Chora). Kato Chora is mainly residential and this is where most of the hotels are.
As you start the uphill to Ano Chora you will be enchanted as this part of the village is stunning! Tiny alleys lined with whitewashed, sugar-cubed houses lead to its main and very picturesque square, Pano Piatsa. At night, the square becomes one big party as the tables of the cafes and taverns get swarmed by people eager to drink ouzo, coffee, and other appetizers.
Walk past the traditional old windmills on your way to the 15th-century Venetian Castle of Serifos Greece perched on the rim of vertical rocks above Chora. A stairway from there gets you higher to the Venetian castle and the whitewashed chapels of Agia Varvara, the Savior, Agios Konstantinos, and Agios Ioannis.
Find a large stone to sit upon and admire the endless Cycladic vistas. The view from there is one of the best in the Cyclades.
Tip: Keep in mind that getting to the upper Chora is quite an uphill. Take water with you and a hat and avoid the very warm hours of the day.
Looking for a place to stay in Serifos? Check out the Ta Kabia Apartments.
2. Mines of Serifos Greece
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 mining past of Serifos Greece still remain on the ground.
The open-air mining museum is around the settlements of Koutalas and Megalo Livadi, around 11 km west of Chora. You will come across underground galleries, iron rails, iron bridges, wagons, and ruins of buildings.
Do not miss visiting the old, neglected neoclassic building that used to be the headquarters of the mining company. Next to the building, you will see e monument dedicated to the miners that were killed during a strike in 1916.
Info: Interested in more mining areas in Greece? Check out the Lavrio Port near Athens.
3. Psili Ammos Beach
8 km east of Chora and passing the dam bridge, you will get to the most popular beach on Serifos. It is a gorgeous beach with golden sand, warm waters, and many trees to use for their shade.
Your kids will love the shallow, turquoise waters and when you get hungry you can visit any of the nearby taverns. In the full season, parking your car may prove to be slightly challenging.
Tip: If parking is impossible, go to the nearby beautiful beach of Agios Ioannis!
4. Monastery of Taxiarchis
The Monastery of the Taxiarchis, located in the north, is the most important monastery in Serifos Greece. It was built in 1572 as a fortress to make any invasion from pirates as difficult as possible. The monastery is built in a high enclosure, it has only one entrance 4m high, battlements, and a staircase.
For information about the hours the monastery is open, please call 22810 51027.
5. Agios Sostis, Top Beach in Serifos Greece
A bit to the south of Psili Ammos beach you will get to my favorite double Serifos Greece beach, Agios Sostis. When you get close to the beach, you will find an entrance gate that you may want to drive through. I suggest you leave your car there and walk the short distance to the beach for two reasons:
- the dirt road might not be in great condition and you may encounter car problems
- if you walk and do not drive, you protect the natural environment by keeping it clear of human interventions
Agios Sostis is a gorgeous double golden sandy beach with tamarisk trees and the small island of Vous right across. On your left, stands the whitewashed chapel of Agios Sostis that celebrates on September 6th. Take your camera and climb to the chapel for stunning views of the area.
Tip: There is no beach bar so you better take some water/snacks with you.
6. Hike Ancient Trails
Hiking the old donkey and mining trails is one of the best things to do in Serifos. The island has 80 km of both signed and non-signed trails, mostly easy hikes crisscrossing villages and bare hillsides that end up at an inviting and beautiful beach.
The highest peak is Troulos at 585m and other mountains are Petrias, Trachilos, and Varda with an altitude of 553m, 519m, and 432m respectively.
An interesting hike is to go to the White Tower of Serifos, a circular marble building of the 4th century BC near Koutalas Bay. It was, just like the Cyclops’ Throne, a guarding spot for the protection of the mines and was used until the 7th century AD.
Nearby is the white chapel of Agios Charalampos. The builders of the chapel used extensive marble pieces from the ancient White Tower to build it, visible today. From the spots of the tower, you will enjoy endless vistas of the sea and the inland of Sertifos. Free entrance.
Here is a hiking map of the trails in Serifos.
7. Beach Sikamia
Sykamia is my favorite beach in Serifos Greece, shallow with both sand and small pebbles. It is away from the other beaches so it is always peaceful with tamarisk trees and a small tavern in case you would like to have lunch. It is the best beach if you want to laze around all day long.
What is especially worth the trip from the Chora by car (10 km far), is the spectacular views that you will have as you are reaching the beach. You can also hike there taking the trail of Panagia – Sykamia.
8. Cyclops Throne
The Throne of Cyclops is a spectacular location at the top of a hill near Kyklopas peninsula. The Throne of Cyclops is a square construction of huge boulders that really look like a seat.
Its main role was both to guard and protect the port of Megalo Livadi (where the ore would be transferred to other places) from enemy attacks.
Homer’s Odyssey mentions that Odysseus confronted the Cyclop Polyphemus at this location. More specifically, Cape Cyclops is the rock that the angry cyclops Polyphemus threw at Odysseus as he was leaving the island.
You can get there by driving up to a certain point and hiking for a short while. The panoramic view of Megalo Livadi and the open sea is really stunning, especially at sunset.
9. Chrysoloras Winery
In the north of Serifos, on a rugged mountainside facing the Aegean Sea, you will find the only winery in Serifos Greece, Chrysoloras. They produce high-quality wine, 100% organic using local indigenous varieties that will thrill even the most demanding wine taster.
It is remarkable the fact that cultivation is done manually at all stages of the work as the sloping terrain does not allow heavy machinery. The winery has a tasting room and a balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea, ideal for lovers of the Cycladic sunset.
They welcome visitors for tastings every evening from 6 to 9:30 pm but you need to make reservations either by mail or by phone at firstname.lastname@example.org and +30 6979 239 597.
10. Serifos Greece Local Cuisine
Serifos is an island that preserves its local customs and traditions, and you can taste that in its special seasoned with spices sausages. A Cycladic soup with a twist is their chickpea soups with raisins, fennel pies, and a long list of creamy sour cheeses.
If you have a sweet tooth, try the syrupy sweets made from aromatic sour cherry and the famous Serifos pasteli.
Where best to eat in Serifos? Wherever you go, you will be thrilled by the freshness and the tastefulness of their dishes, you just can’t go wrong!
Serifos Greece FAQ
Where to Stay in Serifos
Naias is a lovely, budget-friendly hotel conveniently located in Livadi Port, in a quiet spot. The spotlessly clean rooms have balconies with sea views.
Ta Kabia Apartments are brand new beautiful rooms in Serifos Chora in a whitewashed house with a garden and lovely views of the sea.
Pénde Natura Residences is a stunning house for eclectic and high-aesthetic vacations. Its terrace has one of the best sea views in Serifos.
How to Get to Serifos
There is no airport in Serifos. Instead, you can get to the island by taking the ferries from Piraeus, Athens’ main port. If you get the fast ones, you will get to the island in 2 hours and you will pay around €60. The slow ones will need 4 h and 15′ but they cost around €37-39.
Serifos is linked to many other islands such as Santorini, Paros, and Ios.
Cruising the nearby Islands
If you would like to easily hop to a few Greek islands then it would make sense if you visited Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, and Milos. They are directly connected and they are not far from each other.
Check out timetables and prices at Ferryscanner.
How to Get Around Serifos
The best way to explore the island is by renting a car which you can easily do so in Livadi Port or in Chora.
The island has three main asphalt roads. The first one leads from Livadi to Chora. After Chora the road branches off. One road leads to the northern and eastern parts of the island and the other to the southeastern part.
If you do not wish to rent a car, there are public buses from Livadi that go to all the main destinations of the island. You can always grab a taxi that is easily found in any of the settlements.
Is there any Nightlife in Serifos?
If you are expecting crazy, cosmopolitan, beach parties like Mykonos…you will be disappointed. Serifos does have a nightlife but it is rather a low-key one.
In the evenings, the liveliest place to be is Chora where the vibrant Gaidaros (donkey) Cocktail Bar attracts a lot of people, filling the steps and terraces.
In Livadi, I love Robinson Serifos a fantastic bar restaurant with mouth-watering dishes and cocktails.
When is Best to Go to Serifos?
The island is at its liveliest between May and September and in peak season from July to August, Serifos can get busy. The sea water is at its warmest (25-28 C) in August and September.
If you wonder how is Serifos off-season, you will definitely find hotels, cafes, and taverns working, but it will be very quiet with just the permanent residents.
Short History of Serifos
The first inhabitants seem to be Aeolians from Thessaly and later on Ionians from Athens around 3.000 BC. According to the findings around this time, the mining of iron and ore started in ancient Serifos.
The island flourished significantly in the 6th century BC thanks to the mines. During the Persian Wars, Serifos initially sided with the Persians but later sided with the Greek forces and then joined the First Athenian Alliance, accepting the hegemonic presence of Athens.
In 363 BC it was occupied by the Macedonians and later by the Ptolemies of the Kingdom of Egypt (306 BC) until its recapture by the Macedonians in 266 BC. In 146 BC Serifos was conquered by the Roman Empire and became a place of exile for Roman dissidents but was totally destroyed by the Romans in 88 BC.
During medieval times it became a Venetian land, and in 1566 the Ottomans conquered all the islands of the Cyclades. In 1830 it became part of Greece.
Did you visit Serifos Greece? Let me know what you think about visiting Serifos in the comments, I’d love to hear whether I managed to get it onto your bucket list! Till next time, Evgenia❤️
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